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Opinion

Fall sports come to end, winter sports begin seasons

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November 20, 2009

As we get into the middle of November, the fall sports are starting to wrap up their seasons, and if successful enough, are playing in post-season action.

The winter sports teams are starting to become the main focus now as the men and women’s hockey, basketball, and swimming and diving teams kicked off their seasons. Last weekend was one of the weekends where one sport was wrapping up and another was beginning.

Last weekend, the Falcon football team wrapped up its season against Eau Claire. Suffering a loss to the Blugolds put the Falcons at a 1-6 record in the WIAC and 3-7 overall, failing to reach the four win mark since the 2001 season, when they went 4-5 overall. The 2000 season was the last time the Falcons ended the season above .500, when they went 6-4 overall. The men’s and women’s cross country team went to Oshkosh last weekend for the NCAA Midwest Regionals. The men’s team finished 9th out of 39 teams. The women’s team finished 20th out of 39.

The men and women’s hockey teams had a successful weekend, as both teams went 1-0-1. The men’s team traveled to Eau Claire for their second NCHA match up of the year. The Falcons stole the victory on Friday night as Josh Calleja scored a short-handed goal with 30 seconds left in the game. The final score was 2-1.

On Saturday night, the Falcons jumped out to a 1-0 start, with Justin Brossman scoring with 11:45 left in the first period. The game became a defensive match up throughout the rest of the game. The Blugolds came storming back late in the third period, as they scored a power-play goal with 1:47 left in the, tying it up the game, 1-1. The game went into overtime and both teams looked to play conservatively and take the one point. The only downfall to Saturday night’s game was starting goaltender Bo Storozuk left about a minute and a half into the first period due to illness, but back-up goaltender Eric Babcook came into the game looking strong, saving 39 shots and only giving up the late power-play goal.

It doesn’t sound like Storozuk will be out this weekend, but if he is out for any length of time, Babcook looks like a solid option, as he looked calm and collected behind the net Saturday night.

The women’s team stayed in River Falls last weekend, taking on No. 2 Gustavus Adolphus Friday night and Bethel Saturday night. Friday night was a battle of two of the top six teams in the nation, as Gustavus Adolphus was ranked number two last weekend and the Falcons were ranked sixth. The Falcons went up 3-1 early in third period against the Gusties. The Gusties came storming back late in the third period, tying up the score at 3-3 with 16 seconds left in the game. After the overtime was played, the game ended in a 3-3 tie. Falcon goaltender Cassie Campbell saved 36 shots on the night, and gave up the three goals. Saturday night was a little easier for the Falcons as they coasted out to a 5-1 victory over Bethel. Melissa Deardorff was the falcon goaltender in Saturday night’s action, saving 11 shots and giving up the one goal.

The men and women’s swimming and diving team was successful last weekend against Lawrence. The men’s team won 120-75, and they are now 2-0 on the young season. The women’s team won 132-89 and are now 1-1 on the season. The men and women’s basketball teams kicked off their season in dominating fashion on Tuesday night. The men’s team traveled Viterbo University, winning 66-49. The Falcons came out strong against Viterbo, going up 36-21 at the half, shooting 55 percent. Viterbo shot 38 percent in the first half. The second half wasn’t as smooth for the Falcons. They committed 16 personal fouls and allowed Viterbo to stay somewhat close in the game, despite shooting 29 percent in the second half. Viterbo’s second half success came from the free throw line, where they made 13 of 19. This weekend the Falcons travel to Crown College for the Crown College Tip-Off Classic.

The women’s basketball team host Crown College Tuesday night. Saying this game wasn’t even close would be an understatement as the Falcons pummeled Crown College 112-28. The Falcons put away Crown College early in the game, as the halftime score was 63-10. The Falcons shot 77 percent in the first half and 65 percent in the second half, making sure Crown College could not get back in this game. The Falcons committed only 11 personal fouls total. The Falcon defense gets a lot of credit for the win as well as the offense. The defense held Crown College to 21 percent shooting in the first half and 39 percent in the second half. Also, the defense was all over Crown College getting 27 steals in the game and making Crown College commit 40 turnovers.

Looking to this weekend, the Falcon Men and Women hockey teams have big NCHA match ups. On the men’s side, the No. 6 ranked Falcons host No. 1 ranked St. Norbert in a classic rivalry game. On the women’s side, the No. 5 ranked Falcons host Superior.

Derek Johnson is a student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.