Article by Dominic Minicozzi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cross Country: Perhaps the biggest story for Ursinus Women’s Cross Country heading into the 2023 season was the departure of two important seniors who graduated in the spring. Holly Chambers who received All-Centennial and All-Region notoriety during her time at Ursinus, and program legend Rachel Conhoff who has achieved essentially every accolade for a Cross Country athlete. Needless to say, the Bears had some big shoes to fill and a lot of runners stepped up when the team needed it most. Sophomore Mia Sideris, and juniors Ryann Wauthier and Meghan Carroll were among the top finishers in essentially every race they competed in this season. Additionally, seniors Samantha Grubb and Kaia Berrio were fierce competitors in their own right and displayed a lot of leadership for this relatively young team. In terms of the team’s placement within the Centennial Conference and the NCAA Metro Region, they finished fifth in the conference this year and tenth at regionals thanks to two great performances from Wauthier and Carroll who were yet again, among the top performers in both of these meets. Additionally, at the Stockton Season Opener, the Bears set the tone that they mean business, placing third in the meet because of a top ten finish by Sideris. Although the team did not have any All-Centennial runners this year, senior Maggie Stalter was named to the 2023 Centennial Conference Sportsmanship Team. In totality, the 2023 season was a win for Ursinus Women’s Cross Country. While filling the vacancy of Conhoff and Chambers is certainly no easy task, this program has demonstrated that they can still hang with the best year in and year out.
Field Hockey: Considering the historical success of the program, Ursinus Field Hockey has big shoes to fill every time they step on the pitch. Finishing with a 10-8 record overall and a 5-5 record in conference, playing what many would consider to be one of the toughest field hockey schedules of any team in Division III, the Bears achieved a multitude of notable victories against ranked opponents. Namely: #20 William Smith College, #23 University of Lynchburg, #18 The College of New Jersey, and #25 Swarthmore College. As a result of their record in-season, they were able to secure the sixth seed in the Centennial Conference playoffs where they fell to Franklin and Marshall in the first round. In terms of individual performances and accolades, junior defender Maeve Montgomery and junior forward Mary Lauren Franz received first team All-Centennial notoriety and All-Region honors. Additionally, senior midfielder Ellie Bruggeman and first year forward Marie Brainard received All-Centennial Honorable Mentions. Meanwhile, Senior forward Regan Horting was named to the 2023 Centennial Conference All-Sportsmanship Team. Looking forward, the team will be returning a majority of the starters from this season in 2024, building off of their success in 2023.
Soccer: In their 2023 campaign, Ursinus College Women’s Soccer started the season 3-0 in out-of-conference play, featuring two shut-out victories against Delaware Valley University and Stevenson University. However, competing within the Centennial Conference was a different story considering the talent they were going up against. The team finished the season with an in-conference record of 1-7-2 and an overall record of 5-9-3, but saw many positives to take away from their losses. Sophomore midfielder Adriana Careless and junior midfielder Grace Senese were top performers on the offensive side of the ball, tying for the most goals on the team. Defensively, senior goalkeeper Maddie Nau and senior defender Izzy Allocco earned All-Centennial honors with Nau on the second team and Allocco receiving an Honorable Mention. In addition, junior defender Carlie Shiller was named to the 2023 Centennial Conference All-Sportsmanship Team. In terms of the future, the team will be graduating eight seniors this off-season, but there are many young players who have played significant minutes and are prepared to fill that vacancy on the pitch. Namely: sophomore forward Kalli Roskos, first year forward Madison Bjorndahl, first year defenders Maddie Jolie and Holly Joseph, and sophomore midfielders Adriana Careless and Paige Flaugh. Although their final record at the end of the season was not what they had hoped for, the Ursinus Women’s Soccer program is creating a new identity under coach Calhoun and the future looks bright.
Volleyball: If there was one match this season that summarizes the mentality behind the 2023 Ursinus Women’s Volleyball Team it was their contest on Wednesday, October 4th, in our very own Helffrich Hall against Muhlenberg College. The Bears lost two of their first three sets, which put them in a 2-1 deficit against the Mules. With the game on the line, they knew that they needed to rally in order to keep this contest alive. The Bears played neckin-neck throughout the third and fourth sets, but clinched the win in the fifth set, ending the game in a 13-15 victory and securing the first win against Muhlenberg since 2003. While their overall record this season of 12-15 can certainly be improved upon, moments like this win against Muhlenberg show that this group of Bears has the ability to rally in the face of adversity. Which is necessary when you play in a conference as competitive as the Centennial Conference. In terms of awards, two players received Centennial Conference recognition: junior Caroline Sherman (Second Team All-Centennial), and senior Megan Aube (2023 Centennial Conference Sportsmanship Team). However, the roster features a lot of young players with a bright future. First year Daejah Bazemore played the fifth most sets on the team this year and made her presence felt with 163.5 total points on the season. Another first year player who saw significant time and production was Alonna McCummings who was seventh on the team in scoring. Lastly, sophomore Mel Eglinton had an impressive season as well, being the second leading scorer for the Bears with 347.5 total points. Overall, Ursinus Women’s Volleyball demonstrated at many points throughout the 2023 season that they have the aptitude and persistence to defeat the opponents in front of them. We’ll see if they can build off of some of these wins from 2023 and have an even better record next fall