This past spring saw one of the most successful seasons for Taylor University athletics.
Six out of the seven teams made it to the postseason with the baseball team even hosting part of the NAIA National tournament. The baseball team went 41-18 last season and won the Crossroads League tournament held at Winterholter Field. Ultimately, the team wouldn’t make it past the opening round of the NAIA national tournament.
Taylor softball also made the NAIA national tournament going 26-29 on the season. They were the runners-up in the Crossroads League tournament, earning the second bid for the conference. They also would fall out in the opening round.
Both golf teams had great success. The men’s team won the Crossroads League tournament before placing 24th of 29 teams in the NAIA national tournament. Two strokes kept the women’s golf team from winning a fifth straight Crossroads League championship. However, sophomore Sabrina Langerak won the individual title. The team went on to place 14th out of 30 teams in the NAIA national tournament.
Like golf, both track teams had success in the outdoor season. The men’s team placed 4th out of 10 teams in the Crossroads League meet. In the national meet, they placed 15th out of 77 teams while having four athletes gain All-American honors. The women’s team placed 3rd out of 10 teams in the Crossroads League meet and 26th out of 70 teams in the national meet with five athletes earning All-American honors.
“The outdoor season specifically, I think overall, we felt much better about it,” track head coach Derek Gay said about the team’s efforts.
Unfortunately, the lacrosse team had a tough year going 4-11 in one of the toughest conferences in the NAIA, the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. The team ended the season strong with two wins, a blowout over Cleary University and a clutch senior day win over Lourdes University.
Over the summer, Taylor University went through a rebrand that includes a new logo for athletics. This logo is proudly displayed on the new Turner Stadium turf which was placed this summer as well.
“This new logo represents months of work honoring Taylor's longstanding tradition of athletic excellence combined with spiritual formation and academic rigor,” the Taylor athletic website said.
Going into the fall, expectations continue to be high.
Despite nearly half the team being new faces to Taylor, the volleyball team looks set to build off of last year’s success. They have already played two games this season, winning both, sweeping Judson and beating William Penn in four sets. Senior Ryan Czerniak earned her 1,000th career kill against Judson.
Youth is one way to describe the women’s soccer team as they have just five seniors on a roster of 26. They have played one game so far, dominating on the road at Saint Xavier winning 4-0. Juniors Claire Massey, Emma Goebel, Chloe Sena and freshman Kiana Siefert all scored for the Trojans.
Men’s soccer will see a solid mix of experience and youth as they look to build off of last season, the team’s first winning season since 2014. Unfortunately, they dropped their first two games to Madonna in a 1-0 heartbreaker and their home opener against Aquinas losing 2-0. Sophomore Sam Spiegel has been lights out in goal with 11 saves this season so far.
Both cross country teams will look to continue their dominance in the Crossroads League where last year they swept the league titles for the first time since 1999. Both teams are young, especially the men’s team, which will look quite different, but the women’s team brings back seniors Abbey Brennan, Brooke Studnicki and Giovanna Domene who were three of the team’s highest performers last year. The women’s team is ranked 4th in the preseason poll and the men’s team is ranked 20th.
Football will look to build off last season’s frustrating year which saw them go 3-7. Limiting fumbles will be a key for the team this year under second year head coach Aaron Mingo. However, a promising scrimmage against Greenville University, an NCAA Division III team that made the playoffs last year, has hopes up for the Trojans.
“The additions to the Trojan army make the team’s future brighter,” assistant football coach Al Gordon said of the team’s incoming freshman class.
It is an exciting time to be a Taylor Trojans athlete, student and fan. Check out games at Turner Stadium and Odle Arena this fall or check out live streams on the Trojan Sports Network on YouTube.