As the winter sports season is underway, it is important to remember the successes of the fall athletes and the work that both the individuals and the teams have put in throughout the past few months.
The story of the year — or at least the semester — was men’s soccer.
For the second year in a row, the team made it into the NCAA Division III tournament after a spectacular season.
This is the first time in program history that the team has attended the tournament for two years in a row.
After beating Westminster College in the first round, the Crusaders were eliminated by Case Western Reserve University in the second round. Though their playoff run ended sooner than they would have liked it to, this should not take away from the success of a 15-5 season.
Women’s soccer also made quite an impact, finishing 13-6 with three all-conference players. Though they were eliminated by Otterbein University during the conference tournament, they still had a great season.
The football team had a shaky beginning to their season, but was able to put the pieces together in the final weeks of their season, ending on a three-game winning streak.
The Crusaders defeated Wilmington College, Muskingum University, and most importantly, rival Otterbein University.
The victory against Otterbein was especially memorable, ending with a fantastic goal line stand. Seeing as how their games against Marietta College, Heidelberg University, and Ohio Northern University were only lost by one score, the team’s 3-7 season record does not truly reflect the effort they put into their 2018 season.
The volleyball team finished the long season winless, with a 0-26 record. However, improvement may be on the horizon.
Volleyball will only graduate two seniors, which means that next year’s team will be more experienced. Next fall will no doubt be a step in the right direction for the volleyball program.
Men’s and women’s cross country both had up and down seasons.
Though several personal records were set among the runners, both teams finished ninth out of 10 in the conference. Despite this finish, several individuals competed at the regional level, pushing one week further into the postseason. The cross country programs are also full of young athletes who will have valuable experience when fall of 2019 arrives.
But not all teams are done for the year, they’re simply on a break.
Both men’s and women’s golf are looking to start their spring seasons after successful fall seasons. The women’s team never finished behind fifth place in any of their tournaments, and Logan Holbrook of the men’s team even notched a couple of first-place finishes. Golf will continue into the spring, looking to improve even further on marks that are already good.
Though fall sports have ended, and many seniors have played had their last game, match, or race as a Crusader, winter sports are on the way. Both men’s and women’s basketball open their season on Nov. 16, and indoor track will follow with their annual alumni meet on Nov. 30.