What’s on tap for the Colonials this fall

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo

The men's water polo team strategizes during a game.

A dozen teams will see action this fall, some of which have previously made postseason appearances, earned conference championships and achieved their highest ever finishes.

Here’s a list of who to watch, what to expect and where to find the Colonials on the court or field this fall.

Women’s soccer

Last season: The Colonials boasted a 10-8-1 season record and a 6-4-0 record in Atlantic 10 play.

Where they compete: The Mount Vernon Campus

Player to watch: Redshirt senior forward and midfielder Sofia Pavon, who led the Colonials with nine goals and six assists on the season en route to her second career A-10 Conference First Team selection.

What’s on tap: Junior midfielder Alexis Williams will rejoin the team after suffering a season-ending lower body injury. Williams tallied four goals, one assist and 12 shots on goal in seven games of action.

Men’s soccer

Last season: The squad ended its season 5-9-3 and 1-5-2 in conference play.

Where they compete: The Vern

Player to watch: Junior midfielder and forward Oscar Haynes Brown, who led the team with four game-winning goals and 11 goals on the season, became the first double-digit goalscorer since 2011.

What’s on tap: The team will need to replace 2019-graduate and three-year starting goaltender Thor Arne Höfs. Höfs logged nearly 5,400 minutes and made 264 career saves – the fourth-most in men’s soccer history. The Colonials tallied their worst conference record since 2010 last year and will look to make a return to the postseason in 2019.

Volleyball

Last season: The team finished the season 11-15 and 5-9 in A-10 play.

Where they compete: Smith Center

Player to watch: Senior outside hitter Skylar Iott, who paced the team in kills (385), kills per set (3.89) and total attacks (1,216).

What’s on tap: GW, anchored by returning liberos sophomore Bella Bowman and junior Sydney Welch, ranked third in digs in conference play last season. The squad also returns four of its six players with 50 or more kills last season.

Men’s water polo

Last season: The squad won its second consecutive MAWP Championships, its first-ever NCAA tournament game and a program-best record of 23-7.

Where they compete: Smith Center

Player to watch: Senior utility player Atakan Destici, who led the Colonials in goals (85) and assists (72) and earned back-to-back All-MAWP-East First Team honors.

What’s on tap: Fourteen members of last season’s record-breaking team are set to return, including senior center Andrew Mavis and Destici, who combined for about 36 percent of the team’s goals.

Women’s cross country

Last season: The team finished in the top half in six of its seven competitions, placing second in two meets.

Where they compete: The Colonials will spend their fall season on the road.

Player to watch: Senior Suzanne Dannheim, whose eighth-place finish in the 5 kilometer at last year’s A-10 Championship earned her a spot on the A-10 All Conference Team.

What’s on tap: The team lost 2019-graduates Madison Yerke, Halley Brown and Brigid Prial, who continued to be top performers in the 5 kilometer and 6 kilometer races, but gained five new additions to the squad.

Men’s cross country

Last season: The squad finished in the top half in four of its five team meets last season, taking first in the Mount St. Mary’s Duals.

Where they compete: The Colonials will spend their fall season on the road.

Player to watch: Junior Jackson Cronin, who finished within the top 40 of every meet last season. He landed in the top 10 in four races, including an eighth-place finish at the A-10 Championships.

What’s on tap: The Colonials will be without Andrew Weber, who finished in the top 50 runners in every race of his senior campaign, including a first-place finish at the Mount St. Mary’s Duals. But the team gains fifth-year Wesley Robinson who finished in the top half at the Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships in his senior year at Tennessee.

Golf

Last season: The squad placed in the top half in just one of its five tournaments, but the Colonials bounced back in their fall A-10 Championship to earn a first-place finish.

Where they compete: The Colonials will spend their fall season on the road.

Player to watch: Adrian Castagnola, who has consistently decreased his scoring average over his three years with the program, ending his 2018-19 campaign with a career-low 73.93 average.

What’s on tap: The program will be without program scoring average leader Logan Lowe, who topped the program and A-10, finishing his decorated career with an A-10 Championship win. Four of the five starters from last season’s A-10 Championship win will return to the program.

Men’s tennis

Last season: The Colonials struggled in nonconference play but improved against conference foes, tallying a 7-14 overall record and a 5-3 A-10 record.

Where they compete: The Colonials will spend their fall season on the road.

Player to watch: Sophomore Zicheng Zeng, who had a standout freshman campaign, earning the team most valuable player award and a nod to the First Team All-Atlantic 10 after winning 16 of 34 matches at the No. 1 position on the team.

What’s on tap: The squad returns eight of its nine players, five of whom possessed a .500 or higher overall win percentage.

Women’s tennis

Last season: The team earned an overall 12-10 record and a 5-2 conference record.

Where they compete: The Colonials will spend their fall season on the road.

Player to watch: Sophomore Katarina Marinkovikj, who earned a spot on the A-10 All-Conference Second Team and a team-best 15-4 overall record at No. 4.

What’s on tap: The squad will need to fill the gaps left by graduating seniors Victoria Kogan and First Team All-Conference honoree Maria Siropacha. Last season’s spring additions of Marinkovikj and sophomore Xenia De Luna, who both nabbed winning records, will bolster the Colonials’ fall lineup.

Women’s swimming and diving

Last season: The team matched its program-best finish at the A-10 Championships with a second-place finish.

Where they compete: Smith Center

Player to watch: Senior Gemma Atherley, who nabbed four medals at the A-10 Championship and earned back-to-back A-10 First Team All-Conference honors.

What’s on tap: The squad, which features seven new additions, will be without 2019-graduate Emily Zhang, who led the team to its runner-up finish with seven medals and inked her name in program history with three individual records in the 200 free, 200 individual medley and 400 individual medley.

Men’s swimming and diving

Last season: The squad captured its third consecutive A-10 Championship, setting six A-10 records, rewriting the program record books 11 times and dominating the competition with 14 gold medals.

Where they compete: Smith Center

Player to watch: Senior Moritz Fath, who earned six gold medals and was named the Most Outstanding Performer at the A-10 Championship his junior campaign.

What’s on tap: A strong core returns to the squad, including eight First and Second Team All-Conference selections.

Sailing

Last season: Sailing nabbed a program-best fourth place at the Women’s National Championship but failed to qualify for the co-ed nationals and team racing nationals.

Where they compete: Alexandria, Va.

Player to watch: Senior Aitana Mendiguren, who played an integral part in the Colonials’ best showing at the Women’s National Championship and the qualifying regatta, skippered both times in the B Division.

What’s on tap: The program loses 13 members, including three All-Conference selections, of its 29-man roster to graduation.

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