There was plenty of action this weekend for the Britons which featured the football team’s home and season opener against the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The volleyball team also competed in two matches, as well as the men’s and women’s cross country and soccer teams.
From the opening kickoff, the game was not one that would be decided because of defense. Albion combined for 682 yards, of which 386 of those were rushing. Pinckney, Mich. senior quarterback Dominic Bona passed for all of Albion’s 296 passing yards, and also became the school’s all time passing yardage leader. Trenton, Mich. senior MIke Czarnecki rushed for 240 yards and three touchdowns. While Stevens Point had combined for 540 yards, the Brits were able to hold on for a 65-52 victory, but not with a little help in the fourth quarter.
Czarnecki was able to get his third touchdown of the night on a six yard run after Stevens Point took a costly 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. With 1:08 left to play in the game, Southfield, Mich. senior Jeremy Shepard sealed the deal for the Brits with an interception.
Including last night, Bona has thrown for 6,144 yards, more than any quarterback in school history. The previous record was held by 2005 graduate Steve Wasil, who threw for 6,018 yards.
The Brits will be back on the gridiron on Sept. 12, facing off against Augustana (Il.)
The lady Brits played both Friday and Saturday this past weekend, facing tough teams in Ohio Northern and Otterbein. Albion’s first shot didn’t come until late in the game; their first shot on goal came about five minutes after that by South Lyon, Mich. sophomore Jenna Urso. In minute 88, Ohio Northern scored on a penalty kick that was the decider as they went on to win 1-0.
Coming back from an extremely tough loss against a good Ohio Northern team, they were looking for redemption as they traveled to Otterbein. A pair of goals from Clinton Township, Mich. sophomore Samantha LaRocca and Traverse City, Mich. sophomore Mikaela Ray’s first collegiate goal helped lift the Brits past the Cardinals, 3-2.
The ladies will stay on the road as they begin the MIAA play with a 2-1 record, and will face off against Saint Mary’s College on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
On Sunday, Sept. 8, Albion faced off against an opponent in Ohio Wesleyan, who is picked to make a run at the NCAA DIII tournament this season. The Brits fell 3-1, the only goal coming from Spring Arbor sophomore Mitchell Palmer, his first in his collegiate career.
The men will take a 2-1 record to Elmhurst College on Sept. 11 and North Park University on Sept. 12.
Men’s Cross Country
In a race with 186 participants, Albion stayed close to one another as they all finished with 41 seconds of each other. Plymouth, Mich. senior Mitch Clinton was the first of five Albion runners to finish the course at Eastern Michigan University; he finished with a time of 16:41. Clinton finished as the number 46 runner, with Grosse Ile, Mich. sophomore Alex Dermody finishing just behind him as the number 54 runner.
The next meet for the team is the Spartan Invitational scheduled for Sept. 18 at the Forest Akers East golf course.
Women’s Cross Country
Allegan, Mich. junior Jessica Shaw led the way for Albion at Eastern Michigan University on Saturday, as she finished number 20 overall. The only people ahead of Shaw were runners that were unattached or represented large Division I schools. Shaw’s time was 18:15, putting her only fifteen seconds from a top ten finish. Erin Finn, an unattached junior, won the race with a time of 16:54, eleven seconds better than the number two runner. Dublin, Ohio sophomore Leanne Wigley was the next Albion runner to finish after Shaw, finished at number 56.
The women will also be competing in the Spartan Invitational on Sept. 18 at Forest Akers East golf course.
On Friday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 5, the lady Brits took the court in Adrian, Mich. In 2008, Albion won the first three matches they played. This year, they’ve won four in a row to start the season.
Their first match was against Mount Saint Joseph, and although they dropped the first set 25-16, they came back to take the next three sets and get their first victory of the season.
The next match was against Manchester University, and the ladies came out strong. They took the first two sets 25-20 and 25-17, and even though Manchester gave them a tough set, they were able to win the last set 25-23. This improved their record to 2-0 on the season and set the stage for Saturday.
It was more of the same from the Brits on Saturday, as they took both matches from Anderson University (Ind.) and Earlham College. The two seniors on the team, Milford, Mich. Kristin Yeager and Okemos, Mich. Halle Thom have led the way for the team’s victories so far. Yet, Milford, Mich. freshman Monica Shuk and Vicksburg, Mich. freshman Taylor Rosenthal have also made a great impact in the beginning of the season.
The team will kick off its MIAA conference play against the reigning national champions in Hope College on Wednesday, Sept. 9.
Photo by Steve Marowski