Chicago Sun-Times
Steve Tucker's inside look at various professional and amateur sports

September 2010 Archives

NU volleyball is in the top 25

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Northwestern women's  volleyball is ranked in the top-25 for the first time since 1987. 
One of five Big Ten teams ranked,the Wildcats have rolled with local products Stephanie Holthus, Elyse Glab and Julie Chin.).
This will be a big weekend as NU plays at Wisconsin (where it hasn't won since 1985) and at No. 7 Illinois.

Northwestern lacrosse adds Fratzke to coaching staff

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From NU sports information ...

Northwestern head women's lacrosse coach Kelly Amonte Hiller announced the hiring of Hillary Fratzke as an assistant coach.

"We could not be more excited to welcome Hillary into the Wildcat family," Amonte Hiller said. "She had a tremendous career at Towson University and established herself as one of the premier lacrosse players nationally. In the process, she received both her undergraduate
and masters degrees at Towson. She will be a great mentor to our players on and off the field."

Fratzke brings with her an impressive collegiate playing résumé, being named an IWLCA All-American three times, making her the first player in Towson history to accomplish the feat. A starter since her freshman season for the Tigers, Fratzke was a two-time Tewaaraton Trophy nominee as well as the two-time Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year (2008 and 2010), while earning four All-CAA honors.

A native of Centreville, Md., Fratzke played in 72 games for Towson with 70 starts. She tallied 199 goals and 63 assists during her career, both of which rank third all-time in program history, and her 262 points is second in the Tiger record book. Fratzke also sits atop the Towson
career leaders in ground balls (193), draw controls (327) and caused turnovers (144).

Fratzke helped lead Towson to back-to-back CAA titles in 2008 and 2009 as the Tigers qualified for the NCAA tournament three-straight seasons from 2008-10. She was honored in 2010 by being named to the Colonial Athletic Association's 25th-Anniversary Team.

Fratzke proved to be a consistent threat for Towson, recording a point in 70-consecutive games while notching a goal in 64-straight contests, the second-longest streak in NCAA history. As a junior, she netted a career-best 62 goals and 24 assists, en route to being named a first team IWLCA All-American, the CAA Player of the Year and a Tewaaraton Trophy nominee.

A CAA Scholar-Athlete and the 2010 Towson Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Fratzke graduated from Towson with a master's degree in biology after attaining her bachelor's degree in the same field.

Report: Nicosia Henry shot in the foot

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From Seton Hall ...

Freshman Nicosia Henry, a women's basketball player [from Bolingbrook], was one of the three students that got injured from a shooting that occurred early Saturday morning at an off-campus party in East Orange, according to multiple sources.

The sources requested anonymity as the alleged suspect of the shooting is still at large.

An eyewitness who was at the party said that Henry suffered a bullet wound to the foot. 

When police and emergency medical technicians arrived on the scene, Henry was taken to University Hospital in Newark.

Henry underwent surgery to remove the bullet from her foot and is "doing better," a source said.

The Setonian has now confirmed the identity of all three students involved with the shooting. Sophomore Jessica Moore died Saturday afternoon from injuries suffered during the incident, and Nakeisha Vanterpool, also a sophomore, was still hospitalized on Saturday night according to sources.

Henry has yet to play a game for the Pirates.

Nicholas Parco can be reached at

Western New York to join Women's Professional Soccer

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From a Red Stars release ...

Women's Professional Soccer has conditionally approved a team from Western New York as its eighth WPS franchise this past week during a vote by its Board of Governors, WPS announced on Friday two days before its 2010 WPS Championship presented by Citi culminates the 2010 season. The Western New York team, owned by Joe Sahlen, will be based at Sahlen Sports Park, in Elma, New York, a suburb of Buffalo.  The team's home games will be split between Rochester, New York, at the 14,000-seat Rochester Rhinos Stadium and the newly-expanded Niagara Field on the campus of Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, giving WPS six soccer-specific stadiums among its eight teams.

"The league is proud to announce an eighth franchise for the 2011 WPS Season that will play in Western New York," said incoming WPS CEO, Anne-Marie Eileraas. "The Western New York region has a tremendous soccer tradition and the existing infrastructure of the Flash organization will provide a great foundation for this team to flourish in WPS."

Red Stars and Natalie Spilger to host clinic

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From a release from the Red Stars

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer and defender Natalie Spilger are holding a one-day soccer clinic from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 2, at Frontier Sports Complex in Naperville, Ill.

Sign up to be a part of Spilger's defense-specific, girls-only clinic for ages U-9 and above. But hurry -- the clinic is limited to the first 30 participants who sign up.

The cost is $75 and includes a T-shirt and water bottle. The session will be held at Frontier Sports Complex's Field No. 4, located at 3380 Cedar Glade Drive in Naperville.

Spilger is the starting left defensive back of the Red Stars, who completed their second season in WPS. She previously was a center defensive back during her collegiate days at Stanford and with Balinge IF Uppsala in Sweden's Damallsvenska league. Off the field, Spilger recently was named the 2010 Citi Sportswoman of the Year by WPS for her environmental awareness efforts through GreenLaces.

For more information about the Oct. 2 clinic, visit or contact Red Stars Camps Director Kat Hurst at or call 708-496-9520.
The U.S. Army will be in Oak Park on Sept 29 to select a deserving young woman to be a part of the 2011 U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a member of the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band. This selection is a great honor - only 125 high school musicians and color guard members are selected each year.
With her selection, Becca Pearce from Oak Park and River Forest High School becomes a member of a select group of All-American band members that, over the years, have gone on to perform in college marching bands and elite drum corps, as well as several that have gone on to serve in the U.S. Army.

NU pep rally Thursday

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From Northwestern sports information:

Northwestern University along with the City of Evanston will be
hosting a Pep Rally on Thursday, Sept. 23 in anticipation of Evanston
Day at Ryan Field, which will be celebrated at Northwestern's 11 a.m.
football game against Central Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The pep rally, held outside the Rotary International World
Headquarters on Sherman Ave. between Davis Street and Grove Street,
will be emceed by Northwestern football All-American and Evanston
resident Mike Adamle. Mayor Tisdahl and NU President Morton Schapiro
will be joined by Director of Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips
and Wildcat Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald. Fans and residents
attending the pep rally are encouraged to wear purple as select
businesses will be offering promotions to individuals sporting the
Northwestern-specific hue. Northwestern t-shirts and Wildcat gear
will be available for sale at a booth along Sherman Avenue.

For more information, click here:

Wendy's High School Heisman deadline nears

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Wendy's is looking for the next High School Heisman and the application process is currently open until Oct. 3. The Wendy's High School Heisman (WHSH) award is a joint program between Wendy's and the Heisman Memorial Trust, host of the Collegiate Heisman Memorial Trophy. Just as the Heisman is known for being the top award in college football, WHSH is known for being the most prominent award at the high school level and celebrates High School athletes who demonstrate strong sports, academic, and community skills.
I would appreciate it if you would post some information regarding WHSH and encouraged your readers to apply ay <> . A male a female winner will be honored during ESPN's national telecast of the college Heisman Memorial Trophy presentation. Each National Winner receives a Wendy's High School Heisman trophy, a Heisman patch, and a $10,000 monetary award for their High School.
From a Red Stars release:

Women's Professional Soccer announced its 2010 WPS Year-End Awards on Thursday.

The Citi Sportswoman of the Year Award, which recognizes the player who demonstrates exemplary community involvement, went to Chicago Red Stars defender Natalie Spilger, whose grassroots organization GreenLaces has brought awareness to global environmental issues and energy conservation by using athletes as environmental leaders in their countries and communities.

"I'm excited and honored," Spilger said. "There are so many women in this league who are deserving of this award, and I'm just really flattered."

Spilger's work has been chronicled in numerous media outlets. She has been recognized at the United Nations as part of their "Champions for Change," and GreenLaces now has more than 1,000 people who have "Made a Promise to the Planet" to reduce waste, promote reusable products and conserve natural resources by doing little things every day.

Her involvement within a grassroots-focused WPS has been a natural fit for Spilger on and off the pitch.

"This league allows you to be engaged within the community," Spilger said. "A smile, or a wave, a hug, the fact that we can inspire girls to come back to a game -- I've had a chance to affect them positively. Being a good person goes a long way, and this league is so important in showing that they can be leaders, too."

The laces (100 percent recycled plastic) are a symbol for participants' promises toward a green lifestyle, and the movement has drawn professional athletes such as Alecko Eskandarian (Major League Soccer), Dhani Jones (National Football League) and Cat Osterman (USA Women's Softball). For more on GreenLaces, visit

In addition to Spilger's honor, the second-year defender had a successful campaign for the No. 2 defense in WPS. Spilger set career highs in games (19) and minutes (1,368), and she earned her first assist on a game-winning goal during Chicago's 2-0 victory over Sky Blue FC on July 10. The back line of center backs Kate Markgraf and Whitney Engen, flanked by Spilger on the left and Marian Dalmy on the right, was a cohesive group throughout the 2010 campaign.

"Honestly, it was so nice to be able to settle into a position without stressing," Spilger said. "It allowed me to have so much fun this season. I loved playing with Kate, Whitney and Dalmy. We had each other's backs, and that was the most comfortable feeling."

Logic picks Iowa

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In girls basketball, Samantha Logic of Racine, Wisconsin, rated among the top 10 seniors in the nation by some analysts, has committed to Iowa. The 5-11 guard, who played with a Chicago-based club team this summer picked Iowa over finalists Marquette, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

NU finishes European tour 4-0

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From Nick Brilowski
NU Associate Director of Athletic Communications

Sophomore Drew Crawford scored a game-high 21 points, classmate Alex Marcotullio
added 17 and freshman JerShon Cobb chipped in with 16 as the Northwestern men's
basketball team finished its tour of Italy undefeated at 4-0 thanks to a 77-55
victory over Pallacanestro Pavia in Pavia, Italy, Sunday evening.

The Wildcats held a precarious 51-48 fourth-quarter lead before going on an 18-0 run
to pull away for the win. Crawford scored seven points during the decisive rally.

OT win for NU on basketball European trip

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From Northwestern Sports Information:

Senior point guard Michael "Juice" Thompson  scored 38 points and the
Northwestern men's basketball team netted the first nine points of the overtime
period as the Wildcats defeated Fastweb Casale Monferrato Saturday evening. John Shurna added 26 points and Drew Crawford chipped in
with 22 as NU improved to 3-0 on its Italian tour.

Northwestern men win again

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From NU Sports Information's Nick Brilowski

John Shurna scored 27 points, including shooting a perfect 7-for-7 from 3-point
range, as the Northwestern men's basketball team improved to 2-0 on its Italy tour
with a 89-74 win over Ligomatic Perugia in Perugia, Italy, on Wednesday. Michael
Thompson added 22 points for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats' next contest is Saturday against Fastweb Casale Monferrato at 1:30
p.m. CT Saturday.

Ella Masar to miss last two matches

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The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced that forward Ella Masar will miss the team's final two regular-season matches. Masar elected to have septum surgery early last week Red Stars Head Coach Omid Namazi said that Masar is not at 100 percent.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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