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Milligan ready to engage in championship chase

Tanner Cook • Sep 27, 2017 at 8:51 PM

With October just around the corner, the fall weather is starting to come to fruition and teams at Milligan College are preparing for championship season.

Some teams are also just getting their seasons underway and are looking to build on the results of last season.

Women’s Soccer

Coming off of a tough road tie at Reinhardt in the first AAC competition of the year, the Lady Buffs faced an old rival in King University at home and dominated the Tornado 3-0. The Lady Buffs followed up that win with their first conference win of the year at Union.

“We had good results against both King and Union, but we didn’t have great performances,” said head coach Lisa Buckley.

After dropping the first contest of the year, the Lady Buffs have been on a tear, going unbeaten in their past six games. Fortunately for Milligan, five of the next six games are at home and four of those are against conference opponents.

“We love playing at home,” said Buckley. “I think that this homestead is coming at a good time for us, especially being a younger team.”

Sophomore Bekah Cundiff has scored a goal in two of the past three matches and now has seven goals on the season to lead the Lady Buffs in scoring. Freshman goalkeeper Eva Bower has 30 saves on the season and has three shutouts.

Swimming

In her second season at the helm, head coach Kelly Chism-Essler has nearly twice as many swimmers as she did last year and they will compete this weekend in Columbia, Kentucky at the Lindsey Wilson College Invitational.

“We are very young this year. We only have four upperclassmen and 15 newcomers, 12 of which are freshman,” said Chism-Essler. “Our key returners this season are both sophomores in Sterling Burnett and Sarah Farmer.”

Burnett, unfortunately, will not compete this weekend for the Buffs as he is suffering from a concussion.

Last season , the team was small, but got ten swimmers to the national championships. Chism-Essler is hoping for more swimmers to go to nationals this season and is also hoping to possibly break 13 school records this year.

“Last year, especially at conference, we had some strong performers up front, but we had no depth,” she said. “This year we have depth and hopefully some of our kids can win some races at conference. I think both teams can move up quite a bit in the team standings.”

The lone home match for Milligan is on November 4 against Mars Hill and Warren Wilson College.

Men’s and Women’s Golf

Earlier in the week, both the men’s and women’s golf team were in action at Tusculum and came away with some impressive results.

The nationally ranked no. 18 women’s team finished runner-up and was led by junior Sarah Son, who made the All-Tournament Team by shooting 151 for a two-day score on the par 72 course. Son finished in third. Milligan shot 629 and finished 24 strokes behind host Tusculum, which shot an impressive 605.

The men’s team finished in fourth place, but was only eight strokes back of host and champion Tusculum for the two-day event.

Freshman Gibson Miller finished in third place on the individual board after a 141 two-day score. Freshman Wes Splillers was the leader for the Buffs as he shot a one-under 70 on the second day to move into eighth overall.

Both teams will be in action at the Appalachian Athletic Conference Fall Championship in Columbus, Georgia on October 9-10.

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country

The men’s and women’s cross country team ran in their second race of the season last weekend at UNC-Asheville and had good results amongst a Division I heavy field.

The women were paced by senior JJ Robinson, who covered the two-mile course in 11:53 and finished fifth individually. The no. 16 ranked women took third in a field of eleven teams.

The men were once again led by freshman sensation Tim Thacker, who navigated the four mile course in 20:43, which was good for fifth place. Thacker led the Buffs to a fourth place finish in a field of ten teams.

Both athletes were named AAC Runners of the Week.

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