The 2009 fall sport season begins today with five different teams opening their seasons including the men’s and women’s cross country teams, the men’s and women’s soccer teams, and the volleyball team. The men’s and women’s cross country teams run at Northland College at 10:30 am, followed by the women’s soccer team playing at Minnesota-Morris at 2:00 pm. The men’s soccer team plays Bethany Lutheran College at 4:00 pm and then the volleyball team hosts St. Olaf in a non-conference match at 7:00 pm.
Dale Bahr will direct the Gustavus men’s and women’s cross country teams for the first time as head coach after serving as the assistant coach for the past nine years. The women’s squad, led by junior Brooke Beskau, begins the season ranked #10 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Central Region Pre-Season Poll.
The women’s soccer team will open on the road at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Coach Mike Stehlik will look to help a young team from a year ago take the next step to the top four in the MIAC and a playoff spot.
The men’s soccer team will be the first team to play at home during the 2009 fall season when they welcome Bethany Lutheran College of Mankato to the Gustavus Soccer Pitch. Coach Larry Zelenz has high hopes for his squad as it returns eight starters from a group that posted a record of 13-5-1 last year and finished second in the MIAC with a mark of 8-2.
The volleyball team wraps up the day with a non-conference match against St. Olaf. The Gusties, who are coming off of one the most successful seasons in the program’s history with a 26-5 record and a NCAA Tournament appearance, will look to returning starters Meghan Gehring, Angela Ahrendt, and Nicki Ainsworth to lead the way. The team is ranked #21 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Pre-Season Poll.
Complete results of all of the action will be available on the Gustavus athletics website as they become available.