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No rest for the Pioneers: Athletics fall break re-cap

While many Grinnell College students returned home for a relaxing fall break, Grinnell College’s soccer, football, cross country and volleyball teams were hard at work competing in athletic events at home and on the road across the Midwest. The S&B’s Andy Pavey [paveyand] broke down the scores and statistics from the weekend of Oct. 26.


Jordan Maddous ’19 prepares to shoot against the Illinois College Lady Blues. Photo by Justin Hayworth/Grinnell College.

Both men’s and women’s Pioneer soccer teams had a record-breaking weekend.

Women’s soccer shut out Illinois College 6-0. The Pioneers registered 48 shots against the Lady Blues, the 11th highest in program history and the highest since the 2007 season.

The men’s soccer team defeated Illinois College 3-0, breaking the school records for assists in a season, assists per game in a season and shots on goal per game in the process. This performance brought the men’s season to a decisive finish, leaving the team with a 5-4 record in the Midwest Conference and 8-7 overall record.


Sal Kargbo drives the ball down the field against Illinois College on Saturday, Oct. 27. Photo by Justin Hayworth/Grinnell College.

Grinnell football suffered a 55-14 defeat in their game against Illinois College.

Though the Pioneers made several incursions into Blueboy territory during the first half, they were unable to make it to the end zone. At half-time, Illinois led 32-0. In the third quarter, the Pioneers executed a 69-yard scoring drive, scoring with just 55 seconds left in the period. Grinnell added another touchdown in the fourth quarter but they were unable to stave off Illinois College’s offense, which added 23 points in the second half and ultimately secured the win.

Despite the team’s loss, individual players still managed to walk away with several career, season, and Division III records. Jelani McCray ’21 had a career-high 11 tackles, while Sal Kargbo ’22 had a season best for kickoff return yards at 118 with a long of 42. The football team will conclude their slate of home games on Saturday when they face Cornell College at Rosenbloom Field.

Cross Country

John Lennon ’19 earned All-MWC honors on Oct. 27. Photo by Justin Hayworth/Grinnell College.

In cross country, the women’s team finished third at the Midwest Conference Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois.Three athletes achieved All-MWC honors, including Mikayla Fujiwara ’20, Ally Cottrell ’21 and Tori LaVerdiere ’20.

The men’s team finished second, bested only by Cornell College. Gray Streetman ’19 placed seventh in the eight-kilometer course, putting him at 28th on the Pioneers’ all-time list for that event. He also earned All-MWC honors for the third time, as did John Lennon ’19 and Jackson Schulte ’20. Both teams will advance to the NCAA Division III Regional Championships on Nov. 10.

(Note: Jackson Schulte is the arts editor for the S&B)


Hannah Taylor on the attack against Illinois Tech. Photo by Justin Hayworth/Grinnell College.

Grinnell’s volleyball team lost two regular season matches on Friday, Oct. 26 against University of Dubuque and Loras College.

Yet the weekend also saw a career-high 32 digs for Kaylin Kuhn ’21. Sophia Carbajal ’21 also scored four solo blocks, the best of her career.

Despite these losses, the Pioneers concluded their regular season on Saturday, Oct. 27 with a close win over Illinois Tech.

The two teams remained in a dead heat throughout but, at the end of the fourth set, Emma Willhardt ’19 secured a kill to put the Pioneers on top, ending the four-set match 3-1. The Pioneer season record improved to 17-15, its fourth-best record in history.

The team will meet St. Norbert College in the Midwest Conference Tournament semifinals on Nov. 2.

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