Bison teams look forward to the fall 2017 season

Elise Covert & Bri Pomonis, Sports Co-Editors

The Bison fall sports teams saw great success in 2016, with Patriot League championships from women’s soccer and women’s cross country, and a conference championship for men’s water polo. The programs look to continue this success into the fall 2017 season. Below, we take a look at next year’s prospects for each of the fall sports for the Orange and Blue.

The football team’s schedule is slated with six home games, including their season opener against Marist. The Bison hold the lifetime series advantage over Marist with 11 wins and only one loss. Additionally, they are scheduled for their first-ever contest against Monmouth and a road matchup at William and Mary, the first meeting between the two schools in 21 years. The Bison suffer a notable loss in offensive tackle Julie’n Davenport ’17, who has declared for the NFL Draft to be held in Philadelphia in April. However, the coaches report a large recruiting class of 23 members.

Both Bison soccer teams had remarkable success this past fall, with the men falling to top-seeded American in the Patriot League semifinals and the women beating Boston University in overtime to clinch the Patriot League Championship. The men’s team will be losing eight seniors to graduation. For the women, midfielder Cora Climo ’17, who scored the championship-winning goal, and keeper Jessica Ratner ’17 will be significant losses. However, Kendall Ham ’18 will be returning for the Orange and Blue. Ham became the University’s first NSCAA Women’s Soccer All-American in 2016 and was also named an NSCAA Scholar All-American.

Cross country saw strong seasons from both the men and women. The women will seek to defend their Patriot League title, while the men will look to climb from their fifth-place post-season finish. Men’s top runner Will Bordash ’18 will be returning for his final season, hoping to top his 10th and 20th place ranking at Patriot League Championships and NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, respectively. The women will take a tough loss after losing Kate Scott ’17, who was the fifth Bison to earn an individual bid to the NCAA Championships and the first since 2006. Phenom Christine Bendzinski ’18 will seek to win an individual race for the second season in a row.

Women’s volleyball will look to continue building their program under head coach Anna Allison, who will be entering her 12th season at the University. The Bison struggled to come out on top of close matches in 2016 and ended the year with a 5-23 overall record, going 3-13 in the Patriot League. They are only losing four seniors and look to use a roster of experienced players to their advantage in 2017.

Field hockey fell in overtime to nationally-ranked Boston University in the semifinal round of the 2016 Patriot League playoffs. It was their ninth consecutive season qualifying for the conference tournament with an overall record of 9-9. The Orange and Blue will have a young roster next fall, as they lose seven seniors and have only three returning juniors.

The men’s water polo team brought home another championship title for the Bison, winning the Mid-Atlantic Water Polo Conference Championship. They finished with an impressive record of 23-5, going 9-1 in conference play. The Orange and Blue will have a strong returning core led by Rade Joksimovic ’20. Joksimovic had 154 goals, 30 assists, and 76 steals in his rookie season.

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