Even before school is in session for the fall semester, Seton Hall Athletics will be kicking off its 2017-18 campaign. With the fall sports season right around the corner, take a look at where each team stands heading into 2017: [caption id="attachment_19285" align="aligncenter" width="1440"] Photo via SHU Athletics[/caption] Women’s Soccer: Matt Lamb The Seton Hall women’s soccer team will return to the pitch in 2017 with higher expectations and opportunities to improve from last year’s season. The Pirates finished up last season at 5-11-1 and 1-8 in Big East play, losing their final four games and nine of their final ten. Head coach Rick Stainton is bringing in ten new Pirates for the upcoming season. The highest-touted new Pirate is back/midfielder Dani Brinckman, who was rated the No. 23 high school prospect in the nation. The Pirates have lost key seniors in Frankie Maier, Sarah Cortes and Cathy Chukaka, of which combined for five of the team’s 12 goals in 2016. They will retain pivotal players such as Marissa Anilowski, Anna MacLean and Sarah Cortes, as well as Eva Gonzalez – who saw extended time on the Mexican Women’s National Team this offseason. Men’s Soccer: Kyle Kasharian The Seton Hall men’s soccer team improved from its winless 2015-16 season with a 4-11-2 effort last year in head coach Gerson Echeverry’s fifth season. Although the Hall was last in the conference, notable victories of 2-0 and 2-1 came against Big East foes Marquette and Xavier, respectively. In terms of personnel, the Pirates are losing their starting goalkeeper Julian Spindler, whose time in the net had him honored through the Big East Honor Roll multiple times. Seton Hall will be returning a staple of its offense in rising sophomore Jonathan Jimenez. Rising junior Andres Arcila’s return is currently questionable, as there is a possibility of him playing professionally. Arcila led the Pirates last season in goals with seven, accumulated four assists and was honored with a Second Team All-Conference selection. Jimenez had a team-high five assists, scored two goals and was chosen to the Big East All-Rookie team. Volleyball: Keith Egan Seton Hall’s volleyball team ended its season in 2016 by winning five of its last six games to go 16-16, and 10-8 in Big East play. The Pirates earned a berth to the Big East Tournament, where they fell to eventual champion Creighton, 3-0. The Pirates will be without 2017 graduates Tessa Fournier, the Big East digs leader, and Danielle Schroeder, who led the team in points last season. 2014 Big East Coach of the Year Allie Yaeger will be entering her sixth season as head coach of the Pirates, and is bringing back the majority of her 2016 roster. Junior Abby Thelen will be returning for the Hall, who was right behind Schroeder in kills and points. Sophomore Haylee Gasser played the most sets on the team, tied with Schroeder, and will continue to play a big role for the Pirates. Women’s Cross Country: Matt Ambrose Head coach John Moon is back at the helm of the Seton Hall women’s Cross Country team for 2017, a squad that will look to use its veteran presence to its advantage. The team lost graduating seniors Desyre Blackburn and Holli Rolle, however, Rolle did not compete last season. The team’s new senior leader is Christiana Rutkowski, who finished as the top runner on her team in three of the seven meets she competed in last season. A junior who shined bright at the end of last season was Kiley Britten, who was either the first or second Pirate to cross the finish line in seven of the eight meets she competed in. The Pirates’ lone meet victory came at Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Fla. as seven Pirates finished in the top 25. Men’s Cross Country: Matt Lapolla The men’s cross country team may have struggled last season, but a few individual performances could foreshadow a strong 2017 season. Despite finishing ninth in the Big East Championship, the Pirates saw a strong performance from junior Jarod Moser. The then-sophomore finished the 8K in a personal-best 26:27.9. A pair of seniors, Bryant Cordova and Jake Simon, also look to continue to perform well. Cordova had the highest placing of any Pirate in the last two meetings of 2016, running a 32:45 10K at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals and a 26:57 8K at the ECAC Championship. Simon closed out the spring 2017 meetings with a first-place, 8:53.9 finish in the 3000-meter race at the ESU All-American Meet. These upperclassmen will play a large role in the team’s success in 2017.
Fall at the Hall: New athletic seasons starting up shortly