A pair of victories — that’s what the Berry women’s soccer team compiled over the weekend, first going to North Carolina on Saturday night where they handed host Brevard a 2-0 defeat and then making the trip to Macon, Ga., on Sunday where they rolled past Wesleyan 6-1 for the Vikings third straight win.

The weekend sweep improves Berry to 3-2 for the season and puts head coach Kathy Brown on the brink of reaching a career milestone as she now needs just one victory to reach the 300-career win milestone. That could come Wednesday night when the Vikings hit the road again to Tennessee to take on Maryville in a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Against Wesleyan, Berry fired the opening salvo scoring twice within three minutes of each other when Christina Marijanich scored 11:57 into the game thanks to an assist by Kaitlin Ramsey, who then assisted on a score by Toellner minutes later.

Wesleyan cut lead to 2-1 at the half, but Berry reeled off four unanswered goals to put the game out of reach. With 57:37 elapsed, Ramsey recorded his third assists when Toellner took another ass from her teammate to score, Hailey Thompson hit the back of the net eight minutes later with Vanessa Belanger earning the assist, and the final two goals for the Vikings from Ashley Read and Haley Stewart, who was assisted on the score by Kendall Varitek.

Berry dominated the game, unloading for 34 shots – 22 on goal – while the Vikings’ defense allowed Wesleyan to just four shots, with -Berry keeper Maggie Jones coming up two saves.

Against Brevard on Saturday, the Vikings got off to a fast start with two first-half goals and a stifling defense to hand Brevard the loss.

Marijanich put Berry on the board 2:25 into the game thanks to an assist by Brantley, and just over 29 minutes the pair reversed roles with Brantley scoring off a pass from Marijanich.

Berry’s defense also proved stingy in the game, limiting Brevard to just four shots and just one in the final 45 minutes. Jones had two saves in goal.

In other recent local college sports news:

SOCCER

Berry Men notch road win over Bethany

The Berry men’s soccer team improved to 3-1 Sunday when the Vikings defeated Bethany 2-1 in Lexington, Ky.

The game was the fourth straight road game for Berry, which continues its seven-consecutive away contests to open the season with a visit to Lookout Mountain on Wednesday when the Vikings face Covenant.

Against Bethany, Henry Asbill put Berry on the board just under 21 minutes into the game when he scored off an assist from Zach Ernst to give the Vikings a 1-0 halftime lead.

Nathan Carlson scored what proved to be the game winner at the 54:33 mark but after Bethany scored four minutes later too pull to within one, Berry closed the door to secure the win.

Keeper Jose Palacios came up with five saves in goal for the Vikings.

Lady Hawks win double-overtime thriller at home

ROME — The Lady Hawks were back at Ben Brady for a matchup with the Lady Hurricanes of Georgia Southwestern State. In this low scoring contest, only one goal was scored the entire game.

Both teams were evenly matched throughout regulation and through the first overtime period. There was a red card given to Payton Johnson of the Lady Hurricanes which meant they only played with 10 players on the field after the 102nd minute. In the last minute of the second overtime period, Lindsey Shipp scored the game-winning goal for the Lady Hawks with an assist from Danielle Forsythe in the 110th minute.

Lindsey Shipp, Rue Campbell, and Juliana Torres all led the team with one shot on goal. Goalkeeper, Emily Lopez recorded two saves against the Lady Hurricanes.

The Lady Hawks next game will be at home against Christian Brothers on Friday September 17th at 5 p.m.

Shorter Men split two road games in Florida

St. Petersburg, FL — A late goal by junior Bailey Lopez in the 88th minute propelled the Shorter Hawks men’s soccer team to a 4-3 win over Eckerd College Sunday afternoon.

The win helped the Hawks to split a tough two game road trip in the Florida heat and weather against a pair of Sunshine State Conference teams

The Hawks battled through warm temperatures in the 90’s Sunday afternoon and fell behind 1-0 early to EC. But Mattia Maiello took advantage of a Triton defensive error with the equalizer in the 30th minute for his first goal of the season to make it 1-1 at the half.

Three minutes after the break, senior Jason Ortega fired home a Davide Maiello cross to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead. The advantage was short lived as the Tritons answered two minutes later to knot the game at 2.

The Hawks regained the lead when Mattia Maiello set up Isaac Franklin from 12 yards out for the sophomore’s first collegiate goal. Franklin’s goal in the 63rd minute appeared to be the difference as EC had a player ejected just five minutes later. But a short handed goal by the Tritons leveled the score 3-3 in the 82nd minute.

Bailey’s heroics then came into play on a brilliant free kick to secure the win and push the Hawks to 2-1 on the season while EC falls to 0-4.

Matt Allen help lead the Hawk defense in the intense heat while Javy Flores recorded his 2nd collegiate win on goal with 2 saves.

Weather also factored into Friday’s match at Florida Southern College as the Hawks waited out a two-hour delay due to lightning before losing 4-0.

“We demonstrated a lot of resiliency to bounce back today at Eckerd after Friday’s debacle,” said Coach Paul Furey. “It was tough starting a game after 10:00 pm Friday. But it’s also tough playing an afternoon game in the Florida heat. The depth of our bench players made a difference as we finished strong and created a number of very good scoring chances late before Bailey settled the issue.”

The Hawks return home this Friday to open conference play with Christian Brothers University.

VOLLEYBALL

Berry remains undefeated with weekend sweep

The Berry Vikings volleyball team remained perfect with two more victories Saturday afternoon, defeating Southern Virginia University and Washington and Lee by identical 3-0 decisions to improve their record to 5-0.

Berry swept Southern Virginia in the first game of the day, winning in three straight sets, 25-15, 25-14, and 25-22. Stat leaders for the Vikings included Molly Bergin, with 11 kills, Peyton Breissinger, with 10 kills, and Jazzy Innis with 8 kills. Following the power on the net was Emily Rapach with 30 assists and Laura Beier with 17 digs.

Continuing the sweeping trend into the afternoon, Berry took out Washington and Lee in three straight sets on their home court, 25-16, 25-17, and 25-16. Molly Bergin headed up the attack with 14 kills, Peyton Breissinger with 11 kills and Jazzy Innis with 7 kills. Setting these hitters up for success was Emily Rapach with 35 assists, and Laura Beier with 14 digs.

Berry saw three players named to the All-Tournament Team – Molly Bergin, Olivia Mallow, and Emily Rapach, who was selected the Tournament MVP.

The Vikings head to Atlanta on Wednesday to face Oglethorpe.

CROSS COUNTRY

Berry Women race to top spot at Sewanee Invitational

The Berry women’s cross country team placed five runners among the top 10 finishes Saturday to win the 39th annual Sewanee Invitational.

The Vikings combined for 29 points to claim the top spot, finishing ahead host University of the South (45) and Oglethorpe (53.)

Hastings Gray led the Berry charge finishing second overall, covering the 6K course in 24 minutes, 49.53 seconds.

Teammate Ashleigh Meeker picked up a fourth-place finish (25:23.34), Noriega Moore was sixth (25:32.19), Ashlee Golden was eighth (26:01.86) and Asena Anderson was ninth (26:10.49) to round out the scoring for Berry.

The Vikings are back in action Saturday, Sept. 18 she. They travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to run in the Converse Kick-Off.

Vikings’ Bensley, Lathbury lead way to win in Sewanee

Cameron Bensley and Bradshaw Lathbury raced to the top two finishes at the 39th annual Suwanee Invitational on Saturday to help lead the Berry men’s cross county team to the victory in the 3-school event.

The Vikings claimed top honors with a score of 21, Oglethorpe was second (380 and Sewanee was third (85.)

Beasley took overall individual honors covering the 8K course in 26 minutes, 45.48 seconds, while Lathbury was right behind his teammate taking second place in 26:49.31

The Vikings then saw three more runners cross the finish line together in a pack with Ben Hanlon taking fourth place (27:14.76), Dome DeLillo finishing fifth (27:16:21) and Brody Wallace finishing sixth (27:19.33)

Berry makes beach volleyball 22nd intercollegiate sport

MT. BERRY – Berry College will add to its competitive intercollegiate program, announcing that beach volleyball will become the newest team sport to wear the blue and silver.

Beach volleyball, which has become increasingly popular around the globe since it made its debut at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, becomes the 22nd sport to represent Berry, which competes as an NCAA Division III member, and will begin competition in the spring of 2022.

“We are excited to announce the addition of beach volleyball,” Dr. Angel Mason, Director of Athletics at Berry, said. “When considering our sports sponsorship and what programs we could add, beach volleyball was a natural fit with the growth of the sport and the success of our indoor program.”

Caitlyn Moriarty, who has served as Berry’s indoor volleyball head coach since 2016, will assume the role as the head coach of the inaugural beach volleyball team.

Moriarty is a two-time AVCA South Region Coach of the Year and two-time SAA Conference Coach of the Year recipient after leading the Vikings to three straight SAA Conference Championships and NCAA Tournament runs in 2019, 2018, and 2017.

“It’s an exciting time at Berry,” Moriarty said. “Between the success of our indoor program and the addition of a Beach program, we know we have the opportunity to create something special. The chance to compete both indoors and in the sand allows us to attract the top student-athletes to Berry and creates growth opportunities for our current players.”

Beach volleyball became the 90th and newest NCAA championship event in 2016, and currently more than 90 colleges in the nation field teams.

Berry becomes just the seventh NCAA Division III member to join the beach volleyball ranks, joining fellow Southern Athletic Association member Hendrix, as well as LaGrange (Ga.), Huntingdon (Ala.), Principia (Ill.), Stevenson (Md.) and Mary Hardin-Baylor (Texas.)

Under the auspices of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, the Small College Beach Volleyball National Championship was first held in 2018 for NCAA Division II and III teams.

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