FUS sports teams start seasons well

From staff reports

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Franciscan University of Steubenville cross country teams had a promising first weekend at the Westminster Fisher Invitational with the men’s team placing first and the women’s team coming in fourth.

“It was a really encouraging day, particularly with the guys,” head coach Dan Kuebler said. “It was a tough course, a little longer than normal for the guys, and it was relatively hot, so it was not an easy day running, but they all did really well.”

Junior John Redmond led the Barons, placing fifth in 29:53.

“John has been really strong at practice and now he’s translating that into doing really well at the meets,” Kuebler said. “He’s worked hard and he deserves this, so it’s good to see his hard work paying off.”

Senior captain Patrick Flanagan and sophomores David Byers and Emmet Delaney placed eighth, ninth, and tenth respectively.

Freshmen Graham Martin and Tim Jackson finished in the top 15.

“This is probably the deepest guys team we’ve ever had. We’ve had a couple strong runners before but we’ve never had one through eight as strong as we are right now,” Kuebler said. “It’s a really nice start to the season.”

The Lady Barons had strong performances from seniors Sydney Novak, Allyson Heuselman, and Kate Porter along with junior Colene Smith.

Novak placed second in 24:34 in her first collegiate race.

The inaugural FUS Invitational will be held Saturday.

Men’s soccer

GREENVILLE, Pa. – Rallying in its third overtime period in two days, the Barons men’s soccer squad finished off host Thiel College, 5-4, Saturday in the Westminster/Thiel Tournament.

Freshman Leo Herrmann’s netted his third goal of the game, 20 seconds into overtime, for the win.

“Leo has had a very positive impact on the team,” head coach Ward Rogers said. “More importantly, the team plays very well around him. We have a good support system that’s helping us create opportunities to score and Leo’s finishing them. It’s a team effort.”

His first two goals tied the game at 1-1 and 2-2 and then John Imbimbo’s PK knotted it at 3. Joseph Duran found Edwin de St. Aubin with under 10 minutes left in regulation for a 4-4 score.

“When you’re in a game like this you’re always tense,” Rogers said. “But we never had the feeling that we didn’t have a chance because in large stretches of the game we were controlling the ball very nicely. Every once in a while there were some critical turnovers where we seemed to make a mistake in a bad spot of the field. When we make those mistakes it creates a chance for the other team.”

FUS (1-0-1) heads to Waynesburg for an 8:30 p.m. game Tuesday.

Women’s soccer

STEUBENVILLE – The women’s soccer team used a new formation and three goals inside 15 minutes of the second half for a 4-0 win over Chatham University on Friday.

Head Coach Clare McBane said the team spent most of the first half learning how to use it properly even though senior forward Jordan Byrley was able to score off a corner kick early in the game.

“The first half they were almost getting it. Every pass was almost getting where it needed to be. Every touch was almost what we needed,” McBane said. “We came out in the second half and took everything we couldn’t get quite right in the first half and turned it around.”

The Barons’ second goal also came from a corner with sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Krilic finding the net after settling senior Ashley Ruttencutter’s cross.

Hanna Cooke scored for a 3-0- cushion. Megan Riederer’s header off a Julie Cocozza cross made it 4-0.

“With this is as a non-conference game, it is not an end-all-be-all situation but it was a step in the right direction,” McBane said. “It gave them all the confidence they need to train well for the next game.”

FUS visits Waynesburg for a 6:30 p.m. start on Tuesday.

Women’s tennis

STEUBENVILLE – The FUS women’s tennis team edged St. Vincent College, 5-4, Friday.

“Last year we came out of the gate with doubles more hesitant – a little bit off. This was completely opposite of that,” head coach Jenna Lynch said. “Our chemistry was great. They looked just as good as they did in practice, which is not typical, so that’s exciting to see.”

In her first NCAA singles match Anna O’Conner displayed an unusual amount of confidence for such an inexperienced player and comfortably won No. 5 singles 6-2, 6-0.

The other singles win that pushed FUS to victory came from sophomore Erin Coyne at No. 4 singles with a 6-1, 6-3 win.

FUS swept the three doubles matches.

It plays at Bethany College at 4 p.m. today.

Volleyball

LATROBE, Pa. – The Lady Barons dropped a 25-14, 25-19, 25-14 decision to Allegheny College Saturday St. Vincent College Bearcat Challenge, but the team responded with a 25-12, 25-19, 25-22 win over Waynesburg.

“Volleyball is a game where you need emotion,” said FUS head coach Kelly Herrmann said. “I always tell the girls that you have to be a positive emotional force on the court and that if you’re zero emotionally then you’re really a negative.”

Junior libero Sam Kelly totaled 21 digs.

After the loss, Herrmann said she was curious to see how her team would respond against Waynesburg.

“You could tell everybody was really working hard to be that positive emotional push for their teammates,” Herrmann said.

Two themes that continued from previous matches were the play of sophomore outside hitter Dani Link, who led the team with six kills against Allegheny, and the continued display of the team’s depth. Herrmann played 11 players against Allegheny and played all but two of her 18 players against Waynesburg.

FUS and Waynesburg will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Barons’ home opener.