For the past several weeks, all of Eastern’s six fall athletic teams have been hard at work preparing for their upcoming seasons. Here is a peek at each team and how they look so far.
2005 Record: (11-9, 9-2 PAC)
The women’s soccer team finished last season as the runner-up in the Pennsylvania All Conference tournament.
According to head coach Dan Mouw, the team has much to look forward to, as they are now older and more experienced than last year.
Also, with six returning all-conference players, Mouw expects they will be ranked first in the PAC this season.
One of the difficulties the team is facing is that a few players are in new positions and are attempting to develop a degree of comfort in their new spots.
Aside from that, Mouw’s main goal for his team is that they improve every day.
That may be difficult during some of the easier games, he said, because they are so much better than some opposing teams that it would be easy to slack off.
“Every time we step onto the field for training or for a game, we get better. That’s our challenge,” Mouw said.
Senior Krista Wiggins, one of three team captains, already has a goal in mind: “To win the PAC!”
2005 Record: (16-2, 9-0-2 PAC) PAC Champs, Ranked 17th in NCAA Division III
They might have the most difficult training schedule of all Eastern’s athletic teams, running and playing soccer from six in the morning until almost eight at night.
The men’s soccer team has established itself as one of Eastern’s best teams.
For much of last season, the men’s soccer team was ranked in Division III NCAA. This season, the face of the team has changed a great deal from what it was a year ago.
“We’re going to be much younger,” Head Coach Mark Wagner said. “We graduated six starters so we’ve got a number of holes to fill, but we have a very good recruiting class and some really good young players. So it may take us a little time to put it all together.”
Three of the team’s leading goal scorers from last season, Daniel Carvalho, Jon Ruiz and Shane Rineer, have all graduated, leaving space open for new players to take control of the team scoring. Coach Wagner believes that his team is fast, athletic and skilled enough to pick up where last season’s seniors left off.
“We expect that come the end of the season we’ll be in the playoff hunt, hopefully for a conference championship and an NCAA Tournament bid,” Wagner said.
2005 Record: (7-9, 6-5 PAC)
The women’s tennis team has a fresh start this year, with no returning players. Head coach Angela Sprock said their biggest challenge will be “overcoming the nerves of newness,” as only three of the players are not first-years, and some have never played competitive tennis.
But this is a blessing as well as a challenge; Sprock said that the new players bring great attitudes and a high degree of teachability to the court.
For Sprock herself, this is only her second year as head coach, but her youth proved no hindrance her first year, when she was named coach of the year in the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference.
Her goal for the team this year is that they develop the team spirit and camaraderie to support each other during the intense two-month season.
2005 Record: (10-12, 9-5 PAC)
A total of nine newcomers have been added to Eastern’s field hockey team which reached the PAC Championships in 2005. A young team once again, the field hockey team graduates only three seniors this season.
Captains senior Christy Miller, senior June Brandt and junior Steph Moyer will lead a young and exciting 2006 field hockey team that is noticeably quicker and more athletic this season.
The goals are still as high as they can get, especially following an exciting 2005 playoffs that included upset victories and eventually ended in a championship game overtime loss.
Head coach Camrin Azzarano said, “I want to set the standard for my team that we are going to go as far as we can. Last year we went into the championships seeded fifth, and my desire is to go into it seeded first this year.”
The cross country team at Eastern is in only its second full season of competition this year.
The women’s team made a splash in the PAC last season, earning fifth place.
Senior Stephanie Scott finished in sixth place at the PAC Championships, earning her First Team honors. Allison Ridington also received Second Team All-PAC honors as a first-year last season.
The men’s team could not qualify as a team last season because they only had four members. Notably, first-year Darren Grau finished 25th in the PAC Championships.
Information compiled by Alex Long and Rebecca Jennings.