The spring sports teams had a tough act to live up to.
The GW basketball team made history, qualifying for their first NCAA tournament since 1999, and support for the GW athletic program was at a high.
The golf team has exceeded expectations and is having its best season since 1947, while the lacrosse team is a contender for the Atlantic-10 tournament title for the first time in its short history.
Although the spring sports teams play mostly at the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex, support for the teams has been impressive. The teams are playing well and several have realistic NCAA tournament aspirations.
The Atlantic 10 conference has named three Colonials to the league’s Academic All-Conference team. Sophomores Kate Austin and Liz Gordon, along with junior Mary Kate Martelon, were named to the team, joining seven other rowers from across the A-10.
“I think it’s pretty flattering, especially in the context of a team, and a sport, that’s full of really great athletes who are also fantastic students,” Gordon said. “I imagine that this is a tough sport in which to pick this sort of thing, since it’s so academically strong across the board.”
In action last weekend, the women’s team was scheduled to compete at Princeton against the University of Southern California, University of Virginia and the hosting Tigers. Due to traffic problems, the team was forced to withdraw from the race and compete at Mercer, N.J., against Columbia University, Navy and Rutgers University. The women’s varsity four defeated Navy and Rutgers.
Gordon said the team is looking forward to a rare weekend of practice before one of the biggest meets of the year, the Women’s Eastern Sprints in Camden, N.J., on May 15.
“This is our only week since the beginning of racing season without a regatta,” Gordon said. “We’re just going to hit the water really hard in practice, try to gain some last minute speed before our taper for eastern sprints.”
Gordon said the members of her boat feel good about their performance.
“We have three varsity boats this year, a four plus and two eight pluses and all three (boats) have gotten really fast,” Gordon said. “I can’t speak specifically to how the other boats feel, but in our eight, I know that we feel like we could do some serious damage, if we put together a good performance. We’re a pretty young crew, so we’ll probably get more consistent in the next couple of years.”
The A-10 named defensive star Katelyn Honeyford its Rookie of the Week on Monday. Classmate Caitlin Garman was the only other Colonial to get the honor this year.
Honeyford has scored five goals this year and notched her last in an overtime loss at Temple on May 1. The freshman leads the team in caused turnovers (20) and has started all but one contest this year.
The No. 3 Colonials open the A-10 Tournament on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Richmond against the No. 2 Duquesne Dukes.
After carding a three-under par 68 at the University of Rhode Island Spring Invitational last week, freshman Tim Johnson was named A-10 rookie of the week. It was the second time this season the Massachusetts native has garnered the honor. The individual title was his first this season.
“Rhode Island is always as strong team,” coach Scott Allen said. “I can’t be unhappy with a second place.”
Allen, although happy with the team’s opening round performance, was disappointed that his players were not able to challenge the Rams on the second day of the rain-shortened tournament.
The NCAA tournament committee awards the four at-large bids on Monday but Allen said that he is not feeling confident that the Colonials will be able to receive one of the coveted spots.
“I think we’ll be just outside of the four spots again,” Allen said. “We needed Maryland and William and Mary to play bad and they didn’t. Its looking like we are going to need to win our conference now.”
The A-10 Conference Men’s Golf Championship is this weekend at the Newport National Golf Club in Middletown, R.I. The tournament, hosted by defending champion Rhode Island, tees off on Friday. Xavier star Ryan Pope will look to defend his individual title.
The strongest teams this year are Xavier and Rhode Island, Allen said.
“Xavier is higher in the computer than us and they get to play in some national tournaments,” Allen said. “They get to see some top 50 teams that we don’t see.”
The Musketeers won the prestigious St. Croix Collegiate Classic in March, topping Big Ten schools such as the University of Wisconsin and Ohio State University.
The Colonials played a practice round at the Newport National Golf Club last weekend and felt comfortable with the course.
“Some of the guys who played it last year felt more comfortable with it this year,” Allen said. “When the conditions are bad, we step it up. When people say that we can’t win, we play well. I have fighters in Brian (Carroll), Jack (Tyler), and Tim (Johnson).”
“We always say that we have a chance to win but we are feeling like we have a real shot this year,” Allen added. “It’s the best I’ve felt in 15 years of playing and coaching at GW.”
On Monday, freshman Josh Goldberg was named the A-10 Rookie of the Week. Goldberg went 9-for-15 from April 27 to May 1, when the Colonials went undefeated. The redshirt freshman had four multi-hit games and scored four runs and added two RBI. In GW’s three-game sweep of Dayton, Goldberg stole two bases.
On Wednesday, the Colonials were named CollegeBaseballInsider.com’s team of the week for April 25-May 1. In that week, the Colonials were undefeated and had two wins over Colonial Athletics Association teams James Madison University and the University of Delaware.
Junior Anastasia Skavronskaia was named to the A-10 Women’s Tennis All Conference team. Skavronskia is 16-4 overall in singles matches and 5-2 in doubles matches with partner junior Sandra Simunic.