Fall teams kick off conference play
This week marked the conference openers for Swarthmore’s men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball and field hockey teams. All four opened their season against Franklin & Marshall, seeking to build on impressive non-conference performances that saw the four teams open with a combined 19-10-0 record, including a near-perfect 10-1-0 showing from the soccer teams.
For some sports, such as men’s soccer, the F&M Diplomats proved to be a tougher opponent than the Garnet was accustomed to. However, all teams showed signs that their strong starts will be indicative of conference success, continuing the recent trend of Swarthmore’s fall sports teams standing out as some of the school’s strongest.
Women’s soccer shines under Saturday night lights
Playing at prime time in front of a strong home crowd at Clothier Field, forward Emma Sindelar ’15 led her team to a rousing 3-0 victory over the visiting Diplomats. It was a historic night for the Garnet, as Sindelar’s performance of one goal and the assist made her the program record holder for goals (31), assists (16) and points (78).
Swarthmore’s defense again proved impenetrable, recording its fourth shutout in six games this season. The back line was led by the veteran duo Ellen Bachmannhuff ’15 and Amanda Bosworth ’16, along with goalkeeper Reba Magier ’16.
The Garnet returned to the pitch Tuesday, turning in a thoroughly dominant performance against host Washington College. The final score of 2-0, behind goals from Mele Johnson ’17 and Katie Dougherty ’18, was not indicative of the total control Swarthmore had over the match. The offense launched a staggering 33 shots, 16 of which were saved by Washington’s Melissa Barry in a performance that would have made Tim Howard proud.
After visiting Dickinson College on Saturday, the Garnet will return home to host Johns Hopkins University on Thursday, October 2 at 7 p.m.
Men’s soccer falls in battle of national heavyweights
The young Swarthmore men’s soccer team did not enter the season with as much national recognition as they have in recent years. That all changed quickly, as the team’s 6-0-0 start to the season pulled them up to 18th in the national rankings. The Garnet put its perfect season to the test against a 5-0-1 Diplomats team that entered the week ranked sixth in the nation.
In an evenly fought, defensive battle, Franklin & Marshall finally broke through in the 80th minute, going on to defeat the Garnet 2-0.
Defender Michael Superdock ’15 expressed his frustration with the loss but reiterated the team’s high expectations, saying, “I felt like we matched up pretty well and often had the better of the play. In the end, though, I think that their guys were just more fit and did a better job putting us under pressure defensively. I suspect that our increased focus on fitness over the next few weeks will be enough to get us back on track.”
Swarthmore will resume its conference schedule on Saturday at Johns Hopkins. After taking on Muhlenberg on Tuesday, the team will return to Clothier Field to host Ursinus College on October 3rd at 7p.m.
Hopkins shines in weekend play
Swarthmore volleyball started the Centennial Conference play on Wednesday night at Tarble Pavilion. [will update post-match]
The team’s performance came off the heels of a weekend tournament in Elizabethtown, PA. After losing in straight sets to SUNY New Paltz, Swarthmore demonstrated resilience, coming back to sweep York College.
Chastity Hopkins ’15 showcased her athletic ability, driving 45 kills over the net over the course of the weekend to earn all-tournament honors. In the York match, Malia Scott ’18 led the team with 12 kills, Madison Heppe ’16 finished with 15 digs and Sam DuBois ’16 turned in an impressive all-around performance, tallying 28 assists and 13 digs.
Hopkins described the team’s strategy going into conference play, saying, “Other teams look at stats and scout, so they already know we have a strong outside and right side. Since they were focused on those players, the plan is for middles to run quick ones, and once we establish these quicks, that will open up other options for both myself and for other hitters by pulling the block.”
Field Hockey comes up short
Swarthmore’s young field hockey squad found itself overmatched by fifth-ranked Franklin & Marshall in Saturday’s conference opener.
The loss followed the Garnet’s first win of the season, a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over Neumann College. After falling behind 2-0 early, Swarthmore came storming back. Audrey Allen ’16 found the back of the net in the 11th minute to make the score 2-1 going into halftime. Abby Lauder ’15, the team’s lone senior, netted the equalizer in the 62nd minute. Strong goalkeeping from Aisnley Parrish ’16 (eight saves) forced overtime, where Ursula Monaghan ’17 wasted little time, netting the golden goal just three minutes into the period.
Swarthmore will look to get back on track on Saturday when it hosts Dickinson College at 12 p.m. at Clothier Field.
Women’s tennis impresses in Virginia
All nine Swarthmore women who traveled to Fredricksburg, Va to compete in the ITA Southeast Regional returned home with at least one victory. Several freshmen earned their first collegiate victories, including Ashley Gao, May Dong, Rachel Bronkema, Sophia Schuster, Maria Cuervo and Anna Scheibmeir.
Swarthmore will host the annual Swarthmore Invitational on Saturday, October 4th at the Mullan Tennis Center.