In the Fall of 2019, Swarthmore’s athletic teams leaped to new heights, continuing the upward trend in Garnet performance in recent years. Men and women’s cross country each had excellent seasons, continuing to build on previous seasons. The men’s team placed eighth in the region, their best finish since 2015. First-year Aidan Cantine finished first among Garnet competitors, earning All-Region honors for his efforts.
The women’s team had a historic season, recording their best finish since 2004 by placing fifth at the regional championships. Three team members were included in All-Region honours: senior Phoebe Whiteside, junior Emma Novak, and sophomore Nora Blodgett. Novak led the Garnet at regionals and then went on to represent the college as an All-Conference runner.
Swarthmore volleyball also had a strong showing this Fall, heading into the conference championships with a 6-4 record in conference. While the Garnet defeated Haverford in the quarterfinals, avenging their loss to the Fords in the last game of regular season a week prior, they fell to undefeated and now Conference-champion Johns Hopkins in the semi-finals. Hopkins also went on to win the national NCAA tournament. Swarthmore wrapped up their season with a 16-12 overall record, with seniors Mehra den Braven and Emma Morgan-Bennet and first-year Sierra Tyson in receiving All-Centennial Second Team honours. den Braven was also named to the Academic All-District team for the third year in a row.
Swarthmore field hockey put together an impressive year as well. The Garnet ended the season with a 7-10 overall record for the third year in a row, and a 3-7 record when playing against Centennial Conference opponents, including a monumental win against Gettysburg. Chelsea Semper and Marion Carr each earned All-Conference honors, with Semper being named to the All-Centennial second team while Carr received an honorable mention.
Women’s soccer, in light of the departure of a strong senior class, continued their winning ways, echoing the team’s success over the course of the past few seasons. The team ended the season with a 12-5 overall record, however, their respectable 6-4 conference record didn’t allow them to qualify for the Centennial Conference Championship. While the team thought their season had ended after a commanding 3-1 win away against Haverford, their record was deemed good enough for them to be granted a spot in the NCAA Division III tournament. After a thrilling defeat of fifteenth ranked Arcadia, the Garnet were eliminated by Carnegie Mellon, the 25th ranked hosts of the round. Four of the Garnet were recognized for their excellent performance in conference play, with senior Eleonore Moser being included the All-Conference first team, while Sydney Covitz, also a senior, and Sophia Stills, a junior, were included in the second team. Senior Brittany Weiderhold received an honorable mention. Covitz was also included in the All-Mid-Atlantic Second Team for the second year in a row, in recognition of her consistently excellent contributions to the Garnet’s attacking play.
Finally, in what was perhaps the most remarkable season of the Fall, Swarthmore men’s soccer defied expectations in the best of ways. Despite their best record since 2012, at 11-3-3, Swarthmore men’s soccer were left heartbroken after an away loss to Haverford in the regular season’s last game, dropping their in-conference record to 4-3-2, leading them to narrowly miss out on qualifying for the Centennial Conference championships. However, Swarthmore’s season hadn’t ended yet. Their record was deemed good enough for them to receive an at-large bid into the NCAA Division III tournament, for the first time since 2012. The Garnet headed to Christopher Newport University in Virginia for a reunion with national play, seven years in the making. The team, carried by remarkable grit and exceptional performances by their back line, consecutively defeated No. 17 Roanoke then No. 23 Christopher Newport University on penalties, playing a total of 220 minutes in approximately twenty-four hours. The Garnet’s remarkable show endurance and skill was rewarded with the opportunity to host the NCAA round of sixteen and quarter finals. In spite of thunderous home support of 1,400 fans strong and a courageous showing, the team bowed to eighteenth ranked Connecticut College 1-0 in overtime in the first game of the weekend, wrapping up the seasons 11-4-5. The Garnet scooped up six All-Centennial honors, including sophomores Ben Lau and Harry Nevins as well as senior Trevor Homstad in the second team, accompanied by the honorable mentions of senior Felix Laniyan, junior Joe Barile, and first-year Bless Tumushabe. Trevor Homstad added a place on the All-Mid-Atlantic Region Second Team to his already impressive portfolio of accomplishments.
Overall, it was another great season to be a Garnet, as every team put in remarkable performances and challenged the most talented teams in the conference. This is, however, only the start of this year’s athletics, as both swim and basketball teams have started their season exceptionally strongly, and track and field is set to open their season on the seventh of December.