February 05, 2009
The Pioneer men’s cross country team is in the early lead for most improved among Lewis & Clark’s sports teams. Placing seventh in the Northwest Conference last season, the team has been ranked as high as fourth in the entire West Region this year. The team also earned its first team victory since the 2004 season with a stunning upset at the St. Martins Invitational. The Pioneers nearly garnered back-to-back victories but came up one point short against perennial power Concordia University at the Lewis & Clark Invitational. However, the Pioneers finished ahead of NCAA Division I Portland State at their home meet, beating the Vikings by 37 points. The key to the Pioneers’ success is a true team effort; the time difference between the first and seventh scoring runners is less than a minute. This tight pack should make Lewis & Clark one of the teams to watch at this year’s conference championships and West Regionals.
The Pioneer women’s soccer got off to a remarkable start this fall. The women did not allow a goal for the first five games of the season, a streak that was snapped with just 1:10 remaining in double overtime of the sixth game of the season. The Pioneers were one of the last three teams in the entire NCAA III to allow a goal this season. Goalkeeper Kate MacDougall CAS ‘12 registered a remarkable 613 minutes of shutout soccer before Pacific University finally scored.
The Pioneer football team savored victory in its 2008 season opener against Principia College with a score of 43-7. Lewis & Clark favored the rushing game with quarterback AJ Brown CAS ‘09 throwing just nine passes, five of them for completions, and two of those completions coming in the end zone. Joevonte Mayes CAS ‘11 had 174 yards net rushing, averaging 10.2 yards in each of his 17 carries. This tied him for 21st on the Pioneer all-time list for single-game rushing performances, and tied him for the best performance by a rusher since 1996, when Jesse Ortiz B.A. ‘98 rushed for 196 yards against Pacific Lutheran University. Harrison Keller CAS ‘11 also had more than 100 yards rushing with 118. Adam Steinberg CAS ‘10 netted 90 yards on the ground.
The Pioneers played a well-balanced game and had a strong defensive showing, holding Principia to just one second-quarter touchdown.
There’s also another dimension to the team’s performance. As time was expiring, one of Principia’s players was injured on the final play. Even though the Pioneers were jubilant over their victory, they didn’t yell or cheer in celebration. Instead, the entire team went down on one knee to await the outcome for the injured player. After he was carried off the field, the Pioneers remained low-key, merely lining up on the 50-yard line to shake hands with the other team and then each other.
“We rarely see a team with such poise, grace, and dignity–especially after such a sound victory,” said Mary Collins, a Principia fan who tells this story. “It was an honor to watch these young men play. It was a clean, well-executed game by both teams, and it was a joy to watch.”