By: Sam Thomas ’20
Last year, Davidson Athletics emerged at the precipice of its potential in our new home in the Atlantic 10 Conference. We no longer put together miraculous runs to the top from an outsider or unknown position. Instead, conference and non-conference foes alike have Davidson College circled as somewhere that they will need to bring their best efforts because the ‘Cats are back and ready to contend. Now is the time to continue this progress and momentum. As a student body, we can rally around our athletics and put Davidson on the map as a centerpiece of A-10 athletics and beyond.
The men’s and women’s soccer teams once again start the season with aspirations of making their way into the conference tournament. The men were ranked eighth in the preseason coaches poll, which would secure a spot in the tournament. After being in the running for most of the season a year ago, this group has an opportunity of progressing towards being a perennial postseason team.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, by chalking up a couple of early-season victories, the team is clearly in the running for finding the same postseason position as the men. With the support of a home field advantage, the ‘Cats have an opportunity to put together truly special seasons. It would be the first time that both the men’s and women’s teams made the tournament since moving to the A-10.
A new year for the field hockey team comes with high hopes. Though ranked in the ninth position in the A-10 preseason coaches poll, the ‘Cats have already put together a string of competitive games and have chalked up early season victories against Towson and LIU Brooklyn. The season started with a close matchup against Big East foe Georgetown, where the ‘Cats nearly stole a victory. Only four teams make it to the A-10 tournament in field hockey, but this year’s squad has shown that they have what it takes to make a run at one of those spots. The sky’s the limit for this group.
The football team has a new look this year. With different uniforms, a new coaching staff, and high expectations, the energy in Richardson Stadium has all of the ingredients to bring winning football back to Davidson. Despite being ranked tenth in the Pioneer League preseason polls, the ‘Cats are looking to make their names known throughout the conference and beyond. After a statement win in their first game, it is clear that this team has a hunger for victory.
Men’s and women’s cross country are back in action as well. The women, ranked third in the A-10 preseason coaches’ poll, are coming off a third place finish a year ago. However, the ‘Cats are looking to keep building on that momentum and emerge as favorites at both the conference and regional meets by continuing their steady growth as a program.
On the men’s side, there is a lot to be excited about. Despite being ranked ninth in the preseason polls, the men beat conference foes George Mason and VCU in their first meet. Both the men and women look to continue and progress as they approach their conference championships on October 27th.
Volleyball, too, is in the mix to qualify for the A-10 tournament after they fell just short a year ago. Though the team was ranked eighth in the A-10 preseason coaches’ poll, a couple of tough wins and competitive matches against strong SEC and ACC competition have shown that this team has a strong case for finishing in one of those six qualifying positions for the tournament. Two of their four early-season victories have come in the fifth set, which shows the resilience of the team and the importance of taking advantage of Belk Arena by the time conference play rolls around.
As awards and athletic success continue to find their way home at a small, liberal arts college off at Exit 30, we will continue to pursue a high level of excellence. A new year means that we have all the more opportunity to advance our institution and the pride that we take in it. Last year we tasted success; it’s time to take our fair share of the A-10. This time around, they’ll be on notice.