Basketball Teams Off To A Hot Start

Women’s Basketbal;This past weekend the women’s basketball team hosted the Southwestern College Classic Basketball Tournament. Returning to campus still stuffed Friday after Thanksgiving, the team started off with La Grange College Panthers from La Grange, Georgia.

The first half saw the score tied five times, with the largest lead at 6. A three pointer from junior Shae Seagraves made the score 21-15.

After going into the half with a five-point lead, the Panthers tied it at 43 with 11 minutes left in the half. The Bucs led briefly after free throws from senior Narisa Trammell, but the score was tied again at 53 with seven minutes remaining. First-year Katelyn Bartell and Seagraves teamed up and made 5 buckets in three minutes, putting the Bucs up by eight. Down the stretch, a three pointer by senior Jessica Herbst and more free throws from Trammell finished out the game with a 76-68. Seagraves had the most points, with 25; Trammell had 13 while going 9-10 on free throws, and junior Staley Mullins recorded her second double double of the season, with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

For the second game against the Otterbein Cardinals, scoring an impressive 29 points from the line pushed them over the edge for a 76-69 win. A slow start caused the Bucs to get behind 32-38 at the half. Going into the second half, the Bucs slowly started closing ground on the Cards, eventually pulling ahead with 6 and a half minutes remaining, off of a score by Bartell. The Bucs took the lead for good with 2:49 left, off of free throws by Mullins. Bartell led the team with 22 points, with Seagraves and Mullins scoring 20 and 17 respectively, and were tournament all team selections. The team shot an impressive 59.1% in the second half.

Seagraves was also named Pirate Athlete of the Week for her efforts throughout the tournament.

“The tournament went extremely well. We came out prepared and played the way we’re capable of and got two wins, which felt great!” said Trammell. “My expectation for the year is to make it to the conference tournament and hopefully win the tournament and make our first appearance in the NCAA playoffs and take it from there. The team is looking great–we’re really coming together, gaining confidence and playing up to our abilities, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”

The Bucs have improved to 2-2 for the season, and next take the court in San Antonio against Trinity, where they open up SCAC conference action.

The men’s team has also gotten off to a great start, sitting at 3-1 as of December 2. Nick Caputo lead the Pirates in scoring with 16 in their first win, 48-46, at the University of Dallas. In that game, Southwestern shot 34.8% from the floor and 37.5% from beyond the arc while holding the Crusaders to 29.4% from the floor and 13.3% from three-point range.

The following week, the Pirates went to Chicago for the University of Chicago Midway Classic. In game one, the Pirates got off to a strong start against former SCAC opponent Rose Hulman. However, cold shooting proved to be the difference in their first loss of the season, 50-56. Senior Zach Bergstrom was the only Pirate in double digits, scoring a team high 18 points and shooting 5-9 from behind the three-point line.

The men managed to defeat Earlham College in the consolation game, shooting 53.8% from the field for the game and 30% from beyond the three-point line. Jonathan Brown led the way in points with 24. Travis Barber added 20, and Collyn Kelley chipped in 10 off the bench.

Bergstrom was named to the All-Tournament team for his efforts in the Midway Classic. He averaged 11.5 points per game for the tournament.

Two days after the Earlham win, the Pirates traveled to Abilene to face the Hardin Simmons University Cowboys. A 17-0 run at the beginning of the second half set the tone for the Pirates, giving them a 55-42 lead. Three pointers by Caputo contributed to the success of the run.

Brown continued his dominance, scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He was named SCAC Athlete of the Week for his efforts. Caputo added 16 points and Bergstrom chipped in 13.

The men will open conference play at Trinity on Thursday. Southwestern defeated Trinity last season in the conference tourna

ment, advancing to the championship game but losing to Centre.

The Pirates look to return to the championship game this year and hopefully take the conference title.

Men's Cross-Country Finishes 10th At Regionals

Men’s cross country team at SUThis year, the cross country DIII South/Southeast Regional race was held in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A land inhabited with luscious vegetation and pacifying Bluegrass makes for a pretty picnic in Greensboro. Unfortunately, the teams could not predict the weather. Earlier in the week of the race, a tropical storm hit, leaving the course mangled with mud otherworldly.

“These were the worst conditions I have ever seen,” proclaimed head coach Francie Larrieu Smith.

Nonetheless, the race went on and the runners persevered, fighting mud and sinister desires to quit along the entire trek.

The men’s team finished 10th just behind UT-Tyler and ahead of Hendrix, equaling the school’s all-time best finish at regionals. The men were led by senior Daniel Rudd, who finished 39th out of 194 with a time of 28:50, four spots out of All-Region. Following Mr. Rudd’s tracks closely was sophomore Zach Freeland with a time of 29:05, whom senior Josh Gideon chased to finish in 29:40. First-year Thomas Bobbitt and junior Allen Smith rounded out the top five with times of 30:13 and 30:19, respectively.

There were some scares (for myself) after the race, however, when Bobbitt had to be carried over to the training grounds and treated with medicinal Gatorade to relieve his suffering of extreme heat exhaustion. “After the race I was just really dizzy, but slowly I became number throughout my entire body and less able to breathe.”

Luckily, one of our very own trainers was able to get Bobbitt back on his feet. With the season over, the men’s team is now able to drink soda, but missing those 6 a.m. runs.

Swimming Dives Into Season

Go Pirates SwimmingThis past weekend the Southwestern Swim Team started the conference season off with an impressive bang (corny sports pun intended).
Both the men and the women beat Austin College this past weekend in a meet that demonstrated their developed talents and embodied the optimistic outlook for the team this season.

Everyone really swam their best, it was a great meet? said Senior Jon LaRochelle.

The men won both relays and the women finished third in both. The men had 7 first place finishes in individual events while the women had two second place finishes in individual events, both from Junior Baily Thompson.

One who is not familiar with sports may consider the team’s intense practice schedule crazy.

But from a team that practices at 6 am during the school week, a blissful 7 am on Saturdays, and multiple other times that seemed too incredulous to even be put into text, it appears to be just part of the routine.

LaRochelle contributes the optimistic season to not just the rigorous (or ludicrous, depending on who you are) practice schedule, but also to the dedication of the individuals themselves and the new leadership brought in this year for the team.

It?s really a blend of the new coach, the schedule, and the individuals talents of the team members themselves. “It’s a cohesive effort,” LaRochelle notes.

This weekend, the team takes on yet another seemingly impossible task: two swim meets in opposite directions in two days.
Friday, the team will swim against McMurry and against rival Trinity on Saturday. The meet Friday is in Abilene while the meet Saturday is in San Antonio.

The Pirates do not host a meet until January 23, when they compete against University of Incarnate Word. That meet is slated for noon. Although mentioned, not without a bit of shall we say apprehension, of the (in this journalistic opinion) brutal competitive schedule, LaRochelle looks to this weekend with the consistent optimism present throughout the discussion of the team. This optimism seems to represent the team as a whole. But really, who isn’t optimistic about waking up before dawn to practice?

Cross Country 6th and 8th at SCAC Championships

Members of the Cross Country Team Keep Running The men’s and women’s cross country teams competed in the SCAC conference championships last Saturday in Conyers, GA. The teams had last competed in Arkansas at the Chili Pepper Cross Country Festival, where they had enjoyed good results.

The trip to Georgia was uncomfortable, with the weather doing its best to impede every step of the journey. Leaving Thursday at 11:00 in the morning, the team intended to arrive in Atlanta by 6:30 in the afternoon, but was delayed twice by storms in Houston. The team did not arrive at the hotel in Conyers until 4:30 in the morning. After some sleep, the Bucs surveyed the course, which, despite a large portion being smooth and flat, included an extremely rough section through some woods. The course, located at Georgia International Horse Park, has previously been host to the 1996 Olympic Mountain Biking competition.

The next morning, the nights rain cleared long enough for the men’s race. The race was run in warm and humid conditions. Senior Dan Rudd lead the Bucs with a 22nd place finish, immediately followed by first year Thomas Bobbitt and sophomore Zach Freeland, who finished 26th and 34th respectively.

“It was already a pretty tough course with a lot of hills, but all the rain turned it into a slippery, muddy race. That’s pretty much all we’ve ran in this year though, so our team knew what we were going into and we were ready for it,” said Rudd.

Senior Josh Gideon and junior Allen Smith rounded out the men’s top 5, with seniors Matthew Broussard and David Pruit, as well as junior Sebastian Winkler, also finishing. The men’s times were all suspiciously low, and further review by officials found the men’s course to be 123 meters short of the requisite 8 kilometers. Nonetheless, the men finished 6th as a team, an improvement over last year.

The women’s race was not so fortunate. It started raining shortly after the gun went off with the weather cooling considerably. As a team, the women finished 8th, with senior Tami Warner leading the way in 19th place. Sophomore Lisa Morse and first year-Christina Hadly finished closely together. Juniors Ursula James and Lili McEntire rounded out the top 5. First-year Laura Wooden also ran.

Despite the overall tough weekend, the team still was able to appreciate its success.

“We finished pretty well in the meet, considering that our conference is loaded, and that we were down one of our top runners due to a last-minute injury,” Rudd said. “Overall, I am really proud of the way our team, both the guys and the girls, ran.”

The team will next participate in the Jameson 5K during homecoming weekend, and then travel to the South/Southeast Regional meet in Greensboro, North Carolina, on November 14th.

Lacrosse: First NCAA Varsity Game of the Year

LacrossOn Sunday after 26 years of club play, the Bucs Lacrosse team took the field as a NCAA Varsity team. First was a scrimmage against the University of Texas Longhorns club team. Working out the jitters took some time, as the Longhorns controlled the ball for most of the game. The largely rookie defense did its best against the seasoned offense of the Longhorns, allowing many players their baptism of fire, and finally getting to run their much practiced defensive sets against someone other than teammates in practice. The Horns won handily and went on to dominate the day overall.

In the second game, many of the nerves had worked their way out, and the team played much more strongly against the Sam Houston State Bearcats. Calming down, the Bucs controlled the ball on the offensive end of the field, while effectively disrupting the Bearcats offense on the other end. The Bucs carried the game against the Bearcats vastly improved team from the year before.

The final game of the day for the Bucs was against the Texas State Bobcats, who had previously given the Horns a very tough game. The Bucs played with heart, but the long day stretched legs thin, and the Bobcats were able to control the game. Despite the fatigue, the young Bucs remained cool, running plays and executing defensive schemes well.

After the final whistle blew, spirits were high for the Bucs. “The fan support was great,” said first-year captain Ed Williams, “and while we will use this as a building block towards the regular season, and I can’t wait to get started in the spring.”

Junior captain Luther Faulk was concerned about the image presented to the rest of the lacrosse world. “I think that overall the tournament was a success in that it gave us playing experience, which is essential at this point. We won an important matchup against Sam Houston, and despite the fact that I wish we could have played better against UT and Texas State, it showed us what we need to work on.

My expectations are that we set off a good first impression of Southwestern Lacrosse and that we will be a force to reckoned with, if not now, soon. I want what I feel everyone on our team wants… to work hard and win in doing so,” Faulk said.

The team overall seemed to enjoy the day and was encouraged by the spirit the team had. “I have never been on a team with so much heart. I’ll play with these boys any day!” said sophomore Donnie Murray.

Many of the parents were generous enough to organize a tailgate with barbecue and fruit after the games, so for a while after the games, the parents and players mingled, meeting and greeting one another.

Coach Joe Ernst was pleased by the day overall, not just his team’s performance. “Our First Annual Pirates Fall Classic was a huge success. We had four great lacrosse teams on campus, had a day filled with great competition, reconnected with alumni and connected with the families of the current players. We got a win and got the chance to see where we needed more work for the spring season. I am proud of how far the players on this inaugural team have come and look forward to a successful and fun season,” he said.

The Bucs will next take the field in January in an alumni game and then will begin regular season play in February. Being a largely underclassmen team, there is a lot of work to be done, with team bonding and still coming to trust one another, but the Bucs look forward to the work with relish, ready to make a Texan mark in the Lacrosse world.

Cross Country Heading To Conference

Cross Country’s RunningTwo weeks ago the cross country team ran at the University of the Incarnate Word Invitational in San Antonio, where the women took 7th and the men took 2nd place in a muddy, gritty race. Senior Dan Rudd led the Pirates with a time of 27:35 and a 3rd place overall finish. Junior Allen Smith and first year Thomas Bobbitt ran personal records for the 8K, with times of 27:51 and 28:16. Also running were Seniors Josh Gideon and Matthew Broussard, sophomore Zach Freeland, first year Sam Martinez and Junior Sam Marsh.

In the women’s race, senior Tami Warner placed 11th in the muddy conditions, running a 3.2 mile race. First year Christina Hadly finished in 31st place. Junior Ursula James and first year Laura Wooden ran together most of the race, coming in 39th and 40th, respectively. Junior Lili McEntire also ran.

The Pirates had been scheduled to run in Clinton, Mississippi at the Mississippi College Invitational. Unfortunately, the race was canceled due to weather and course conditions.

Fortunately, the team was able to re-schedule at the last minute, and traveled to Fayetteville, Arkansas to participate in the University of Arkansas Chili Pepper Cross Country Festival. This was the largest race that the team has run this year, with several Division I schools, including the University of Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU, and LSU. Although the team had less success at this level than at smaller, Division 2 and 3 meets, Coach Francie Smith said the experience was good for the team.

“Even though it may have been intimidating, everyone ran extremely well, and the atmosphere of a Division I meet was definitely a good experience.”

By well, everyone on the men’s team ran a PR in their first 10K of the year, with Smith running a school record.

“I wasn’t even thinking about the record,” Smith said. “I just wanted to run the best race I could on that course. I didn’t know about the record until after the race.”

“Overall, I was pleased with how the race unfolded and the record was just an added bonus to an excellent race.”

Smith’s time of 33:16 led the Pirates, with Martinez, Bobbitt, and Rudd all finishing within 10 seconds for an excellent group run. Freeland ran a 34:28 to finish out the top 5. Also running was junior Sebastian Winkler, as well as Marsh and Gideon.

The women’s team ran their 2nd 6 K race of the year, the other being at TLU. Senior Warner again finished first of the team for a season best at 24:09. The time is the ninth fastest time of the season in the SCAC. Hadly and Wooden ran personal records, coming in at 25:50 and 28:19. James and McEntire finished out the women runners.

Warner was extremely pleased with the race, “The Chili Pepper Invitational was a great place to run fast and all the women achieved this goal: 2 personal bests and 3 season bests! I loved the intensely competitive atmosphere, cool weather, and fast course! Everything was just perfect for a great race!”

After this meet, the teams have a huge amount of momentum that will carry them to the SCAC Championships on October 31st in Conyers, Georgia. Although the teams did not place highly in the meet running against larger schools, the team holds itself to a higher standard, and has surpassed all expectations.

This last meet has exemplified the whole season, where veterans step up in leadership roles and new faces jump in eager to make a mark. The exciting and friendly atmosphere of the meet surpassed even that of the usual tight knit running community, fostering friendly competition between runners and encouragement from everyone in the 4,000 something crowd.

Smith’s assessment of the race was, “It was fun racing against such a quality field and am excited about the team’s chances of a top 5 finish at conference.”

Texas Football is Lackluster

Are you ready for some football?

Well, it’s here like it or not. Four weeks into the National Football League and the season already oozes surprise and disappointment, success and failure. Perhaps most surprising? The bipolar nature of Texas football thus far.

The two professional football teams from Texas are a combined 4-4, with those wins coming against the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders, and Carolina Panthers (combined record: 1-14). Wasn’t this the year the Houston Texans challenged for supremacy in the American Football Conference’s South division? I know Jerry Jones expected better results from a team gets to play in a brand-spanking-new $1.15 billion small town of a stadium sporting a monstrous 60 yard high-definition screen centered above the field. Yet despite high expectations for both teams, each has been decidedly inconsistent.

The Texans were dominated in a home-opener against the upstart New York Jets, scoring only a single defensive touchdown when Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez was intercepted around midfield and Dominique Barber of Houston ran it back for a touchdown. The Texans’ much appraised offense managed a mere 183 yards total compared with 462 by the Jets and two costly Houston turnovers ended those drives which actually went somewhere. The outlook going to defending AFC South champion Tennessee for week two looked bleak.

And yet, the Texans looked like an elite team against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, racking up 237 more yards than the previous week and, more importantly, not turning the ball over once. Houston quarterback Matt Schaub looked Peyton Manning-esque in carving up a Titan secondary boasting 3 Pro Bowlers from last year to the tune of 357 yards and 4 touchdowns. A Kris Brown field goal from 23 yards out with 2:55 left on the clock proved to be the game-winner as Houston knocked off a tough division rival and hated enemy. The season looked to be on the upswing again.

Then came Jacksonville. For the 2nd week in a row, the Texans played a divisional foe, yet this time it was not meant to be for Houston. While Schaub again looked brilliant at times, he was intercepted by Rashean Mathis on Houston’s opening drive and the Jaguars capitalized with a field goal. One week after giving up 240 yards rushing to Tennessee’s Chris Johnson and LenDale White, the Texans’ run defense was again gashed, this time for 184 yards, 119 by Jaguars’ stud tailback Maurice Jones-Drew, who also added 3 touchdowns. The Jaguars spent last season in the cellar of the AFC South; Houston’s latest blunder could have devastating consequences. A win over the Oakland Raiders did show the Texans are capable of beating up on yet another of the league’s worst teams, but means little in the big picture if they fail to maintain the momentum gained from that win.

As for Jerry Jones’ self-styled ‘America’s Team,’ the situation is decidedly less grim. The Dallas Cowboys stomped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the offensive side of the ball en route to a 34-21 Cowboys’ victory at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The offense looked good under the guidance of quarterback Tony Romo as it piled up 462 total yards with no turnovers. The defense surprisingly struggled against the inept Tampa offense, giving up 450 total yards, but holding when necessary.

Game two of Dallas’ season failed to cover up the flaws in Dallas’ performance the victory in Tampa Bay did. With division rival New York coming into town and the opening of the most expensive football stadium created to date, Dallas was expected to put on a good show. Instead, the defense surrendered over 400 yards for the 2nd straight week and Tony Romo again faltered in the spotlight. Despite 3 Romo interceptions and a defense barely capable of halting Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense, Dallas found itself ahead by 1 with just under 4 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Manning proceeded to put together a truly Manning-like drive, eating up the remaining time on the clock and setting up Giants’ kicker Lawrence Tynes with a 37 yard field goal to win the game. Tynes connected and the Cowboys’ fell.

The win against Carolina was not too impressive, with the defense getting the big play when they needed but not much else. The recent fiasco in Denver created a cause for concern, as ‘Them Cowboys!’ just looked awful. Tony Romo looked like a college quarterback in a professional game.

Either way, what has happened to Texas football?

Southwestern Tennis Doing Excellent

At Southwestern University, there is no sport like Team Tennis. Doing it live in both the spring and fall semesters, the tennis team competes ardently against voracious opponents. At home, the tennis team intimidates their opponents with a sharp blue court (which I will call the “blue monster”). While on the road, they represent Southwestern with unparalleled style and grace.

On the road was where you could find our men’s tennis squadron last weekend. Taking on a variety of opponents at the ITA Regional Tournament, the Pirates fought hard and earned some solid victories. I caught up with tennis veteran CJ Esquivel after the matches came to a close.

Esquivel explained that the weekend went “AWESOME!” and he was really proud of his teammates. CJ and doubles partner Alex Lam faired particularly well, making it all the way to quarterfinals on Saturday where they fought hard but lost to rival Trinity.

“The team has a lot to build on,” Esquivel said.

In singles Alex Lam made short work of Daniel Jackson from Austin College, winning in two quick sets. Lam lost in a close match to McMurry, but his partner in doubles CJ Esquivel avenged his fallen brethren by clubbing McMurry’s Ben Giley.

There were some losses over the weekend. But the team remains highly optimistic because of their competiveness this weekend along with the return of big players Charles Prince and Dart Bebel this spring from semesters abroad.

Next weekend, the ladies hit the road to partake in their regional tournament in San Antonio. Outlook for 2009-2010 is good because six strong players, including all conference honorable mention stars Mary Pennington and Kelly Finn, return to the team. This weekend should be a good start for the women, who look to be focused and competitive.

Over the next year, I say watch out for Southwestern Tennis. The drive and focus seem to be there. If things come together we could see some fireworks. The players seem to be excited and determined. The talent is certainly there as well. What the team needs most of all is support. If you see a tennis player on the way to class give them a pat on the back and a good luck wish.

Come springtime, there should be plenty of home matches on the blue monster. For more information on the tennis team, go to www.southwesternpirates.com/sports/tennis or just ask a friend on the team. Otherwise, keep wearing yellow and Go Bucs!

Bad Behaviour Yields Big Bucks

Mark Cuban described the consumption of sports scandal well in 2003, while commenting on Kobe Bryant’s rape scandal, “from a business perspective, it’s great for the NBA. It’s reality television, people love train-wreck television and you hate to admit it, but that is the truth, that’s the reality today.”

I must side with Cuban. Let’s be honest, unsportsmanlike conduct is a cash cow. Guilty pleasure? Yes, please. A middle-aged gentleman ahead of me at Barnes & Noble this evening purchased Serena’s hardback title, along with a business networking paperback. Ca-ching!

In addition to recent fame related to foot foul obscenities, Serena’s new biography, ‘On the Line’ was released September 1, and let’s not forget her ‘Delicious’ NIKE clothing, which is currently on store shelves. ‘Delicious’ offers sportswear to women through an advertising campaign of sexy still photos of Serena sweaty in spandex. Despite temper tantrums, Serena is still on Nike’s payroll. Surprising? Hardly. Phelps’ bong rips haven’t scared Speedo away, recently extending his contract through 2013. Controversy is marketable. Nike and Kraft Foods have come out with public statements of support for Serena. Yes, Kraft Foods sponsors Serena through the Oreo Double Stuff Racing League. Hey Serena, want a cookie?

Here is a brilliant taste of Serena’s joint endeavor with Daniel Paisner, On the Line,

“’In my book On the Line, I want everyone to not only enjoy it, but I would like everyone to learn from it- how to stay strong when it seems like everyone is pulling against you. How to stay positive, how to pull through. Because in the end, there is a light that always gets brighter. You just have to keep reaching for it.’

Xxx,

Serena Williams”

How touching. If you would like more information on Serena’s tips for maintaining composure during stressful situations, pick up a copy of On the Line. In a recent interview, Daddy Richard Williams shared his own interest in literature. He claims to have written thirty-five books, and intends to finally publish his first, How I Made It With Venus and Serena, by January 2010. After his daughter’s outburst, he may finally find a publisher.

Volleyball Ready for 2009 Season

The Southwestern women’s volleyball team has soared over the net and into the 2009 volleyball season as smoothly as one of sophomore Lindsay Thompson’s powerful serves. This explosive beginning has been marked by numerous triumphs this season, including some impressive victories in the Southwestern University Invitational last weekend. The team defeated Concordia, Hardin-Simmons, and Wiley in a skillful series of games that enabled the Pirates to

snatch the tournament title.
Coach Hannah Long, who is now in her sixth season of being the head coach of the SU volleyball team, is dedicated to helping the girls improve.

“We need to realize as a team that to get more, we have to do more and not remain complacent with where we are,” Long said.

Ranked #8 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Preseason Poll, the SU volleyball

team is certainly keeping up with the high expectations of their fans. Casey Hatfield, a first year spectator who was quite impressed by the girls after a 3-0 victory over the University of Dallas.

“They definitely show promise,” Hatfield said. “This is one unstoppable team to watch out for in upcoming competitions.”

First-year spect ator and cross country runner Thomas Bobbitt thinks that while the team showed some fight in their win over Concordia, they still have some work to do.
“They looked unorganized and seemed all over the place, at least at the beginning of the game,” Bobbitt said.

The SU volleyball girls attribute their success as a team to hard practices, unyielding effort 110% of the time, and strong leadership from captains and coaches. Seniors Audra Gentry and Samantha Lingamfelter, the co-captains of this year’s team, are looking forward to an exciting season. Kayla Saenger, a first year player, is enjoying being a part of SU volleyball.

“It is hard work, but I also have a lot of fun,” Saenger said. “I love playing with this supportive group of girls.”
In the 2008 season, the team made it to the NCAA Regional Finals before falling to Emory, who would l ater go on to win the NCAA Championship.

“Our toughest competition this year is ourselves, because we can’t let the success of last year dictate how we play,” sophomore Jill Wigington said. “We just have to go out, work hard 0 , and play our game. The girls have worked hard to make a name for themselves as formidable opponents and I have high hopes for the year.”

“Our team is very focused, and we really work well together,” first-year Annie Hutson said. “We are a very cohesive group, and I think that’s 05 apparent when we play. Our season is going well so far, and it should only get better!”

Soccer Team Kicks of Season With Victories

It’s soccer season at Southwestern. With several victories already under their belts, both the men and women’s soccer teams are starting off their 2009 seasons very impressively.
Finishing second in the SCAC conference last year for the third time, with a 7-3 conference record, 9-10 overall, this season’s strong start has the men rather excited and ready for the many games ahead. The Pirates have played three matches thus far, winning all of them: 4-0 against Texas Lutheran, 1-0 against Texas-Tyler, and 2-1 against Mary-Hardin Baylor.

“The 2009 team has shown tremendous chemistry through the entire pre-season,” Head Coach Don Gregory said. “The veterans have been welcoming to the first years, and the whole team has discovered its identity and character. Seniors Juan Carreon, Nathan Shaw-Meadow, David Lozano and Josh Spencer have set an outstanding tone of leadership and passion for playing, and the team has followed suit. We look forward to watching the team progress during the entire season.”

Senior Midfielder Nathan Shaw-Meadow is also looking forward to an exciting final year with the team. He and the team are confident that they will be top contenders in the SCAC conference.

“We like to imagine that the ball is a big chicken fried steak and the goal is a big pot of gravy; just dip it in the gravy,” Shaw-Meadow said.

Despite the loss of key players Kevin O’Neal and Preston Hollis, seniors Josh Spencer and David Lozano still strongly believe in the solidity of their team.

“While the transition from high school to college soccer can be rough at first, many of the first-years have been playing like they’ve been in the program for years,” Spencer said.

The women finished third in conference last year, with a 6-3 record in the SCAC and 13-4-1 overall.
“Overall, I am excited about the season and I feel a high position in conference is there if we put the work in and are able to have a good pre-season,” Head Coach Jene Baclawski said. “My hope is that our level of play improves from last year, especially now that the players should be comfortable and adjusted to my style of coaching. I have high expectations for the team.”
Baclawski’s expectations are producing results and positive scores: 3-1 against Mary-Hardin Baylor, and 4-0 against Howard Payne. On Tuesday, the women beat Texas Lutheran 3-0.
Junior Midfielder Lauren Allyson Kjolhede has worked hard to prepare for the season.

“We’ve been through an intense set of 2-a-day practices but are ready to head into our preseason and season and dominate,” Kjolhede said. “We’ve put in a lot of work to come in a lot more fit and ready to play than years before. Hopefully it will pay off in the long run and help us pull through when the other teams are getting tired.”

“This year we have a strong team with a lot of experienced returning players, as well as some strong first-years, that will contribute and add a lot to the team. I think that our team is much closer and cohesive than years before, on and off the field. This helps us stay calm, cool and collected in games. We have an inherent understanding and trust as we’re working towards the same goals.”

Complete scores, statistics, and schedules for both varsity soccer teams can be found on Southwestern Athletics website.

A Look at the Last Days of Lacrosse Club

Courtesy of Google Images

This year marked history this weekend, after a long 25 years, the Southwestern Men’s Lacrosse Club stepped on their home field for the last time. The club will be replaced in the fall by an NCAA team, the first in the state of Texas.

The lacrosse club was formed in 1983, and began playing regularly in 1984. Highlights have included winning the Southwest Lacrosse Association championship in 1989 over the dominant University of Texas team. More recently, as a member of the Lonestar Alliance conference of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association, the Buc’s have not lost a game in conference play for four straight seasons, winning bids to the National tournament. Last year the Club won its first National’s game against the seventh seeded Fort Lewis Skyhawks, winning with a score of 12-8, for the only upset of the Tournament.

This year, the Club has returned in similar fashion, and, despite a few bumps along the road, has kept up its winning fashion, winning an important out-of-conference game against Baylor and other teams. Despite losing some players to injuries and time conflicts, the Club entered this weekend with its undefeated conference record intact.

For these last two games, Monty Curtis and Stacy Flood, two Southwestern Alumni who have been with the Club since its existence in some role or another, were the official coaches.
Saturday, the Club was supposed to face off against Stephen F. Austin State University, until the Lumberjacks were only able to field eight players, two less than then the minimum required to play. After waiting an hour to see if more showed up, the Jack’s forfeited. The official score was 1-0, the closest conference score of the season for the Club. The point was officially awarded to Senior James Walker, one of the goalies.

Sunday, the Club faced off against Trinity, and was more than ready to make up for lost time. From the first whistle, the Club was able to possess the ball, running plays and getting valuable playing time for the less experienced players. In addition to Senior Heath Thompson and Sophomore Thomas Mock’s usual dominance on face-off, First-Year Jack Parker won the majority of face-offs. Senior Titus Hawthorn, in addition to his goals, decided to try facing off, and had some success.

The defense was able to hold the Tigers to three, with one of the points coming during a three man down situation. Senior Ian Flechsig, along with Sophomore Dave Tomasz and First-Year Stephen Howe covered their attackmen, and as the game progressed, started running the ball all the way down on clears, attempting several shots. At long stick middle, Sophomores Sam Marsh and Chris Lange covered the field well, also getting several clears, as helping to prevent several in the other direction. Lange attempted several shots, but was unsuccessful.

On offense, the Bucs were able to play at will from the first possession. The attack rotated throughout the day, including Senior Andrew Webb, who ran the ball around at will, and Sophomore Nate Carney running free on the crease. Seniors Heath Thompson and the newly returned Martin Irish swapped in and ran plays, getting Irish valuable field time before next Sunday’s conference championship in Austin. Although too many Bucs scored to list in such a short article, standouts included Senior James Walker, with a beautiful quick-stick goal on the crease, off of a perfect feed by Thompson.

This weekend marked the end of the Buc’s Lacrosse club’s last game, but sets up a precedent for next year’s varsity team to build on. Coach Monty Curtis was not at a loss for words, “Sunday’s game was very special to me. Having been associated with the team since its inception, I have witnessed the club evolve into a distinctive and positive influence on the lives of so many individuals, including myself. To be given the opportunity to lead the men onto the field one last time was a tremendous honor and one for which I will always be appreciative. I tip my hat to Coach Bill Bowman and Stacy Flood who have taken the team to a level of success that would have been considered impossible in those early years. I also want to congratulate Coach Joe Ernst and challenge him to continue to build on the wonderful foundation provided as we transition to the varsity level.”

Like Coach Curtis, most of the team was looking forward to Conference and Nationals, while remembering the Club’s history: “It was good looking to the middle of the field to all of our seniors as we played our last home game ever on the intramural fields. An even better sight was seeing the big man James Walker hitting that quick stick to the back of the net! I will miss playing with all the seniors, as I miss playing with last year’s seniors,” said Carney.
The club will play Sunday at Westlake High School in Austin, at 11 a.m. for the Lonestar Alliance conference Championship, and hopefully, in Denver at the MCLA at the National tournament, where they will try to improve from last year’s first round victory over Fort Lewis University.