Oberlin Athletics Concludes Fall 2022 Season


Erin Koo

Fall sports have concluded their seasons and are preparing for winter training.

Oberlin Athletics has nearly reached the end of its fall season, with the football team concluding its season this weekend at home against The College of Wooster and cross country competing in two NCAA tournaments Nov. 12 and 19.

The men’s cross country team, led by fourth-year captains Chase Sortor and Sam Russ, took home its first North Coast Athletic Conference Championship this season. To top off the championship win, Head Track and Field and Cross Country Coach Ray Appenheimer, Associate Head Cross Country Coach Izzy Alexander, and Volunteer Assistant Coach Anna Scott, OC ’22, took home NCAC Coaching Staff of the Year for the men’s division. Cross country now looks toward the NCAA Great Lakes Regional tournament and the NCAA Championships in the coming weeks. Fourth-years Niels Vanderloo and Sunniva Sheffield earned NCAC first-team honors, followed by fellow fourth-years Ross D’Orfani, Sam Russ, and Matthew Walton, third-year Eliza Medearis, second-years Walter Moak, Jonah Barber, and Sage Reddish earning NCAC second-team.

On the flip side, football’s performance has been disappointing, with a 0–9 record thus far. However, the Yeomen have had close, hard-fought battles against Kalamazoo College, Alvernia University, and Kenyon College. Notable performances came from the team captains: fourth-year and quarterback Chris Allen Jr., who threw 11 touchdowns with only eight interceptions, and fifth-year Brian Colarusso, who leads the team thus far in both receiving yards and touchdowns.

Although they began this season with 12 incoming first-years making up nearly half the team and a brand new head coach, women’s soccer has been another one of Oberlin Athletics’ bright spots this fall season, finishing with a winning record of 7–6–2. In the postseason, second-year Heather Benway was named NCAC’s Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Year, third-year Brynn Adams and second-year Sofia Mitchell earned NCAC second team honors, and second-year Zoe Garver earned third team honors.

“Starting a new season with a new coach is always a hard thing to settle into,” fourth-year midfielder Camille Franklin said. “[Head Women’s Soccer] Coach Taylor Houck made it a priority to make sure the team felt comfortable with her and with each other. [She] always told us that our greatest strength was the love we have for each other.”

Men’s soccer had an up and down season this fall, going 5–7–3 overall and 1–4–3 in conference games with well-earned draws against Denison University, DePauw University, and Wooster and a triumphant 5–1 victory against Hiram College. This team was spearheaded by experienced captains: fourth-year Jon Schafer, fourth-year Zack Butter, and second-year Anthony Pacewicz. Second-year Toby Wells-Zimmerman led the team with 16 points and 40 shots taken while tying for second in the NCAC with six assists, and Pacewicz came in clutch for the Yeomen, scoring two game-winners and putting up an additional goal and assist for seven points on the season. As a result, Pacewicz and Wells-Zimmerman earned NCAC second-team and third-team honors, respectively.

Field hockey has not seen copious amounts of success the last few years, but it banded together to win some crucial games this season, finishing with a 4–12 record, its best season since 2013. The team proved to be mentally tough, emerging victorious in both games this season that went to a penalty shootout, and third-year defender Abbie Patchen earned her NCAC third-team honors for the second year in a row.

“We have grown so much as a team,” fourth-year goalie Post said. “I think the biggest way is how we continue to treat each other with grace, motivate each other on and off the field, and push each other to be better athletes.”

Oberlin’s volleyball team, led by captains third-year Andréa Jones, third-year Taylor Gwynne, and fourth-year Zoe Kuzbari, started its fall season off well, winning six of their first seven games. However, the wheels fell off toward the end of the season, resulting in a 7–16 finish. Second-year Cami Sweet and fourth-year Iyanna Lewis also earned NCAC second and third-team honors for volleyball, respectively.

Although the team didn’t achieve all the results they hoped for, Jones highlighted the importance of the team’s culture and relationships.“I felt like we had a winning season within the improvement of our chemistry as a team, and I feel like that is the most important part of being on a team — making sure that every one of us has each other’s back as we go through the tough times as a team,” Jones said. “I have never felt more supported by a team that I call family.”

Although some teams, such as men’s and women’s soccer, who will have an abbreviated season this spring during which coaches will be able to return and work with their teams, and many cross country runners, who will transition to winter track, most are preparing to stay in shape for unofficial winter training, when they can receive no coaching per NCAA rules and regulations.