Ejaria switches allegiance to Nigeria

first_img Promoted ContentBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Plus-Size Girls Who Set The Catwalk On Fire8 Addictive And Fun Coffee FactsThe 18 Most Visited Cities In The WorldInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street ArtWhat Is A Black Hole In Simple Terms?Lil Nas X’s Hit Song Is Becoming The Longest #1 Song EverThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreAll Who Were Alive In The 1980’s Will Get Shivers When See ThisWhy Go Veg? 7 Reasons To Do ThisThe Highest Paid Football Players In The World Ejaria was born to Nigerian parents in London and went on to develop his game in the Arsenal academy for nine years before joining Liverpool as a 16-year-old. The midfielder previously trained with the Nigeria U17 team in 2013 before making his debut appearance for the England U20 side in October 2016. He was part of the Young Lions’ set-up that won the 2017 Fifa U20 World Cup in South Korea, and he later proceeded to the U21 team in 2018. “He has dumped England for Nigeria but the paperwork is still ongoing with Fifa,” a top NFF official told Goal.Advertisement The 22-year-old is believed to have submitted relevant paperwork to Fifa to confirm the change of his nationality, and he plans to renew his Nigerian passport. He left Liverpool in January 2019 to join Championship side Reading on an initial six-month loan before extending his stay for the entire 2019-20 campaign with the option of a permanent move. The midfielder played prominently for Liverpool’s U23 side before his loan move. He managed just two appearances for the Reds in the Premier League and also played three games each in the League Cup and FA Cup in the 2016-17 season. Ejaria was a regular fixture at Reading this season, making 32 appearances with three goals and four assists to his name in the Championship. read also:Super Eagles coach denies comparing Ejaria with Eze Last December, Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr denied comparing Ejaria with QPR playmaker Eberechi Eze who is also being courted by the three-time African champions. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 On-loan Liverpool midfielder, Ovie Ejaria, has switched his international allegiance from England to Nigeria. Loading… last_img read more

Football: Eagles, Trojans fall to Week 7 defeats

first_img Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com. BAR HARBOR — The Ellsworth/Sumner and Mount Desert Island football teams fell to Week 7 defeats Friday night in their penultimate regular season contests.In Cumberland County, Ellsworth/Sumner waged a competitive battle with Yarmouth but lost 30-20 in a pivotal eight-man clash. The defeat sent the Eagles to 2-5 on the season.Ellsworth/Sumner racked up 453 yards of offense in the loss. Jack Sandone (150 yards and one touchdown) and Connor Crawford (122 yards and a touchdown) led a rushing attack that totaled 356 yards, and the Eagles also passed for 97 yards with Crawford and Will Johnson tallying two completions apiece. J’Von James returned a punt 36 yards for a touchdown on special teams.Noah Hughes had eight solo tackles for Ellsworth/Sumner, which got seven solo tackles and one assisted tackle from James and four solo tackles and one assisted tackle from Crawford. Yet the Eagles had trouble stopping the run against Yarmouth (4-3) as the Clippers used a series of pitches and other run plays to move the ball down the field.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder text“We really gave up the edge on the pitch, and that hurt us,” Ellsworth/Sumner head coach Duane Crawford said. “They only had one long pass completion the entire night, but they were able to get in space outside when they ran it.”In Bar Harbor, MDI fell to 1-6 with a 38-6 loss to Oceanside. The visiting Mariners scored five first-half touchdowns to breeze to victory and spoil Homecoming for the Trojans.Much of MDI’s offense came via the passing game as Baylor Landsman completed seven passes for 106 yards and a touchdown. Yet the home team was held to -2 rushing yards against Oceanside (4-3), which played 42 minutes of shutout football before Landsman connected with Sam Mitchell for a 35-yard score.Bucksport was idle over the weekend as its original Week 7 opponent, Orono, canceled its entire varsity slate just nine days before the season began. The Golden Bucks (6-0) can seal an undefeated regular season and the top seed in Class D North with a road win over Foxcroft (3-4) at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25.MDI will close out the season when it hosts Belfast (4-3) for Senior Night at 7 p.m. Friday. Should the Trojans beat the Lions and Medomak Valley and Waterville lose their respective home games against Oceanside and Winslow (6-1), the eighth and final Class C North playoff spot would be decided by a matter of percentage points.“It would be a math thing,” MDI head coach Mark Arnold said. “We are just focused on getting a win this week. There is still a possibility [that we can make the playoffs].”As for Ellsworth/Sumner, the picture is much simpler: The Eagles can qualify for the playoffs with a win over Gray-New Gloucester (1-6). That game is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m. tomorrow at Gray-New Gloucester High School.“This is it,” Crawford said. “If we win, we’re in, and if we lose, our kids turn in their gear on Monday. Our seniors don’t want this to be the last time they play in these uniforms, and they know what’s on the line. It should be a close game.” Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Biocenter_img Latest Posts Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more


first_imgEDWIN SEERAJJoseph Stanislaus Solomon and Basil Fitzherbert Butcher played with aplomb for Berbice, Guyana,and the West Indies during the 1950s and 1960s,at a time when the regional team was establishing itself as one of the top outfits in the business.Joe SolomonJoe SolomonNot only did the West Indies produce numerous high-quality players during this era,but the flair with which they engaged the opposition, whether at home or abroad, was greatly admired to the extent that they were invited to tour more frequently than would have been the norm.In the early years,there were the great George Headley, Clifford Roach, Leary Constantine, Manny Martindale,and Herman Griffith,followed by the legendary Frank Worrell, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Alan Rae, Jeff Stollmeyer,Alf Valentine,and Sonny Ramadin,who won so convincingly against England in 1950.Solomon and Butcher took up the mantle in the latter half of the 1950s and continued the great work started by their predecessors,as they etched their names forever in the annals of West Indies and world cricket.Basil ButcherBasil ButcherSolomon was born on August 26, 1930 on Plantation Port Mourant, Corentyne, Berbice,and in time he turned out for the Port Mourant Cricket Club, Everest Cricket Club,and East Bank Demerara.He was a consistent right-handed middle-order batsman and gentle medium-pacer,who eventually contested 27 Test matches between 1958 and 1965; scoring one century in his first series against India in New Delhi,during which he topped the batting averages.He was a dominant figure on the local scene,(and) an integral part of a formidable batting lineup that included run-machines (like) Walcott, Butcher, Rohan Kanhai, Bruce Pairaudeau and Glendon Gibbs.When England toured the Caribbean in 1960, the selectors tried to convert him into an opening batsman, but with little success. He then went on the historic tour to Australia in 1960-61,under Frank Worrell,where he reverted to the middle order.It was Solomon who hit the stumps with a direct hit in the first Test against Australia in Brisbane,to run out Ian Meckiff by a whisker,to gain the first Tied-Test in cricket’s history. Earlier,he had run out Allan Davidson for 80 at a time when the Aussies were in firm control.Throughout his Test career, Solomon played in the shadows of strokemakers Kanhai, Butcher, Gary Sobers,and company and was rather subdued and dogged in his play. However, whenever he represented Berbice or Guyana, he was more flambouyant and displayed his full range of shots.In fact,his highest firs-class score was a splendid, unbeaten 201 for Guyana against the visiting Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) side at the Blairmont Community Centre ground in 1960.His slow-medium bowling,combined with a few leg-spinning deliveries,were good enough to garner 51 first-class wickets, including four of them in Tests.He ended his seven-year, 27-Test career with 1326 runs at the respectable average of 34 runs per innings,and 5,318 first-class runs in 104 matches at 41.54,inclusive of 12 hundreds.Solomon later served as Chairman of Guyana’s senior selection panel,and West Indies Test selector, and worked with the Guyana Sugar Corporation in its sports department for several years.Like Solomon, Butcher,who first saw the light of day on September 03, 1933,did so at Port Mourant and slowly wended his way into the club team;catching the eyes of Walcott, who had located here from Barbados,and was working as a coach on the sugar estates.He was a middle order batsman and part-time leg-spinner who represented the West Indies in 44 Test matches between 1958 and 1969.He was part of a strong batting line-up which contained the likes of Worrell, Sobers, Kanhai and Conrad Hunte;and many cricketing pundits are of the view that he deserved more recognition for the role he played in the West Indies middle order.Butcher made his debut on the Indian tour in 1958-59 and played in all five Tests;distinguishing himself by recording consecutive centuries, at Calcutta and Madras,and averaged 69.42 in the series.For some unexplained reason, he was only selected for two games out of five against the English in the Caribbean in 1960,and when he did not find favour with the selectors for the memorable tour to Australia in 1960-61, he became disillusioned and wanted to give up the game.Among his most notable exploits on the field is his second innings 133 out of 229 in the Lord’s Test of 1963,which earned the West Indies a hard-fought draw. He struck 17 fours and two sixes in an excellent exhibition of strokeplay in difficult circumstances that saw the next best score being Worrell’s 33.At Trent Bridge in 1966,he came in with West Indies 65 for 2 in their second innings and still behind England’s first innings score by 25 runs. When the innings closed at 482 for 5 declared, Butcher had registered his highest Test score (209 not out),and in the process set up a huge West Indies victory by 139 runs.In the fourth Test against England in Port-of-Spain in 1968,he took five wickets for 34 runs with his leg-spinners,inducing his captain, Sobers, to declare his second innings early in the hope that he (Butcher) would have weaved his magic second time around.However, this was not to be as he bowled only five overs for seventeen runs without any success.Butcher carved an excellent Test record of 44 matches,in which he totalled 3104 runs at a healthy average of 43.11,with seven centuries. At the first-class level, he was involved in 169 games, registered 11,628 runs at 49.90 runs per innings,and compiled 31 hundreds.At the end of his international career, he continued playing for Guyana at the regional level for another couple of years,with a fair degree of success.For many years he lived in Linden,where he advised and coached youngsters on the fundamentals of the game.The cricketing fraternity applauds you two gentlemen. Go for the century!last_img read more

Cricket News Yuzvendra Chahal shatters records in Melbourne ODI, puts India on course for series win

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. highlights New Delhi: Yuzvendra Chahal was one of the changes in the third and deciding ODI against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Replacing Kuldeep Yadav who had an off day in Adelaide, Chahal was deemed to be a difference maker on the sluggish MCG wicket. Bhuvneshwar Kumar got the wickets of Aaron Finch and Alex Carey cheaply but Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja had steadied the ship with a solid 73-run stand for the third wicket. With Marsh looking good for a fifty, Kohli turned to Chahal and the Haryana legspinner delivered by striking at crucial intervals. Chahal got a legbreak to spin back in as Marsh looked to work the ball to the leg side but he missed and MS Dhoni effected a quick stumping to break the stand.Immediately, Chahal accounted for Usman Khawaja as the left-hander got a leading edge to a delivery that straightened and he could only pop a catch back to the bowler. With Australia losing their clutch players, India went for the kill. Marcus Stoinis edged a sharp legbreak that pitched on leg stump and it took a great catch from Rohit Sharma at slip. After his first spell which yielded 6-0-31-3, Chahal came back for his second spell to wrap up the tail in style.The young legspinner got Jhye Richardson (16) as the batsman edged a flighted delivery to mid wicket where Kedar Jadhav took the catch. He got his five-wicket haul when he trapped Peter Handscomb, who scored his third fifty in front with a quicker delivery. The formalites were complete when Adam Zampa miscued the lofted shot to be caught at long on by Vijay Shankar. Chahal finished with a haul of 10-0-42-6 which was his best figures. It was his second five-wicket haul, having taken 5/22 against South Africa in Centurion. His haul of 6/42 was the best-ever by a spinner in Australia and it was the second five-wicket haul by a spinner in ODIs in Australia, after Ravi Shastri had taken 5/15 in Perth in 1991. Chahal’s haul of 6/42 is the joint-best by a bowler in ODIs in Australia, equalling Ajit Agarkar’s mark which he achieved in 2004 and bettering the record set by Mitchell Starc who took 6/43 at the MCG in 2015. In addition to all the mentioned records, Chahal’s haul is the best-ever by a spinner at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.The young legspinner’s haul has given Virat Kohli’s side a great chance to secure their first-ever bilateral ODI series win. Chahal’s haul is the best-ever by a spinner in AustraliaChahal is the second Indian spinner after Shastri to take 5 wicketsChahal’s haul is the joint-best by a bowler in Australialast_img read more

Claudrice McKoy – The rose that grew from the concrete

first_img“DID you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s law is wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared,” Tupac Shakur – The Rose that grew from the concrete.Guyana’s rising star athlete Claudrice McKoy’s life could very well be summed up in the deceased famous rapper’s (Tupac Shakur) poem.On April 16, McKoy clocked ten minutes 39.03 seconds (10:39.03) to win gold in the Girls 3 000 metres Open at this year’s CARIFTA Games in Curacao, finishing ahead of Jamaicans Britnie Dixon (10:44.63) and Kayan Green (10:45.76).She celebrated with the Golden Arrowhead draped around her shoulder, and a smile as wide as the Demerara River and attributed her win to her mother’s hard work and sacrifice.McKoy then went on to win bronze in the 1500m, and added to Guyana’s historic tally at the games (four gold, one silver and three bronze).Claudrice McKoy shows off her gold and silver medal won at this year’s CARIFTA Games (Delano Williams photo)However, as they say, not all that glitters is gold. McKoy, a student of Chase’s Academic Foundation, is currently writing nine subjects at this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination, but while the 16-year-old has been one of Guyana’s top junior athletes, especially over the last two years, her success comes with an equal, or at times, more challenges.The athlete lives with her mom, Carla Adams, a single parent of five and a security guard by profession, on a piece of land with other squatters in Tucville, Georgetown.Adams would do extra work to make ends meet for her children, but with tears, the woman told Chronicle Sport yesterday that seeing her daughter struggle to cope with studying without electricity for her exams is painful, among other things.“I’ve made several attempts at GPL and nothing. The last time I went, with a letter from City Council, they told me to plant a pole in front of my yard. I did that, but when they came, mischievous neighbours told them a fancy story and they left,” a saddened Adams explained.“It’s hard. I would have to use my phone light to study” McKoy said, pointing out that despite a number of challenges, she’s still overly excited about representing Guyana and showcasing her God-gifted ability on the track.NO HELP!McKoy made her second appearance at the CARIFTA Games this year after finishing fifth in both the 3 000m and 1500m last year, facing the same athletes from across the Caribbean.However, her success came through hard work and determination, fuelled by the confidence of her coach Julian Edmonds that she’s destined for greatness, and most importantly, her mother in her corner.“The only help I get is from my mother with whatever little she could afford,” the well-spoken diminutive athlete told Chronicle Sport in an exclusive interview yesterday.She added, “I have no sponsorship but I see myself doing great things for myself and country. I already went to the CARIFTA Games, I did excellent there and there’s room for improvement but as I mentioned, there’s no one helping really, just my mother.”“There’s no support system right now. Training is in the afternoons and then I have to study at nights and the only problem is the electricity right now in our area. I mean, mommy tried many times to have it done legally at GPL, but nothing has been done as yet. It’s very difficult because I have to train and study to balance my academics with my athletics and there isn’t any time available,” McKoy said.SCHOLARSHIPAt the National Sports Awards last month, Director of Sport Christopher Jones announced that the athletes who represented Guyana at the CARIFTA will all be given full scholarships to the University of Guyana, but McKoy, though welcoming the news, believes that there must be an avenue for her to excel in athletics.“It’s great yes, but again, the academic part is there yes, but what about my athletics? There’s no room at the University of Guyana for that, for someone like me,” McKoy reasoned.She continued, “Since the CARIFTA Games, there has been a lot of offers because people saw my ability but at the moment, I’m trying to focus on getting good grades, you know, be balanced in both academics and athletics.”McKoy will be among other local athletes who are set to represent Guyana at the June 3-5 South American Youth Championships, to be hosted at the Leonora Track and Field Facility.last_img read more

Martinique roll over Cuba for first Gold Cup win

first_imgDENVER, Colorado (CMC) – French Caribbean side Martinique claimed their first points of the CONCACAF Gold Cup while handing Cuba their second defeat, in a 3-0 victory here Wednesday night.In an all-Caribbean Football Union Group A clash at the Broncos Stadium at Mile High, Martinique broke the deadlock through Joris Marveaux on the stroke of halftime, before Stephane Abaul and Kevin Fortune scored in the last 20 minutes of the contest.In the other match of the doubleheader, Andres Guardado hit a brace as Mexico trounced Canada 3-1, with all goals coming in the second half.Both Martinique and Cuba suffered heavy drubbings on the opening day of the tournament last Saturday, making Wednesday’s fixture key to their progress.And both teams squandered chances in an open first half before Marveaux capitalised in the 45th, heading in a powerful left-sided corner kick.Kévin Parsemain wasted a great opportunity to double the lead from the spot in the 59th minute when he blasted his shot well over the crossbar, after Daniel Luis was adjudged to have pulled down Mickael Biron in the area.However, Abaul made amends in the 70th minutes from another corner, eluding his marker to head past goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez.There was further misery for Cuba in the 80th minute when Erick Rizo was sent off for an elbow to the face of Fortune, who then produced a clinical finish from 10 yards out, five minutes later, to put the cap on a strong Martinique performance.In their next outings on Sunday, Cuba clash with Canada while Martinique take on Mexico, in Charlotte, North Carolina.last_img read more

Karel continues to stand out for UW

first_imgSenior point guard Alyssa Karel is leading the Badgers in scoring, despite playing in only 4 of UW’s 7 games, at 13.8 points per game.[/media-credit]Wisconsin’s senior guard Alyssa Karel probably doesn’t receive some of the attention that Big Ten Conference Champion football players do. That doesn’t necessarily mean she shouldn’t.This season, Karel was named to the preseason All-Big Ten team by league media, one year after she was a unanimous second-team All-Big Ten selection who led the Badgers in points, assists, steals, blocks and minutes played. Karel also currently ranks fifth all-time at UW in 3-point field goal percentage, ninth in most 3-point field goals, 18th in points scored, and she just played her 100th game for the Badgers, starting 70 of them.Off the court, Karel is a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award. To be eligible to receive the award, a student-athlete must be a NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four categories: community, classroom, character and competition.One of Karel’s most recognizable character traits, though, is her humility. Despite being one of the top players the Wisconsin women’s basketball program has ever had, it is always team first for Karel.“I just do whatever I can to help the team win; overall that is my individual goal,” Karel said. “Whether it be scoring, assists or continuing to be a vocal leader as a senior, I just do whatever I can to make the team better.”One of the things that Karel does to make the Badgers better is her ability to score from mid-range, which has gained admiration from both teammates and coaches.“Her pull-up, her mid-range jump shot is beautiful, and I would really like to acquire that into my game,” sophomore guard Taylor Wurtz, a talented scorer in her own right, said.The praise continued to be dished out like mashed potatoes and gravy at last weekend’s Thanksgiving feast by the coaching staff.“As far as women’s college basketball is concerned, she is by far one of ten female players who are consistently able to get in the lane, mid-range pull-up,” assistant coach Oties Epps said. “I think that is a talent that is lost in our game. It’s either a layup or a three that kids shoot now.”Another important yet frequently overlooked attribute that Karel possesses is her durability.Before this season, Karel says she can’t remember ever missing a game at Wisconsin. She was sidelined for the Badgers’ first three games with a knee injury this season, though, and found herself having to watch from the bench. Karel used that time as an opportunity to showcase her leadership skills, helping her teammates by remaining vocal and positive while giving advice on the bench.“[Karel] has always demonstrated that she is all about the team and always been selfless, and that is the most important thing that I have picked up from her,” Wurtz said.Making up for her time away from the court, Karel demonstrated her work ethic in the training room. Her first game back against Big 12 opponent Kansas saw her play 42 minutes and lead Wisconsin in scoring with 27 points on 12-of-25 shooting.Karel’s effort was valiant, but the Badgers still lost in overtime, and the game turned into the second loss of what is now a five-game losing streak. Being the leader and team player that she is, Karel has tried to take a larger share of the responsibility and extra pressure to pull Wisconsin out of its slump. Her teammates recognize the added pressure, and through their respect for her, hope to carry her the way she has tried to carry them.“I think Alyssa puts a lot of pressure on herself, which she shouldn’t because she needs to play relaxed,” Wurtz said. “That is where we need to step up and help her because this is her senior year, and I want it to be really special for her.”Athletes like this don’t come along very often, and whether it’s a football star who plays in front of 80,000 fans every week or a women’s basketball player who plays in front of 4,000, it is important for everyone who calls themselves Badger fans to learn what they have before it’s too late.last_img read more

Smith-Schuster named Biletnikoff semifinalist

first_imgTal VolkSophomore wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was announced as one of 10 semifinalists for the 2015 Biletnikoff Award, which is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding receiver.He’s hoping to become the first USC player to win the award since Marqise Lee in 2012. Lee is the only USC player who has won the award.Smith-Schuster is one of two receivers from the Pac-12 Conference to be recognized with this honor, though he is the only one to have already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. He currently leads all Pac-12 wideouts with 1,160 receiving yards on 63 receptions, to go along with 10 touchdowns through 10 games this season.In his freshman season last year, the 6-foot-2, 215 pound wideout caught 54 passes for 724 yards and five touchdowns, which resulted in him being named to the 2014 Pac-12-second team and the Sporting News Freshman All-American team.Earlier this season, the Long Beach Poly alumnus suffered a broken hand injury against Cal, which forced him to undergo surgery on the Monday before the team’s game against Arizona. Rather than allowing the injury to sideline him, Smith-Schuster not only played, but caught eight passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. It marked the sixth time in which he has eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards this season.“He is superman,” interim head coach Clay Helton said during that week.Washington State junior Gabe Marks is the other semifinalist from the Pac-12, and he’s currently second in the conference with 957 receiving yards on the year. Marks, however, leads the Pac-12 with 81 receptions and 13 touchdowns.Other notable semifinalists include Laquon Treadwell from Ole Miss, TCU’s Josh Doctson and Notre Dame’s Will Fuller.The three finalists will be announced on Nov. 24, and the winner will be announced on Dec. 10 on ESPN’s The Home Depot College Awards show, which will take place at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.Smith-Schuster hopes to improve his case for winning the award when the Trojans head to Eugene, Oregon, to take on the Ducks this Saturday.last_img read more

Wisconsin ready to pursue 2nd consecutive title

first_imgWisconsin women’s hockey head coach Mark Johnson doesn’t like distractions.But regardless of that disdain, Friday night’s season opener is full of them.Between getting a new season under way, unveiling its 2011 national championship banner and missing a portion of its team, Wisconsin knows it has to stay focused.“I think the biggest thing is just refocusing everybody,” senior captain Hilary Knight said. “We worked really hard this summer, and now we just have to put that into play during the game.”Ranked No. 1 in the country, the Badgers face against the Lindenwood Lady Lions – a team they’ve seen play before – with a depleted roster.Defensemen Brittany Haverstock, Stef Mckeough, Saige Pacholock and forward Carolyne Prevost will miss the season opener due to a fall evaluation camp with Team Canada.“It’s the nature of the women’s game,” Johnson said. “That’s part of the recruiting process when you talk to these kids. One of the questions that they ask you is, ‘If Canada calls me up and I need to go to camp, will you let me go?’ Some games and some parts of the season you’re missing kids, but they’re still doing the things that we’re probably doing right here whether they’re on the ice, training or playing with elite players. … They’re in a good environment. It’s just too bad that they’re going to miss Friday night.”With the absence of three blue-liners and a forward, the newest Badgers will get a chance to show what they can do.This season, UW is joined by four freshman forwards, as well as a transfer defenseman and a transfer goaltender.“They look great so far,” senior forward Brooke Ammerman said. “They don’t look shy; they don’t look nervous. They really mesh well with our team.”Not only did Wisconsin win yet another national title last year, but it was also honored with another Patty Kazmaier Award, as then-senior Meghan Duggan was named women’s hockey’s player of the year.Duggan led UW last season with 87 points off 39 goals and 48 assists. In a close second, Knight posted 81 points off 47 goals and 34 assists. “Losing players like Meghan Duggan is obviously huge, but I think with our work ethic and working hard – we’ve looked great so far – I think everybody has to step up whether it be us as leaders on the team or just the freshman to the sophomore step,” Ammerman said. “I think our sophomores came back in great shape, our juniors also. I think the expectation is to grow as a player each year you’re here and bring your best effort.”Last season, much like the men’s hockey team, Johnson switched sophomore Alex Rigsby and junior Becca Ruegsegger in goal. But as soon as postseason play started, it was all Rigsby. Through seven postseason games, Rigbsy allowed 12 goals, but the offense more than made up for its scoring 31 goals en route to its fourth national championship.Despite the success of last season, a new one calls for a whole new challenge.“You basically have to start over,” Rigsby said. “Last year, it didn’t come easy to win that national championship. We have to forget about it and start from scratch and keep working towards possibly and hopefully another one.”And it all starts with Lindenwood.The Lady Lions are entering their first season as a D-I program and have the opportunity to face the sport’s perennial powerhouse.Lindenwood fields only one senior and 14 freshmen, but Wisconsin knows not to take anything for granted.“I’m excited they’re coming here,” Knight said. “It’s awesome to have a home game against them. I’ve never seen them play, so I don’t really know what to expect but that’s the scariest thing. Expect the unexpected.”The Badgers aren’t trying to presume anything – instead they’re just going to enjoy this season’s journey and see where it takes them.“Every season here in the WCHA is extremely long and we play great teams so I think first we have to focus on the journey and really getting our focus back and enjoying the ride,” Knight said. “That’s all it’s about. I can look back on both years that we’ve won the National Championship and the ride there was awesome and those are the memories you take with you.”last_img read more