Sports

Tartan football and soccer teams begin the 2016 season

Football

This Saturday Sept. 3, the Carnegie Mellon football team will take on the Bears of the University of Washington at St. Louis. The last time these rival teams met was almost a full year ago. The Tartans did not fare well in that contest, losing 45-24. The Tartans would lose two of their next three games after that before going on a seven game win streak to close out the season. The Tartans transformed in the weeks after playing Washington University, putting up record-breaking offensive numbers with the help of star running back Sam Benger. With that in mind, the Tartans are expected to beat the Bears in the first competition of the year. With a large group of returning players on the field for the Tartans, the veteran experience coupled with the chemistry built in last season’s win streak could carry the Tartans to another record-breaking season. While the Tartans finished last season on a strong note, they will be looking to improve on their success and eventually get into the NCAA tournament to play for a national championship. Saturday will be their first test of many.

Soccer

The Carnegie Mellon men’s soccer team will take on Muskingum University at home on Thursday, Sept. 1. If last year’s meeting between these two teams is any indication of how this year’s match will go, then the Tartans are expected to win handily. These teams met last year on the exact same day, and the Tartans dominated Muskingum by a score line of 8-0. The Tartans did not end last season on a high note after losing their final two competitions, but after an offseason of hard practice they are surely hungry to get back on a roll. Muskingum should be a nice warm up game for the Tartan men, allowing them to flex their muscles and go into the season with an aura of confidence about them. They should not get complacent however, because Muskingum will still show up to play and cannot be underestimated. If the Tartans just play their game calm and controlled, they should win easily.

Carnegie Mellon’s women’s soccer team will take on Franciscan University at home on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. This is an interesting matchup because these teams did not meet at all last season, so it’s really anyone’s game. The Tartan women finished last season with an astounding 17-2-1 record, so they are not used to losing. That said, their season was cut short in the third round of the NCAA tournament in a heartbreaking overtime loss to Calvin, 1-0. That left the Tartan women with a bad taste in their mouth, and they’ll be looking to cleanse their palette in the first match of the season against a brand new opponent. The women of Franciscan University finished last season with a 6-8-2 record, so they can only improve on last season. If the Tartan women perform anywhere close to the level they did last season, they should handily beat the Barons of Franciscan University and begin the 2016 season on a high note.