by Hector Davila
It’s that time of year again: the fall season, when there are colorful leaves, pumpkin spice and we definitely cannot forget the MAC Championships. The end of October into November is an exciting time of year for all colleges around the country. Fall sports fight to obtain playoff spots and score a date with destiny at the MAC Championships, otherwise known as MAC Week.
Last Saturday, Oct. 29, the Cross Country team took off to race for MAC, hosted this year by Messiah College. The race consisted of a hilly 6K course that pushed runners to the limit in speed and endurance. Women’s Cross Country finished in sixth place, while Men’s Cross Country finished in seventh place overall.
The Championship performance is a positive step forward to the team’s full potential. The coaches expect great improvement to come from the team, especially after releasing six seniors who graduated last season. Head Coach Mike Wilson says, “This isn’t necessarily the result that we were hoping for; we’re better than the results show. We are young, and we’ve dealt with a lot of adversity this year. All that said, we laid a great foundation today. Our entire varsity is a pack of freshmen and sophomores, and we have some high goals for this group. We are just getting started.”
At MAC, Eastern Men’s and Women’s Cross Country had a few breakout athletes who received 1st and 2nd-Team All-MAC Regional recognition. First-year Megan Bernotas led the women, coming in sixth place overall, becoming the first Eastern first-year student to finish sixth since joining MAC in 2008. Sophomore Kierra Zack finished in ninth place, receiving All-MAC 1st-Team recognition, along with Bernotas. From the Men’s squad, Bryton Henry, who finished 11th, and Greg Thomas, who finished 17th, both secured spots on the All-MAC 2nd-Team.
by Shelly Lister
Finishing the regular season with a record of 14-3-1, the EU Men’s Soccer team entered postseason play with a four-game winning streak. On Tuesday, Nov. 1, the Eagles hosted the MAC Freedom Semi-Finals against King’s College. The match ended with a score of 0-0 and was sent to penalty kicks after 110 minutes of play. The Eagles won the shoot-out 4-1 with two big saves by junior goalkeeper Quentin Keibler to boost the Eagles. Jadon Ramsing, Cade Harmon, Jake Sankey and Colin Furlong each put away their penalty shots to secure the win for the Eagles and advance to the MAC Freedom Finals.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, the Eagles traveled to Dallas, Pa. to match up against Misericordia University. Misericordia scored early in the match and maintained the lead for the majority of play. In the 89th minute, first-year Sankey scored with an assist from sophomore Jacob Meyers to keep the Eagles in the match. Once again, the Eagles would have penalty kicks decide their fate. All five Eagles to line up for penalty kicks put away their shots. Keibler made another stop penalty kick and was named MVP for the match. Eastern took home the MAC Freedom Championship and prolonged their playoff run.
On Saturday, Nov. 12 the Eagles traveled up north to play the University of Rochester in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament. In the 25th minute of the game, first-year defender Kaleb O’Neil scored his first goal of his collegiate career to put the Eagles up 1-0. Near the end of the match, sophomore Harmon netted another goal to secure the win for the Eagles. Keibler made only three saves the entire match and earned his eighth shut-out for the Eagles this season. This victory marked the first time the EU Men’s Soccer earned an NCAA tournament win.
by Lauren Murphy
The Women’s Volleyball team played FDU-Florham at home on Wednesday, Nov. 2 in the Semi-Finals of the MAC Freedom Tournament. The Eagles won with a score of 3-0 (25-13, 25-8, 25-15). They moved on to the Finals on Saturday, Nov. 5, where they claimed their ninth MAC Freedom Championship against DeSales University at home, 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, 25-18).
Women’s Volleyball is now in the NCAA Tournament, where they have continued their winning streak. They headed to Hoboken, N.J. for the Regional Playoffs, where they first played Farmingdale State College on Friday, Nov. 11, winning with a score of 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 26-24). The Eagles also won against Ramapo College on Saturday, Nov. 12, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-22), advancing them to the Regional Finals. Women’s Volleyball then played at Stevens Institute of Technology on Sunday, Nov. 13, winning with a score of 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20).
Congratulations to the Women’s Volleyball team! We wish them continued success as they advance in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles will soon be heading to Oshkosh, Wis. to play the University of Northwestern (Minn.), with their next game scheduled on Thursday, Nov. 17. If they win, they will continue to play on Friday, Nov. 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19.
Check out a more comprehensive recap of the team’s journey through the NCAA Tournament in Issue 7, which will be in print on Wednesday, Dec. 7.