It was a fun start to the 2018-19 school year as all four Eagles sports teams had their moments of greatness. Here are the top ten moments from the fall sports season:
10. Sibling Rivalry: On Saturday, October 13, both the Faith Eagles men's and women's soccer teams squared off against the Maranatha Sabercats at Pyche Field in Ankeny. Maranatha and Faith are longtime rivals, but this day also featured siblings from opposite schools: Lyndi Shepard for the Eagles women's soccer team, and her brother, Joel, for the Sabercats men's soccer team.
"We've had this one circled on our calendars for a long time," said Lyndi's father, Jeff Shepard, who traveled with his wife, Julie, all the way from Michigan for the chance to watch both Lyndi and Joel.
How did Lyndi handle the experience of watching her friends from Faith face off against her brother from Maranatha?
"My emotions were everywhere," said Lyndi. "My comments on the game were fairly neutral. I didn't want to cheer against my brother, but I couldn't cheer against my school. When my brother made a good play, I was excited for him. I wanted to cheer for him like I used to cheer for him in his high school days. But when I remembered that his opponents are my friends, I refrained from expressing my feelings. I would have loved to cheer for both teams, but rather than cheering against either team, I chose to keep quiet for the majority of the game."
9. Men's Soccer Places Third in Conference Tournament: The men's soccer team won two of three at their year-end conference tournament in Haviland, Kansas. After losing the semifinal game to Manhattan Christian, the men played 75 minutes of scoreless soccer against Ozark Christian in the consolation game. Ozark Christian scored with fifteen minutes left, but Faith answered, sent the game to double overtime, and eventually penalty kicks, where Faith won in exhilarating fashion.
8. Women's Volleyball Wins Sportsmanship Award for Second Straight Year: Back-to-back years of being a great testimony to opposing teams and fans for the Faith volleyball team!
7. Women's Volleyball Storms Back against Union College: In the middle of a three-game winning streak came one of the most exciting comebacks of the year. Trailing two sets to none, the Eagles battled through a back-and-forth third set, dominated the fourth set, and won a thriller in the fifth and final frame for the win.
6. Women's Soccer Team Breaks Scoring Records: The Eagles scored 30 goals in the first five games of the season, a school record for the first five games of any season in Faith's history.
5. All 5 Cross Country Runners Qualify for Nationals: Ryan Hughes, Katlyn Holaday, Taylor England, Chelsea Ratliff, and Emily Jo Taylor all qualified for the National Meet, which will be held this Saturday at the College of the Ozarks.
4. Women's Volleyball Shows Toughness in Early Season Win over North Central: The young Eagles volleyball team grew up in a big way in one of the most exciting matches of the year against North Central. It was a performance that would characterize the team's grit and determination for the rest of the year as Coach Nihart's team had its back against the wall but rallied from behind for a thrilling victory in five sets.
3. Women's Soccer with Best Start in School History: With an 11-1 victory over Eureka College, the Faith Eagles women's soccer team was off to its best start in school history with a 4-1 record. This season marks the 15-year anniversary of Eagles women's soccer.
2. Men's Soccer Ties Emmaus in Double OT: In what forever will be known as "The mustache game" because of the hideous mustaches many of the Faith players sported, Emmaus visited Ankeny as the #10 ranked team in the nation, while Faith had won six of its last seven games. After 109 minutes and 46 seconds of scoreless soccer, it all came down to one shot. With just 14 seconds remaining in the second overtime, a controversial foul was called on Faith, setting up a penalty kick. With the odds highly against him, Faith goalie Daniel Moore made an amazing save, and the home crowd went crazy.
1. Katlyn Holaday named National Student-Athlete of the Week: No Faith athlete had a more consistently terrific fall sports season than Katlyn Holaday. She jumpstarted the Eagles' sports season in fantastic fashion by being named NCCAA Student-Athlete of the Week for Division II Women's Cross Country after her strong debut at the Central College Invitational, the first meet of the year. Holaday was the top Eagles' runner in all six of Faith's meets this season and looks to cap a fine season this weekend at the NCCAA National meet.