Occidental athletes honored by SCIAC

Occidental athletes honored by SCIAC

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Nov. 15, 2009) – Following the fall season of 2009 a number of Occidental College athletes were recognized by the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after earning All-SCIAC honors.

The women’s cross country team ran away with accolades at the SCIAC Championship meet. Not only did they win the team title, but five runners finished among the top 20 to earn All-SCIAC. On the First Team were freshman Phoebe Merrit, sophomore Sadie Mohler and senior Grace Peck. Joining the trio on the Second Team were senior Denali Halsey, sophomore Eliza Dornbush and freshman Megan Lang. Among these ladies, Mohler, Peck, Halsey and Dornbush were also recognized in the region on the All-West Region team following the West Region meet on Nov. 14.

Representing the men’s team was Eric Kleinsasser, who was not only a First Team All-SCIAC, but earned the title Runner of the Year, for the second consecutive season, after winning the race. Kleinsasser went on to earn All-West Region honors after placing second, by just 16 hundredths of a second, after leading for most of the race.

The women’s soccer team, who advanced to the Championship game of the 2009 Post Season Tournament placed three players on All-SCIAC teams. Leading the way were senior, three time honoree Marci Kang and two-time selection, junior, Season Falkler-Rodriguez. Kang was a defensive leader all season and finished with two assists while Falkler-Rodriguez joined in on the defensive unit to stifle opponents. Along with her defensive threat, she shied offensively as well with four goals, including two game winners. Freshman Lei Song paced the offense most of the fall and landed on the Second Team. Song led the offense this season with five goals and four assists, with three of those scores marking winning goals.

Kosa Goucher-Lambert and Reid Sakamoto represented the men’s soccer team with Second Team recognition. The junior-freshman duo were defensive menaces all season playing quick and physical soccer games day in and day out. Goucher-Lambert chipped in with a goal and an assist while Sakamoto dished out a pair of assists during his first collegiate season.

On the volleyball court, freshman Logan Boyer-Hayse made a name for herself in the SCIAC, earning Second Team honors. The outside hitter averaged 3.69 kills per game, adding 14 aces while also leading the team with 3.75 digs per game. She added to the defense with 19 solo blocks and 17 block assists as well.

In the pool, a pair of water polo players earned Second Team All-SCIAC with senior Max Kelly and junior Austen Oliver being honored. Kelly was sold in front of the cage all season, notching 247 saves, adding 24 steals. Oliver was the Tigers’ go-to-man as he scored 68 goals, adding 45 assists with 68 drawn ejections. In 14 of the 26 games he scored three or more goals (including six of 10 SCIAC games), and had a season and career-high seven-goals against Mt. Sac.

Rounding out the All-SCIAC recognitions for the fall of 2009 were 17 football players, headlined by Alex Wertheimer being named the Defensive Player of the Year. Joining the junior on All-SCIAC teams were both eight offensive and  eight defensive players. There were seven first team selections in Alex Groh, Jason Haller, Chris Washington, Nick Danielson, Jim Hildensperger, Kyle Spaulding and Jordan Washington while Neil Martin, Zac Perkins and Aaron Stanton landed on the Second Team. Jesse Fischer, Jordan Inabnit, Greg Holsworth, Jason Lehman, Scott Saunders and Trace Wallace were recognized as Honorable Mention.

Perkins led the pack with 69 total tackles, followed by Wertheimer (55) while Hildensperger and Spaulding notched 47 and 46, respectively. Wertheimer hurried the QB 19 times and finished with 19 tackles for a loss, including 7.5 sacks. Perkins was named the d3football.com Team of the Week once and Wertheimer earned the honor twice during the fall. Hildensperger followed suit with six sacks in 11.5 tackles for a loss. Stanton had a team-leading five interceptions and Holsworth finished with two, as each returned one for a TD. Wallace had a team-high 37 solo tackles, finishing with 46 as well, while breaking up seven plays. Fischer joined forces with Hildensperger and Wertheimer on the line and was a force as well. The senior finished with 48 tackles, 11.5 for a loss of yards with six sacks.

Offensively, Haller led the scoring attack with 11 touchdowns, as he rushed for 583 yards, 64.8 per game. The receiving trio of C. Washington, Lehman and Inabnit were Saunders’ main targets. Lehman caught 49 passes, six TDs, C. Washington finished the season with 46 receptions, two TDs and Inabnit caught the longest pass of the season at 71 yards as he scored three TDs. Saunders completed 192-for-317 passes for 15 TDs and 239.2 yards per game. Another offensive threat was J. Washington who chipped in with four touchdowns to go along with his 122.2 all purpose yards per game, which earned him First Team Special Team recognition. J. Washington finished the season with 501 receiving yards as well as 276 punt return yards and 323 kick off return yards.

Also representing the special teams were Groh, who led the SCIAC in punting at 40.5 yards per punt, pinning the opposition inside the 20 yard line 15 times with his longest boot a 58-yarder (nine 50+ yard punts) and Martin who scored 48 total points on 30-for-31 PATs and a 6-for-10 field goal performance. His longest FG this season was 40 yards.