"On the Sidelines with Candace Rushing"
Friday, October 23, 2009

Great teams, no matter Division I or Division III, know how to prevail when adversity comes their way. Although last week was difficult for the school to swallow, it was especially difficult for the athletic department. With our own assistant coach Glenn Evans being let go, out team got hit the hardest. However, showing character of a great team, my teammates along with Coach Wooten and Coach Evans traveled to Oakland University in Michigan and IPFW in Fort Wayne and finished the weekend with a tie and a win. Surprising pre-season polls and opposing coaches, my team is not lying down and dying. Now more than ever, we have a strong desire to win. As a team, we have searched inside of our hearts and instead of playing for recognition and glory, are playing for each other and Coach Evans.

Last Friday afternoon in Oakland, Michigan was the most defensive game the Ladies have played this season. Senior keeper, Kate Donnelly, made 19 saves, one being a penalty kick, keeping goals against at zero. Unfortunately, offense was hard to get going for the Ladies as well. However, we walked off the field with a point towards conference standings. Because of her performance, Donnelly was named Summit League Defensive Player of the Week. Moving into the Sunday game, the Ladies were able to string more offense together. Leading scorers Katie Valdez and Chelsea Granger were each able to find the back of the net resulting in their sixth and fifth goals of the season. Two goals proved to be enough as IPFW could only get past Donnelly once.

After the long fall break far away from home, the girls were happy to land in Shreveport on Monday morning. Following NCAA rules, Monday night was taken off from practice, however Tuesday the girls got right back down to business. Now Thursday night, after three constructive practices this week, my teammates are more than ready to dominate on the field this weekend verse Western Illinois and IUPUI. During halftime of the Western Illinois game on Friday night, our six seniors will be recognized and honored. Being a huge part of my life for three years now, it is going to be hard to watch them play their very last Friday night home game on Mayo field.

Seniors Kortney Causey, Lauren Cheaney, Kate Donnelly, Lauren Stanley, Kristine Weaver, and Mattie Weatherspoon will all be recognized on Friday night. Senior Lauren Cheaney had this to say about senior night. "It is going to be such a complex feeling. I am going to have to feel sadness and happiness at the same time, all while staying focused for the second half of the game." With that said, come out Friday night at seven and help these seniors get through the night. Cheer them on, thank them for outstanding careers, and wish them well. Speaking not only for myself, but for the rest of my teammates and coaches, these girls are special, very special. Each is so unique in her own way; they are truly unforgettable. See you under the lights Friday night.

Before you sign off, get to know four more of my teammates. Close in age, sophomores Jordan Smith and Eren Corapcioglu along with Freshman Courtney Cleveland and Logan Cathcart each bring a lot to the Ladies program. From Louisiana, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas, they also bring a lot of diversity as well. Enjoy learning about these remarkable student-athletes.

Jordan Taylor Smith
Birthday: July 7, 1990
Hometown: Shreveport, LA
Favorite athlete: Derek Jeter
Best soccer memory: when I scored my 100th goal in high school soccer my senior year
Funniest Memory of Chase: Him yelling "You're cheating" then apologizing to the opposing coach
Favorite Inspirational quote: I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
-- Michael Jordan
Pre-game routine: Get dressed, dance some, then make sure all my teammates are pumped and ready to go out and win.

Eren Marie Corapcioglu
Birthday: June 14th, 1990
Hometown: Louisville, Colorado
Biggest Pet peeve: When a driver leaves their blinker on after they have turned or merged lanes.
Funniest Memory of Chase: Last year when he was yelling so loud at the referee for a missed call that he pulled a muscle in his stomach.
Favorite Inspirational quote: "Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true." -Leon J. Suenes
Favorite pump up song: "Wanna Be"- Spice Girls
Something no one knows about you: I still listen to "old school" Backstreet Boys.

Courtney DeAnn Cleveland, "CC"
August 18, 1990
Hometown: Owasso, OK
Best soccer memory: Walking on the field for our first home game
Funniest Memory of Chase: Chase getting scared of the lightning outside while we were setting up the locker room and running to his truck yelling 'I can't get struck down! Amber can't be a single mother, she's too weak!'
Pre-game routine: Stretch and laugh during the pre-game dance party in the locker room,
Something No one knows about you: I had a sheep and was in FFA
If you could play any other sport, what would it be?: Lacrosse

Logan Michelle Cathcart
Birthday: November 2, 1990
Hometown: Highland Village, Texas
Favorite athlete: Clint Dempsey
Biggest Pet peeve: Hypocritical Statements
Best soccer memory: Receiving offers from D1 schools
Favorite pump up song: "Final Countdown" with Catie Depew
If you could play any other sport what would it be?: Thought has never crossed my mind. Soccer.