Stroop signs as softball coach

One of Eastern’s newest faculty members, Brittany Stroop, will be the head coach for the softball team starting this fall. Stroop is taking the lead from Colleen Stuppy, last spring’s interim coach, after the unfortunate death of former head coach Mark Ambler.

Stroop has been playing softball since fourth grade and was the starting varsity catcher at Pottsgrove High School in Pottstown for four years. She is originally from Pottstown, Pa. and completed her undergraduate studies in biology and earned a master’s in education from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in St. Bonifacius, Ohio.

This is Stroop’s second head coach position. Before she came to Eastern, she was the head softball coach at Crown College west of Minneapolis. “I was moving back to my hometown when I heard about the vacancy here,” Stoop said. “It worked out well for me.

“I did not always know that I was going to make a career of coaching,” she said. “It wasn’t until I started coaching Angels Softball, a travel team out of Pottstown, during my summers off from college that I began to think that coaching was a real opportunity.”

However, Stroop is also planning to make use of her degrees. “As of now I’m looking to get into teaching at Eastern as an adjunct professor,” she said. “I’m also looking to go back to school in the near future to get another Masters degree in Kinesiology so I can become a full-time college professor along with coaching at the college level.”

As a softball player, Stroop said her biggest achievement was making it to the NAIA regional tournament her sophomore year and being named “All-Conference” her senior year.

Stroop has very clear goals for the team for this semester. “I look forward to developing the necessary skills and the spiritual abilities of the team,” she said. She also hopes that she can “make a spot in National Collegiate Athletic Association.”

As the Assistant Sports Information Director in the athletic department, Stroop will be in charge of covering the volleyball, field hockey and women’s tennis teams this fall.

When she is not coaching, Stroop said she likes to “play both slow-pitch and fastpitch softball. … I also like to read, hang out with my friends and family, and visit my brother in Ohio.”

Fall back into action

Field Hockey

 

Coach: Camrin Azzarano (6th season)


Last Year’s Record:
15-7 (7-1) MAC Champions

Key Wins: Kings College, Wilkes University and Skidmore.

Must-see Games: Montclair State University, Messiah College, Wilkes University, Rowan University and William Paterson.

Key Returnees: Senior defender Leslie Messick, senior midfielder Lindsay Moyer, junior Goalie Laura Ressler, junior midfielder Hope Donnelly and sophomore forward Yvonne Herbster.

Outlook: Azzarano’s troops had a successful season last year, emerging from the MAC with a championship. The Lady Eagles got a taste of the NCAA Division III tournament with a win over Skidmore. They later fell to rival Messiah, which makes the story line for the Sept. 9 matchup this season that much more interesting.

Moyer looks to lead the offense again after finding the back of the net 17 times last year. The All-American senior also finished with seven assists. Herbster finished behind Moyer with 10 goals and seven assists and will be one of the youngest midfielders in an offense that posted three goals a game last season.

“I am very excited with the new freshmen we brought in,” Azzarano said. “With the new group, I am looking forward to improve our teamwork from last season.”

Defensively, the Lady Eagles posted outstanding numbers last season. Ressler anchors a defense that allowed just more than a goal per game.

“This season, one of our main goals is to defend strongly in every contest,” Azzarano said.
 

 

Men’s Soccer

Coach: Mark Wagner (10th season)

Last Year’s Record: 11-7-2 (4-3-1-)


Key Wins:
Cabrini College, Misericordia University, Drew University, DeSales University.
 

Must-see Games: Misericordia University, Manhattanville College, Wilkes University, Deales University, Gettysburg College, Rutgers-Camden and Cabrini College.

Key Returnees: Senior defender Mike Leitzel, senior forward Terry Fry, senior midfielder Nate Goble, junior midfielder Phil Mantua, junior midfielder Kyle Hurst and sophomore forward Braden Gross.


Outlook:
The men’s soccer team looks to rebound from an early MAC playoff exit last season. Fry leads the offensive unit, after finishing with 15 goals last season. Hurst and Mantua show great passing on the offensive side, recording four assists apiece last season. With a defense that only allowed a little over a goal per game, the Eagles can shut down any offensive unit that may come their way this season. With that said, the Eagles have to replace a talented goalkeeper who graduated last year, but Wagner notes that his team will have to work collectively to get the job done this season.
 

“The strength of our team is that we are a starless team,” Wagner said. “Our system is based on not running anything through one player. Our success will be determined by
our team culture, then our talent.”
 

 

Cross Country

Coach: Eric Mundy (5th season)

Last Year’s Record: Women had highest finish in a conference since Mundy became coach.


Must-see Games:
MAC Championships

Key Returnees: Senior Mike Wilson, sophomore Whitney Kerner, sophomore Jonathan Hulbert and sophomore Lauren Bowman


Outlook:
Mundy expects to see improvement from last season believing he has one of his strongest runners since taking over five years ago. Senior Mike Wilson looks to lead the pack of runners with a strong season.

“I think it is going to be one of our strongest seasons,” Mundy said. “Regardless of how fast everyone runs I can tell we are going to have a great time as a team.”

 

 

Women’s Tennis

Coach: Mark Spangler (2nd season)

Last Year’s Record: 6-7 (3-4)


Key Wins:
Alvernia University

Must-see Games: Messiah College, Wilkes University, Kings College, DeSales University.


Key Returnees:
Senior Hannah Tobin, sophomore Bekah Roland and junior Allison Verdic.

Outlook: Spangler had a good season during his first year at the helm of the women’s tennis team. Having just missed the MAC playoffs, the Lady Eagles look to take advantage of their opportunities early this season.

“It should be a challenging season with so many new players,” Spangler said. “The returning players we do have are key. We do have some holes to fill from last season, we just have to play at the same intensity all season long.”

 

 

Women’s Soccer

Coach: Dan Mouw (8th season)

Last Year’s Record- 17-6-0 (8-0-0) MAC Champions


Key Wins:
Wheaton (Mass), Rowan, UW-Stevens Point.


Must-see Games:
Messiah College, Swarthmore College and Cabrini College.

Key Returnees: Senior forward Jill DiRenzo, senior midfielder Lauren Roe, junior defender Liza O’Keefe and sophomore midfielder Kristine Zeiset.


Outlook:
The defending MAC Champions have not yet played a game but are feeling the loss of 15 players, 11 of which were seniors. Now the Lady Eagles look to the younger players to step up to help the champions defend their title.

DiRenzo looks to lead the way for the Lady Eagles after recording 12 goals last season. Mouw already knows teams in the MAC will try to take advantage of how much talent the team was lost last season.

Last season, the team scored four or more goals five times. The defense kept their opponents at bay, allowing only 21 goals all season with 14 shutouts.

“Everyone in the conference is gunning for us,” Mouw said. “Last time we won a conference title we left the conference and didn’t know how it felt to defend it.”

The Lady Eagles hope to do more than defend their conference title by going deeper than they did in the NCAA Div. III Playoffs.

“This year we are ranked 13th in the country,” Mouw said. “It is going to take a while to prove we are the 13th best team in the country. We look forward to having a great year.”

 

 

Volleyball

Coach: Mark Birtwistle (20th season)

Last Year’s Record: 35-2 (11-0) MAC Champions


Key Wins:
Haverford College, Steven’s Tech and Salisbury


Must-see Games:
#2 Juniata, #4 UW-Oshkosh, #23 Haverford and #25 Williams


Key Returnees:
All-American Sophomores Maria Horning and Courtney Reinhold

Outlook: Birtwistle’s squad finished with a program best 35 wins last season, but this year team members are still hungry for further advancing in NCAA Div. III tournament play. Even though the program reached the “Sweet 16” for just the fourth time in program history, the young squad will have to beat tough competition this season to get over the hump. Five freshmen and six sophomores are just some of the players that Birtwistle will have in his lineup.

Horning and Reinhold are only two of the talented Eagles that look to help their team tremendously this season. Horning dished out 10.7 assists per set and Reinhold led the team in kills.

“Despite being so young the mood is certainly optimistic for a fun and productive season,” Birtwistle said. “The schedule is tough this year, so there will be plenty of
opportunities to learn from great competition.”