Men's Soccer—During the 2012 season, the Golden Eagles' men's soccer team finished first during the WHAC regular season but were upset by Aquinas College in the conference championship. The team finished with an overall record of 14-3-2 and finished 10-1 in conference play.
The men's soccer team lost key talent, leadership and experience from Isaac Grotenhuis, Kyle Breckan, Matt Osorio and Jake Stanko off last year's squad but will look for top returners to lead this season. Senior Jordan Wilson returns for a fifth year after recovering from a knee injury last year. Midfielder Tristan Esprit enters his junior season as a Golden Eagle after playing in all 19 games as a sophomore. Both defenders, Mark Rougas and Chris Buitenhuis, return to the backline for their second season.
Top newcomers for Cornerstone include freshmen forward from Wheaton Academy, Garreth Flynn, midfielder Garrett Nimmo, Forest Hills Eastern goalkeeper, Nick Hopkins, and New York native, sophomore forward Mario Williams, from Hilbert College.
Women's Soccer— The Cornerstone University women's soccer team finished 14-4 overall and 6-2 during conference play in the 2012 season. The Golden Eagles were upset by Aquinas College during the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament.
After losing 10 players, Cornerstone will rely heavily on key returning players who provide experience and leadership. Senior Amanda Van Laar-Schutter returns to the center midfield position after being named to the WHAC First Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-American. Sophomore Kerri Hoffman appeared in all 18 matches starting in every single game in the midfield while also being honored as WHAC Honorable Mention All-Conference as a freshman. Captain and junior Kate Wiegman will bring experience to the back line after starting every match last year. Leading goal scorer, Maile Carigon, returns to the forward position for Cornerstone and will look to continue her scoring streak.
"We lost a large group of seniors who played a significant role last year and it is always hard to tell exactly what we will get with the replacement freshman," commented head coach Randy Strawser. "This year will be a learning curve for the girls but we certainly have a good core group returning that have the potential to lead and I think we can do well. I am very optimistic about this team."
Men's Cross Country— Senior Louis Falland and junior Thomas Bambach are the top returners from the 2012 team that placed 19th at the NAIA Championships. With four seniors in last season's top six, seniors Ben Foreman and Tyler Grey, along with junior Jared Holmberg step in to complete the top five.
After finishing 161st at Cross Country Nationals, Falland took second in the mile at the NAIA Indoor T&F championships -- improving to 4:07.57. Bambach earned second team All-Conference honors placing ninth at last November's WHAC Cross Country meet. He also anchored the conference champion distance medley relay during the indoor season. Foreman comes off a 13th place finish in the marathon at the 2013 NAIA Outdoor T&F Championships.
Freshmen Hunter Burnham of Gypsum, CO and Greg Begeman of Portage, Mich., head the newcomers.
Women's Cross Country— The Cornerstone University Women's Cross Country team looks to defend their 2012 conference championship and improve on their fifteenth place finish at the NAIA national meet last season. The Golden Eagles return four of their top five, including the 2012 WHAC Runner of the Year and All-American, junior Julie Oosterhouse. Joining her at the front of the pack is Jill Louisignau. All-WHAC in cross country last season, the senior led off CU's All-American Distance Medley relay during the Indoor season and took ninth at the NAIA outdoor championships in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.
Relay All-American sophomores, Audrey Tremaine and Trinity Hulst are joined by junior Kaylee Carew and freshman Cathy Coryell in a strong second group.
After defeating Aquinas by one point to win their first WHAC Cross Country team title, the conference championship should be another exciting battle at Riverside Park on November 9.
Men's Golf—The Golden Eagles' men's golf team finished in sixth place in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference last season. During the 2013 WHAC Championship, Tyler Coyne led the way for the Golden Eagles. First year Head Coach, Chester Vandenberg, was named the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Champions of Character Coach while Coyne was named to the Champions of Character Team.
Key returners for Cornerstone are Zach Mick, Casey VandenBerg and Coyne. Sam Vos will be a transfer student-athlete this season coming from Dordt College.
"We finally played to our potential last spring. Golf is all about confidence and with a young team like we have, finding that confidence is key. With the rough spring weather and the frustrations not being able to practice, this gives our team something to look forward to this season. We had an extremely productive summer which should lead to good scores this fall. The addition of transfer, Sam Vos, brings some depth to our lineup as well," commented Coach VandenBerg.
Women's Golf— After a seventh place finish during conference play last season and a new coaching staff addition, the Cornerstone University women's golf program seeks to improve this year. Earlier this summer, the Golden Eagles' announced Jeff DeGroot as the new women's head golf coach.
Cornerstone Athletic Director, Dave Grube, stated, "Jeff brings a wealth of experience as a golf instructor and coach. I have no doubt that Jeff's experience and his love for Christ will enable him to recruit talented golfers to Cornerstone and take our program to the next level."
The Golden Eagles welcome back all players from last year but will be led by senior Sammi Cook and junior Jordan Sprehe.
Men's Tennis— The Golden Eagles' men's tennis team will return every player from last year's team. During the 2012-13 campaign the men were young with the exception of two juniors, John Andrew and Alex Tarnow. The men finished with an overall 9-17 record but with three teams in the WHAC ranked in the top 25, the men had a tough schedule.
This year will mark the third season for the men's tennis program at Cornerstone and Coach Dan Erickson looks to improve in the 2013 campaign. The first contest for the Golden Eagles will be on Friday, Aug. 30, against non-conference opponent, Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind. The match is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.
Women's Tennis—The Cornerstone women's tennis team returns all but one player from last year's squad. Last year the team consisted of three sophomores and two freshmen resulted in the women getting much collegiate experience. This year the women are still young but have more experience and leadership.
Head Coach Dan Erickson will head into his third season as coach for the Golden Eagles after starting the program in the 2011-12 season. Coach Erickson is hoping that his team can continue their improvement this upcoming season. The first match for the women will take place on Aug. 20 against Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind., at 2:30 p.m.
Volleyball— The Golden Eagles' volleyball squad finished their 2012 season tied for fourth in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. The women posted a 24-10 overall record while going 9-4 during conference play last season under head coach, Ryan Campbell.
Campbell enters his fifth season as head coach and is excited about this year's squad. "We basically return our entire starting line-up that is laced with seniors. I am excited to see what we can do. We have the talent but need to work as one unit with one goal," commented Campbell.
Cornerstone will be led by three seniors and one junior. Senior Kim Weaver returns after achieving All-Conference Honorable Mention as the Golden Eagles setter. Senior WHAC Libero of the Year, Abby Miedema, will take the captain's position for the upcoming season. Becky Albrecht will return for a fifth year after being tabbed to the All-Conference Honorable Mention team just a year ago. First Team All-Region and First Team All-Conference player, Cailie Johnson, returns for her junior season.
Along with returning players, there are a few newcomers that Coach Campbell is excited about. Three freshman including Megan Petrick, Brooke Olsenavage and Tori Mielke, will be looking to contribute during their freshman season. "Petrick brings a lot of intensity to the team with her setting and defense. Mielke puts up a big block and I am glad to have them on the team," mentioned Campbell.
Cornerstone begins their season in Salt Lake City, Utah, when they participate in the Westminster Tournament on Aug. 23-24. The Golden Eagles will continue out west when they face Westmont College on Aug. 27 and participate in the Asics/Wyndham Labor Day Classic in Irvine, Calif., on Aug. 30-31.
For more information and to receive Cornerstone Athletics' monthly sports newsletter, The Talon, click here to join our mailing list.
For up-to-the-minute information on CU Athletics, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!