The women’s cross country team has lost familiar and talented runners Elena Jay and Sarah Fusco to graduation, but the team has a new set of senior leaders who plan to fill their shoes. Seniors Addie Cullenberg and Katie Courtney will captain this year’s team. Jess Wilson ’17 had a strong showing in the Class Wave Races against Colby over the weekend, finishing second overall, and appears to be the strongest runner in Bates’ deep core of athletes this year. Look for first-year Hannah Austin to make a splash on Saturdays this fall as well. Expect the women’s team to finish in the top ten again at regionals this fall for the fourth consecutive year, but not to improve on their tenth place showing from a year ago.
Finishing the 2014 season on a strong 4-3-1 stretch, the men’s soccer team returns many starters coupled with a crop of talented freshmen. A season ago, the first-year and sophomore classes combined tallied 19 of the Bobcats’ 22 total goals, led by then-sophomore forward Peabo Knoth. Not only are the ‘Cats solid up front, but their backline is bolstered by a veteran group. Senior captain Noah Riskind looks to lead the bunch with junior Luke McNabb complementing him. Senior goaltender Sam Polito, who started all 15 games a season ago, should be one of the top goaltenders in the NESCAC.
“The main strength of this team is a focus on the present moment and the task at hand,” noted head coach Stewart Flaherty. “Every year is different, as the locker room culture is set by the players, a chunk of which change every fall.”
Offensively, the Bobcats are just as strong. Along with All-NESCAC forward Knoth; Curitiba, Brazil native Luis Pereira ’16 brings experience to the midfield, while sophomore duo Nate Merchant and Max Watson aim to continue their impressive 2014 season, in which they collectively scored eight goals.
The Bobcats’ home opener is September 17 under the lights at 8 PM on Garcelon Field.
After recording their most wins since 2006 a season ago, the women’s soccer team aims to replicate their winning ways from the first half of the 2014 campaign, which saw them take six of their first eight games.
Senior co-captain Leah Humes, who had a goal and four assists in seven games a season ago before injury, leads the Bobcats and looks to remain healthy throughout the 2015 schedule. Running mate and fellow senior captain Julia Rice unfortunately is sidelined for the season due to injury.
However, a talented group of sophomores and juniors look to pick up the slack, led by sophomore Julia Rosen, who exploded for five points and four assists last season. Many other ‘Cats, including juniors Ana Urbina and Erin Shea, chipped in with goals last season as well and hope to do the same moving forward
Injuries to key players could prove to be difficult for the Bobcats, however, as 2014 junior MVP Allison Hill is out with injury for the first few games along with Rice, who is out for the whole season. But if the ‘Cats can overcome these absences, stay healthy, and receive the same production from a plethora of players this season, the NESCAC playoffs are a certain possibility.
New coach Melissa DeRan leads Bates into the 2015 season, hoping to improve upon last year’s 9-16 record. After starting 2014 with five straight victories, the Bobcats faltered in October. Bates has been unable to replicate that strong early performance this season, as they’ve lost their first four outings to Endicott, Springfield, MIT, and Cabrini, respectively. Junior Chandler McGrath is again anchoring the attack as outside hitter, already registering 40 kills following her tally of 184 in 2014. Defensively, liberos Augy Silver ’18 and Laryssa Schepel ’16 will be important players. The Bobcats begin their home campaign with matches against Southern Maine, Wesleyan, and Trinity between September 15th and 18th.
It’s been 13 years since Bates field hockey had a winning NESCAC record. They were 0-10 against the conference last season. This year, however, has begun positively. Before lightning struck and caused their season opener to be suspended, Bates led 4-0 over Husson. The ‘Cats should have an excellent chance to win when the game resumes, at a date that has yet to be announced. Looking further ahead, Bates will likely rely heavily on their seniors. Forward Shannon Beaton ’16, who topped the team with six goals in 2014, and senior goalie Cristina Vega will be integral pieces for Bates as the season progresses.