A group photo of the women's soccer team and the two men's team members who competed in the NCAAs.

From left, David Reynolds, Grace Hadley, Amelia Kokernak, Charlotte Kokernak, Sophia Reynolds, Caitlin Guilfoyle, Rachel Hurley, Elie Bowman, Elise Deshusses, Sarah Ossing, and Avi Bissoondial.

Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Soccer make NCAAs

Grace Hadley earned All-America status with a fourth-place overall finish to help the women’s program to a 27th place effort at the 2023 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships hosted at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pa. Avi Bissoondial and David Reynolds represented the men’s cross country program at the national race.

Hadley, named USTFCCCA DIII East Region Athlete of the Year, shaved 46 seconds from her last performance at Big Spring High School in a pre-nationals meet in October. The 2023 DIII Cross Country East Region Champion finished at 21:00.1 to earn All-America status, the first in program history.

The Crimson and Gray finished with 638 total points in WPI’s first-ever team appearance at the national race. Other members of the team include graduate student Amelia Kokernak, senior Caitlin Guilfoyle, graduate students and 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championship participants Elise Deshusses and Charlotte Kokernak, graduate student Rachel Hurley, and junior Elie Bowman.

The Men’s Soccer team returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2019 and for the third time under the tutelage of head coach Brian Kelley, but fell to the Stevens (NJ) Ducks in the first round on penalty kicks.  

The Engineers and Ducks finished regulation and double overtime tied at one, but WPI scored on just one of three penalty kicks while Stevens converted on all four of its attempts to advance in the NCAA Tournament. WPI finished its season 9-3-8, including a 13-game unbeaten streak (8-0-5).

Graduate students Luke Savoie and Francesco Valagussa were selected to the 2023 NCAA Division III Men’s All-Region II first team and senior Aaron Vaz was selected for the third team. Valagussa then garnered All-America accolades from the United Soccer Coaches, only the second player to do so in program history. Kelley and his assistants were recognized as the NEWMAC Men’s Soccer Coaching Staff of the Year and as the Region II Coaching Staff of the Year from the United Soccer Coaches.

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