Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2014
For a men’s lacrosse goalkeeper who would go on to be a three-time Division III All-American, Reeves Craig certainly had a somewhat unexceptional first season at Goucher. As a freshman in 2002, he was the back-up to senior and four-year starter Michael Amash (1999-2002) and appeared in only 10 games.
The following year, Craig inherited Amash’s spot in the starting line-up. “With Reeves, our goalie position appears to be in very capable hands,” commented Kyle Hannan, who at the time was in his third season as the head men’s lacrosse coach at Goucher. “
Hannan was correct.
Over the next three seasons, Craig was the starting goalkeeper for the Gophers in all 48 games they played. In fact, he played every minute of all 16 games in 2003. In the final game that year, a 12-5 loss to Salisbury in the semifinals of the Capital Athletic Conference’s postseason tournament, he stopped 20 shots to boost his total for the season to 209 saves. He broke the single-season school records for goals against average (5.95) and save percentage (.683).
As a reward, he was selected first-team goalkeeper on the 2003 All-CAC Men’s Lacrosse Team and became the first player in the 12-year history of the institution’s men’s lacrosse program to earn All-America honors when he was named an honorable mention on the 2003 STX/United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division III All-America Team.
“There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the top Division III goalies in the nation and he certainly deserved to be an All-American after the season he had,” said Hannan.
Craig repeated as the first-team All-CAC goalkeeper and a USILA honorable mention All-American in 2004 when he finished with a .713 save percentage, the second-highest in the nation in Division III. In the first game that season, he made a career-high 34 saves against Virginia Wesleyan; by the end of the year, he was already one of only three players at his position in program history with more than 500 career saves.
The head coaches picked Craig as the CAC’s top goalkeeper for the third year in a row in 2005 when he made 193 saves and compiled a 7.73 goals against average. He went on to claim Division III All-America recognition as an honorable mention from the USILA for the third time and was selected to represent Goucher in the prestigious STX/Geico Division III North/South All-Star game.
To this day, Craig remains Goucher’s and the CAC’s all-time leader with a career save percentage of .669. He ranks second in school history behind Amash with 709 career saves and behind Chris Stricklin (2008-10) with a career 6.95 goals against average.
“Reeves had an absolutely sensational career at Goucher and played a huge role in getting our program to the level it has achieved,” Hannan was quoted as saying in a preview of his 2006 squad. “Now we have to move on. One of our biggest challenges this year will be trying to find an adequate replacement for him.”
Billy Ronson had logged only one season as Goucher’s head women’s soccer coach at the time, yet he had high expectations for the recruits he brought into the program in 1994. He felt newcomers could fill as many as seven spots in the starting line-up and those who weren’t starting would be the team’s key reserves.
But Ronson didn’t hesitate to single out one particular freshman, a midfielder from Towson High School. Before the season even started, he predicted not only that Sara Weaver would start, but also that she would prove to be “the best player on the team.”
Even if you don’t count the eight goals she tallied in a 37-0 victory over Hood – and you can’t, because the opponent was a club program – Weaver was still the team’s leading scorer that season. She ended up with 12 goals and six assists for a total of 30 points as the Gophers finished above .500 for the first time at 12-3-2 overall.
In fact, Weaver led the women’s soccer team in goals and points in all four of her seasons at Goucher. In 1995, she supplied the Gophers with 13 goals and four assists (30 points), in 1996, it was nine goals and three assists (21 points), and finally 20 goals and eight assists (48 points) as a senior in 1997.
In all four seasons, she was a first-team selection on the All-Capital Athletic Conference Team. And in 1997, she was the CAC Women’s Soccer Player of the Year.
It has been more than 16 years since Weaver scored the final goal of her career. By the way, it was part of a two-goal, two-assist performance against Catholic in the quarterfinals of the 1997 CAC postseason tournament and it provided the Gophers with a 4-0 lead over the Cardinals. It’s also been seven years since Goucher left the CAC to become a member of the Landmark Conference.
But some of the records Weaver established as a player are still intact.
It wasn’t until 2006 that Katie Miller broke her single-game record of four goals or 2008 that Sisley Pumilia surpassed her 20-goal effort in 1997 by scoring 23 times. But neither Miller nor Pumilia – nor any other Goucher player – has come close to taking over as the program’s all-time leader in goals (54) or points (129). Pumilia, who graduated in 2010, ranks second in both categories and trails Weaver by 15 goals and 36 points.
Weaver was the first player to score four goals in a CAC contest, and although five players have since tied that mark, none have exceeded it.
It took 13 years for another player to supplant Weaver as the CAC’s all-time leader in goals and points. Currently, she ranks third in CAC history with her 54 goals and is tied for third in points.
Weaver also played on Goucher’s women’s basketball team for one season. She started nine games and appeared in 11 others, averaging 10.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest in 1994-95.
Had she not been one of the most outstanding student-athletes ever to have attended Goucher College, there’s a good chance Natalie Williams Brewer would never have spent several days in May in Canton, N.Y. in 2003 or Decatur, Ill. the following year.
Those two cities are where the NCAA conducted its Division III Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championship those two years – and where Brewer went both times as a qualifier in the hammer throw. In her first appearance at nationals, she placed 19th overall with an effort of 137’2”; as a senior, she unleashed a throw of 152’9”, good for 11th place.
Brewer remained the only national qualifier in the history of the school’s women’s outdoor track and field program until 2012.
While Brewer excelled in the hammer, she was a force in all of the throwing events during her four years at Goucher under the tutelage of head coach John Caslin and the throwing coach, the late Larry Wineke. She was either the Capital Athletic Conference outdoor champion or runner-up in the shot put all four seasons, she claimed the CAC outdoor title in the hammer throw as a sophomore in 2002 and again as a senior in 2004, and she placed as high as third one year in the discus at the conference meet. In fact, she was the first female athlete from Goucher to win a CAC title in the sport of track and field when she was the top performer in both the shot put and hammer throw in 2002.
In both 2003 and 2004, the same two years she was a national qualifier in the hammer throw, she was selected CAC Women’s Track & Field Athlete of the Year in balloting by the conference’s head coaches.
At the time of her graduation, Brewer held the following outdoor school records: shot put – 12.09 meters (38’ 8¼”), hammer throw – 51.35 meters (168’ 5”) and discus 32.76 meters (107’ 6”). Although her best effort in the discus has been surpassed twice since then, she still holds the outdoor records in the shot and hammer, as well as the all-time top indoor distances in the shot (12.24 meters) and weight throw (14.98 meters).
Brewer is certainly one of Goucher’s most decorated student-athletes of the 21st century. In back-to-back years, she was the recipient of two of the most distinguished athletic awards presented by the school: the Scholar-Athlete Award in 2002-03 and the Coaches Award in 2003-04. The Scholar-Athlete Award goes to a member of the junior class who has consistently demonstrated varied and admirable participation in athletics and extra-curricular activities, in conjunction with maintaining high standards of academic excellence; the Coaches Award is given annually to the senior athlete(s) that has (have) most completely represented Goucher College throughout his/her (their) athletic career.
In 2002, she was one of 114 female track and field athletes throughout the nation, but one of only 10 who was attending an NCAA Division III institution, who was named a Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar by Black Issues in Higher Education. The publication established the award in honor of the late tennis great and presents it annually to those undergraduate students of color who not only performed admirably in their chosen sport(s), but also exhibited academic excellence as well as community activism. While she was enrolled at Goucher, Brewer volunteered as a teaching assistant at Garrison Forest School for Girls, volunteered in a reading program at Pilgrim Christian Day School and worked directly with special education pre-schoolers.
Brewer, who is now in her 10th year of teaching at the Empowerment Academy, a charter school in Baltimore, started a tutoring business called Love Learning Tutoring Experience a year ago.