The Crusader athletic teams are back in season, with each of Christendom’s fall sports competing over Labor Day weekend. Both men’s and women’s soccer teams emerged victorious from their opening games, while volleyball competed in the USCAA Tip-Off Invitational and cross-country made a strong showing at the Bridgewater Invitational.

The Crusaders opened their season at home against a tough past opponent, Berkeley-NJ. Joe O’Reilly scored the first goal of the Crusader season on an assist from James Foeckler. Berkeley responded seven minutes later, tying the game 1-1, but that only lasted a few seconds. Freshman Mark LaRochelle scored the winning goal unassisted, sealing the Crusaders 2-1 victory.

At Sweet Briar College, the Lady Crusaders played their opening match on the road, but came out similarly strong. Samantha Stahl opened the scoring unassisted, before Sweet Briar tied it. That would be the closest Sweet Briar would get, as Christendom opened the floodgates after that. Gemma Youngman scored two goals, one assisted by Martha Blank, while Emily Weichert and Rose Francis scored goals of their own, giving Christendom a 5-1 victory. The Lady Crusaders played again on September 1 to lesser results, coming up short 8-2 against Warren Wilson College, despite goals from Martha Blank and Annie McGraw.

Volleyball started their season soon after Orientation Weekend, but this weekend marked their latest appearance in the USCAA Tip-Off Classic at Penn State Beaver. They started the tournament strong, defeating the home team 3-2, with Michaela Pennefather, Mary Margaret Heisler, and Celina Albisu leading the way. The opening game was their only win during the tournament, however, as the Lady Crusaders came up short 3-1 against Johnson & Wales and 3-0 against Cincinnati Clermont.

At the Bridgewater Invitational, Crusader Cross-Country kicked off their season, with the women’s team placing an impressive fifth out of eight overall, competing against the talented ODAC conference. The men’s team placed eighth overall, but freshman AJ Nkere tore up the field, taking 10th overall in the men’s race with a time of 17:58 — the highest showing ever from a Christendom athlete.

Crusader rugby, fresh off their second-straight appearance in the Collegiate Rugby National Championship, started their season with a friendly match against the college’s alumni team. The score was definitely lopsided toward the alumni, 38-0, but the game gave fans the chance to see rugby back on campus, along with some familiar faces from past winning teams.

This week, women’s soccer will play at Patrick Henry College and play their home opener on Saturday, September 8, vs. Shaw University. Men’s rugby will play their season opener at the University of Virginia, while volleyball will play Notre Dame of Maryland at home and cross-country will compete at Westmoreland College — all on Saturday, the 8th.

See christendomathletics.com for more information.

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