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Fall sports look to conquer competition

Field Hockey

Coach: Camrin Azzarano (7th season)
Last Year’s Record: 18-5 (7-0), MAC Champions
Key Wins: TCNJ, Delaware Valley College, Montclair State University and William Paterson University
Must-see Games: TCNJ, Messiah, Misericordia University and FDU-Florham
Key Returnees: Senior goalie Laura Ressler, senior forward Kim Campbell, junior midfielder Hope Donnelly, junior forward Yvonne Herbster, sophomore midfielder Shannon Graybill
Outlook:
Field hockey had another successful season last year, emerging from the MAC with a championship for the second consecutive season.
This season will not be easy as the team lost two All-American players to graduation. Azzarano is not worried, she believes her team has what it takes to win the MAC for the third straight season.
“We feel very good about our team,” Azzarano said. “We will be fine if we can maintain the level of play that we have experienced the past couple of years. I am excited with the group I have to work this with season.”

Women’s Soccer

Coach: Dan Mouw (9th season)
Last Year’s Record- 11-8-2 (4-1-2) MAC Champions
Key Wins: Conference Championship vs. Manhattanville and NCAA 1st Round vs. Virginia Wesleyan
Must-see Games: TCNJ, Messiah, Manhattanville and Cabrini
Key Returnees: Senior defender Amy Achey, junior midfielder Bethany Engle, junior forward Tess Beckwith, junior midfielder Kristine Zeiset, sophomore goalie Alysia Goodman
Outlook:
Women’s soccer had to make a huge adjustment last season when they lost 15 players, but they still won the MAC championship for the second consecutive year.
This season, Mouw puts a highly experienced team on the field that went through tough stretches last season and came out with key wins.
“We are young but we have a really good core of experienced players too,” Mouw said. “We are a very mature and experienced team with a lot of juniors in the starting lineup.”

Cross Country 

Coach: Eric Mundy (6th season)
Last Year’s Record: Women in the MAC conference were ninth out of 14 teams; Men were 12 out of 14
Must-see Races: Philly Metro Classic and Belmont Classic
Key Returnees: Senior Davis Rideout, juniors Whitney Kerner, Jonathan Hulbert, Warren Bowman, sophomore Martha Mackey.
Outlook:
As always, Mundy expects to see improvement this season. The returning runners aim to make a strong finish in the MAC Championships on October 30.
“We have a big junior class of women this year, and all my men are returning,” Mundy said.

Volleyball

Coach: Mark Birtwistle (21st season)
Last Year’s Record: 32-5
Key Wins: Regionally ranked opponents Frostburg State, Stevens Tech, Susquehanna, Cortland, Williams, Washington and Lee, national opponent # 23 Haverford.
Must-see Games: #2 Juniata College and #15 Christopher Newport
Key Returnees: All-American setter junior Maria Horning and All-American outside hitter junior Courtney Reinhold
Outlook:
Last season, Eastern’s volleyball team put on a show each time they stepped on the floor. At one time, they won 14 consecutive games.
Look for another dominating performance this season as the team returns two All-Americans. Both players look to continue their high level of play for the third consecutive season.
“We return a solid core of very successful veterans,” Birtwistle said. “The returners are 67-7 over the last 2 years, but we will face our toughest schedule in program history. We face 6 teams already seeded #15 and higher in the AVCA National Poll.”

Men’s Soccer

Coach: Mark Wagner (11th season)
Last Year’s
Record: 6-10-2 (2-4-1)
Key Wins: Rowan University and DeSales University
Must-see Games: MAC Conference Games
Key Returnees: Senior forward Ben Faro, senior midfielder Phil Mantua, senior midfielder Kyle Hurst, senior defender Kyle Richards, junior midfielder Alex Schweitzer
Outlook:
For the first time in Wagner’s career as coach, the Eagles failed to reach post-season competition last year. Wagner notes that the team will have to do the little things if they want to put soccer back on the map, such as, “How well we play when we don’t have the ball. That means how well we play when we are defending and how well we play when we are in transition. Every conference game is a critical game as we look to get back to track.”

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