The scene was set: thousands of screaming fans, flags waving all over the place, rhythms being blasted throughout the arena ... If you said a Skynard concert, good guess. Probably what I would have said too. But you're wrong. It was Crew Stadium Wednesday night. And it was then and there when I realized I had finally become a true soccer fanatic.
The men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Ames, Iowa this weekend to take on a majority of the top 25 teams in the Pre-NCAA Invitational. This meet gives the teams a chance to test the course before the NCAA Championships are held there Nov. 20.
Team chemistry, rigorous training and two successful races starting the season culminate this Saturday when the crew team plays host to the Lemon Head Regatta at Lake Lemon. In only its second year of varsity status, crew has posted strong results in the first two races of the year. Senior co-captain Katy Ostertag said she is very upbeat about her team's current performance.
The women's soccer team has won only one Big Ten game so far this season. It hasn't even won a conference game at home. It has been outscored 12-4 while only scoring one goal in five conference home games. It has had many injuries. Yet, the Hoosiers' frustration levels have remained fairly low.
Glancing at intense athletes poised on the starting line, it might be surprising to learn the members on the men's cross country team describe themselves as having a lighthearted sense of humor. "The biggest thing for us right now is going out and beating people," sophomore Chris Powers said. "Anybody that's in front of us is taking something away from us." This weekend's fifth-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational intensified the team's competitive drive.
"The biggest thing for us right now is going out and beating people," sophomore Chris Powers said. "Anybody that's in front of us is taking something away from us." This weekend's fifth-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational intensified the team's competitive drive. Defeating two top-25 teams and finishing 10 points behind No. 8 North Carolina State proved to the young team that no one can take its goals away. With four sophomores among the team's top five times, the team has excelled despite its inexperience.
Damien Anderson is a simple man without much flash. He doesn't ask about his statistics or other personal accolades. He only asks one thing of his coaches and teammates, and that is patched on the plain black shirt that he wears underneath his letterman jacket. He wants them to "trust" him. Apparently Northwestern does. The Wildcats rode the coattails of their 5-foot-11, 202-pound junior running back as they shredded the Hoosiers Saturday 52-33 at Ryan Field. Anderson rushed for a career-high 292 yards on 36 carries and scored four touchdowns. Anderson didn't put much stock in his numbers. Instead, he was more interested that the Wildcats won.
An informal reception after the men's soccer game Sunday at Bill Armstrong Stadium acknowledged soccer alumni and their private donations to the stadium's renovations, which cost more than $2.5 million. The athletic department had originally planned to dedicate the newly renovated soccer field to 28-year coach Jerry Yeagley, but a University committee policy rejected that idea.
Coach Jerry Yeagley knew this day was coming. He knew, eventually, his men's soccer team would break out of its offensive funk, and he knew the day it happened would be an unpleasant one for IU's opponent. Sunday was the day. Michigan was the opponent.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Butler goalkeeper Jason Richarz was like a stubborn brick wall, denying nearly every scoring chance the men's soccer team had Friday night. He trapped, smacked and swatted away each ball that came near him -- until sophomore midfielder Pat Noonan scurried past defenders and tucked a goal past Richarz with five minutes left in the game.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- If there were any doubts about Northwestern's place atop the Big Ten standings, they were erased Saturday when the Wildcats played IU. And whatever doubts existed about IU's defense still linger after the Hoosier defense again allowed its opponent to score big.