Happy Monday, Gael fans! It was a big weekend for Saint Mary’s Athletics as the Volleyball and Men’s Soccer teams played their first matches of the season.
Volleyball traveled east one time zone and played three matches on opening weekend, winning the first match of the year against Northern Colorado and Sunday’s showdown with North Dakota State. Sophomore Sarah Chase, who sat out the spring Beach Volleyball season due to injury, returned to the court and notched 36 kills and 32 digs in three matches. Chase was named the Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week.
And a pair of wins was not the only occasion worth celebrating this weekend.
Meanwhile, the Men’s Soccer team earned an impressive pair of draws against two top-25 opponents from the Pac-12 Conference. The men tied 2-2 against no. 23-ranked California and no. 1-ranked Stanford, the defending national champion.
Friday’s match against Cal: Game recap and highlight video.
Sunday’s match against Stanford: Game recap and highlights to come soon.
The team’s performances have lifted the Gaels into the national rankings. The Red and Blue face another challenging test on Thursday afternoon when the team hosts University of Washington.
GaelForce, the largest student group on campus, is ready to rock this school and athletic year! The student leaders unveiled this new T-Shirt design for all GaelForce members.
Back in Moraga, the new school year has begun! It’s exciting to feel the campus buzzing with activity and energy again. To students and student-athletes alike: Welcome home, Gaels!
After a pair of impressive 2-2 draws at No. 23 (Soccer America) Cal and No. 1 (NSCAA) Stanford last weekend, the Saint Mary’s men’s soccer team has moved into the No. 30 slot on the CollegeSoccerNews.com national rankings.
Saint Mary’s returns to action against its third-straight Pac-12 Conference opponent Thursday when it hosts Washington in a 4:30 p.m. kickoff in Saint Mary’s Stadium. Click here or call (925) 631-GoTx (4689) for tickets.
Thursday’s game will be streamed live via GaelVision through a partnership with TheW.tv. Live statistics and Twitter (@smcgaels) updates will also be available.
Coming off its 2-2 draw at No. 23 (Soccer America) Cal yesterday, the Saint Mary’s men’s soccer team now turns its attention to another Bay Area rival.
The Gaels travel to Cagan Stadium Sunday for a 5 p.m. kickoff against defending national champion and No. 1 ranked Stanford. The match will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network with Troy Clardy and Cobi Jones calling the action. Live online coverage is available by clicking here.
Saint Mary’s men’s soccer has played the No. 1 ranked team in the nation on five occasions in program history with three 1-goal losses.
1980 vs. San Francisco (0-6 loss in Moraga)
1989 vs. Santa Clara (0-1 loss in Moraga)
1995 vs. Virginia (3-2 OT loss in Moraga)
2002 vs. Stanford (1-0 loss in Berkeley)
2011 vs. North Carolina (2-0 loss in Chapel Hill – NCAA quarterfinals)
Stanford Match Notes: Like Cal, SMC is playing Stanford (18-2-2, 7-1-2 1st in Pac-12 Conference in 2015) for the first time since the 2010 season … The Cardinal owns a 22-4-1 series edge in the 27 previous meetings between the two teams, dating back to the first matchup in 1978 … Stanford won its first men’s soccer national title last season (2015) with a 4-0 victory over Clemson in the title game in Kansas City … Saint Mary’s has played the defending national champion on six previous occasions (1979, San Francisco; 1981, San Francisco; 1990, Santa Clara; 1991, UCLA; 1995, Virginia; 1998, UCLA) … SMC is 0-5 against the No. 1 team in the nation all-time … The last time SMC faced the No. 1 team was a 0-2 loss at North Carolina in the 2011 NCAA Elite Eight … SMC dropped an 0-1 loss to Stanford when the Cardinal were No. 1 in 2002 … The highest ranked team SMC has beaten was then No. 4 Washington in 2014 (2-1 OT win in Seattle) … The Cardinal went unbeaten in Cagan Stadium in 2015 and is 19-1-6 in its last 26 matches at home … Stanford is ranked No. 1 by the NSCAA and No. 2 by Soccer America preseason polls … Stanford tied Penn State 0-0 Friday night in its season opener … Sunday’s match is the second of 4-straight against teams ranked among Soccer America’s preseason top 25.
Former Saint Mary’s guard E.J. Rowland has signed to play with Russian side BC Khimki of the VTB United League. He played last season at Hapoel Jerusalem in Israel, where he averaged 11.7 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He helped lead Hapoel to the league final and played 16 games in EuroCup. He is a 3-time honorable mention all-EuroCup honoree.
Rowland’s Professional Journey
2005-2006 – Florida Flame (D-League, USA)
2006-2007 – Sydney Kings, Townsville Crocodiles (Australia)
2007 – Barons LMT (Latvia)
2007-2008 – Artland Dragons (Germany),
2008-2009 – Telekom Baskets Bonn (Germany)
2009-2011 – Vanoli Cremona (Italy)
2011-2012 – Unicaja Malaga (Spain)
2012-2013 – VEF Riga (Latvia)
2013-2015 – Banvit (Turkey)
2012-2016 – Hapoel Jerusalem (Israel)
2016 – BC Khimki (Russia)
Despite having a roster that includes 18 players making their collegiate debut this season, Saint Mary’s men’s soccer coach Adam Cooper laid down a significant early season challenge to his team.
The Gaels open the season Friday against the first of four consecutive opponents ranked among the preseason national top 25 by Soccer America.
Friday’s match at No. 23 Cal (4:30 p.m., Edwards Stadium) is followed by a 5 p.m. contest Sunday at defending national champion and No. 2 ranked Stanford (No. 1 in the NSCAA poll).
Next week, the Gaels open their home schedule against 19th ranked Washington (Thursday, 4:30 p.m.) then travel to face No. 11 UC Santa Barbara in a Sunday night match (7 p.m., Harder Stadium).
Friday, Aug. 26 at No. 23 Cal – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 28 at No. 2 Stanford – 5 p.m.
*Thursday, Sept. 1 vs. No. 19 Washington – 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 4 at No. 11 UC Santa Barbara – 7 p.m.
*In Saint Mary’s Stadium
For tickets to Saint Mary’s home games, click here or call the SMC Athletic Ticket Office at (925) 631-GoTx (4689).
Division 1 Men’s college coaches of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) launched an informational campaign for a proposed playing season model that addresses the traditional compressed NCAA fall soccer season and tackles issues of health, safety and time demands of student-athletes.
Called the Academic Year Season Model, it would reduce the number of fall games, create a winter break, add games in the spring, reduce weekday games and bring the championship to June. An informational video on the model is available here.
70% of male players and 90% of Division 1 coaches approved of the extended season model in results of an NCAA survey done earlier this year that focused on school/sports balance and other lifestyle, health, and player development issues. This effort is only to change the D1 men’s season, leaving other NCAA divisions in their current format.
An FAQ on the Academic Year Season Model is available here.
Saint Mary’s women’s lacrosse soon-to-be sophomore Ashley Walker begins her adventure today in a new sport – team handball – at the International Handball Federation Trophy Tournament in Drumondville, Quebec, just outside of Montreal.
Walker is playing with the U.S. junior national team at the tournament, which plays into the weekend. Walker has never played team handball, but got the opportunity to tryout in her hometown of Colorado Springs, Colo., through family friend Kathy Rex, who is the head coach of the team.
Walker and Team USA begin their tournament play today (Thursday) at 3:30 p.m. PDT versus host Canada. They will play again on Friday and Saturday against to-be-determined opponents, each time at 11 a.m. PDT. All matches will be streamed live online.