L&C Launches Men’s Soccer and Prepares for Women’s Lacrosse
Last fall, Lewis & Clark athletics announced the addition of men’s soccer and women’s lacrosse as varsity sports. This fall that vision is getting closer to fruition.
The men’s soccer team played their first varsity regular-season game since 1991 on Friday, September 9, when they welcomed the College of Idaho to Griswold Stadium. Two days later, the program earned their first win of any kind in over 30 years, with a 1-0 exhibition victory over Edmonds Community College. The first-year program is made up of 19 student-athletes playing their first year of collegiate soccer. Jim Tursi, director of soccer, purposefully recruited a smaller team for year one, so that the group could grow with another large class in 2023. The program will become a full member of the Northwest Conference (NWC) and play a conference schedule next fall.
Lindsay Newman became the first lacrosse coach in school history in June when she was hired to lead the new women’s lacrosse program. Newman comes to the Pioneers from nearby Linfield University, where she led the Wildcats to a 32-14 record across four seasons. Linfield finished with a winning record in every year she was in charge and finished in second place in the NWC twice. She has a strong background in building new programs after serving as an assistant coach for first-year programs at Asbury University and Whitman College. The women’s lacrosse program hosted their first-ever prospect camp in October and are set to play their first game in the spring of 2024.
Baseball Program Hits Home Runs
Baseball senior third baseman Jack Thomson put together one of the best seasons in program history this spring. The Millbrae, California, native became the first Pioneers baseball player to earn All-American honors since 1992, when he was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association All-American Second Team. Thomson led the Pioneers in almost every statistical category and led all NCAA players with an on-base percentage of .614. He also finished second in Division III in slugging percentage and in the top 15 of eight different categories. At the end of the season, Thomson was named the Northwest Conference Player of the Year, the third in program history, and the Region 10 Player of the Year.
Thomson’s season was part of a huge turnaround for the baseball program. Lewis & Clark finished with a winning record for the first time since 1995 (20-17) and posted 11 wins in conference play for the first time since the 2012 season. Sophomore closer Anthony Clerici made history of his own, as he set the program record for saves in a single season (eight) and tied the career mark (nine). Thomson and Clerici will look to take the next step this spring, as the baseball team is aiming to earn their first postseason trip since 1992.
L&C Marks 50th Anniversary of Title IX
Lewis & Clark athletics held their first-ever “Welcome Back” event for student-athletes on Sunday, September 9. The Pioneers hosted more than 300 student-athletes at Griswold Stadium for food, games, and a chance to get to know their fellow student-athletes.
As part of the event, the athletics department debuted their slogan for the 2022–23 year: “Appreciate the history, changing the future.” Athletics is using this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Title IX and working to continue to improve the student-athlete experience for all of the school’s athletes.
The Hall of Fame Committee selected an all-female class for induction for the first time in school history. This year’s class is comprised of Lisa Housman BA ’08 (women’s soccer, track and field), Allison Farr BA ’08 (women’s basketball) and Laura Wackwitz BA ’91 (women’s swimming).
The department is hosting a series of educational events and panels for student-athletes to hear from current and former student-athletes, coaches, and women’s sports pioneers about the impact of Title IX. Lewis & Clark President Robin Holmes-Sullivan spoke at the “Welcome Back” event about her own experiences and how Title IX impacted her and her career.