Mason Sports Roundup

Posted: October 30, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Men’s and women’s cross country and soccer and women’s volleyball teams were in action over the weekend. Tennis was postponed because of rain.

Cross Country

The Mason men’s cross country team achieved its best finish at the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championships since the 1986 season, finishing in second place at this year’s meet held at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. Sophomore Robert Krause, the team’s top runner entering the meet, again paced the Patriots with a time of 24:49.40, earning All-CAA honors with a fifth-place finish.

Mason entered the meet ranked 14th in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Southeast Region Poll. The men’s team finished third behind William and Mary and James Madison at last year’s meet with 98 points. The Patriots went one step further this season with their second-place finish, shaving their team score by 41 points to a total of 57 at this year’s meet.

Seven Patriots’ placed in the top 25 in the 8k race. After Krause, senior Kris Cruz was the next Mason athlete to cross the finish line, finishing 14th with a time of 25:21.40. Following Cruz, senior John Crain was 18th (25:32.20), sophomore Andrew Holloway was 19th (25:35.20), junior Ryan Murphy was 20th (25:36.20), sophomore James Snyder was 24th (25:51.70) and senior Ryan Davis was 25th (25:51.70).

The William and Mary Tribe earned its eighth consecutive CAA title, finishing first with a total of 16 points.

In the women’s 6k run, William and Mary made it a clean sweep of the team titles, earning its fifth straight CAA Championship by scoring 40 points as a unit. James Madison and Georgia State rounded out the top three for the women, earning 50 and 81 points, respectively.

Mason finished in 10th place at the meet with 287 team points. The first Patriot runner to cross the finish line was freshman Samantha Fickel, who finished 47th with a time of 23:43.70.

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams return to action on Saturday, Nov. 3, when they race at the Cavalier Open at Panorama Farms in Earlysville, Va.

Men’s Soccer

In a match that featured three first-half goals, Mason took an early 1-0 lead but was unable to hold on for the win, falling to the James Madison Dukes 2-1 in CAA men’s soccer action on Sunday afternoon at the JMU Soccer Complex.

Mason jumped out to an early lead when freshman Patrick Barthold blasted a shot from 25 yards out past JMU goalkeeper Ken Manahan at the 19:25 mark of the match. Sophomore Ernesto Marquez was credited with an assist on the goal.

Unfortunately for the Patriots, the Dukes tied the score 1:02 later. Senior Lasse Kokko flicked a header past Mason sophomore goalkeeper Sean Kelley into the left corner of the goal. Junior Nick Zimmerman lofted a cross from the right side for Kokko to put in his shot.

Freshman C.J. Sapong netted the game-winning goal for Madison at 31:47. Sapong received a pass from Zimmerman in the center of the field, turned, and fired a shot from 20 yards out. The shot glanced off Kelley’s hands and into the goal.

With the loss, Mason falls to 5-8-2 overall and 2-5-1 in conference play. The Patriots are winless in their past five matches.

Mason will attempt to get back in the win column when it returns to action on Friday, Nov. 2, for a 6 p.m. match against Northeastern at Parsons Field in Brookline, Mass.

Women’s Soccer

The Mason women’s soccer team played possibly its most aggressive match of the season on Sunday afternoon against James Madison, one of the top teams in the CAA. But despite some solid looks, the Patriots were unable to upset a team that just weeks earlier was nationally ranked, losing 3-2 at George Mason Stadium.

The Patriots (7-9-1, 3-6-1) got on the board first as Mason capitalized on a direct kick in the 20th minute. Kelly Keelan, who scored on a direct kick from 35 yards out on Friday night, scored this time from about 40 yards out. The one-goal lead didn’t last long, however.

In the 24th minute, the Dukes (14-2-2, 7-1-1) were fouled in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Annie Lowry made the Patriots pay as she scored on the free shot. James Madison was able to take the lead in the 31st minute when Jess Remmes played a through ball to Kimmy Germain, and she made one move before blasting a shot from about 15 yards out for a 2-1 edge.

The Patriots countered early in the second period. Mason pushed the attack and it resulted in a shot on goal for Rachel Wiggins. James Madison goalkeeper Stephanie Poucher stopped the shot but the rebound went out to Wiggins. She found Keelan charging and the sophomore scored her sixth goal of the year and third in two games, making the score 2-2.

The game remained tied until the 76th minute when Madison’s Teresa Rynier found herself on the left side about 12 yards out. Her shot was saved by Kasey Davenport but the rebound went to the right and an unmarked Remmes put the ball in the net for Madison’s 3-2 lead. Mason had a corner kick with two seconds remaining, but it went long.

Mason next takes the field on Thursday when the Patriots host Towson at 6 p.m. in the regular season finale. It will be Senior Night: Kasey Davenport, Sarah Fack, Alison Feldman, Laura Salich, Rachel Wiggins and L.J. Williams will be honored prior to the game.

Women’s Volleyball

Senior Jaqueline Kohler and sophomore Rebecca Walter each slammed home 18 kills to help lead the George Mason women’s volleyball team to its fourth-straight win on Sunday, a 3-1 (30-15, 30-27, 21-30, 30-22) victory at Georgia State. Mason improved to 14-8 and 7-3 in the CAA, while the Panthers fell to 15-12, 5-6 in the conference.

Offensively, sophomore Laura Turner joined Kohler and Walter with double-figure kills, as she notched a double-double with 10 kills to complement her career-high 10 total blocks. The Panther attack was paced by Ana Paula Ferreira’s 15 kills.

In the first game, the Patriots scored first on a Panther attack error and never looked back, as they did not trail en route to a game one victory. Game two was a much closer affair, as Mason found itself trailing by as many as five at 18-13 before a furious scoring run leveled the game at 21. Georgia State continued fighting, but the Patriots earned a commanding 2-0 lead.

The third game remained close through the first 20 points, but a 10-10 deadlock was broken open by a Panther 10-1 run. Georgia State held off the Patriots to move within one game in the match, but Mason responded in the fourth game by gaining the lead early and never relinquishing it.

Mason will return to action this weekend with visits to Towson on Friday night and Delaware in Newark on Saturday night.

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