By Alex Neupert, Sports Editor
For the University of Missouri—St. Louis, the 2015-2016 year has been one crazy ride for Triton athletes, with so many of the various teams doing better than ever before. While championship caliber teams are nothing new to the school, the athletics programs have certainly gone above and beyond this year, performing on a collective level not seen at UMSL in a long time. From golf, tennis, soccer, and even roller hockey, to all the other sports, our Triton athletes have been nothing short of impressive and have represented our university well.
It started in the fall semester with the women’s soccer team, who had one of their best showings in several decades. After finishing the regular season with a 12-5-4 record, they headed into the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) postseason tournament hungry for more. The Triton women would take down Drury and Bellarmine en route to their second place finish in the conference tourney.
They would then do something women’s soccer had not done for UMSL since 1983—take place in the NCAA Division II Women’s National Championship. Though they exited the tournament with an early first-round loss to Quincy, the accomplishment of even getting to that point was something the women were extremely proud of and happy about.
UMSL swimming would also be present at the 2016 NCAA Division II Championships in March, sending Diogo Dias, sophomore, undeclared, to Indianapolis for the competition. He placed 26th out of 34 finishers in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 49.62. He also placed 19th in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 49.55, just missing his chance in the consolation finals.
Both the men and women’s golf teams also played extremely well throughout the 2015-2016 season. The men’s team won its fifth tournament of the season with its back-to-back first place showing at the GLVC postseason tournament, defeating Indianapolis in the championship finals.
The women’s team was not to be ignored and took their tournament by storm as well, missing out on first place by 20 strokes. UMSL, however, managed to place three players in the top-10, including sophomores Ares Boira, business administration, and Alexa Capesius, undeclared, who both tied for seventh place with a score of 229, which equals the second best individual 54-hole score in program history.
The two golf squads will continue their postseason by participating in the NCAA Division II Regional tournaments on May 2-4 and are hoping to add more to their great seasons.
UMSL tennis is also making strides in the GLVC, with both the men and women’s teams doing well in their respective tournaments. The men finished the season with a 17-5 record, including a seven-game win streak to start the season. Unfortunately, they lost to Indianapolis in the semifinals of the GLVC tournament. The women finished with a regular season record of 17-8. They too lost to Indianapolis but in the quarterfinals to send the Triton women home early.
Hannah Perryman helped lead the UMSL softball team to another tremendous year behind her record-breaking arm, and it isn’t over just yet. The team finished the regular season with a 48-5 record and is currently in the middle of the GLVC double-elimination tourney. At the time of this writing, the Triton women have made it to the finals to defend their championship title once more.
Baseball’s regular season is not yet over, but with a record of 25-18 thus far, they have a pretty sure shot of getting into the GLVC tournament and hope to do something great with the opportunity.
Last, but certainly not least, UMSL’s roller hockey team (yes, we have roller hockey), who play as part of the National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association, has done amazing this year, ranking as high as fifth in the nation and going to the national tournament in April; all this despite not receiving any funding from the school and competing against the likes of Mizzou, Michigan, and other perennial Division I sports schools. While the Tritons did not win the tournament, they made it into the Elite 8, losing to Michigan in overtime.
If ever there was time to be proud to be a Triton, the time is certainly now. However, our sports teams need our support to continue their success. With home crowds cheering them on, UMSL athletics can only get better as we celebrate our Triton athletes. The time of the Tritons is now.