A Fall Unlike Any Other Longwood Athletics enjoys banner 2016 fall Sports Season

Longwood's fall sports teams -- cross country, field hockey, men's and women's soccer -- helped the Lancers to one of their top fall seasons in the school's 10-year Division I era. Field hockey, men's soccer and women's soccer each advanced to the semifinals of their conference tournament with men's soccer advancing to the Big South Championship game before falling on a late goal to top-seeded Radford.

Field Hockey

The Longwood field hockey team enjoyed tremendous success in 2016, capturing nine wins en route to their first Mid-American Conference Tournament berth. The Lancers finished the regular season with nine wins and a third-place finish in the MAC standings, and came within one double-overtime goal of advancing to the conference championship game.

After winning its final three regular season games against MAC opponents, Longwood earned its first-ever berth into the MAC Championships as the No. 3 seed. The Lancers took Miami (OH) to double overtime before falling in heartbreaking fashion.

Longwood dedicated its signature blue turf in honor of Dr. Elizabeth Burger Jackson in its home finale against Missouri State. A former three-year field hockey letterwinner and a Longwood professor of natural sciences for nearly four decades, Burger Jackson blazed a trail for Longwood's female student-athletes during her standout field hockey career from 1930-32.

Edel Nyland was tabbed All-MAC first team after a season in which she led the MAC in goals scored and broke Longwood's single season Division I goals record with 18. The junior finished her season with goals in 12 of Longwood's 18 games.

Longwood's team captain for the 2016 season, four-year starting midfielder Ellen Ross was named All-MAC first team and was also part of the MAC All-Tournament team. Throughout her four years as a Lancer, Ross steadied the Longwood back line and started every single game of her career.

An All-MAC second team selection, Leonie Verstraete broke out with 14 goals and seven assists to rank among the top-five in the MAC in each category. She teamed with Nyland to form the conference's only double-digit goal-scoring duo, combining for 31 goals.

Lil-Sophie Achterwinter earned her second straight All-MAC honor with second-team honors. The Lancers were 9-7 in games she played and outshot their opponents by more than five shots per game on those 16 contests.

Men's Soccer

Despite an injury-riddled campaign that saw 2015 top goal scorer Willy Miezan go down with injury in the opening minutes of Longwood's exhibition contest at Virginia, the Lancers bounced back with a run to the Big South Championship game. Men's soccer joins the three-time Big South softball program and women's basketball program as the third program to represent Longwood in a Big South Championship game.

Longwood defeated third-seeded UNC Asheville and second-seeded High Point to advance to the program's first-ever Big South Championship match. The Lancers became the Big South's fifth team seeded sixth to advance to the conference championship game. The blue and white rattled off a pair of road victories in the Big South quarterfinals and semifinals, its only two road wins of the season following a 4-0 win in the season-opener at VMI.

Dan Campos handed the Lancers a spot in the postseason in a must-win situation with a golden-goal in the regular season finale against Liberty. It was part of a career night for Campos, who recorded two goals and two assists for six points.

Finnlay Wyatt became Longwood's first All-Big South first team representative in program history. He was the league's only player to rank among the top-eight in goals and assist during the season.

Carlos Canas was tabbed All-Big South second team for the second straight season. A three-year captain, Canas finished in the top-three of the league in saves (71) and save percentage (.755).

An All-Big South second team selection, Dan Campos led the NCAA in assists during the regular season with a total of 12 helpers. Campos was also named to the Big South All-Tournament team after recording a pair of goals and an assist in three games during the tournament.

Named Second Team All-Big South and Big South All-Freshman, Max Poelker led the Lancers in goals throughout the 2016 season with seven. It marked the second straight campaign that Longwood was led by a rookie in goals after Willy Miezan ranked among the top 10 in the nation a season ago.

Zach Corcoran was tabbed to the Big South All-Academic Team, his first honor of his career. Corcoran enjoyed a season in which he played all 21 of Longwood's games with 14 starts, while scoring two goals.

Women's Soccer

The women's soccer team earned its first trip to the Big South semifinals since the 2012 season this fall, knocking off fourth-seeded Gardner-Webb in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals. The Lancers took top-seeded High Point to the limit in the semifinals before falling on an overtime golden goal.

Longwood posted an undefeated record at home in Big South play and went through the conference portion of the home schedule without conceding a single goal. After dropping their first two home games of the season, the Lancers rattled off seven straight victories at the Athletics Complex.

An All-Big South first team performer, Amanda Spencer ends her career as one of the top players in Big South history after gaining all-conference recognition in four consecutive seasons. She finishes third-place on Longwood's all-time goals list and first-place in the Division I era with 26 career goals and at least tied for the team lead in goals scored during all four years of competition.

An All-Big South first team performer along with Amanda Spencer, Sydney Wallace gave Longwood multiple All-Big South first team performers for the second straight season. Wallace became Longwood's first sophomore to earn All-Big South first team honors.

Maria Kirby was among the top goalkeepers in the Big South this season en route to being selected Big South honorable mention, logging seven shutouts and career-best 0.84 goals against average, 94 saves, and a .847 save percentage, all of which ranked among the top three in the Big South.

Longwood's second All-Big South honorable mention selection Janese Quick enjoyed a breakout season in which she scored a career-high four goals, two of which came on free kicks and the other on an unassisted corner kick that was among the biggest highlights of Longwood's 2016 season.

Taylor Alvey was voted among the top freshman in the Big South, earning a spot on the All-Freshman Team after a debut campaign in which she appeared in all 20 of Longwood's games and drew seven starts.

Gina D'Orazio was selected as one of the top student-athletes in Big South women's soccer, earning Big South All-Academic honors to cap a standout career in which she was a four-year starter with a 3.857 grade point average as a psychology major.

Janese Quick scored a pair of highlight-reel goals this season, including one off a corner kick against Charleston Southern. A team-high three of her four goals were game-winners, including Big South wins over UNC Asheville and Charleston that helped launch the Lancers to their fourth top-five finish of the program's five-year tenure in the conference.

Cross Country

Senior Gracie Piekarski and men's junior Leon Beard had tremendous success on the race course throughout the 2016 season, highlighted by both runners recording their programs' third-best individual Big South Championship finishes in the five-year Big South era.

Piekarski became the first Lancer in program history to earn back-to-back top-25 finishes at the conference's signature race. She also received the Big South All-Academic Team award, which is given to the top overall male and female student-athlete from each Big South program.
On the men's side, Beard posted Longwood's third-best performance of the Big South era, placing 31st with a 27:23.87. Beard would go on and break the school 10K record with a time of 32:37.7 at the NCAA Southeast Regional.
Marc Mawyer was named to the Big South All-Academic team. He finished second among Longwood runners in the Big South Championship.
Created By
Todd Lindenmuth

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