Sports Preseason Recap

Stephen Exarhos

Several fall athletes from seven different teams and I arrived here on campus Aug. 22. Enter preseason, my favorite time of the year. It is the time of year when coaches are not forced to work around time-consuming class schedules or mind-numbing campus jobs. In preseason, we eat, we sleep, we play.
Every year, the ground shakes from the most apparent arrival on campus, the football team. As of right now, they have yet to play in their first game, though they did play an intrasquad scrimmage last Saturday. Their first game is this weekend against the perennial national powerhouse Monmouth.
The game is at 1 p.m. at our very own Banta Bowl. The football team is looking for all the fans it can get to go out there and back the team up, as the football team is starting its season with probably its toughest opponent. As this game will be before three-quarters of the student body is supposed to return to campus, this is a call to all the freshmen out there to come show some pride in your new school. If you do not know where the Banta Bowl is or how to get there, swallow your pride, ask some hot someone, and make a new friend.
The men’s soccer team is also back on campus, ready to take care of business. The soccer team kicked off its season last week with a scrimmage against Lakeland, resulting in a 2-2 tie. Another scrimmage against some LU soccer alums resulted in a dismantling of the out-of-shape elders.
The soccer men kicked off their season at home with a disheartening 2-0 loss to Marian, then drove to Indiana for games against Anderson University, resulting another disappointing 3-1 loss, and Earlham College, resulting in a 1-1 tie.
Men’s soccer plays MSOE Wednesday night in Milwaukee, then travels to Beloit Saturday for the first conference game. The next home game will be Saturday, Sept. 19 against Finlandia at 4:30 p.m., and the team expects a huge fan-base. Though soccer fans have been lacking In the past, the team remains optimistic that things will look up a bit this year.
Women’s soccer has much the same schedule as the men, except that the women have been winning. They scrimmaged Marian, producing a 2-1 victory, and defeated Hamline in another 2-1 victory. The women went on to thrash Anderson in a 3-0 win, but then ran into stiff opposition at Earlham when they were dealt a wild 6-2 defeat. The next opportunity to support the women will be next Saturday when they take on Finlandia at 2 p.m.
Women’s tennis had a great season last year, and the team has high hopes for this year. They went undefeated in conference play and ended up finishing second in the conference tournament, while two singles players and a doubles team took their respective titles.
The women are already off to another great start this year after taking down Monmouth and Knox Thursday. The women thhen won again Saturday playing Dubuque before finally dropping a close one to Loras.
The women’s tennis team has four matches on four consecutive days coming up: thursday at home against Carroll, away at Lake Forest friday, at home against UW -River Falls saturday and at home against Marian Sunday.
The tennis courts are right next to Hiett Hall, and the women look forward to getting some fan support.
Women’s volleyball had a disappointing year last year, but the team is already proving that last year is ancient history with a quick start to this season. The women started with an easy shutout win over Mount Mary College, then defeated North Central (Minn.) with another shutout. The women were only slowed by a loss to Wisconsin Lutheran.
Women’s volleyball then split another pair of matches, defeating the University of Minnesota – Morris and falling to North Central (Ill.). The team has three away games this weekend at the Augsburg College Invite. The next home game will not be until Sept. 26 when the women host Carroll.
Finally, the hard-working men’s and women’s cross-country teams are also off to a running start. They have had one race so far this year.
The men’s team took fifth out of 12, with Mark Sprtel leading the way, taking 20th personally.
The women’s team took sixth out of 14, with Emily Muhs taking Lawrence’s fastest time and landing in 15th place.
That’s all the fall sports. Freshmen, attending fall sports events is a great way socialize, so go make some new friends.