“We have been informed that Taurean is taking a leave of absence from Syracuse University,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said in a statement to Syracuse.com. “My understanding is he wants to go to school closer to home due to some family health issues.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThen, on Thursday, Carino reported that Thompson has enrolled at former Syracuse Big East foe Seton Hall.Per NCAA rules, Thompson must sit out the 2017-18 season. He will be eligible in 2018-19. The 6-foot-9 forward nearly committed to SHU out of high school, per Carino, but chose Syracuse instead. As a freshman there he averaged 9.2 points and 3.8 rebounds in 18 minutes per game while shooting .546 from the field and .645 from the free-throw line.The top 100 recruit played his junior year of high school at St. Anthony (New Jersey) High School, less than 20 miles from Seton Hall’s campus.In high school, he was a consensus Top 100 recruit who played his junior year at St. Anthony, averaging 10.7 points per game and finished up at Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.At the forward position, SU has only Paschal Chukwu, the 7-foot-2 Providence transfer who missed most of last season after eye surgery, and Bourama Sidibe, an incoming 6-foot-8 freshman. Comments Former Syracuse forward Taurean Thompson, who on Monday left the program, has transferred to Seton Hall to be closer to his home, according to Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press. Published on September 1, 2017 at 4:50 pm Contact Matthew: firstname.lastname@example.org | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+
Month: September 2020
Syracuse’s Digna Strautmane caught the ball near the top of the key late in the second quarter and didn’t hesitate to shoot. The shot was long and bounced off the back rim up into the air. It settled at the top of the backboard momentarily and then dropped straight through the rim for two of Strautmane’s 17 points in her collegiate debut.“Eurobasket is completely different from here, so you have to adjust,” freshman Strautmane said. “There’s still a lot of work to go, but it was fun as a first game.”Syracuse (1-0), led by Strautmane and a host of players making their SU debuts, defeated Morgan State (0-1) on Friday afternoon in the Carrier Dome, 95-68. Strautmane was just one of five newcomers to score in double digits for Syracuse. Strautmane herself displayed a diverse skillset brought over from Europe.After losing four starters from last season to graduation, production had to be picked up by new players, and in the season opener, it was. Gabrielle Cooper was the only second-year player to score for Syracuse, totaling 8 points. That means 87 of Syracuse’s points were from players in their first game for SU.The first bucket of the new season came on a right-handed runner in the lane from Strautmane, a forward from Riga, Latvia. She led the Orange with eight first-half points and finished the game with a double-double, totaling 17 points and 11 rebounds, along with a team-high four blocks. Strautmane shot 8 for 13 from the field as well and didn’t hesitate to let fly from 3 — though she made just one of her five attempts — and even drained a few shots from about 15 feet.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“She’s a hybrid player, she can do it all,” Hillsman said. “When you have a player like that, you have a good chance to be successful back there. I thought she was amazing tonight.”The quick pace of the game was dictated by Australian-born junior college transfer Tiana Mangakahia. Morgan State utilized a full-court press for the majority of the game and often Mangakahia sized up double teams in front of her, disregarded them and dribbled around or between the opposition. At times when the Morgan State pressure pushed even higher up the floor, Mangakahia flung long, overhead passes to streaking Syracuse players for open shots at the rim.Mangakahia finished the game with two team-highs: 10 assists and three steals. She also led the team in minutes by a wide margin, playing 34 minutes while the next closest player, Strautmane, played 27.“Without her, we’re done. We don’t win without Tiana,” Hillsman said. “She’s the key to us winning this game and the key to our players getting open shots. We just got to knock them down. She should have had 18 assists tonight.”Mangakahia and Strautmane were joined in the starting lineup by two other newcomers, transfer Miranda Drummond and freshman Amaya Finklea-Guity, who both scored in double figures, 15 and 12, respectively. Isis Young and Jasmine Nwajei scored 13 points and 11 points off the bench, respectively. The bench proved vital with the frequency Hillsman subbed players on and off the court.“(It’s a) hockey deal,” Hillsman said. “We gotta keep subbing and play as fast as we can.”Drummond featured prominently on the offensive glass, tying for a team-high with six offensive rebounds. Finklea-Guity caused problems for Morgan State down low as all her points came off layups or at the free throw line.Nwajei and Young coming off the bench kept the tempo high even when Mangakahia took a breather. No player had the ball finish possessions in her hands more than Young, who had a team high 35.5 percent usage rate which resulted in 13 points on a team-high 16 shots, including a 2-for-10 mark from 3-point territory. Young ensured that the game stayed as fast as Hillsman wanted at all times.Inside of four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Syracuse finally took its foot off the pedal and slowed the game down. For the first time all game, Mangakahia had to hold herself back from pushing through the Morgan State defense yet again and instead waited for the shot clock to wind down. After pushing the pace all game, Syracuse could take a breather to end its first game of the season.“Our goal was to make the game fast,” Hillsman said. “I was very pleased with the effort, I thought that for the first game, when you have the newcomers … Just a tremendous job.” Comments Published on November 10, 2017 at 5:26 pm Contact Billy: email@example.com | @Wheyen3 Facebook Twitter Google+
CHICAGO – In a room full of about 48 football players and head coaches, there is no shortage of confidence. Each player is incredibly hopeful about the upcoming season, never willing to admit nerves about their chances, especially in rivalry matchups.The Big Ten is riddled with rivalries, but perhaps the newest one is between two teams that sit atop the conference – Wisconsin and Michigan State.In what are quickly becoming go-to replay games, the 2011 MSU-UW games are fairly easy to watch on repeat. And while players from both teams admit they’ll watch those games over and over, they tend to look away when things start to turn sour.“I feel like it’s on every day, the Big Ten Championship or the one before it,” Wisconsin offensive lineman Ricky Wagner said. “I sometimes watch them just a little bit … sometimes I look away.”With so much to discuss within the Big Ten, the burgeoning rivalry between Bucky and Sparty has been one of several much-discussed topics.After an unbelievable Hail Mary finish in the regular season matchup, followed by a rematch in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game just as intense as the first game – and with opposite outcomes – there’s no real reason why the rivalry shouldn’t be growing.“The reason we’ve had such a rivalry with Wisconsin is not only have they been close games that we play with them, but they’ve been games that mean a lot,” MSU senior linebacker Will Compton said. “… You remember the Big Ten Championship, you remember the Hail Mary pass. You always think, ‘Oh, that was against Wisconsin,’ so they’re always in you’re head … it’s been a great tradition here the last couple of years.”Unlike most rivalries where mutual hate is a common theme, respect is what defines the Michigan State-Wisconsin matchup.“The thing about Wisconsin is I respect them a lot as a team and I have a lot of people I do know at Wisconsin that I am affiliated with,” MSU senior linebacker Chris Norman said. “I have the utmost respect for their program and what those guys do and what they represent. That being said, it does change once you get on the field, especially because you want to win. But I’ve got a lot of love for Wisconsin.”Wisconsin running back Montee Ball echoed Norman’s statement and immediately noted how strong its defense is as well.This season, the Badgers welcome the Spartans into Camp Randall Oct. 27 in what is already a highly-anticipated affair.“I know the next time we play Wisconsin I’m going to have an extra edge about me and I know they are going to have the same extra edge as well,” Norman said.All eyes on RickyAt Wisconsin, there might as well be a factory line producing offensive lineman, ready made for the Outland Trophy and a first round draft pick. This year’s big guy? Senior Ricky Wagner.Describing the 6-foot-6, 322 pound left tackle reserved or shy is an understatement. And while he’s not as vocal as his fellow spotlighted teammate Ball, Wagner isn’t worried about the new publicity he’s receiving.“I really don’t have any pressure on me,” Wagner said. “It might seem like I do, but I don’t feel it at all.“I want to be the best O-lineman in the nation. I think that’s everybody’s goal playing the position, but I really think I can accomplish that if I just keep doing what I’ve been doing.”Now the veteran leader of the offensive line, Wagner said the main focus this off season has been getting the younger guys up to speed and, in his opinion, things have been going well.A more mature defenseRepresenting Wisconsin’s defense at the Big Ten Media Days, senior linebacker Mike Taylor spoke highly of the upcoming season – even in the face of the recent loss of defensive lineman Jordan Kohout, who recently ended his football career due to medical issues.“On defense we should be pretty good, maybe the best we’ve had in awhile,” Taylor said. “Then again that’s just talk, you’ve got to wait until the season starts … we’re a little older this year on defense … I’ve played with all these guys, we’re almost the same age, you just build this bond and trust to each other that you want to play for each other.”Last season Taylor led the defense with 150 tackles. Fellow linebacker, junior Chris Borland wasn’t far behind with 143. The duo are expected to be just as potent in 2012, but when asked about it, Taylor immediately began speaking about another linebacker – junior Ethan Armstrong.“This summer, just because me and Ethan Armstrong had the same hip surgery, we’ve been around each other a lot and kind of built a pretty good relationship,” Taylor said. “I’m not saying he’s going to be the other linebacker. I’m not saying I’m going to be. Going into the year, it’s a blank slate for everyone.”Overall, Taylor was extremely positive about what his defense is capable of in the upcoming season, especially with their game-experience, but remained cautious, noting they still have to play a game first.Kelly is a senior majoring in journalism. What are you worries concerning the 2012 Badgers? Let her know @kellymerickson.
If there’s something I’ve learned in my life as both a fan of sports and as a journalist, it’s that athletic prowess and success can be taken away at the drop of the hat.Or a single hit. Or an ACL tear.But that’s just the nature of sports. The game is physical, the demands on the body extremely rigorous and sometimes, pure chance plays unfavorably to the athlete in motion.But the measure of the player comes in his response to the injury, to an event that threatens to derail the dreams of a season. The measure of the athlete’s team comes in its response to that absence, from the players who step up to meet the challenge and take on new roles.So, does the team crumble under the adversity? Do they rise up to meet the challenge? Or is it a shadow of itself simply going through the motions?Time always yields the answers, but sometimes as onlookers we lose the real message in the entire situation where pessimism reigns supreme.It’s just one player.If these sports truly are team sports, then one player does not win or lose a game. Granted, the special ones find a way to make their presence and impact known on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean their absence dooms an entire season.At least, not this year.Stave was a growing star in this Wisconsin football season – that’s a given. The redshirt freshman had his struggles, but when the team needed him most, he rose to restore faith in the campaign for a third-consecutive Rose Bowl appearance. After amounting the best first half in his career as a starter under center, against one of the best defenses in the country, Stave’s collarbone was broken by the sheer force of a physical hit to start the second half.Josh Gasser was supposed to emerge stronger and more talented then ever in his junior campaign for Bo Ryan and Wisconsin basketball, providing veteran leadership and taking over the void left at point guard by campus legend Jordan Taylor. With an extremely young and unproven backcourt coming into the season, Gasser was supposed to help mitigate the learning curve that George Marshall and Traevon Jackson would experience during their increased roles.Two leaders gone. Now what?Sure, Danny O’Brien’s performance after he replaced Stave inspired less confidence than a ship with holes in it plugged with Swiss cheese. And yes, the Wisconsin offense had less flow than a clogged toilet. But at least O’Brien has some starting experience this year. Keep in mind, Danny O’Brien probably received about a third of the snaps that Stave did during the week. It’s no excuse for his poor play, but his preparation for Michigan State was probably lacking compared to the man he was replacing. Remember, the last time O’Brien found the field in an actual game situation was at Nebraska during a questionable two-minute drill. With a bye week approaching at the perfect time, O’Brien will have adequate time to prepare for what essentially amounts to a one-game play-in for a spot in the Big Ten Championship game against the Hoosiers. If O’Brien can manage the offense well enough to give Wisconsin a win in Bloomington, the team will get its shot at a return trip to Pasadena. And in just one game, who knows what can happen?As for Gasser’s injury, it’s definitely shortened the length of the learning curve for the young Marshall and Jackson. With the most seasoned guard missing from Wisconsin’s roster, Marshall will most likely take the reigns at the point faster than expected. But heck, he was expected to play eventually, so why not right away?Yes, the team will miss Gasser immensely. His terrific defense was always a brutal necessity in a long Big Ten season full of terrific guards, as was his steady three-point shooting. But fans can take solace in knowing that young players like Sam Dekker, Marshall, Jackson and Ben Brust have the talent necessary to keep this Badger backcourt competitive enough to once again reach the NCAA tournament under Bo Ryan.Because, let’s be honest, it’s Bo Ryan. He finds a way to get it done. And don’t forget about Ryan Evans and Jared Berggren.So don’t let one of the most awful weekends in recent memory for Wisconsin sports get you down. There’s still plenty of football to be played and an entire season of basketball remaining. Nothing is, by any means, over.Nick is a fifth-year senior majoring in English and history. He is also a featured member of WSUM’s “The Badger Herald Sports Hour” on Sundays from 4-5 p.m. and “The Student Section” on Mondays from 4-6 p.m. Have a thought about the column? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out via Twitter @NickKorger.
Coming off victories against two top-10 ranked teams (Michigan State and Minnesota) earlier in the week, the Wisconsin women’s volleyball team was looking forward to a painless match against a mediocre Illinois Fighting Illini squad.Instead of cruising to an expected victory, the No. l6 Badgers (17-5, 6-4 Big Ten) fell to the unranked Illini (9-11, 5-5 Big Ten) in four sets (22-25, 26-28, 25-10, 22-25) Sunday afternoon at the University of Wisconsin Field House.In the midst of a tough stretch, perhaps the squad let this one slip under the radar.UW struggled to contain Illinois junior outside hitter Liz McMahon, who towers over the net at a height of 6-feet-6n. She led players on both sides of the court with 20 kills and 21.5 points on the afternoon. Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Jocelynn Birks also gave the Badgers defense trouble, adding 15 kills.“As a team we beat ourselves, I don’t think it was so much Illinois who did anything spectacular,” junior outside hitter Ellen Chapman said. “We didn’t execute what we planned on doing.”The sets the Badgers lost were highly contested, only losing the sets by either two or three points. However, the Badgers dominated the third set with a 25-10 statement, and the tide seemed to be turning. Regardless, the Badgers were not able to continue the momentum into the fourth set that resulted in a loss and a disappointing afternoon for the team.“In game three it felt like it was a collective effort,” junior outside hitter Deme Morales, who led the Badgers with 17 kills, said. “Not to say that the other sets weren’t, but you could feel it during the third one.”In his post-game press conference, head coach Kelly Sheffield said he was concerned about a lack of attendance and support by the home fans. UW Field House announced an attendance of 3,657, but almost half of the crowd were those who made the trek to Madison from Champaign sporting orange to support the Fighting Illini.“Hopefully at some point we win enough where we get more students at our home match than what our visiting team does,” a frustrated Sheffield said. “We are looking forward to that day. It is disappointing to see more students cheering for the opposing team than our own.”The ringleaders of this coalition of Illini fans were a group of Illinois students called the “Spike Squad.” They are an official division of the Illinois’ student section organization called “Illini Pride,” and “Spike Squad” is specifically dedicated to the women’s volleyball team. They posed as Badger fans prior to first-serve, wearing red shirts over their orange ones, and then proceeded to go crazy after they revealed their true identities.The rowdy fans occupied the first four rows of the south side bleachers, just feet away from where the Badgers served in the first and third sets. Before each serve, the group would attempt to distract the server through a series of organized chants.The Badgers had four of their nine service errors come in the first set, possibly because of the unexpected distraction the group created. During the impressive third set, UW committed no service errors, an indication that they were able to adapt to a somewhat hostile environment at home court.“What you don’t expect is that in your own building there are more people willing to make that drive than to get out of bed and walk across campus,” Sheffield said. “This is a pretty good team we’ve got here, we just took out two top-ten teams, and we certainly could have used the students today.”The first year coach insists that Wisconsin’s faithful school spirit is one of the things that attracted him to Madison, and wonders why the students are reluctant to embrace his team. He says that the team is trying to make connections on campus by visiting residence halls, as well as bonding with the greater Madison community by visiting State Street and the Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings.“Hopefully at some point we get to a point where we travel like that,” Sheffield said. “But that will take time.”The Badgers have not been in the NCAA tournament since 2007, a year in which they set a Big Ten record for attendance. Since then, they have not had a winning record at home. The Badgers have already matched last season’s win total only halfway through this one and are in the process of rectifying an abysmal 5-15 Big Ten showing last year.
When Bobbie Kelsey signed up for the job three years ago, she knew it would not be a cakewalk. Whoever was going to assume the Wisconsin women’s basketball head coaching position would have to work to make the Badgers a national contender.As the 2013-2014 season winds down for Kelsey and Wisconsin, the results from the previous two seasons have not improved, and the record may show that they may have even regressed.But Kelsey knows that some day it will turn around and plans on channeling the persistence and determination from her playing days to make Wisconsin a contender.“Being patient, that’s probably the hardest part about right now because you want it now and to be successful immediately,” she said. “Some people walk into ready-to-win situations, but that wasn’t necessarily the case here.”Patience was key for Kelsey as a player during her freshman year at Stanford in 1992. She suffered an ACL injury that kept her sidelined while her team went on to win the national championship that year.She came back the next year and was voted most improved by her teammates. The Cardinal would make two more runs at the Final Four her redshirt junior and senior year, but she was unable to participate her senior year because of yet another ACL injury.Kelsey immediately got into coaching after attaining a bachelor’s degree in communications, taking her first job as an assistant at Boise State. After one season there, she joined the staff at Florida, where she made her first postseason appearance as a coach in 1999.Florida’s regional matchup that year was coincidentally in Madison. Kelsey still remembers her first trip to her future home and the Kohl Center.“I remember the fans were very loud and it was just a great atmosphere,” Kelsey said.From 2000-2004, the Decatur, Ga. native coached two years apiece at Evansville and Western Carolina. In 2004, she landed in Blacksburg, Va. as a member of the Virginia Tech coaching staff, where she helped the team reach two NCAA tournaments.Kelsey returned to her alma mater in 2007 as an assistant coach. Stanford made four consecutive Final Four appearances in her four years there, finishing as the runner-up twice.Under her tutelage, the Cardinal became a premiere defense in the nation. The top three scoring defenses in Stanford history were during her tenure, and did not allow more than 56.0 points per game in her last three years in Palo Alto.Defense is the primary aspect of the game Kelsey imparts on her players. She is a cerebral person (Stanford educated, with a master’s degree from Duquense University in Sports Leadership), and her players realize that.“She focuses on the little details that go into everything,” junior Jacki Gulczynski said. “She sees things that us players on the court would not normally be able to see, and that’s obviously a very important trait to have as a coach.”On April 11, 2011, Bobbie Kelsey was named the sixth head coach in women’s basketball history at Wisconsin.Fifth year senior Taylor Wurtz remembers the first time she met Kelsey. The new Wisconsin coach walked into the locker room, introduced herself and had the team make a circle. It immediately created a sense of team unity and togetherness.“Her passion for coaching really stands out,” Wurtz said. “She really loves coaching and wants to see her players succeed, on and off the court, and that’s really special.”She added Kelsey always expects 110 percent effort from her players and demands an intense work ethic from them year-round.In her first season at the helm, the team struggled, finishing the season 9-20. Her second season was an improvement, with the Badgers going 12-19, highlighted by winning a Big Ten tournament game for the first time since 2010 and taking down then-ranked No. 8 Penn State during the regular season.This season has also proved lackluster. The Badgers are currently 10-15 with only three conference wins. Kelsey cites inconsistency and the lack of a locker room leader as the main causes for a mediocre record.During her brief tenure as a head coach, she quickly learned the different challenges than those of an assistant coach.“It’s different, that’s for sure,” Kelsey said. “It’s definitely more stressful and challenging. The final decision is the head coach’s and, right or wrong, you have to live with it.”Kelsey says that she was drawn to Wisconsin because of the atmosphere she remembers from her trip with Florida in 1999. She was impressed with the school and the athletic department, as well as the overall support of the administration and student body.Kelsey attempts to employ those same aspects when recruiting players that will fit into her system at Madison. Now in her third season, Kelsey’s first recruiting class are now sophomores and beginning to make an impact, most notably sophomore Nicole Bauman, who was the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year coming out of high school.“Our main recruiting focus is keeping the in-state kids in Wisconsin,” Kelsey said. “You don’t have to go to one of these great programs to be great. Some kids want to go where it’s already been done. I pitch the challenge and satisfaction of bringing national recognition to your home state, and it’s an integral part of what we’re doing here.”Kelsey landed her most prominent recruit as a head coach this season, Cayla McMorris, a Minnesota native. McMorris is ranked No. 86 in the country by ESPNW and will look to make an immediate impact. Looking ahead to the 2016 class, Alona Johnson from Milwaukee has also verbally committed to UW. She is ranked No. 52 in that class by Blue Star.Will these players finally turn the tide for Kelsey and the Badgers? Only time will tell, but if there was a coach to guide the Badgers during these trying times, Kelsey is the one to do it.
Wisconsin men’s hockey is not what it once was. It seems so long ago that they were one of the NCAA’s powerhouse programs.But what feels like an eternity of unsuccessful play hasn’t actually been much time at all in the grand scheme of things.Some short time ago — in fact, one only has to look as far back as the 2013-14 season — Wisconsin hockey was a national powerhouse.The Badgers finished that year as inaugural Big Ten champions, No. 7 in both the USCHO and USA Today polls and made an appearance in the NCAA tournament.But in the almost two seasons since, not much has happened until very recently. Two young bright spots have emerged for the Badgers in freshman forward Luke Kunin and starting goaltender Matt Jurusik.Both Jurusik and Kunin were added to the NHL Central Scouting’s lists of top, undrafted prospects only days ago. Kunin was named the No. 16 North American skater and Jurusik the No. 15 North American goaltender.Yet what is most interesting is that each player is part of an extreme minority on the lists. Jurusik is the only NCAA goaltending prospect on the list of North American goaltenders. Kunin is one of only two NCAA prospects in the top 20 North American skaters, and one of nine on the entire list comprising 200 skaters.The small figures represent a growing, ever-present realization that perhaps careers in the NCAA do not lead to success. Most of the NHL’s biggest stars are products of Canadian major junior leagues.Maybe young, promising NCAA players need to jump ship early. Surely they will hit a wall once they reach the next level, whether it be the AHL or NHL, but they need to see what is needed to elevate their game and continue their success. This is a wall their counterparts in the CHL leagues have already faced due to the competitive nature of their league.This contributes even further to the debate that the NCAA cannot provide the same level of competition that the Canadian major junior leagues can, which is evidenced by the departure of UW prospect Luke Opilka for the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL this past summer.Regardless, for Jurusik and Kunin, the allure of the next level is certainly there.Jurusik only has to look as far as NHL All-Stars and UW greats Mike Richter and Curtis Joseph, who each spent only one season with the Badgers before electing to go pro. Richter would win a Stanley Cup in 1994 with the New York Rangers, a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics and make the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame despite a career cut-short by concussions. For Joseph, he would be remembered as a fan favorite for his 19-year playing career and three all-star appearances.For Kunin, even NHL Hall of Famer Chris Chelios and All-Stars Dany Heatley, Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Joe Pavelski all left UW early to pursue their professional careers.Despite the obvious, that most of these players left NCAA hockey and Wisconsin early, such a basic observation lacks the depth of what is truly at play. While the NCAA may not match competition in the CHL and AHL, it is a necessary step in a player’s development.Ryan McDonagh took three years to hone his game before he left for the New York Rangers, but like Joseph, Chelios, Heatley, Stepan and Pavelski, he and his Badgers team made some noise in NCAA postseason play during his playing years.For Jurusik and Kunin to be taken seriously as prospects, they must elevate this Wisconsin team back to the levels its fans and the athletic department expect of it — the levels at which McDonagh, Chelios, etc. brought this program to that have allowed them to succeed.In fact, with the diminishing level that collegiate hockey continues to find itself at, it seems an almost necessary objective for an NCAA prospect to be invited to an NHL training camp and be given consideration for a roster spot.It is no small achievement for either Jurusik or Kunin to have been named to such a prestigious list of potential draft picks, but for now, each has to focus on the present — that present being the Wisconsin Badgers.Regardless of the arguments countless scouts and coaches make against playing NCAA hockey over the CHL, or the longevity of amateur careers, Jurusik and Kunin have each made their choices to come play at UW. Now they must continue to grow, and in order to prove their true worth and secure future considerations just as the great UW players before them, they need to be successful at their current level.That means bringing the Badgers back to the Frozen Four, making progress on a two-year rebuilding disaster for UW hockey, attaining a winning record and possibly even earning conference accolades themselves.In order for these two young players be taken as serious candidates for future NHL roster spots, they need to overachieve here at UW.
The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team welcomed the South Korean Olympic team to LaBahn Arena this weekend for a friendly exhibition game, but the Badgers would shut-out the Olympians 8-0.Wisconsin was lead in scoring by their co-captain Claudia Kepler and sophomore Alexis Mauermann, who both managed to score two goals during the game. Overall, Wisconsin would see six different people score that night, with three of them being freshman.Brette Pettet, Delaney Drake and Caitlin Schneider all managed to represent for the 2021 graduating class, showing a dominant show of force for this freshman class. A majority of the goals scored Saturday night were from underclassmen, with Mauermann and sophomore Presley Norby scoring the other two.Women’s hockey: Badgers fall short but leave impressive legacyEven though the season came to a bitter end, the University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team still has so much Read…Many were wondering how this team would mesh together with such a large freshman class, combined with a missing upperclassmen presence due to players competing for the Olympics. Wisconsin graduated two of their top goal scorers last year, and two more left the team to pursue Olympic dreams, leaving quite a large gap for this incoming freshman class to fill.Saturday showed that not only is this freshman class ready to fill the gaps that were left behind, but that they were willing to give it their all and step up to the challenges that come with playing collegiate hockey.Wisconsin also tested out different goaltenders during this exhibition, with Alyson Baldwin, Kristen Campbell and Breanna Blesi all getting some time in net Saturday. The three goaltenders managed to garner five saves for the UW, and all can add a shut-out to their career record.Many thought that goaltender Nikki Cece would be the starting goaltender for this tournament, but Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson wanted the other goalies to get a chance to show their skills between the pipes. Cece is still expected to start in net when the Badgers open their season against Lindenwood next weekend.Women’s hockey: Rookie netminder proves she can fill big skates of her predecessorsAs current University of Wisconsin women’s hockey netminder Ann-Renée Desbiens advances into her final season of eligibility, speculation arises as Read…South Korea is continuing their American tour, heading to Bemidji, Minnesota to take on Bemidji State this Wednesday. Wisconsin will remain at home to welcome Lindenwood for their first home series of the year on Friday at 7 p.m.
The No. 17 University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (1-1-0) will get its first chance to play in the Kohl Center this weekend against reigning NCAA Champion No. 3 University of Minnesota-Duluth.After a tough road loss in the season opener at No. 6 Boston College (1-1-0), Wisconsin handed out an 11-goal onslaught to Merrimack College this past weekend. They will look to keep that momentum going this weekend as the freshmen-littered Badgers get their first chance to play in front of their home fans against an extremely talented Duluth Bulldogs squad.As we’ve already seen in the first two games, the Badgers’ young talent is going to be the main focus of every possession. Between freshman Alex Turcotte — the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft — and freshman Cole Caufield — who was selected No. 15 — Wisconsin has enough offense to compete with anyone.Caufield is the star of the show to this point, scoring two goals in both games, the first Badger since at least 1963 to score multiple times in each of their first two career games. Turcotte also scored two goals against Merrimack.Men’s Hockey: Wisconsin splits season-opening weekend in MassachusettsThe No. 17 University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team (1-1-0) had a decent outing this past weekend in Massachusetts, bringing three of a possible six points back to Read…In addition to the two first-rounders, Wisconsin freshmen Dylan Holloway and Owen Lindmark found the back of the net. The numbers are a little overwhelming because of the sheer amount of goals against Merrimack, so don’t expect 11 goals against Duluth.As back-to-back reigning national champions, Duluth came into the season as the nation’s top-ranked team. An all-around consistent force, the Bulldogs have dominated the field over the past two seasons, and have made the NCAA Tournament the last five years.Duluth doesn’t necessarily have a superstar this year on the offensive end, but they dominate in the neutral zone and on defense, starting with senior goalkeeper Hunter Shepard. Shepard locked up All-American honors last season and paired with an 8-0 record in NCAA Tournament games, you’ll understand why he’s one of the most imposing goalies in all of college hockey.Duluth also returns junior Scott Perunovich, a defensive wizard, as well as senior Nick Wolff and junior Louie Roehl, who anchor the rest of the D.Men’s Hockey: Chance for hot start to season lies aheadThe University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team will face off against two Hockey East conference teams in their regular season-opening Read…On offense, they’re slightly less dangerous but boast a freshman who’s given reason for hope with Quinn Olson. Olson, paired with sophomore brothers Jackson and Noah Cates, has been part of their most effective line.Overall, Badgers-Bulldogs is going to be a battle. Expect Duluth to look to dominate time of possession and keep the puck away from Caufield and Turcotte, but don’t be surprised if the freshman sensations manage to sneak a few in.The schools haven’t matched up against each other since 2013, with Wisconsin going 3-0-1 in their last four matchups.It’s arguably the biggest weekend of the year for the young Badgers, so tune in this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. to Fox Sports Wisconsin or listen in on WIBA radio.
USC baseball fans who packed Dedeaux Field all weekend long to enjoy their first tastes of hot dogs, peanuts, and this highly anticipated team – ranked No. 12 in the nation – witnessed the Trojans’ first win of season on Sunday in walk-off fashion after the team lost its first two in a three-game series against North Dakota.USC players rushed to home plate to celebrate after a ninth inning single by senior designated hitter Timmy Robinson drove in the game-winning run for his first hit of the season. The Trojans recorded their first win of the season behind a strong five inning performance from junior pitcher Barnardo Flores. Flores allowed seven hits and 4 runs, 3 in the fifth.“That was nice,” said Robinson, who missed all regional practice games and saw his first live at-bats this series due to an injury. “That was relieving. I need to just keep that in my mind. I just need to keep going back to that and remember how that felt and take that in with every at bat with a positive attitude.”After struggling from the plate in their first two games, the Men of Troy responded with their most hits of the season with 11 Sunday.To contrast, USC struggled from the plate Friday, collecting three hits in its opening game that featured a matchup between both clubs’ strongest pitchers, and four hits on Saturday. Head coach Dan Hubbs credited North Dakota pitcher Zach Muckenhirn – who allowed 3 hits and remained in the game all nine innings Friday – for his ability to throw the ball high in the strike zone, causing his players to constantly get contact but fly out. The Trojans, who lost 1-0, remained largely competitive as a result of senior starting pitcher Kyle Davis, who threw eight innings, allowing five hits.“You are going to win some and you are going to lose some in close games and when a guy is on a roll, he can shut you down,” Hubbs said, “Whether he was doing a great job of heightening the ball or whether we were having trouble deciphering whether the ball was up or down, the whole focus was to get a ball down in the zone to hit and we did not execute that.”In addition to losing 30 pounds in preparation for the season, Davis said that he has worked tirelessly with Coach Hubbs on his two-seamer pitch since the fall. Though Davis is known for his curveball and four-seamer, he noted that his strong eight-inning performance was a testament to the new pitch that allows him to accumulate easy outs from fly rather than ground balls. Davis struck out 10 North Dakota hitters who Coach Hubbs described as “really aggressive” and “swinging a ton,” but admitted that the Hawks were able to capitalize on one of his few mistakes in the game when North Dakota’s Miles Lewis scored a runner off a two-seamer which he left high.Davis, who was pleased with his performance in the season’s first game because he kept his team competitive, is confident that his teammates will create hits and learn to play in the framework of the team in order to accomplish their individual goals.“Personally, I want to be Pac-12 pitcher of the year,” Davis said. “I want to be an All-American. I want to do everything I possibly can, so I am pretty excited for the season.”On Saturday, the Trojans fell 5-4, failing to tie the game late despite a rally in the bottom of the ninth.Hubbs, Robinson, and junior catcher Jeremy Martinez all mentioned that the Trojan team plays its best when they are relaxed and having fun. Each said that the team might have had jitters in their opening games but hope that this first win will allow players to exhale and better prepare for their highly anticipated season.“As long as we play our game we are going to do fine,” Martinez said. “We know there are going to be close ball games that you can win or lose, so you can never be too happy to take a win. But every win we take this year we are going to be happy, whether they are the one-run games or the 10-run games. We just need to keep improving and hopefully we can take it into the playoffs at the end of the year.”