Jul 17, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT
As summer nears the midway point here at the CAA office headquarters in Richmond, Va., the staff decided to put together a quick review of the top moments and photos from the past athletic year. Of course, we had to start in the beginning of 2013 with the league’s four competing fall sports — cross country, field hockey, volleyball and soccer.
Cross Country: It was a Tribe sweep in 2013 as both the William & Mary women’s and men’s team took home the top prize at Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, Md. The Tribe women were led by senior Elaina Balouris, who captured her second straight CAA cross country individual title and Most Outstanding Performer nod. Balouris barley beat out her teammate, sophomore Emily Stites, who placed second and was followed by three other W&M runners in order to help secure the championship title. The Tribe women placed 12th overall at the NCAA Championship in Terre Haute, Ind. — the second-best finish in program history since the 1998 team placed 10th.
On the men’s side, the Tribe was led by six individual runners who finished in the top 10, highlighted by second-place finished Rad Gunzenhauser and third-place finisher Trevor Sleight. Amazingly, it was William & Mary’s 14th straight league cross country title. Northeastern sophomore Wesley Gallagher claimed Most Outstanding Performer honors after winning the 8K overall.
Here are some of our favorite photos from the championship:
Field Hockey: First-time championship host and top seed Delaware lived up to its play throughout the regular season. The Blue Hens entered the championship ranked No. 17 in Division I and outlasted William & Mary in the semifinals, 4-2, before utilizing a balanced attack — five different players accounted for goals — to beat third-seeded Northeastern, 5-1, to claim the championship in Newark, Del. The season continued for the ‘Hens into NCAA play, as the team hosted Liberty in a play-in game and won, 1-0. The same week, UD ended its season in the first round with a loss at No. 3 seed North Carolina, 5-2. CAA Player of the Year Esmee Peet was just a freshman in 2013 and the Blue Hens also bring back All-America junior Michaela Paztner as well in 2014.
Some of our choices for the top photos from the championship.
Volleyball: First season in the league? No problem. College of Charleston had a remarkable season in 2013, running through conference play with a 13-1 mark, but matched up against Northeastern — the only team to defeat the Cougars during the regular season — for all the CAA marbles in North Charleston, South Carolina. CofC took care of business, winning 3-1 in the title match, but had to earn it versus the Huskies. Charleston advanced to the NCAA Tournament before falling at No. 14 Duke (3-1) to complete its season. The Cougars bring back a wealth of experience and talent, though, NU returns 2013 Rookie of the Year Jamie Bredahl and Defensive Specialist of the Year Natalia Skiba in 2014.
Here are our best moments from the 2013 championship
Men’s Soccer: Drexel won its first ever men’s soccer title in 2013 thanks in part to a clutch goal from freshman Jameson Detweiler in the 26th minute over then-ranked No. 21 William & Mary. That’s all the host Dragons needed, as they went on to win, 1-0, in Philadelphia en route to punching a ticket into the 2013 NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament. Impressively, the Tribe and Delaware wound up earning at-large berths into the tournament as well, making it the third straight year that the CAA had three teams in the field and 10th time overall. Though all three squads fell in the first round, 2014 should be another thrilling year as all eight of the last league champs in the last eight years have been different schools.
Our own top photos from the men’s soccer championship in Philadelphia
Women’s Soccer: History was made once again in women’s soccer during the 2013 season as Northeastern won the school’s second ever CAA title as the tournament No. 3 seed. The Huskies defeated top-seeded James Madison, 3-1, to advance to the NCAA Tournament, before falling at Boston College, 2-0. Hannah O’Donnell and Lahaina Zoller each scored one goal versus the Dukes. Senior Hanna Terry was named Most Outstanding Player at the championship in Harrisonburg, Va., and she clinched the Huskies’ win with a goal in the 82nd minute. JMU’s season came to an end following the loss despite owning a 15-5-1 overall record. Even more impressive for NU was that the Huskies started the season with a 0-6-3 non-conference mark.
Re-live the best shots from the women’s soccer title game in Harrisonburg, Va.
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