An in-depth look at fall athletics

Recapping what we’ve seen from the women’s field hockey and cross-country teams

Jake Stuart, Staff Writer

What’s up Deacs! As we approach the end of the semester and our time on campus, we’ll be wrapping up the fall athletic recap. So far, we’ve gone through football, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer. This week we’re looking into Field Hockey and Cross Country.  

Field Hockey 

Record: 3-8 (2-4 vs ACC)

Wins against Virginia, Duke, and Boston College 

Loss against UNC (2), Virginia (2), Louisville, Syracuse (2), and Duke

Preseason Expectations  

After an off year in 2019, the Wake Forest Field Hockey team approached the Coronavirus-shortened season with a vengeance. They had impressive wins against formidable opponents including the No. 13 ranked Liberty Flames and No. 15 ranked Stanford Cardinals. The team, year-in and year-out, faces stiff competition, and last season was much of the same. The Demon Deacons faced 13 ranked opponents, eight of which ranked among the top ten in the country. 

Things don’t come easy for the team, but they still managed to rattle off nine wins last year. A focal point going into this season was being more competitive against ACC teams, after turning in an 0-6 mark the prior year. 

This is a team that headed into the 2020 season losing three seniors (Isla Bint, Kelsey Gill, and Jess Pianko) including their starting goalkeeper. However, the squad gained eight freshmen to fuel the backbone of the team. 

How Things Played Out 

Wake had a competitive season but ultimately fell short, losing in the first round of the ACC tournament to No. 4 ranked Virginia, 2-1. The team was limited to eleven games this year, all of which were against ACC teams, as a result of the pandemic. Being placed No. 5 out of 7 ACC teams is nothing to write home about, but still, with top tier programs like Louisville  and UNC in your conference, the ride is never easy. 

Freshman Grace Delmotte led the Demon Deacons with four goals (6th most in the ACC) including a game winner, while Sophomores Meike Lanckohr and Nat Freidman both tallied three goals of their own. Junior Elanor Winants had four assists on the season putting her at sixth in the conference for that mark. 

One thing that Wake can work on heading to next season is capitalizing on their opportunities. The Deacs only had 53 penalty corners on the year and 15 goals on the season (which tied them for sixth in the conference). The team loses three senior leaders after this year in Alexis Grippo, Anne Van Hoof, and Elisha Evans. The win against Virginia early on in the season was the team’s biggest of the year, but the Cavaliers sought revenge and won their next two matches against the Deacs. 

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country 

  1. UVA & UNC: Men’s 2nd and Women’s 3rd
  2. UNC & NC State: Men’s 1st and Women’s 3rd

ACC CHAMPIONSHIPS: Men’s 3rd and Women’s 10th 

It was quite the year for Cross Country, both on the Men’s and Women’s side. For the men, senior Jack Tiernan and freshmen Carter Coughlin led their teams to historic success. The Batman and Robin-like duo started the year with finishes among the top three at the season-opener against Virginia and North Carolina, leading the team to a second-place finish. Tiernan finished second at 24:11.2 with Coughlin in third at 24:13.5. Luke Tewalt also added a top-10 finish in his collegiate debut finishing at ninth in 24:33.7. 

At the second Tri-Meet against NC State and UNC, the aforementioned pair crossed the finish line together to take the top two spots as the Demon Deacons took down both the Cavaliers and the Wolfpack. Tiernan finished in the first-place spot at 24:44.47 just a brief moment before his counterpart Coughlin, at 24:44.48. In this meet, four Deacs on the men’s team finished in the top ten with Ben Mitchell placing sixth and Brent Bailey taking home eighth. 

As for the ACC championships, four Demon Deacon men’s runners earned All-ACC honors as the team finished in third place. This was their best ACC finish since 2001, and the team was led by Coughlin who placed fifth in the race. 

As for the women, it was another stellar season and there were many positives to take away. While the Deacs took third on the women’s side in the first tri meet, six Deacs finished between 11th and 20th place. Madeline Rehm had a career best 17:36 in the 5k to finish 11th. In the second meet, the women’s squad finished third but was only three points away from NC State’s second place finishing score. Elise Wright finished third in the 6K at 21:20.18, Rehm finished eighth, and Anna Campbell finished 13th. Interestingly, Deacon alum Hannah Brookover took second as an unaffiliated competitor. The ladies took 10th in the ACC championships with Rehm once again leading the Deacs with a 34th place finish, and six other Deacs finishing within the top one hundred.