Team previews for fall sports

Team previews for fall sports

Team previews for fall sports

Noah Cloonan

Women’s Tennis

Head Coach: Lexi Bolesky (second season)

Last Year’s Record: 1-17

Key Returner: Brianna Brdicka – She was an honorable mention in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in her first year after going 5-12 in singles and 3-15 in doubles.

Key Loss: Meghann Fitzpatrick – She was the lone senior on the team a year ago and she was the Eagles No. 1 last season.

Impact Newcomers: Sophie Garpered – Sophie is originally from Sweden and was ranked No. 25 in her age group last season.

Match to Watch: Ashland plays their first five games at home and will have a chance to get off to a good start with a big season opener against Walsh University

First Match: Sept. 9 vs. Walsh

Men’s Golf

Head Coach: Logan Cooke (first year)

Last year’s record: Finished tied for ninth at the GLIAC Championships

KeyReturner:Chandler Walnsch will be a key piece for a very young team in the 2017 season. Walnsch will be one of two seniors on the team.

Key Loss: Gabriel Reynolds had a good year in 2016 capped off by a 29th place finish at the GLIAC tournament.

Impact Newcomer: Ben Jones will join the Eagles as one of three freshmen new to the team. Jones was a first team All-Ohio selection including 12 top-five finishes at Padua-Franciscan high school.

Match to Watch: GLIAC North Invitational (Sept. 16-17)

First Tournament: Sept. 5 at Ohio Dominican

Women’s Golf

Head Coach: Andrew Bolinger (first season)

Last Year’s Record: Finished the season by taking seventh place at the Super Region I Tournament.

Key Returner: Krystal Hu will look to build off of a successful freshman season in which she shot a 77.57 on average; the second on the team and the eighth best in school history.

Key Loss: Kaitlin Neumann will leave big shoes to fill in 2017, as she has lead the Eagles over the past four seasons and finished her senior year with an average score of 76.63, which was a team high.

Impact Newcomer: Hannah Lemons is one of two freshmen on the team this season and she will look to help contribute early after finishing her prep career at Jackson high school and finishing in the top 10 at the state tournament on three occasions.

Match to Watch: Ashland Invitational (April 14-15)

First Tournament: Michael Corbett Fall Classic on Sept. 10-11

Women’s Soccer

Head Coach: Danny Krispinsky (fifth season)

Last Year’s Record: 10-3-4

Key Returners: Diejah Swihart and Morgan Bittengle combined to lead the Eagles to one of the best records in the GLIAC as together they scored 19 of the 32 goals. The Eagles scored and tied for a team high in shots taken with 54 apiece.

Key Loss: The Eagles had just one senior last season and that was Jessica Brown. Brown started all 17 games in the defensive third for the Eagles.

Impact Newcomer: AU brought in 10 freshmen this season who will look to contribute to a team that is loaded with upperclassmen. The Eagles will have nine seniors and four juniors that will receive most of the playing time this season.

Game to Watch: Ashland was picked to finish second in the GLIAC and the only team that was picked ahead of them was the Grand Valley State Lakers who will visit Ferguson Field on Oct. 6.

First Game: Aug. 31 vs. Truman

Men’s Soccer

Head Coach: Oliver Slawson (Second season)

Last Year’s Record: 6-11-1

Key Returner: The Eagles will have a number of returners, as they had 15 freshmen last season, and they will look to get more contributions from those young players. Sophomore Tomas Cordeiro led the team in goals scored with four of his 15 games played.

Key Loss: Nick Ciraldo was the lone senior on the team a year ago and turned in a fantastic campaign. He was Honorable Mention all GLIAC in his only season with the Eagles.

Impact Newcomer: Justin Libertowski had a tremendous senior season at Medina High School as he was named first team All-Ohio and set three school records.

Game to Watch: The Eagles will once again challenge Tiffin in a home match to end the regular season in a rematch of the 2016 season finale that turned into a double overtime win for the Eagles.

First Game: Aug. 31 vs. Malone


Head Coach: Cass Dixon (seventh season)

Last Year’s Record: 23-11

Key Returner: Shelby Woycik burst onto the scene in her first year on campus and will be relied heavily upon to fill the hole left by the graduating seniors in 2017. Woycik was second on the team in kills with 308 and chipped in 3.0 points per set.

Key Losses: Alli Cudworth and Casey Clark combined to create one of the most dominating duos in the GLIAC in 2016. Cudworth and Clark will go down as two of the best players in AU history as they are two of the three women to have 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in their career.

Impact Newcomer: Kali Apelt is one of four freshmen that will be trying to fill the shoes of Cudworth and Clark. Apelt finished her high school career as Hilliard Darby’s all time leader in assists (2,048), service aces (116), and digs (809).

Match to Watch: On Nov. 7, the Findlay Oilers will travel to Ashland to take on the Eagles in a rivalry matchup.

First Game: Sept. 1 vs. Urbana


Head Coach: Lee Owens (14th season)

Last year’s record: 9-2 (Missed playoffs)

Key returners: Travis Tarnowski is undoubtedly the most important player that is returning for the Eagles on the gridiron this season. Tarnowski is on pace to break and possibly blow away every AU passing record and will lead an AU offense full of returners. On defense the biggest piece returning for Ashland is Austin Utter. Utter was named as one of the captains this season for the Eagles, and rightly so, after he had 51 tackles and a team high 6.5 sacks last season.

Key Losses: The Eagles lost two big pieces on both sides of the football. On offense the Eagles lost Adam Shaheen to the NFL draft and Vance Settlemire to graduation. On defense the Eagles will not return their two leading tacklers, Brandon Gency and Zach Olszewski. The two middle linebackers had been the key to the Eagles defensive scheme the past few years.

Impact Newcomer: Clay Shreve will be a sophomore in 2017 but he is going to have a much bigger role in his second year on campus. Shreve started the Spring Game at middle linebacker and it appears that he is going to be given a chance to fill Olszewski and Gency’s shoes.

Game to Watch: AU has three matchups against teams that have opened the season in the AFCA top ten poll and two of those will be at Jack Miller Stadium. The Eagles will play Ferris State on Sept. 23 and Grand Valley State on Nov. 4.

First Game: Aug. 31 at Indiana (Pa.)