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Stellar Seasons for Soccer


Garnet women’s soccer players (l to r) Alexa Bensimhon ’09, Caitlin Mullarkey ’09, Lauren Walker ’09, and Melinda Petre ’09 celebrate winning the ECAC South Region Championship.

Women's soccer (104-6, 5-1-4 CC) The Garnet women won a second consecutive Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) South Region championship, appeared in the CC playoffs for the third straight season, and beat the top-ranked team in Division III, winning 4-3 at the College of New Jersey in a nonconference game—the Lion’s second home loss in 10 years.


Men’s soccer teammates Micah Rose ’12, Ladule Lako LoSarah ’12, and David Sterngold ’12 enjoy one of many moments of success during one of the Garnet’s best soccer seasons ever.

Four Swarthmore women made All-Centennial: with seniors Cait Mullarkey and Lauren Walker named to the first team, and sophomores Megan Colombo (team-high 17 points) and Laura Bolger to second team and honorable mention, respectively. Mullarkey was the first back—and fifth player in CC history—to earn first-team All-Centennial honors four times. Mullarkey, Bolger, and Walker anchored a defense that ranked in the top 30 nationally in goals-against average (0.56), goals-allowed (12), and shutouts (13). Mullarkey became the 17th Swarthmore athlete to win a Rhodes Scholarship, was named ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America and selected to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area team for the second time. Walker closed out her stellar career among the elite goalkeepers in the nation, making All-CC first team for the second consecutive season and being named ECAC South Region Tournament Most Valuable Player. She ranked in the top 30 in goals-against average (0.55) and save percentage (.883) for 2008 and concluded her career with 28 shutouts, second-most in CC history.

Men’s soccer (17-3-2, 8-1 CC) Swarthmore concluded one of the best seasons in program history, setting school records for wins, CC wins (eight), and shutouts (13) and scoring the most goals (44) in 15 years.

The Garnet completed a clean sweep in October, allowing just three goals in seven matches on the way to securing the top-seed and right to host the 2008 Centennial Championships.


Volleyball captain Jen Wang ’09 ranked in the top 25 in digs per set this season.

The season was peppered with outstanding performances and accolades.

Freshman goalkeeper David D’Annunzio tied a school record with nine shutouts (accomplished twice by Andrew Cavenagh ’92), and senior forward Evan Nesterak concluded his career ninth all-time at Swarthmore in points (46) and goals (22). Emergency goalkeeper Jason Thrope ’09, stepping in later for the injured D’Annunzio, and classmate Yoi Tibbetts (who had two game-winning goals in one week) received Conference Player of the Week honors after a 3-0 win against Gettysburg.


Dan Hodson led the Garnet men’s cross-country squad to a fifth-place finish at the DeSales Invitational.

More Conference honors showered on the Garnet men at the conclusion of the regular season. Wagner was named Centennial Coach of the Year by his fellow head coaches, and four players were selected All-Conference: Nesterak and defender Jeff Kushner ’09 made first-team, and brothers Dylan Langley ’10 (second team) and Morgan Langley ’11 (honorable mention) were the first male siblings to make the same All-Centennial squad.

Also excelling off the field, the Garnet men put three players on the Conference Academic Honor Roll. Nesterak and Thrope were also selected to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area team, by the Philadelphia-Area Sports Information Directors Association.

Volleyball (6-19, 2-8 CC) Garnet senior captains Erin Heaney and Jen Wang completed their four-year careers in record-setting fashion. Wang, an outside hitter, was named All-Centennial for the second time, earning second-team status after ranking in the top 40 in Division III in kills per set (3.75), setting new school records for kills in a season (360) and career kills (1,171). Wang played a large part in a Garnet defense that ranked in the top 25 in the country with 19.32 digs per set, ranking 12th with 3.44 digs per set. She completed her career with 1,362 digs in 105 career matches, earning a spot in the top 25 all-time in the CC. Heaney, the team libero, finished her career by breaking the school record for career digs (1,560), ranking 14th all-time in the Centennial Conference. The two-time captain is a three-time Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll selection and the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic Performer of the Year for 2008. Freshman outside hitter Genny Pezzola led the Centennial in service aces (0.65 per set) and finished in the top 10 in kills (3.17 per set) and digs (team-high 4.19 per set).


Field-hockey captain and midfielder Ashley Gunter ’09 was selected to the All-Centennial Second Team.

Men’s cross-country (seventh at CC Championships) Erik Saka ’09 placed in the top 25 at the competitive Conference championship meet, posting a season-best time of 26:53.85 and then hit the top 50 as Swarthmore placed 19th at the NCAA Mid-East Regional. Classmate Dan Hodson led the Garnet men to a fifth-place finish at the DeSales Invitational early in the season, crossing the line fifth out of 180 competitors.


Bess Ritter ’09, Melissa Frick ’12, and Nyika Corbett ’10 helped bring home the 2008 Seven Sisters trophy in women's cross country.

Women’s cross country (fourth at CC Championships) The Garnet women brought home the championship trophy at the 2008 Seven Sisters meet hosted by Smith College—for the second time in program history. Junior Nyika Corbett finished second out of 72 runners, followed by freshman Melissa Frick (third) and senior Bess Ritter (seventh); all three women were named All-Tournament. Frick also earned All-Centennial status with an eighth-place finish (23:03.17) at the Conference Championship meet. Corbett led Swarthmore to a seventh-place finish at the Mid-East Regional in Waynesburg, Pa., earning All-Region status for the third consecutive year. Senior Emma Stanley was named to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area cross-country team.

Field hockey (5-13, 1-9 CC) Captain and midfielder Ashley Gunter ’09 was selected to the All-Centennial Second Team. A key starter in the Garnet midfield for the past three years, the senior led Swarthmore with eight assists this season, tied for sixth in the conference. Gunter finished with 12 points, third-best on the Garnet. Senior forward Natalie Stone earned her second consecutive selection to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area field hockey squad.

Kyle Leach

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