Even with the summer heat lasting well into autumn, the College of Southern Maryland fall sports teams have all attempted to counteract the weather by remaining cool under pressure through the first two months of the season.
With three meets already under their belt, the CSM women’s cross country team has displayed plenty of ability and future promise. Sophomore Sierra Walker, a North Point High School from White Plains, posted the team’s best clocking thus far when she finished 72nd in the Hornet Harrier Invitational at Shenandoah University in Virginia in 23 minutes 11.7 seconds.
“The cross country team has been progressing through their fall season with some good performances, including a number of top 10 school performances for the women this past weekend at the Hornet Harrier meet held at Shenandoah University,” CSM women’s cross country head coach Ken Killion said. “The main goal is to always peak during the championship races at the end of the season with this year’s regional and Maryland JUCO championships being held at Hagerstown Community College later this month.”
Freshmen Brittney Douglas and Briana Douglas, Calvert High School graduates from Port Republic, have also performed well at the last two meets. Brittney was 83rd (23.54.1) at the Hornet Harrier, while Briana placed 108th (25.50.9) and teammate Gabrielle Wilson was 131st (30:15.9) while dropping over six minutes from her previous best clocking.
In the Cardinal Classic at Catholic University two weeks earlier, Brittney Douglas led the Hawks by completing the course in 28:30.4, followed by Walker (29:35.1), Briana Douglas (31:45.8) and Wilson (36:46.5).
In the opening meet at Stevenson University one week earlier, Walker placed 14th (29:29.75) and Wilson took 16th (37:11.21).
After starting the season slowly, the CSM women’s soccer team (3-5 overall, 2-4 in Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference after a 5-0 loss to Howard on Wednesday) finished the month of September in stellar fashion. The Hawks won their last three games of the month handily, defeating Patrick Henry (Va.) 6-1 on Sept. 28, trouncing Hagerstown 8-1 two days earlier and blanking Cecil 6-0 on Sept. 20.
Six different players scored in the victory over Patrick Henry, while the Hawks got two goals each from Karleigh Cohen (a Grace Christian Academy graduate from White Plains), Maurizia Gianan (a Westlake High School from Waldorf) and Jennifer Nanosi and one goal apiece from Ana Benitez (a North Point High School graduate from Waldorf) and Adrianna Ward (a Lackey High School graduate from Bryans Road) in the Hagerstown win. Cohen also scored twice in the win over Cecil and goalkeeper Camille Cooley (a Chopticon High School graduate from Mechanicsville) recorded three saves to post the shutout.
“Our game is developing well,” CSM head women’s soccer coach Nina Duron said. “Goal for this season was to improve upon last year’s record. At this time, our recorded wins are matched from last year, but with plenty of games left to play we have already exceeded last year’s total shots, shots on goal and total goals scored. With only a few returning players for next year, we are actively recruiting.”
The CSM men (3-7-1, 2-7) struggled in September, losing six straight games — five via shutout — before ending the month with a 5-2 victory over Hagerstown on Sept. 27.
Justin Miller (a Huntingtown High School graduate from Huntingtown) and Antone Perry (a Thomas Stone High School graduate from Waldorf) each scored twice in the Hagerstown win and Logan Miller (a Patuxent High School graduate from Lusby) added a goal. Hawks goalkeeper Jared-Lee Pixton (a Calvert High School graduate from St. Leonard) stayed busy throughout the day, recording 11 saves in the victory.
“We are progressing well,” CSM head men’s soccer coach Zach Bowman said. “Our goal was to become more competitive than last year and I can say at this moment we have done that. Our focus still remains to stay on top of the student-athletes’ schoolwork so we can maintain this competitive group for next year and for them to become leaders.”
Tuesday afternoon, the Hawks kicked off the month of October by getting trounced by Howard, 12-5. Logan Miller scored three times for CSM and Hayden Gould (a La Plata High School graduate from La Plata) and Justin Miller each added a goal, but Howard got seven goals from Anderson Marroquin.
The CSM volleyball team (3-7, 1-5) is also looking to regain its winning ways.
The Hawks swept Garrett in straight sets on Sept. 12, but have since been swept in their three most recent matches by Northern Virginia on Oct. 1, Frederick on Sept. 26 and by Harford two days prior. But the last three defeats have not dimmed the optimism of sophomore middle hitter Katelyn Kluh (a La Plata High School graduate from La Plata).
“We had a run against Nova when we were playing really well and the crowd was really getting into it,” Kluh said. “That match showed us what we can do when we play together. We really just need to focus on minimizing our mistakes. We’ve have also been working a lot on blocking in practice all week.”