Fall 2022 sports preview
By: Jake Shindel, Morgan Cuthbertson, Sam Peterson, and Esti Lichtenberg
With the fall sports season arriving, The Towerlight looked into what fans can expect from each team.
Last year, the football team went 4-7 overall, with a 3-5 record in conference play. This year, with over 50 new players, the team is also looking for a new starting quarterback, as last year’s starter, Chris Ferguson, has no more years of eligibility left. In their first game against Bucknell, transfer student and redshirt senior Tyrrell Pigrome got the majority of the snaps under center.
Head coach Rob Ambrose said depending on your perspective, the competition he experienced in preseason practices was both brutal and fun.
“It’s been awesome,” Ambrose said. “Imagine inviting a bunch of people into your house, and you all love the same thing, and share the same goal.”
Because there are so many new players, Ambrose said he’s open to letting position battles change once the season starts.
Outside of graduate student and offensive lineman Cole Cheripko and redshirt senior defensive lineman Vinnie Shaffer, there were several position battles happening throughout preseason practices. Clarity on starters have started to come as the Tigers beat Bucknell in overtime on Sept. 3, but those positions could change.
The Tigers continue their season on Sept. 10 at home against Morgan State.
New cross country Head Coach Consandria Walker-Hall will look to change the team’s performance and culture after a 7th place finish at the CAA Championship last season, and a 23rd place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Regionals.
“The biggest goal I have for the team this year is to revitalize the culture of the program,” Walker-Hall said. “We are looking right now to be a bit more balanced in terms of a program in our conference.”
The former assistant coach for women’s track and field at the University of Toledo has seen the team practice for a couple days, but said she’s excited about the team’s underclassmen, and added that graduate transfer Beighley Ayers will be a valuable member because of her skill and her experience.
“[Underclassmen] are definitely showing some promise,” Walker said. “We’re going to be developing a lot this year, but at the same time, there is this spark that’s there. But that’s just off of the first practice. Everyone is just really excited to be back.”
This season, the team will run at the University of Delaware twice, travel to the United States Naval Academy, and, for the second year in a row, compete in the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University.
The Tigers continue their season on Friday, Sept. 16 at Navy after finishing third out of four teams at the Delaware Opener on Sept. 3.
Towson University’s women’s field hockey team is 1-2 to start the season, most recently winning 3-2 in overtime at home against Longwood on Friday, Sept. 2. Their first two losses were against Appalachian State and Davidson
With a 4-13 record last season and the loss of seven upperclassmen, the Tigers added eight new freshmen to their roster.
“It’s a testament to the leadership that we have on this team,” Head Coach E.A Jackson said. “All of our freshmen knew what the standard was coming in and the message that they heard from the upperclassmen was that they can jump into the x’s and o’s a whole lot quicker if they show up in shape and ready to go, and our freshmen were really prepared by our returners. It’s really great to see that we have some freshmen playing like fourth year seniors out there.”
During pre-season, senior midfield/attack Georgia Beachley was selected as a 2022 CAA Field Hockey Preseason Honorable Mention. Beachley served as a team captain last year for Towson and started all 17 games. She also led the team in goals and was tied for first in assists.
Beachley, eight new freshmen, and the rest of the Tigers will suit up in black and gold on Sept. 9 at home against Rider.
After achieving their first winning season since 2007, the Towson Women’s Soccer team looks to continue to build their team and achieve new goals during the 2022 fall season.
The team finished with an overall record of 8-7-3 and finished sixth in the conference with a conference record of 3-5-1. The team achieved a total of six shutout wins over the course of last season, including two during conference play against William and Mary University and Elon University.
“We spent a lot of time in the spring talking about our personality and again trying to develop that and stick with that rather than changing how we play depending on our opponents,” said Head coach Katherine Vettori.
The team had four players achieve All-CAA honors last year including Riley Melendez, Phoebe Canoles, Jasmine Hamid and Nia Christopher. Christopher earned All-CAA first team and NCAA D1 All-Region honors as well. She is the first Tiger to earn first team All-CAA since 2014 and the first to earn NCAA D1 All-Region honors since 2013.
The Tigers are returning all four of their All-CAA players this season and added six freshmen to the roster along with two transfers as well. The Tigers look to continue to build their team identity and work toward their goal of winning the conference this season.
“Just really being defensively relentless,” Vettori said. “It’s possession oriented, attacking in numbers and just going at our opponent and being relentless on offense, defense and in transition.”
The Tigers are currently sitting at 3-1-1 on the season, and will continue on Sept. 8 against Bucknell.
The Towson Women’s Volleyball team ended the 2021 season with a 26-5 record, winning 17 games at home. They also became the first team to win three consecutive CAA Volleyball Championships since George Mason in 1992-1996.
After being down two sets to Elon in the championship match, the Tigers came back to win a third set that sparked their comeback and helped them win.
Head Coach Don Metil is looking forward to keeping the same momentum in their upcoming season, especially in their out of conference match against a highly-ranked University of Pittsburgh team on Saturday, Sept. 10.
“Our culture is one thing that keeps our program at the top of the CAA,” Metil said.
Next up for the Tigers is the Panther Challenge at the University of Pittsburgh, starting Sept. 9.