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The Student News Site of Ithaca College

THE ITHACAN

The Student News Site of Ithaca College

THE ITHACAN

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Bombers show up big in fall sports season

From+left%2C+Hobart+sophomore+defensive+back+Mekhi+Rogers+rushes+senior+wide+receiver+Ben+Marinnacio+as+he+drives+downfield.
Rayahna Tryka
From left, Hobart sophomore defensive back Mekhi Rogers rushes senior wide receiver Ben Marinnacio as he drives downfield.
From left, junior runner Jillian Shea and sophomore runner Kayleigh Milligan run with each other during the Bombers’ first competition of the 2023 season. (Xinyi Qin)

Women’s cross country

After earning a third-place ranking in the NCAA Regional race for three consecutive seasons from 2019–22, the Ithaca College women’s cross country team dipped to fifth following the completion of the 2023 season. However, the Bombers sported a fresh face at the national level for the second year in a row. 

After leading the team throughout the regular season, sophomore Kyla Eisman took her speed to the NCAA championship hosted at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. She posted a 6k time of 22:46.9, placing 137th out of 292 runners. The squad also saw strong performances by sophomore Jessica Goode, junior Jillian Shea and graduate student Ava Fowler throughout the season. 

The Bombers earned a team first-place finish twice out of their five regular season meets and earned a fifth-place finish at the Liberty League championship on Oct. 28 at William Smith College. 

 

From left, first-year runner Connor McGeehan and sophomore runner Adam Mocho race the course during the Ithaca College cross country teams’ annual Jannette Bonrouhi-Zakaim Memorial Alumni Run. (Xinyi Qin)

Men’s cross country

The Ithaca College men’s cross country team earned a sixth-place finish at the Liberty League championship on Oct. 28 and an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Regional race on Nov. 11 — a two-spot improvement from its 10th place finish in 2022. 

Of their five regular season competitions, the Bombers earned a high of fifth-place at the Hamilton Invitational on Oct. 8 at Hamilton College. There, the team was led by senior Ryan Medeiros, who clocked an 8k time of 27:35.3. The season also saw impressive performances from junior James Hughes, first-year student Trevor Dix and senior Patrick Bierach.

 

From left, RIT sophomore midfielder and first-year forward Ella Shorkey battle for the ball in the midfield. (Caleb Ghia)

Women’s soccer

After clinching its first Liberty League championship in program history last season, the Ithaca College women’s soccer team dropped the Liberty League semifinal game, 4–2, against the Rochester Institute of Technology on Nov. 3.

Before their playoff stint, the Bombers posted another dominant regular season record of 9–2–4, nearly matching their 2022 regular season record of 11–3–3. They outscored their opponents, 34–10, with an average of two goals per game. 

Seven Bombers were crowned to All-Liberty League teams, including junior defender Allison Heft, graduate student midfielder Sarah Sinnott and junior goalkeeper Grace Hickey on the first team. Senior midfielder Ally Stanton earned second team honors, while junior midfielder Julia Cascone, junior defender Ali Amari and senior defender Clare Sunderland earned spots on the honorable mention team.

 

The Bombers’ first-year midfielder Jack Nelson transitions the ball upfield. (John O’Donnell)

Men’s soccer

The Ithaca College men’s soccer team saw a historic turnaround from its 3–9–5 season in 2022, posting a 7–5–3 regular season record before advancing to the Liberty League tournament during the 2023 season. 

In postseason play, the Bombers earned their spot in the Liberty League championship game, but ultimately fell, 4–1, to Hobart College on Nov. 5. The Bombers more than doubled their goal count this season, jumping from 11 to 25 between the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Graduate student defender Brendan Lebitsch earned a spot on the Liberty League first team while junior midfielder Connor Tierney garnered honorable mention status in the conference. Lebitsch’s first team placement marks the first time a Bomber has received that honor since Max Lichtenstein ’20 during the 2019 season.

 

Junior striker Natalie Descalso protects the ball from SUNY Oswego senior midfielder Molly Darcy during an offensive penalty corner Sept. 8. (John O’Donnell)

Field hockey

After falling to William Smith College, 1–0, in the Liberty League championship game Nov. 5, the Ithaca College field hockey team earned an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament, marking its first appearance since 2000. 

The Bombers posted a 13–5 record during the regular season — including a 4–0 record in overtime — before heading to Beverly, Massachusetts to take on the Endicott College Gulls in the first round of the NCAA tournament Nov. 8. There, the Bombers took home their first tournament win since 1997 with a 3–2 victory. The Bombers ultimately fell, 3–1, in the second round to Johns Hopkins University on Nov. 11.

The Bombers racked in major Liberty League accolades, including co-coaching staff of the year while junior defender Bella McCollister was named defensive player of the year. McCollister was also named to the All-Liberty League First Team alongside junior striker Natalie Descalso while junior midfielder Meara Bury was named to the second team. Junior striker Juliana Valli and senior goalkeeper Alex Clough also earned honorable mention recognition.

 

From left, junior rower Lily Babcock and senior rower Erin Trojan compete during the Cayuga Sprints on Sept. 24. (Kalysta Donaghy-Robinson)

Sculling

After the Ithaca College rowing team took home a bronze medal from the NCAA championship in May, the sculling squad kept up the momentum in the fall. Graduate student Taylor Volmrich — who earned a spot on the Pocock All-America team following their performance in the spring — led the pack.

The team’s first varsity eight boat qualified for the Head of the Charles Regatta on Oct. 22, a preeminent race that attracts thousands of rowers from all ages and skill levels. The Bombers placed 11th out of 35 boats entered in the women’s collegiate eights, clocking a time of 18:32.543. 

 

From left, senior wide receiver Sam Kline receives a pass over first-year defensive back Naz Jean-Lubin during the 64th annual Cortaca Jug. (Malik Clement)

Football

After earning a Liberty League title with an 8–2 regular season record, the Ithaca College football team fell, 46–0, to Randolph-Macon College in the second round of the NCAA tournament. It marked the second year in a row that the Bombers won the title and advanced to the second round.

On Oct. 14, Bombers’ starting quarterback, graduate student AJ Wingfield suffered a season-ending injury during a game against Union College. In his place, first-year quarterback Colin Schumm stepped up to lead the Bombers. Schumm seamlessly led the team to three consecutive wins before falling, 38–28, to the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons during the 64th Cortaca Jug on Nov. 11.

The Bombers named five defensive athletes and six offensive athletes to the All-Liberty League First Team, as well as crowning senior running back Jalen Leonard-Osbourne and graduate student linebacker Ben Stola offensive player of the year and defensive player of the year, respectively.

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Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

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About the Contributors
Tess Ferguson, Former Sports Editor
Malik Clement, Managing Editor
John O'Donnell, Photographer
Kalysta Donaghy-Robinson, Former Head Photo Editor
Xinyi Qin, Photographer
Rayahna Tryka, Photographer
Donate to THE ITHACAN
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