Soon, school will be back in session, which means the beginning of what is to be a long year for Seton Hall Athletics. With the fall sports season right around the corner, take a look at where each team stands heading into 2018:
Women’s Soccer: Nick Santoriello
The Seton Hall women’s soccer team will hope to bounce back from a tough season last fall. Entering his fifth season at the helm, head coach Rick Stainton will look to improve on the team’s 0-12-5 record from last year.
Despite losing its team leader in points, Lauren Hall, captain Andrea Palermo, and goalkeeping option Laura Dramis, the Hall boasts a young core of players to help lead the 2018 squad. Among those from last year’s team include senior Julia Stirpe and sophomore Cassy Harrigan, who each scored a team-leading two goals apiece in 2017.
The team will also return many of its defenders from last year’s team that allowed one goal or less in 10 of 17 games, including newly appointed captain Taylor Cutcliff. Overall, Stainton and the Pirates will welcome in nine freshmen for the fall, to both challenge and strengthen the returning players.
Men’s Soccer: Kyle Kasharian
The Seton Hall men’s soccer team has been on a steady rise since 2015, and secured another improvement last season with a 6-10-1 record, including an even 4-4-1 mark at home.
Despite these improvements, the direction of the team will be determined by a different voice, Andreas Lindberg, after Gerson Echeverry stepped down. Lindberg found great success at Division II LIU-Post, where he boasted a career .766 winning percentage.
The timing could not be better, as the team is going through an identity change by graduating a wealth of important pieces, including top scorer Andres Arcila, as well as Lukas Pangonis, a staple of the defense. Key returners include Marco Neves and Gabriel Viola, who combined for 17 points last season.
Volleyball: Keith Egan
After missing out on the Big East Tournament with a 10-8 conference record (16-15 overall) last season, Seton Hall volleyball head coach Allie Yaeger will look to get the Pirates back in postseason contention.
While having to replace the production of the three seniors that moved on from the program, the team brings back its star in rising senior Abby Thelen, who led the team in kills last season, with 430. The Pirates will also be bringing back Caitlin Koska, Haylee Gasser and Amanda Rachwal, who will each need to step up in their respective positions.
In addition, Sophia Coffey, who led the team in assists with 646, will resume her role as the team’s main setter, while Catherine Cruz is expected to step up to be the main libero after the departure of Sarah Kenneweg. Despite the changes, the Pirates – often exceeding early expectations – will have big goals this year.
Women’s Cross Country: Robert Fallo
The Seton Hall women’s cross country team will be looking to build off a season in which it finished first in four events. The Pirates, led by head coach John Moon, will be a young group again this fall.
The young core contains promise, but the Pirates lost three seniors, including redshirt junior Christiana Rutkowski, who captured four first place finishes last fall, but graduated in the spring, electing to not return for her final year of eligibility.
The group that will look to fill the graduating seniors’ shoes include five freshmen and six sophomores. Olivia and Emily Hernandez, two sisters who each started in all nine races last season as freshman, will look to build off impressive seasons. Olivia collected four top-five finishes in 2017, while Emily finished four times in the top 10.
Moon, who is entering his 47th year at Seton Hall and ninth as cross country head coach, is ready to lead with experience.
Editor’s note: The print version of this article incorrectly stated that Christiana Rutkowski would be returning this fall. The online version of this article has been corrected to amend that mistake.
Men’s Cross Country: Kyle Beck
The men’s cross country program at Seton Hall will set out to build on its 2017 season when the team returns in the fall. The team finished its season with a 22nd place result at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship, also placing 17th at the season-ending IC4A Eastern Collegiate Athletics Conference Championship.
The program is, like the women, coached by John Moon, as well as assistant Anselm Lebourne, and will be spearheaded this season by rising senior Jarod Moser, who won two races as a junior.
Four of the team’s 12 members graduated last year, including the consistent performer Bryant Cordova. However, Moser, along with fellow seniors Matt Lemoine and Ricky Stephens, will seek to step up and fill those leadership roles as the team’s new veterans.
With five new freshmen coming in, men’s cross country will be building for the future in 2018. However, Moon will work to keep his program competitive through its rebuild, as he has been able to do many times in the past.
Nick Santoriello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NickSantoriello. Kyle Kasharian can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @itskylekash. Keith Egan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Keith_Egan10. Robert Fallo can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @robert_fallo. Kyle Beck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @notkylebeck.