Northwestern assistant coach Pat Baldwin as well as NU redshirt junior
JerShon Cobb and redshirt freshman Sanjay Lumpkin are currently touring in
Belgium with a Global Sports Academy team. The U.S. squad posted 78-72 victory
over Leuven SALB Belgian in its first exhibition game Saturday in Leuven.
Lumpkin was a standout on the defensive end, posting seven rebounds and a pair
of steals. Cobb battled foul trouble throughout the contest but hit
back-to-back jumpers in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory. The team's next game is slated for 3 p.m. local time Sunday in Gent.
Lumpkin checks in with this blog entry on the team's experience so far.
The flight from Chicago to Brussels was pretty long but I had an exit row
which made it easier for me. After we landed, we got our passports stamped
and we loaded the bus to Mechelen where our hotel was located. I tried to
take as many pictures as I could to take everything in. We arrived at the
hotel a few hours before practice. Coach Baldwin gave us the option to
take a nap or walk around the town for a little bit.
The following day, Coach Baldwin and the team put on a clinic for the
Belgian Federation of Coaches at the Pitzemburg Arena. We focused
primarily on the defensive end, which allowed me to tune up my defensive
game. After the clinic, we boarded the bus and headed to Brussels. It
was great to see a lot of the monuments and the really cool architecture. We
saw where the King and Queen of Belgium live. We even caught the tail end
of some weddings that were held in Brussels Square.
The highlight of our trip into Brussels Square was getting our hands on
some Belgian waffles. Belgium is known for its waffles and the entire team
made a beeline to one of the waffle stands. It tasted even better because
it cost only 1 Euro or a little over $1. We walked around for a while and
took pictures with many tourists. It was cool to have so many people want
to take pictures with us. Many thought we were in the NBA.
Afterwards, we loaded back on the bus. I took a power nap before we
stopped for some more sightseeing. We caught a glimpse of the
Atomium. The Atomium is a symbol of the 1958 World Exposition which was
held in Belgium. We also saw the Koekelberg which is the largest church in
We arrived at the arena around 7 p.m. The first thing I noticed was
how confusing the court appeared. The court was littered with the lines
for volleyball, handball and other sport they play there. It was great
playing against international competition and the different set of
rules. They use a 24-second shot clock, 8 seconds to get the ball across
half court and they have a wider lane like the NBA.
The Leuven team we played against was very tall and had a couple of 18-year-old
kids who were pretty good. I had never seen so many ballscreens in my
life. It was a really good game and we had to work for everything. It
was a five-point game after the first three quarters before we pulled away in
the fourth quarter. I am very happy we are 1-0 and picked up the
After the game, we had dinner in the arena's club area before we headed
back to our hotel in Mechelen. I thought I was going to be tired but I
felt completely fine. I stayed up for a little bit before calling it a
We spreken later nog af. In Flemish this phrase means "We'll
speak to each other later!"
A brief seven-day stint on the disabled list did former Northwestern pitcher Eric Jokisch a world of good when he returned to the bump Tuesday night for the Tennessee Smokies, the Class AA minor league affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Jokisch threw his first career no-hitter as he halted the lengthy 11-game winning streak of the Jacksonville Suns.
The former NU southpaw was in command early on as he mowed down the first 10 hitters he faced before issuing the first of four walks in the game. Jokisch settled quickly and got plenty of help from his defense along the way, including a fantastic diving stab by shortstop Javier Baez to secure the second out in the bottom of the ninth. The Virginia, Ill., native then got reliever Pete Andreiczyk to ground out to Christian Villanueva at third base to end the ballgame and cement his place in baseball history.
"This is probably the best day of my life," Jokisch told MiLB.com's Ashley Marshall after the game. "I will try and get [the ball] home as safely and quickly as possible. That's something I will keep forever and hopefully tell my kids and grandkids that it happened.
"I grew up just hoping one day to throw a no-hitter in the Major Leagues," Jokisch added. "This isn't the same, but right now I don't think I could feel any happier about the way things are going."
It was the first nine-inning no-hitter by a Tennessee pitcher since Leo Estrella accomplished the feat in 2000. Jokisch's gem was the first individual no-hitter in the Southern League since 2011 when Matt Moore of the Montgomery Biscuits did it against the Mobile BayBears. Moore is now a member of the Tampa Bay Rays big league club.
Here is a video of the final out and ensuing celebration, courtesy of MiLB.com:
Jokisch threw 108 pitches and struck out eight Suns to earn his ninth victory of the season. The lefty helped his own cause at the plate with a pair of hits and his first RBI of the season in the 10-0 route.
In April, the 2008 Big Ten Freshman of the Year was named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month. He currently leads the Southern League with 114 strikeouts and ranks third with 128.2 innings pitched this season.
Here is a video of Jokisch's postgame interview, courtesy of the Jacksonville Suns:
By Marisa Bast
summer, I attended the F.L.A.M.E. (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere)
program in Colorado Springs, Colo., an educational experience catered to
minority students that is put on annually by the United States Olympic
Committee. I spent four inspirational days at the training center, surrounded
by an overwhelming amount of excellence -- excellence that presented itself in
the form of Olympians and Olympic hopefuls, Paralympians, staff leaders,
executives and 27 other college students.
program, in its 20th year, consisted of an itinerary that was teeming with
motivational presentations, leadership seminars and other workshops led by
F.L.A.M.E. alumni, current and former Olympians, USOC staff and current
Paralympians. Speakers included five-time Olympic medalist and basketball
legend Teresa Edwards, speedskating Olympic medalist Derek Parra and Paralympic
Judo medalist Dartanyon Crockett, whose story you may have seen featured on
ESPN's "Outside the Lines." In conjunction with these presentations, we were
able to partake in Olympic and Paralympic sport demonstrations including
fencing, sitting volleyball and team handball, in addition to venturing outside
the training center and visiting the beautiful Garden of the Gods, a national
natural landmark featuring a magnificent set of red rock formations.
to say, being a F.L.A.M.E. participant was an amazing, eye-opening and
motivational experience. I was also able to gain an inside look at the U.S.
Olympic committee, foster my own personal and professional growth, improve my
leadership skills and communication strategies, expand my network and learn the
values of hard work, integrity and perseverance from Olympic and Paralympic
hopefuls and standouts.
In just four days, I was able to learn about sports, the Olympic games, various
business tactics and strategies as well as the values of respect, friendship and
sheer determination. My biggest takeaway from this program, however, was that
hard work trumps all and is vital to one's success; in other words, you are
capable of anything if you set your mind to it. As cliche as this sounds, it is
100 percent true. Hard work is blind to socioeconomic status, race, age and
educational background. It rewards those who remain loyal to it, and abandons
those who are fearful and shy. Hard work can be your best friend or your worst
how Olympic and Paralympic standouts like Derek Parra and Dartanyon Crockett
overcame adversity, jumped over hurdles to attain success and lived like
champions within and outside the boundaries of their respective sports was
incredibly inspiring. They instilled a sense of passion and thirst for
greatness within me simply by sharing their journeys to the Olympics, journeys
laden with hardship, grit and determination.
The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern, and we hope you've enjoyed reliving many of the Wildcats' landmark victories, championships and achievements during NUsports.com's countdown of the Top 20 Moments of the year. Today the countdown concludes with the No. 1 moment -- a chance to put a wrap on 2012-13 and turn the page to what is sure to be an even bigger and better year in 2013-14.
"We talk to our guys all the time about - 'Act like you've been here before.' Well, we've never been here before!"
Those were the words of an exasperated Pat Fitzgerald, directed to a sea of purple-clad fans still celebrating in the seats of EverBank Field, as everyone associated with Northwestern Football soaked in a moment that was years in the making. After too many postseason bowl trips had ended in thrilling but disappointing fashion, the 2012 Wildcats had put the exclamation point on a 10-win season when they defeated Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, 34-20, accounting for the No. 1 moment for Northwestern Athletics in 2012-13.
On a beautiful New Year's Day in Jacksonville, the Wildcats put on display all the tools and intangibles that had allowed them to enjoy such a successful season to that point: a quick first-quarter start, timely third-down conversions on offense, a relentless pass rush on defense -- which contributed to four Wildcats interceptions -- and clutch kicking by place-kicker Jeff Budzien.
From Quentin Williams' pick-six touchdown on MSU's first offensive series through Northwestern's kneel-downs in victory formation, Wildcats fans had plenty to cheer about on an afternoon that few are likely to forget. When all was said and done, Northwestern had earned the program's second 10-win season in the modern era, a No. 16 final ranking in the USA Today/Coaches Poll and the No. 17 spot in the AP rankings.
Not to be overlooked was the fact that the 2012 seniors earned their 40th win in five years on campus -- most ever by a Wildcats recruiting class -- while Fitzgerald officially took over as the winningest head coach in program history with his 50th head coaching victory.
And, as usual, it was Fitzgerald who said it best during his postgame address, finishing his earlier thought about Northwestern's long-awaited thrill of postseason victory:
"We're here now, and we're here to stay."
Northwestern is set to join the rest of the Big Ten Conference at the 42nd Annual Big Ten Football Media Day and Kickoff Luncheon tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday in Chicago. Visit NUsports.com for complete coverage of Chicago's Big Ten Team.
The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the past several weeks, we have celebrated the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones that the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com as we unveil the top moment of the year tomorrow!
On a chilly February morning in the Windy City, Northwestern Athletics and the Chicago Cubs announced an innovative, multi-year event and reciprocal marketing partnership that will showcase a wide range of Wildcats athletic programs at historic Wrigley Field over the next several years. The Friendly Confines will play host to Northwestern in a myriad of sports including soccer, lacrosse and football. The most logical event to begin with, of course, was a baseball game to be held in the spring.
April 20 was a cool, but calm day in Chicagoland as NU head coach Paul Stevens brought his Wildcats 10 miles south to take on the Michigan Wolverines at Wrigley Field. The ballpark was buzzing with students, alums, families and friends ready to settle in for an exciting evening of Big Ten baseball. What ensued that evening was a 6-0 triumph for Northwestern and, more importantly, an unforgettable night at the ballpark for not only the players and coaches on the field, but also for the nearly 4,200 fans in attendance.
|Behind the scenes at Wrigley Field|
Senior Luke Farrell got the nod on the mound and the 6-foot-6-inch right-hander more than rose to the occasion for the 'Cats. Michigan entered the weekend in first place in the Big Ten and Farrell turned them back with authority behind a complete-game shutout in which he struck out nine and surrendered just three hits. He retired the first 12 hitters he faced in order and did not issue a base-on-balls the entire night.
Playing under the lights, Farrell's teammates provided plenty of offensive support in the six-run victory. Second baseman Zach Morton delivered RBI doubles in his first two-at bats and scored two runs of his own against U-M. Farrell's batterymate, Jake Straub, had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Wildcats.
The 2012-13 season was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com as we re-visit the top 20 moments.
The 2012-13 season was a historic one for the Northwestern women's golf team as the program won its first Big Ten title. The Wildcats claimed a share of the conference crown, carding a new tournament record for 54-holes of 20-over 884 to tie for first with Purdue.
NU's title also was the first team tournament win for head coach Emily Fletcher, who was tabbed the 2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year, and assistant coach Beth Miller during their tenures with the Wildcats and first for the program since 2007.
"These girls, they played so hard," Fletcher said after winning the Big Ten title. "It wasn't easy. It was tough out there today. We made the turn and we were kind of hanging in there and had a few hiccups but they just fought so hard coming down to the end. As we told them last night, both Pat (Goss) and I said, 'This is what we've looked forward to, to have an opportunity like this.' To have the lead after round one and round two and going into round three, and to have never done it before, it was a little bit more than how we might have thought it would have been scripted for our first Big Ten Championship but it couldn't be any sweeter, that's for sure."
It was a complete team effort as all six Wildcats competing at the 2013 Big Ten Championships finished in the top 25 with three in the top 10. Playing in her first conference tournament, freshman Kaitlin Park (Tustin, Calif./Beckman) led the way for NU, finishing in sixth, scoring a 6-over 222 and earned a spot on the All-Championship Team. Park had a stellar first season with the Wildcats, as she was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and received First-Team All-Big Ten accolades, along with sophomore Hana Lee, who set the new program record for single-season scoring average at 74.27.
Senior Lauren Weaver played a big part in Northwestern's success over the last four seasons and was a key contributor in another monumental moment for the program, helping the team win the Big Ten title. Weaver leaves NU as the program's record-holder for four-year scoring average and had 11 top-10 finishes in her career, including two first-place showings.
"Honestly this is the best I've ever felt in my college golf career, even better than when I had my individual wins," Weaver said. "This is awesome to get our first team victory and a Big Ten Championship. I'm really happy for Emily and (assistant coach) Beth (Miller) because this is the first time in their career that their team has won any tournament, let alone a Big Ten Championship, and it's just awesome for everyone and we are all really excited."
The great memories did not end at the 2013 Big Ten Championships as the Wildcats made their 11th trip to the NCAA regional and a strong final round propelled the 'Cats to a sixth-place finish and trip to the 2013 NCAA Championships. It was just the second appearance in program history and NU finished in the top 15, placing ahead of two teams ranked in the top 10.
The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUSports.com as we re-isit the top 20 moments.
So often in sports and in life, success is defined not by avoiding adversity but by how you respond to it. The 2013 Northwestern women's lacrosse team proved the accuracy of that sentiment in its response to a difficult 22-4 loss to American Lacrosse Conference rival Florida late in the 2013 season.
Just two weeks after suffering that uncharacteristic defeat, five-time National Coach of the Year Kelly Amonte Hiller and the defending champion Wildcats managed to completely turn the tides on the Gators, stifling a high-powered Florida attack to post an 8-3 win in the ALC Tournament championship game May 5 in Baltimore. Putting to rest the memory of its regular-season loss, Northwestern perfectly executed its game-plan and received a dominant effort on the draw control by junior Alyssa Leonard en route to its sixth ALC Tournament title in the seven-year history of the event.
Florida scored only one goal in the final 51 minutes of game action, while UF's top two point-scorers on the season -- Kitty Cullen (61 points) and Shannon Gilroy (57) -- combined for only one assist in the game thanks largely to another stellar face-guarding effort by Kerri Harrington. The two had combined for 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in Northwestern's regular-season loss to the Gators.
"We were fired up to play today but it was a different kind of hyped up, it was more of a laser focus before the game and you could see it in everybody's eyes when you looked around," said Leonard, who also in that game broke the Northwestern single-season record for draw controls. "What happened in the regular season was humbling, but today we were all ready to play and we weren't going to let what happened last time affect this game."
The win also gave the Wildcats momentum and the No. 2 seed entering the NCAA Championship, where they would cruise through its first two opponents on their way to a ninth consecutive appearance in the national semifinals.
The 2012-13 season was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUSports.com as we re-visit the top 20 moments.
It's difficult to pick just one memorable moment from the 2012 Northwestern men's soccer season. There was the team's second Big Ten regular-season title in as many years, a 2-1 upset of then-No. 7 Notre Dame (who went on to achieve the No. 1 overall seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament) and an exciting 1-1 draw with eventual NCAA champion, Indiana, which ended up being the point the Wildcats needed to claim a share of the Big Ten title.
While all will stick with the Wildcats for years to come, NU's 1-0 shutout of No. 7 seed Marquette helped the 'Cats advance to the third round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in the program's seven trips to the big dance and ranks No. 5 on our list of the most memorable Northwestern moments of 2012-13.
Northwestern shut down the Golden Eagles, who entered the game averaging 2.1 goals per game, had not been shut out all season and had not lost on their home pitch. First-Team All-Big Ten honoree Tyler Miller played all 90 minutes in net to pick up his 10th shutout of the year, which ranks second in NU single-season history.
It was Joey Calistri's goal, his team-leading ninth of the year, in the 31st minute that proved to be the difference in the match. The Wildcats had a favorable free kick spot, just to the left of the 18-yard box, after Marquette was whistled for a foul. Junior defender Scott Lakin's free kick was played back to the top of the box, finding Calistri who sent home a one-touch shot into the upper right corner past a diving MU goalkeeper Charlie Lyon.
Both teams continued to battle in the second half with five shots for the Golden Eagles, compared to four for the Wildcats. Marquette had its only two shots on goal in the second half and Miller saved both.
The Wildcat defense also blocked a number of Marquette looks inside the box and defended until the final seconds. NU was whistled for a foul at midfield with the clock winding down, setting up an MU free kick, but the Golden Eagles were unable to get any looks at the net as the Wildcats hung on for the 1-0 victory and a trip to Louisville for the third round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
"I thought it was a great game," said Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan, who captured his 250th career victory with the shutout. "I thought the first half we really played well, particularly the first 15 or 20 minutes, and Joey made a big play and then we defended like absolute warriors at the end of the game. When they were lumping service after service in there, we were hanging on for dear life but our guys were just absolute warriors. Marquette is a great team, they've had an awesome season, their coach has just done a remarkable job in the last seven years that he's been here. But we were able to make a play and then we were really battling at the end of the game to move onto the Sweet 16, so it's a good day for Northwestern soccer."
The 2012 Big Ten Champion squad also had five All-Big Ten honorees, including Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Joey Calistri, and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Chris Ritter. Both, along with Miller and sophomore defender Nikko Boxall, received first-team accolades while senior Jarrett Baughman was a second-team honoree. All, with the exception of Baughman, return to the pitch at Lakeside Field for the 2013 campaign.
The 2012-13 season was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com as we revisit the top 20 moments.
Jason Welch of the Northwestern wrestling team was a senior during the 2012-13 campaign and had the best year of his illustrious Wildcat career. The 157 lbs. starter won the 2013 Big Ten title at his weight class and did so in dramatic fashion, using a third-period fall over Nebraska's James Green to capture the crown.
It was an exciting, back-and-forth match, that saw Welch trailing by one before the fall. After a scoreless first period, Welch started the second period down and escaped to take the 1-0 lead. Green then caught Welch out of position and took advantage with a takedown to go ahead 2-1 after two. Green began the third period down and went up 4-1 after a reversal, but Welch quickly countered with a reversal of his own to trail by one at 4-3. Welch then started to rack up riding time and a ride out would have earned him the 4-4 tie, but he caught Green in a cradle and the official awarded Welch backpoints before he secured the third-period fall (6:38). Welch's win avenged his lone loss of the regular season, a 9-8 decision by Green during the dual season.
Welch's Big Ten title made him the 30th different Wildcat to capture a conference crown and first at the 157 lbs. weight class.
Welch went on to enjoy even more success at the 2013 NCAA Championships, reaching the finals at 157 lbs. The Walnut Creek, Calif., native capped his Northwestern career with his highest placement at NCAA's and became just the sixth three-time All-American in program history. He leaves Northwestern ranking seventh in NU history with 116 career wins (a career-high 34 victories during the 2012-13 season), sixth in career winning percentage at .841 and also was just the third NU wrestler in program history to capture two titles at the prestigious Midlands Championships, wrestled at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
As a team, Northwestern once again had a successful showing at the NCAA Championships, finishing in the top 20 with two Wildcats in the finals. NU was one of just four schools at NCAA's, including team champion Penn State, runner-up Oklahoma State and Iowa, to have to wrestlers in the finals. Redshirt sophomore Mike McMullan competed in the heavyweight finals and achieved his second All-America accolade, giving NU at least two All-Americans in seven of the last eight years.
The 2012-13 academic year was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next several weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones that the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUsports.com as we revisit the top 20 moments.
Northwestern's 2013 men's tennis senior class left its mark on the program. During their freshman season, the squad managed just dual match 10 wins, but in their final campaign they notched 22 victories and the last one proved to be the most dramatic.
Following a successful regular season, the Wildcats were assigned to the Athens Regional where 36th-ranked NU would take on 19th-ranked Wake Forest. Looking for its first NCAA tournament victory since 1998, head coach Arvid Swan's squad fell behind early as it dropped the doubles point. In singles play, wins by senior Sidarth Balaji and Alex Pasareanu put the 'Cats up 2-1 before the Demon Deacons got a victory at the No. 1 spot to tie the match. At No. 2, junior Raleigh Smith gutted out a pair of tiebreaker victories to bring the Wildcats within one victory of advancing.
However, Wake Forest got a win at No. 4 to even the match, leaving the match to be decided between NU senior Chris Jackman and Demon Deacon freshman Morgan Mays at No. 6. Mays took the first set before Jackman rallied back to win the second, leaving it up to a decisive third.
Mays took a 3-1 lead in the final set, however, Jackman rallied back to win the next three games to go up 4-3. Mays held serve and then broke Jackman to go up 5-4. Things looked bleak for Northwestern as Mays was serving and and was two points from victory up 30-love, but Jackman refused to give up as he managed to break back to make it 5-5. Jackman was able to hold and then broke Mays once again, setting off a wild celebration and capping a match that lasted four hours and 18 minutes.