Baron Athletics

Athletics Overview – Winter 2023

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Baron Athletics

Athletics Overview – Winter 2023

The latest in Franciscan sports.

Winter 2023

In This Article

Barons Win First Trip to NCAA

As a jubilant crowd stormed Trinity Health System Field and fireworks lit up the sky to celebrate Franciscan University’s first-ever Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship in men’s soccer, many spectators may have rubbed their eyes in disbelief. No one expected the Barons to become conference champs this year—except the Barons themselves.

When head coach Brent Ridenour took over the team two years ago, he set their sights high. They were going to reach the NCAA tournament. They were going to accomplish something no soccer team had accomplished before at Franciscan.

“We had high expectations from the first day I stepped on campus. To come one game shy of it last year was tough for us. We set that as our main goal this season.”

The Barons achieved that goal with a healthy mix of talent, hard work, and a faith-fueled never-say-die spirit. Led by Ridenour, who already had seven career conference championships under his belt, the team drew on its experienced veterans and gifted newcomers to defeat the Bethany Bisons in the PAC title game by a score of 2-1.

“After having a taste of what it’s like to be in a conference championship last year, it was great to finally win it!” said assistant coach and All-American Leo Herrmann ’17. “I am incredibly blessed to be a small part of this brilliant coaching staff and work with such a solid group of guys.”

In addition to their veteran players’ leadership and wellhoned skills, the Barons’ younger players stepped up to give them an even sharper competitive edge. Sophomore midfielder Jonathan Schriner racked up seven goals, including a game-tying goal in the semi-final playoff game and two game-winning goals during the regular season. Freshman players Augustine Rubino and Zachary Muldoon weren’t far behind with four goals each.

The Barons’ hard-fought season prepared them well to face the Messiah Falcons, the number one ranked team in the nation, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Although Messiah had crushed their conference’s competition, the Barons put up a valiant fight. With freshman midfielder Zachary Muldoon’s strike hitting home just before halftime, the Barons limited Messiah to a 4-1 win.

“We are thrilled with our success this season,” said Ridenour. “The players and the staff worked hard all season long, and to see our efforts rewarded with a PAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance was outstanding. We’re super excited about the future and looking forward to getting started again next season.”


High Fives

  • In five of the seven PAC-sponsored fall sports (men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, and women’s tennis), Franciscan athletes were named Conference Player of Year.
  • Men’s cross country won the 2022 PAC Championship. The Barons have won five straight conference championships, totaling six titles over their 15 NCAA Division III seasons.
  • In women’s soccer, Tania Davidson was named PAC Player of the Year, and head coach Sarah (Schriner ’18) Salamida earned PAC Coach of the Year. The Barons made it to their first PAC Conference Championship game but fell 2-0 to Westminster.
  • Franciscan rugby made it to the National Sweet Sixteen once again this season, beating No. 18 Xavier in the Regional Play-In Qualifier to earn the trip to St. Louis. There they battled No. 2 Wayne State but lost 43-10.
  • Women’s tennis made it to another conference championship match, as back-to-back PAC Player of the Year Maria Herrera led the Barons to another successful fall season.


Student-Athlete Spotlight

kimmy mcdaniels

Name: Kimberly “Kimmy” McDaniels

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Major: Biology (Pre-Health)

Sports: Softball and Basketball

Team Position: Infield (Softball) and Forward (Basketball)

Honors: For softball: 2022 1st Team All-Conference, 2022 PAC Player of the Year, 2022 Female Finalist for John Lemal MVP Award. For basketball: 2022 St. Sebastian Award Winner

On Sports: “There is nothing more powerful than understanding why and who you play for. I play for the sisters next to me and for Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Through his Passion and Death, he has turned the most gruesome defeat into the greatest victory known to man. There will always be victory in his name.”

Career Goal: Physical Therapy or Sports Medicine Field

Favorite Saints: St. Joan of Arc

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