Last Friday marked an exciting day for athletes and fans of Trinity sports. This past weekend, we saw fall sports officially kick off their regular seasons, with four teams performing at home debuts. Let’s take a look at how men’s soccer, volleyball, cross-country and women’s soccer did.
The men’s soccer team saw two huge successes in their season opening weekend. On Friday, Sept. 1, they kicked off the season with a 2-0 win against Mary Hardin-Baylor University. This win marked their 45th consecutive win at home, breaking the previous Division III record. The Tigers continued on their success on Sunday, Sept. 3, when they defeated the No. 7 ranked University of Redlands 4 to 2. The men, while excited about their initial wins, are keeping their eyes on the prize: a Division III National Championship.
“It was a rush “” a lot of fun. I feel like we’re all still getting acclimated to the team, but we got some wins with great passes from the team. To come out and score two goals in the second game? Hopefully I can keep it up. As the games go on, we develop with the team. Hopefully we’ll get a shot at a national championship: that’s the goal, that’s the plan,” said Jacob Hallenberger, first-year midfielder.
You can catch the men’s team at home head to head with Schreiner University next Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m.
The volleyball team faced high-ranking schools like Calvin College, California Lutheran University, Whitman College and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh at the Trinity National Invitational Tournament. While the Tigers fell to the previous national champions at Calvin, they defeated the three other schools in the tournament. This successful weekend sets the scene for an exciting season.
“I think this weekend we not only proved that we can beat highly-ranked teams, but also showed how deep we are and how everyone on our team is capable of contributing in a big way. We also won our first five-set match of the season, which was exciting! I’m looking forward to playing more ranked teams and getting more opportunities to prove how awesome we are,” said Kirby Smith, senior All-American outside hitter.
The Tiger volleyball team will play at home again next weekend in the Trinity Fall Classic tournament, facing Hardin-Simmons University, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, East Texas Baptist University and Pomona-Pitzer College.
The distance squad blazed through the competition early on Friday morning. Both the men’s and women’s teams placed first through sixth in their events, earning them perfect scores on both sides and leaving runners from Texas Lutheran University and Our Lady of the Lake University behind in the dust.
Junior Elliot Blake won the men’s 5K race with an impressive time of 15 minutes and 52 seconds, shaving a minute off of his previous personal record. He’s looking forward to seeing how the team will succeed this season.
“I was really proud of all of the team’s efforts and how strong of a start they all showed coming right out of the gates. It’s hard to tell at this point what this means for the season because it’s so early, but I’m very excited with how hard everyone’s been working at practices and especially how they performed in this past meet. I think we’re going to make a lot of noise this season,” Blake said.
The Tiger cross-country team will compete again this weekend at the Our Lady of the Lake Collegiate Invitational.
The women’s soccer team saw a few wins and a loss this past weekend. They flew out to Virginia Beach to take on Christopher Newport University, but fell to the Captains in double overtime, ending a record of season-opening wins that has stood the past nine years. The Tiger women fought for a few victories later in the weekend, winning 2-1 against Virginia Wesleyan University on Sunday and 2-0 against Sul Ross State University on Monday. This puts the Tigers at 2-1-0 this season.
“We went into this weekend with the mentality of pulling out wins. We knew that the teams we were going to face were going to be both competitive and challenging opponents. Overall, this weekend was a good starting point to the season. We were able to see how we could gel together as a collective unit. [On Monday] we worked to receive another win under belt, but there is still room for improvement. I can’t wait for the season to pick up and continuing to do what I love. We have a very promising season ahead of us and the team is definitely up for the challenge,” said Halle Dure, the junior forward who shot the game-winning goal on Monday against Sul Ross.
The women’s soccer team will play their next home game this Friday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m.