Hope springs eternal for fall sports, ready to compete

When the men's soccer team kicks off at Washington and Jefferson University and the women's volleyball team opens at home against Marietta College this Tuesday at 7 p.m., it will mark the beginning of the new fall season for Tartans Athletics. This season, as always, brings much excitement and anticipation, while we welcome in new faces and bid one final adieu to the old. Those new faces not only include first-years, but new women's assistant soccer coach Jen Myhre and a boatload of new fans ready to cheer on their team, whether it be soccer, cross country, volleyball, or football.

Here's what players and coaches have to say about the upcoming year:

[ITAL]Men's Cross Country:[ITAL]
Chris Rizzo, senior: "We lost a lot of strong runners, but the depth from previous years will cover it. We're looking at the same type of team that has always been underrated and always beats expectations."

[ITAL]Women's Cross Country:[ITAL]
Laura McKee, junior, captain: "Despite having a lot of turnover, our team still has a solid group of returning upperclassmen. An excellent [first-year] class will make us stronger as a team over the next four years. This should be an exciting year for the Women's XC team as we look to improve on our UAA and regional finishes."

Megan Killeen, senior: "Even right out of preseason, the level of play is just so much higher than it has been in previous seasons — the team dynamic, especially with so many senior players, has really allowed for this athletic development. Our three [first-year] players have also added some extra leeway and have created more depth in our team. With such a seasoned team, we expect to have an amazing season, hopefully one that will be record-breaking once again at the NCAA tournament. I know we are all really excited to get back on the competitive court and finally play as a team again."

[ITAL]Men's Soccer:[ITAL]
Arron Lujan, head coach: "The preseason went well. We have a lot of returning players that are looking to build upon our success that we had last year. We also have new players that will add a lot to our team."

[ITAL]Women's Soccer:[ITAL]
Jen Myhre, assistant coach: "We are looking forward to this upcoming season, as we have a strong first-year class who has the ability to make an immediate impact on our team. We held our own in a scrimmage against Kenyon and throughout the game began working the ball well out of the back and attacking in the box. We definitely have some perfecting to do, but are off to a great start for a competitive and successful season."

Rich Lackner, head coach: "There are lots of new faces on the football team this season and I like the group of [first-years] that we recruited. The team came to preseason camp in good shape and we had a very productive camp. The team worked very hard and is coming together nicely. Our expectations are always high! We have had great tradition over the years and the team and coaches work hard to continue that tradition."