Jan. 22, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Fifth-ranked Northwestern heads to the Big Apple, competing in the NYU Duals in what should prove to be a memorable weekend for head coach Laurie Schiller. Entering the weekend with a career record of 999-412, he needs just one victory to enter the exclusive 1,000-win club and become just the second fencing coach to achieve the feat.
"It's hard to grasp exactly what it means," said Schiller, who is in his 32nd year with the program. "As a coach, you can only do so much in preparing and training the athletes, but ultimately they are the ones that have to go out and perform. That being said, it is still a tremendous recognition and it has been an honor to have that opportunity here at Northwestern and having been given the chance to do that. Most other schools wouldn't have given me the type of support that Northwestern has. I'm looking forward to that day, and I think it will be fun to celebrate with the girls and those who have helped make it possible along the way."
Schiller looks to join North Carolina's Ron Miller as the second fencing coach with 1,000 career victories. In his 32 seasons at Northwestern, Schiller's women's teams have posted 757 wins, combined with the 242 victories by the men's teams while it was still a varsity program.
The Wildcats face their toughest test of the season in the quest for 1,000, facing three schools ranked among the top-10. NU begins the day with fourth-ranked Columbia and looks to avenge a 16-11 loss to the Lions at last year's NYU Duals. Northwestern then faces Yale, where it looks to improve on its 5-1 all-time record against the Bulldogs, before taking on conference rivals Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wayne State. Schiller and the Wildcats then close out the day against host NYU.
Earlier in the week, the first USFCA College Fencing Coaches Poll was released and Northwestern once again found itself among the top-10, boasting a fifth-place ranking. Defending champion Penn State started the year at number one with conference rival Notre Dame checking in at number two, followed by Harvard and Columbia. Ohio State, Temple, Penn, Princeton and Yale round out the top-10.
Following this weekend's bouts in New York, Northwestern returns to Evanston for the first home dual meets of the season. The Wildcats will host the NU Duals on Sat., Jan. 30 and Sun., Jan. 31 at the Sports and Aquatic Center (SPAC), with action getting underway at 8 a.m. both days.
Northwestern vs. NYU Duals Opponents
All-Time Series: Columbia leads, 7-3
Last meeting: Jan. 25, 2009 (Columbia wins 16-11)
All-Time Series: Northwestern leads, 5-1
Last meeting: Jan. 25, 2009 (Northwestern wins 18-9)
All-Time Series: Notre Dame leads, 38-9
Last meeting: Feb. 1, 2009 (Notre Dame wins 16-11)
All-Time Series: Ohio State leads, 30-16
Last meeting: Jan. 31, 2009 (Ohio State wins 18-9)
All-Time Series: Northwestern leads, 30-15
Last meeting: Feb. 1, 2009 (Northwestern wins 27-0)
All-Time Series: Northwestern leads, 9-1
Last meeting: Jan. 25, 2009 (Northwestern wins 19-8)