Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Fall ’06 brings variety of reasons for excitement

[media-credit name=’MATTHEW KUTZ/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′]Calhoun_MK_416[/media-credit]It’s the end of the semester, and quite frankly I’ve run out of things to write about. We all know that the NBA playoffs are less than spectacular, baseball continues its assault on the world of steroids, and the Brewers are continuing on a track to prove this writer’s early prediction wrong.

So with the spring pretty much gone stagnant in terms of news, and the semester coming to an end, I feel it’s time to take a look forward to next fall and think about what could be in the land of the Badgers. With that in mind, here are four things Wisconsin fans can look forward to when they return to campus this fall.

4. Another NCAA berth for the women’s soccer team


I know that outside of football, people don’t pay much notice to fall sports on campus, and the women’s soccer team is no exception. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to be excited for next year’s team.

Wisconsin did lose four seniors in Katrina Ziaja, Sarah Capel, Marla Froelich and Molly Meuer, but the Badgers will also return a core group of returning senior starters including Jessica Ring, Amy Vermeulen, Marisa Brown and Katy Lindenmuth.

In Vermeulen, Brown, Lindenmuth and juniors Kara Kabellis and Allison Preiss, head coach Dean Duerst’s squad returns its top-five scorers from a team that averaged over two goals a game last year.

Wisconsin will also enjoy the services of battle-tested goaltender Lynn Murray. Murray picked up 21 starts last season as a true freshman, earning all-Big Ten honors and only looks to improve this season.

This team fought eventual national champion Notre Dame to the very end of their 1-0 loss in the NCAAs last season and lost just 3-2 against national runner-up UCLA earlier this spring. With close results like those, there’s no reason to believe the Badgers won’t improve next season.

3. A little Spanish flavor for men’s soccer

Gone are Nick Van Sicklen and his team-leading 31 points. Gone are Jed Holhbein and his team-leading .346 shooting percentage. Gone is top goaltender Eric Hanson.

But the men’s soccer team will still be exciting next season.

One of the key reasons for the excitement surrounding the Badgers is the addition of redshirt freshman Victor Diaz. With several years of experience with the Real Madrid youth teams, Diaz has significant experience despite lacking time on the college pitch.

But more than his experience, it’s Diaz’s knack for finding the back of the net that sets him apart. Earlier this spring on a trip to Florida, Diaz went on a five-goal tear in a two-game span, including sending home four strikes against the Golden Knights of Central Florida.

But the team is not all Diaz. While Wisconsin failed to make the national tournament last year, the team showed signs of being a top program in the Big Ten. Wisconsin lost to back-to-back national champion Indiana by the narrowest of margins last season, 1-0.

With some continued improvement and a little Spanish flair, the Badgers are poised to make some noise on the Big Ten pitch next year.

2. A second deep national run from the volleyball team

There’s no way the Badgers will be able to replace departed outside hitter Jill Odenthal. It’s just not possible to replace an All-American and a three-year starter.

But outside of Odenthal and Marian Weidner, the rest of the team remains intact. UW returns six of last season’s seven starters on a team that went all the way to the regional finals last season.

What’s even more promising is the youth returning for Wisconsin next year. Four of last year’s starters were underclassmen, including freshman Jocelyn Wack and sophomores Jackie Simpson, Taylor Reineke and Maria Carlini. With a year of experience under their belts, and the return of Shelia Shaw and Aubrey Meierotto, Wisconsin has a solid retuning core of players on next year’s squad.

The Badgers finished 14th last season. With a solid core returning group, and some promising freshmen hitting the scene, a top-10 finish is not out of the question for Wisconsin next season.

1. Brian Calhoun

After years of using one-dimensional running backs in the Wisconsin attack, the Badgers finally have a versatile threat out of the backfield this year in Brian Calhoun. Calhoun looked impressive in limited action this spring, flashing his game-breaking speed on the ground and in the passing attack.

For the first time in years, the Badger passing attack has a viable threat out of the backfield. Calhoun gives the Badgers a new world of versatility in the passing game, where the former Colorado standout can slip into the clearing for a short dump pass or line up wide and beat a cornerback deep.

Rejuvenated after a year on the bench following a two-year stint in Colorado, it’s easy to tell Calhoun is ready for his Badger debut.

While questions abound about much of the Badgers’ team next year, nothing but excitement surrounds Calhoun — and for good reason. Simply put, Calhoun is an exciting playmaker that makes every game worth the price of admission.

While UW’s fortunes are far from certain next year, Calhoun will certainly make each contest more than exciting.

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