Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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For those new to Northwestern sports, last season was about as good as it gets. Most sports made major strides, while many maintained their present courses. Football escaped from two years in the wilderness and won nine games to send the team to the Alamo Bowl. Our men’s hoops team managed to win more than one conference game and even made it to the NIT. Maybe we are still the only BCS-conference school to never appear in the NCAA tournament, but combined with the Obamania, there was at least hope on campus.

And of course, women’s lacrosse won its, uh, fifth-consecutive national title. Pretty good. At one point, NU had the top-ranked women’s tennis and lacrosse teams in the country. That is, until tennis once again was unable to live up to its high expectations and made an earlier-than-planned exit from the NCAA tournament.

With the lacrosse title and Jake Herbert’s individual NCAA wrestling championship, the Wildcats continue their dominance in two sports.

However, there is a whiff of uncertainty on campus this fall. Can we improve on the success of last year? Will tennis and football finally grab some hardware? Will either of our basketball teams be competitive? On the former, probably not, but the latter should show some kind of improvement.

With football’s loss to Syracuse, a bowl berth is seriously in jeopardy. And even should the team limp through the Big Ten season to become bowl eligible, it doesn’t look like our 61-year bowl victory drought will end. This is a team that can barely beat a MAC foe at home; what would happen if they were to play one at a neutral site?

Luckily, the Cats do not face Ohio State or Michigan this year and get Penn State at home, but whether this team sinks or swims will be determined Saturday against Minnesota.

Unlike our gridiron heroes, the Lakeside gals have had some modest success of late. After five years of national dominance and increased exposure, the rest of the country’s lacrosse programs have taken notice and are fed up. Coach Kelly Amonte Hiller will have to replace three indispensable cogs in her championship machine: her playmaker in Hannah Nielsen, her finisher in Hilary Bowen and her backstop in Morgan Lathrop. Yes, there are many new recruits and players who have been waiting in the wings to take over, but those three are irreplaceable as a unit.

Amonte Hiller will need all of her coaching wisdom to get the title for the thumb, and this year’s squad will probably have more hiccups than last season’s undefeated juggernaut.

On the hardwood, the Cats actually have glimmers of hope.

What? Did I just actually write that?

Bill Carmody lost his Princeton buddy Henry Bienen as NU president and now has no safety net but does have what should be a competitive and more experienced team. The Cats return four starters, and if someone can replace Craig Moore’s perimeter sharpshooting, this team might go .500 in the conference. Heck, they might even make a run in the Big Ten tourney and make the Dance. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

On the women’s side, second-year coach Joe McKeown should be able to grab some wins and try to infuse some more of his winning traditions to the previously lackluster program.

Until either of the basketball success stories happen, we can hope that our football team can get things going with students actually at the games beginning Saturday.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Regan: Sustainability a question in the year ahead for NU