By: Tim Wilmes
As far as sports are concerned, this is an incredibly unique time to be here. Right now, superb students and athletes alike are marching into an unknown and yet incredibly promising future together. Now, with Xavier’s inaugural year in the Big East underway, the potential for excellence at this university stretches further than ever before.
The men’s soccer team, finishing last season with a 14-3-5 record, looks to take the Big East by storm and claim a fourth straight NCAA Tournament berth. Coach Andy Fleming, now in his fourth season at Xavier, certainly knows a thing or two about new beginnings. The Musketeers went from two wins in 2009 to 10 wins in 2010.
Now, Fleming’s No. 22 ranked squad looks to mark an impressive inaugural campaign in the Big East behind senior defender Nick Hagglund. The Cincinnati native made the pre-season first-team, All-American. The Musketeers are 1-1-1 under Andy Fleming against current Big East teams.
While the men’s team this year looks to build on past success, the women’s soccer team is hoping that the inaugural season in the Big East will mean a fresh start.
The Musketeers have struggled in previous years under head coach Woody Sherwood, but a core group of returning players and the addition of highly-touted transfer Courtney Kobashigawa could provide a spark for the team.
Watching the women’s volleyball team in the home opener at the end of August will be the first time first year students can experience the thrill of a sporting event inside of beloved Cintas Center. Don’t come to the games just for Cintas’ luster, however. The volleyball team has been spectacular at Xavier, and it just keeps getting better.
It seems like the Musketeers have been on the doorstep of an Atlantic 10 title for ages. Now that Dayton has been plucked away from XU’s side as a conference threat, the Muskies could be in store for a big year behind four returning starters and an experienced roster.
To the first-year students at Xavier, I encourage you to put a lot into this university and make the most of your time. There are certainly many worthwhile sports opportunities available to you, if you want to get involved at Xavier.
Lastly, make sure to support your classmates by participating in the Xavier experience in a special way: attend a sporting event. Xavier sports are so enjoyable because of the way we all come together as a community for one common goal.
Now, more than ever, athletics and academia are so perfectly tied together as we begin an exciting, uncharted time in Xavier history.
Make it yours.