With the school year back in session, fall sports athletes are back and ready to compete.
The football team is coming off a 3-7 season, but they were more competitive last fall than their record indicates. Three of their games were lost by a cumulative of 8 points. The season started rough, but they finished with a three-game win streak.
“We’re hoping that maybe there’s a little bit of momentum that we can take from those last three games that we won back last year,” Ryan Gasser, sports information director, said.
The team graduated their starting quarterback and their number one wide receiver, so the offense is looking for some of the younger players to step up. This year’s quarterback was decided after the Aug. 31 scrimmage, with junior Andrew Ray winning the starting role to start the year.
Key returners include three-time selection All-OAC wide receiver David Barnett and All-OAC Honorable Mention linebacker Kole Carter.
Men’s and women’s cross country are both ranked ninth in the OAC preseason poll.
The women’s team is made up entirely of first years and sophomores. The men’s team has two upperclassmen, with the rest of the team being underclassmen.
“It’s a rebuilding year … we’re young, and it’s probably going to show,” Gasser said.
Women’s soccer is coming into the season with high expectations, ranked third in the preseason coaches’ poll.
The team has snagged some Division 1 transfers to help on defense and is bringing back most of their starters. They plan to have a fast-paced offense and score early.
“My expectation is for us to be better than we were last year. I think that we have a lot of strong girls that have come in to help us and a lot of returners that are going to be able to help us as well,” senior forward Jordan Fike said.
As long as they play to their abilities, one of the team’s goals is to win the OAC.
“We’ve talked about it as a team … we want rings by the end of the season … I think this is the year for it for sure,” Fike said.
Fike sees the Ohio Northern and Otterbein games as must-wins.
“ONU has always been one of our biggest rivals every year … Otterbein is the biggest game of the year, it always will be. So definitely beating those teams would be our first step,” Fike said.
The men’s soccer team has made it to the NCAA tournament the last two years and won their first-round game both years.
Last year, they shared the regular season championship with John Carroll.
They’ve lost some big players to graduation, but still have senior Greg Knox returning after setting a single-season assist record and becoming Capital’s career assist leader by his junior season.
Expecting to have some new players on offense, the team sees defense as their strength.
“They’re going to be filling a lot of holes this year … but their history over the last two years says that they’ll be pretty good,” Gasser said.
The volleyball team is coming off a rough year and is looking to move passed it. The team is still young, but they will have only lost one senior.
“There’s only one way to go, and I really would like to see how everybody has progressed from year one to year two,” Gasser said.
Volleyball benefits from a lot of home matches compared to previous years and a schedule that they think they can improve on.
For rosters, schedules, and standings, head to Capital’s Athletics page.
Dava Hennosy is the chief copy editor and a senior at Capital University.