Penn College wrestlers to open, women’s soccer team playoff-bound
The wrestling squad is set to open and the women’s soccer team is playoff bound this week while seasons ended last week in cross-country, men’s soccer, women’s volleyball and golf at Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Young but loaded. That is how coach Schuyler Frey views his seventh edition that takes to the mats for the first time on Saturday at the King’s College Monarch Invitational.
“It’s a small team, as far as numbers, but the quality of guys is excellent. There is a lot of talent and we’re just anxious to get them on the mat and start competing. I think if we can keep everyone healthy it should be a pretty good year for us,” Frey said.
Starters are expected to be senior Tanner Leid in the 157-pound weight class, junior Zach Fitzsimmons at 141, freshman Cam Newman at 133, Dison Myers at 141, Jonathan Mendez-Acevedo at 149, Seth Young at 149, Chase Schaeffer at 165, Josh Bennicoff at 174, and Dylan Otis at 285.
“(With nine wrestlers) we will have the ability to bump people around. We will probably cover eight (weights) and what that means is that we’ll more than likely, in most matches, start out with a 12-point deficit. We’re hopeful and working for guys to get those bonus points to help us overcome that deficit. With the talent that we have, I think it’s very doable, maybe for not all of our matches, but for a nice number of them,” Frey said.
Last season the Wildcats ended 6-10 overall and fifth during their final year in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association. In the postseason next March, Penn College will compete in the National College Open in Cleveland, Ohio, against wrestlers from some NCAA Division I and II schools that, Frey said, will be good preparation for next season when his Wildcats compete for the first time in an NCAA Division III regional qualifier.
“The girls did a great job all year. They came in very fit. They came in ready to roll,” Wildcats coach John McNichol said moments after his team closed out its regular season at home with a 5-0 win over North Eastern Athletic Conference foe St. Elizabeth College on Saturday.
The win upped its overall record to 11-8-1 and conference record to 9-4. The 11 wins tie a college record for most victories in a season set in 2013.
Penn College, seeded fourth in the playoffs, will host Penn State Abington (9-6-1 overall and 8-4-1 in the NEAC) on Tuesday at 2 p.m. When the teams met at Penn College on Sept. 10, the Wildcats won, 2-0, with Tiffany Brown and Hailee Hartman scoring goals. Both teams ended the match with nine shots, six on goal.
“It will be a very tough match for us, but we’re looking forward to it,” McNichol said.
On Saturday against St. Elizabeth, Brown scored a goal and had two assists while Hartman scored once for her 15th goal of the season, tying a school record set a year ago by former teammate Robyn Beddow and passing Beddow for points in a season with 36. Penn College led in shots, 28-1 (18-1 on goal), and in corner kicks, 7-0.
In recent matches against the conference’s top teams — Penn State Berks, Lancaster Bible College and SUNY Poly — Penn College dropped each by a 1-0 score. But McNichol believes his squad is capable of reversing those outcomes.
In NEAC Championships on Saturday at Lancaster Bible College, two Penn College men earned all-NEAC honors as the Wildcats placed fifth among 12 teams while the Penn College women ended last in a 12-team field.
Freshman Josh Velez covered the 8K course in 27 minutes, 48.06 seconds and finished seventh. Sophomore Tom Runner was 10th in 28:31.56 and both were awarded all-conference honors. Also for the Wildcats, sophomore Liam McGarvey was 28th in 30:10.01, Nathan Mashack was 36th in 30:41.96, Chris Traugher was 37th in 30:50.20, and Chris Hogan was 47th in 31:32.50.
“Josh had a really great race. … There was a lot of good competition. I think the league was a lot stronger this year than it was last year. And Thomas coming in 10th was great to see too,” coach Nick Patton said.
Annika Miller, a freshman from Lancaster, led the Penn College women by placing 39th over a 6K course in 29:02.35. Also for Penn College, Kylee Kalnas was 77th in 34:11.67, Tiffany Griffie was 78th in 34:15.97, Ashley Mahaffey was 79th in 34:43.54, and Kaitlyn Anderson was 88th in 39:33.48.
In conference play last Sunday at home with Penn State Berks, Penn College lost, 4-0. Berks led in shots, 21-5 (10-2 on goal, and in corner kicks, 12-2.
On Thursday in non-conference action at Delaware Valley, Penn College lost, 2-0. Delaware Valley led in shots, 29-12 (13-4 on goal), and in corner kicks, 6-3.
Wrapping up its season at home on Saturday in NEAC play against St. Elizabeth College, the Wildcats won, 9-0, to end 4-16 overall and 3-10 in the conference. Jonathan Myers scored a goal and added an assist as Penn College outshot its opponent 30-2, 15-1 on goal, and led in corner kicks, 5-1.
“I wish we could have had a few of those (Saturday goals) during the course of the year, but it is what it is,” second-year coach Tyler Mensch said. “Obviously (our record) wasn’t what we wanted at the end of the year. I thought, on paper, we had some players who could give us a chance to make a playoff spot. … We just never seemed to click in the offensive third of the field. That seemed to be our struggle all year, we would defend pretty well and then didn’t have the horses to get any goals in. … In my opinion, we gave up a lot of soft goals this year.”
On Wednesday in non-conference play at Penn State Harrisburg, Penn College lost, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-7). Lauren Slater led the Wildcats with 16 assists and Felicia Webber was tops with 13 digs.
Closing out its season at Penn State Altoona on Thursday in a non-conference match, Penn College lost, 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 11-25, 22-25), to finish 8-23 overall. The Wildcats ended 4-9 in the NEAC. Slater ended with 30 assists and Sophie Coldsmith had 30 digs.
The Wildcats closed out their four-match fall season by shooting a 345 and finishing third among seven teams on Monday at the Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitational. Tyler Marks led the team with an 83, good for fifth, and Ned Baumbach shot an 84 and tied for sixth, Zach Yost fired an 85 and tied for 10th, and Evan Johnson recorded a 93, tied for 20th.
“I was pleased (with the fall season). As I said at the beginning of the season, I was excited about the possibility of practicing at the Williamsport Country Club and I think it really prepared them for the courses that we played,” Haile said.
SCHEDULES, RECORDS and RESULTS
Men’s/women’s cross country
Saturday, Oct. 29 – at NEAC Championship, Lancaster, men fifth in a 12-team field (Josh Velez seventh and Ryan Runner 10th individually); woman 12th in a 12-team field.
Final overall record: 4-16
Final NEAC record: 3-10
Sunday, Oct. 23 – host Penn State Berks (NEAC), L, 4-0
Thursday, Oct. 27 – at Delaware Valley University, L, 2-0
Saturday, Oct. 29 – host St. Elizabeth College (NEAC), W, 9-0
Overall record: 11-8-1
NEAC record: 9-4
Sunday, Oct. 23 – host Penn State Berks (NEAC), L, 1-0
Tuesday, Oct. 25 – at Summit University, W, 4-1
Saturday, Oct. 29 – host St. Elizabeth College (NEAC), W, 5-0
Tuesday, Nov. 1 – host Penn State Abington in NEAC quarterfinals, TBA
Friday, Saturday, Nov. 4-5 – NEAC Playoffs, TBA
Monday, Oct. 24 – at Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitational, 3rd in a seven-team field
Final overall record: 8-23
Final NEAC record: 4-9
Wednesday, Oct. 26 – at Penn State Harrisburg, L, 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-7)
Thursday, Oct. 27 – at Penn State Altoona, L, 3-1 (25-21, 21-25, 11-25, 22-25)
Overall record: 0-0
Saturday, Nov. 5 – at King’s College Monarch Invitational, 9 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12 – New York/Pennsylvania Duals at Riverdale, N.Y., TBA
Overall record: 0-0
Wednesday, Nov. 16 – host Penn State DuBois, 7 p.m.
Overall record: 0-0
Wednesday, Nov. 16 – at Thiel College, 7 p.m.