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The news site of UNC Wilmington

The Seahawk

The news site of UNC Wilmington

The Seahawk

The news site of UNC Wilmington

The Seahawk

A UNCW Fall sports preview for the upcoming season

UNCW Athletics kicks off the 2023-2024 season. (

Women’s Cross Country

Last season’s record: One first place finish, multiple top ½ finishes as a team

Coach: Jeff Klaves and Max Coleman

Incoming Players: Isabella Borelli, Claire Carmichael, Kaylie Dziedzina and Caison Turner

Key Players: Summer Herbertson

Herbertson is coming up on her second season representing the UNCW XC team. Last season, as a freshman, Herbertson was able to record a third place finish at the UNCW Beach Blast 5k. Along with this, she also finished in the top-25 on three separate occasions. Watch out for Herbertson to help lead the pack this year!

The UNCW Men & women’s cross country team during last year’s CAA cross country championship. (Joe Browning/

Men’s Cross Country

Last season’s record: One first place finish as a team, multiple top ½ finishes as a team

Coach: Jeff Klaves and Max Coleman

Incoming Players: Josh Ashley, Griffin Wald and Jack Gidley

Key Players: Sam Bland

Bland is entering his second season on the UNCW XC team, attempting to build on a strong freshmen season. In his freshman season, he paved the way for Seahawk runners four out of five times, registering in the top 60 for every meet this season. The one meet in which he did not lead the team was the UNCW Beach Blast 5k. In this meet, he finished 4th overall, just behind teammates Julius Ferguson and Luke Kiziah. Overall, Bland is looking to take another step forward this upcoming season.

Ayla Vaneus strips the ball from VCU during UNCW Women’s Soccer’s opening game on Aug. 30, 2023. ( Tom Hanna/

Women’s Soccer

Last season’s record: 7-7-3 (W-L-T)

Coach: Chris Neal is the head coach, with Colin Barnes, Lindsey Harris and Greg Marinich serving as assistants

Incoming Players: Makenna Nunez, Kitty Pope, Kenady Adams, Rachel Fry, Sophia Zinn, Brenna Booth, Kate Cox, Reagan Ackermann, Anna Perry Sinclair and Viktoria Hankova

Key Players: Kayla Burroughs and Kenady Adams

For women’s soccer, I wanted to highlight two different key players for this upcoming season, one returning Seahawk and one new Seahawk! Let’s begin with Burroughs.

Kayla Burroughs is a Junior Forward from Asheboro, North Carolina. She is entering her third season representing the Seahawks on the field, where she will look to regain her goal scoring prowess. Burroughs was able to score five times as a freshman, appearing in 14 matches. Last season, as a sophomore, she was able to score a team leading eight goals in 17 appearances. Burroughs will look to lead an experienced group of forwards to offensive success this year!

Kenady Adams is a Graduate Student coming from Fort Collins, Colorado. She played four seasons at Iowa State University, appearing in 58 matches for them from 2019-2022. Adams will look to bring some of that veteran leadership and Big 12 experience to Wilmington. In 2019, Adams would record her first career goal at UC Irvine, which would be the game winner in a 1-0 victory. Everybody is thrilled to have her on the team!

The 2023 regular season will begin for the UNCW men’s soccer team on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023 at 7 p.m. when the Seahawks are set to host American at the UNCW Soccer Stadium. (Joe Browning/

Men’s Soccer

Last season’s record: 6-4-7

Coach: Aiden Heaney is the head coach, with Lewis Dunne and Teig Lesko serving as assistants

Incoming Players: Vito Kreuzpaintner, Bilal Bell, Carter Beaulieu, Brice Letan, Bryan Miralrio, Trey Smiley, Nathen Beck and Alex Hornada

Key Players: Jacob Randolph and Alex Hornada

Randolph is the returning player which I feel will be important this year for the Seahawks, as he is entering his 5th year season. With only freshmen around him on the depth chart, it feels like Randolph will need to jump out and solidify the starting goalkeeper spot. If he is unable to do that, one of the younger players will have to step and fill the void.

Alex Hornada is a freshman midfielder from Apex, North Carolina. Hornada enters this year looking to impact the team and devise a role even though he is surrounded by experience. In the long run, I’m sure this will pay off for him. In UNCW’s first exhibition match of this season, Hornada was on the pitch for 44 minutes and registered a shot attempt. Good luck to the Seahawks this year!

Women’s Golf

Last season’s record: One first place finish, 4th place in conference tournament

Coach: Cindy Ho and Jean-Louis Gillou

Incoming Players: Ella Levy and Minouche Rooijmans

Key Players: Mallory Forbes

Forbes is the clear #1 golfer for the Seahawks women’s golf team, qualifying for the national tournament last season. At the Golfweek Fall Challenge in 2022, Forbes shot -6 placing 4th out of 104 competitors. Forbes is entering her 5th year season, so I know she expects to accomplish big things this upcoming year. Good luck to the women’s and men’s golf teams this season!

UNCW’s Walker Isley returns for his fourth season this year. (Joe Browning/

Men’s Golf

Last season’s record: Four Top-3 finishes, Conference Champions

Coach: Daniel Bowden and Blake Taylor

Incoming Players: Luis de Minon and Ryan O’Neil

Key Players: Walker Isley

Isley returns for his 4th season with the Seahawks, where he is attempting to solidify his status as the #1 Seahawk Golfer. He was named to the 1st-team All-CAA last year as a junior. He had a first place finish at the J.T Poston Invitational, among four total Top Three finishes. Isley finished his junior season with a -1 average on the season. He shot -4 at the CAA Championship, placing t-3rd. After that, he would shoot -4 at the NCAA Championship in the Norman Regional, placing 21st/72nd golfers. Isley expects to take another leap forward this season.


Last season’s record: 6-19

Coach: Dottie Hampton is the head coach, with David Fischer and Jeff Yasalonis as assistants

Incoming Players: Carol de Olivera, Maris Grant, A’siya Magazine and Charlotte Cronister

Key Players: Katie Lanz

Lanz has been able to appear in 92 games for the Seahawks volleyball team, entering this season as a graduate student. Lanz has led the team in Kills the last three consecutive seasons, with 281 last season being her career high. Lanz will look to incorporate her skill and experience to help turn things around this year after a disappointing campaign last fall. Good luck to the team!

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  • J

    JamieAug 25, 2023 at 1:30 pm

    Great article! Excited to see what this season brings! 🙂

  • J

    JaydenAug 24, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    Great feedback, I learned a lot about our new rosters and upcoming season