As giddy freshman and anxious seniors make their way back to the stifling heat of Riverside this week, the fall sports continue their long haul to the Big West Championships. Women’s soccer kicked off its season in late August while most students were either celebrating the end of summer school or savoring the last month of their seemingly short-lived freedom. The Highlanders lost their home opener, 3-2, against UNLV on Aug. 23, but quickly recovered to defeat San Jose State 2-1 two days later for their first win. Freshman Tatum Lockett and sophomore Elizabeth Silas were named to the USD All-Tournament team following the victory. Silas became the first player to score two goals in a single game since 2008. The next six contests saw the team pick up the consecutive pattern of win-loss with one tied game, a double overtimer against Northern Arizona, sandwiched in between. They lost their third home game of the season against Tulsa 1-0 on Sept. 22 despite out-hitting their opponents 16-5. The team looks to build upon its 7-10-3 record last year, but will have a tough time according to Big West coaches, who projected UC Riverside to finish last among the conference in their preseason poll.
Men’s and women’s cross country laced up their shoes as they competed in the annual UCR Invitational on Sept. 14. After intense training sessions in the altitude of Big Bear, the teams prepared for their home meet, and season, with lofty expectations. Junior Raquel “Rocky” Heflin (third place) and senior Jzsanette Lindstrom (seventh place) surged to top 10 finishes in the meet as the women’s team came in third place at the invitational. On the men’s side, junior Ben Heck finished in 11th place as the team placed sixth for the meet. UC Santa Barbara won both team titles, defeating second-place Southern Utah in the men’s invitational, and Nike Team Run LA in the women’s invitational. Cross country next competes at the Sacramento State Preview on Oct. 4.