As the school year begins, RIT sports teams are in full swing. Each week one can see the Tigers on fields, courts and courses. Here is what to expect out of the teams as they head into their first few games of the fall season.
With five starters graduated and nine incoming freshmen, one would expect this to be a year of rebuilding for the women’s soccer team. Coach Tom Natalie said that he was “pleasantly surprised” after a few positive scrimmages despite the drastic changes to the team’s roster. He noted that the teammates are getting along well and that they are “poised for a good start.” This will hopefully give them new energy for the season. Based on preseason practices, captain Ashley Pezze, a fourth year interior design student, will be seen as the engine in the midfield this season. “Continuity of play offensively and defensively” is a key element for the women’s soccer team, according to Natalie.
The team already has a win under its belt after beating SUNY Oswego 1-0 on September 1. The team stands to have a lot of growth with 11 freshmen being introduced this year. Men’s soccer fell short of winning last season with a 7-9-1 record in 2008. The team was riddled with injuries early last season, which hurt their overall consistency. This infusion of new energy may help the team maintain its momentum from the first game throughout the season.
The team had a positive season last year, finishing with a record of 9-4 and placing as runners up in the Empire 8 conference. Women’s tennis is predicted to have another successful season and is the Empire 8 preseason pick to place second overall. While the team did have five seniors graduate, they stand to maintain their record with players like third year photojournalism major, Amanda Berg, who was the Empire 8 Women’s Tennis Player of the Year during her first season at RIT. While there were no freshmen added to the team, there are a couple new upperclassmen who have joined. With any luck, the maturity of the team will help it garner another successful season.
Men and Women’s Cross Country
Last season, the Men’s cross country team placed second in two tournaments, including the Empire 8 Championships. Although the Men’s team graduated four seniors, the 13 incoming sophomores will help maintain the stability of the team along with the new freshmen this year. The Women’s cross country team also placed second in the 2008 Empire 8 Championships but struggled overall throughout the season. Only one senior has left the team while seven freshmen joined this year. These additional runners will help fill out the team, making it a stronger force this season.
With 12 out of the 16 players being freshmen, this will likely be a rebuilding year. The team finished 18-23 last year and placed fourth at the Empire 8 Championships. According to the Empire 8 preseason poll, they are predicted to retain that position. In a recent interview, Head Coach Roger Worsley said that he was excited for the new recruits joining the team. “After the departure of a strong senior class in 2008 and knowing that we will lose another talented group after the 2009 season, we felt this was the right time to reload, not only for 2009 and the future.” Several of the freshmen have the opportunity to start early in the season, a privilege not often seen in college sports.
For a complete schedule for all RIT teams this season, go to