NU's Men's and Women's Basketball teams were mired in the bottom of the conference standings. The defining picture of the Winter was the picture of Vedran Vukusic with a towel over his head.-- da Coach
Baseball wasn't winning much, Golf and Tennis were out there, but nobody was really excited. We expected good things out of Lacrosse, and maybe Softball, but the "legion of fans" wasn't there just yet.
Then Spring Football started, with its QB Competition, and "who replaces the Seniors" issues. For a change, the sun shined on the Spring Game, and suddenly, Spring at Northwestern meant winning Baseball, Softball, Golf, Tennis and of course, Lacrosse.
[Lets face it, for me, May and June is "get ready for the American Legion Baseball season and the Little League World Series." Now, I'm not complaining but keeping up with all our conference champs and tournament wins has really stretched the old schedule.]
Taking the teams in Alphabetical order:
There you have it, an amazing Spring.
- Baseball: the Yankees and Phillies put their stamp of approval on the Wildcats, the Yanks drafted George Kontos, the Phillies all Big 10 Dan Brauer. The Diamond Cats lost only 4 seniors in addition to those 2.
- Golf: Take your pick, NU had a male golfer [Dillon Dougherty] play in the Masters but better yet the team won the Big 10 Tournament and played all the way to the NCAA finals. Juniors Chris Wilson and David Merkow were All Region, and will be back. The Women, led by Alice Kim and Jennifer Hong made it to the NCAA Regionals. Kim won the Big 10 Women's Title outright.
- Lacrosse: Not only did NU's Kristen Kjellman win the Tewaaraton and Honda awards, but the team showed that they can win a national championship for the 2nd time, even with Kjellman injured. Seniors Sarah Albrech and Lindsey Munday stepped up in Boston, to almost will the Cats to the championship. 4 of next year's recruits are playing next weekend in the HS Allstar Game. - its NU's Lacrosse Reload
- Tennis: One fixture around the NU Tennis complex for the last 4 years has been Cristelle Grier. She's fought injuries, being bumped from the #1 slot, eligibility shenanigans to remain a constant for the Wildcat netters. This year, adjusting to the loss of a former #1 frosh, Grier teamed with Junior Alexis Prousis to give NU its first National Tennis title in a while. BTW - they've got the Frosh of the Year on the team now.
- Softball: This is truly an amazing story as NU didn't even make it through the super regionals last year, and looked like they were staying home again this year. But NU had a few players who had come to Evanston to get to the WCWS and eventually decided they could actually win it all. Today there are several stories about the team's will to win, both stories recap the incoming frosh - who look like another "reload" job to me. In addition, NU seems set with 3/4 of the infield plus Elizabeth Canney back.
Now you know that the Fall Sports teams probably won't have pictures of the Lacrosse players on the walls, but the Softballer's gave some credit to the LAX team for inspiring them - for showing that NU could win a pair of National Championships.
I remember some of the fan reaction when Football Coach Randy Walker told fans that he thought NU could win an national championship in Football some day and that was why he took the job in Evanston.
After the Spring the Wildcats just had, it once again makes you think that it is possible.
|Talk about it on the Purple Boards