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As Fall Season Kicks off, Teams Have High Hopes

By Erik S. Balsley

As the semester begins, so too does the fall varsity sports season. For many athletes, the season actually began during Residence and Orientation Week, when teams started to prepare for their season opening events. The following is a quick guide to fall sports.

Baseball

Coach: Mack Singleton.

The Baseball team's first home game will be this Saturday against Wentworth Institute of Technology. It will begin at noon at Briggs Field.

Men's cross country

Coach: Halston Taylor.

This year's men's cross country has already begun its season with a meet against MIT alumni this past Saturday. Taylor is expecting the team to be one of two from the New England regional division to make it to nationals this year.

According to Taylor, the team is "very strong," composed of five seniors, four juniors, five sophomores, and seven freshmen. However, only the top five scores from each meet are used to calculate the overall team score.

The first home meet will be at Franklin Field on Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.

Women's cross country

Coach: Joe Sousa.

The women's cross country team will be beginning its season this Saturday with a tri-meet - the Engineer's Cup - versus Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The team is looking forward to a "great season," said team captain Lauren Klatsky '97, as five of their top seven runners will be returning this year. Although almost all of their meets are away this year, they will running at their home course, Franklin Field, for the All-New England Championship on Oct. 12.

Field hockey

Coach: Cheryl Silva.

The field hockey team is hoping to build upon last year's best regular season record in MIT history, a record of 121, when they were ranked 10 out of 35 teams in New England.

The team is looking to make a repeat "as one of the top teams in the New England Women's Conference," Silva said. The team is made up of three seniors, three juniors, six sophomores, and eight freshmen. The first home game is on Sept. 21 against Western New England College at 1 p.m.

Football

Coach: Dwight Smith.

The football team is hoping to improve upon last year's 36 record as they begin their regular season this Saturday at a home game against Salve Regina College.

The team, composed of 25 upperclassmen and 20 freshmen, is "ahead of last year," according to coach Dwight Smith. They already have won a scrimmage against the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, last Saturday. Their first home game is on Sept. 28 against Western New England College at noon.

Golf

Coach: Jope Kuchta.

The men's golf team is aiming to achieve its 24th consecutive winning season, according to team captain Jonathan Grayson. Last season the team had a 1291 record.

This weekend, the team will be participating in the Middlebury College Tournament at Middlebury College in Vermont. The team's first home match is on Sept. 27 against Tufts University and WPI.

Rifle

Coach: Dick Dyer.

The defending national champions, the rifle team, coming off last season's record of 3114, will be beginning their fall season with a home meet against the U.S. Military Academy on Oct. 28.

The team's main objective is to "remain in the expert division," according to coach Dick Dyer. The team is currently composed of three seniors, two juniors, two sophomores, and five freshmen.

Sailing

Coaches: Fran Charles, Kyle Welch.

The sailing team has 55 people, "the largest turnout ever," according to Welch. The team, comprised of the varsity, women, and freshman teams, is aiming to be one of the six teams to make the Atlantic Coast Championships at the Schell Trophy later in the season, Welch said.

This weekend the team will begin its season as it competes in seven regattas at Harvard University, Dartmouth College, Boston University, Tufts, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The first home regatta - the Hatch Brown Trophy, named after MIT's retired sailing master - begins on Sept. 21.

Men's soccer

Coach: Walter Alessi.

The men's soccer team is hoping to build on last season's 1071 record, the most wins ever in the 75-year history of soccer at MIT. "A lot of veterans are returning and we have high hopes for this year," Alessi said.

The team's season will begin this weekend when the team travels to Union College to defend its Union Championship at the Union College Tournament. The first home game is on Sept. 21 against Springfield College.

Women's soccer

Coach: Patrick Lewis.

The women's soccer team is coming off a good season (871) and is hoping to "make it to and win the national championship,"Lewis said.

The team's season began last weekend with a non-conference game lost against Gordon College 20. This Saturday, the team will play Salve Regina College in an away game. The first home game will be on Sept. 21 against the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Men's tennis

Coach: Jeff Hamilton.

The men's team has a "bright outlook for this year," Hamilton said. Last year s record was 612.

The team, made up of three seniors, two sophomores, and four freshmen, will begin its season on next Friday with an away match at Clark University. The team's first home game will be the following Tuesday against Boston University.

Women's tennis

Coach: Merilee Keller.

After several close matches last year women's tennis is hoping to improve upon its 66 record. They are "hoping to do well in the NEW8 conference this year," said team member Nora Humphrey '98.

The season beings this Saturday with a match against Skidmore College.

Volleyball

Coach: Paul Dill.

The women's volleyball team is hoping to "at least make the ECACtournament but is aiming toward the national championship," Dill said. Last year's record was 1913.

The team - composed of 12 players, four of whom are returning players - began its season Thursday with a game against Tufts.

The next home game will be on Sept. 24 against Wheaton College.

Water polo

Coach: John Benedick.

The water polo team began its season last Saturday, playing in the Division III Cambridge Invitational Tournament. "It's going to be an exciting season," Benedick said.

This will most likely be a growing year for the young team, which has only three returning starters. The team's next meet is on Saturday, when they will be competing in the CWPAILeague Tournament against Queens College, Fordham University, and Iona College.