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

October 2010 Archives

Chicago Riot indoor soccer set for Dec. 5 debut

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From Charlie Corr ...

Chicago's Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) team, the Chicago Riot Soccer Club, today unveiled its logo, colors, website and ticket pricing information at a ceremony on the field at the Odeum Sports and Expo Center, which will serve as the home of the Riot for all home games starting on December 5. The press conference was followed by the Riot's first training session and an open tryout.

The Riot also announced that tickets went on sale Wednesday. Fans interested in purchasing Riot tickets should contact 630.708.6284 or visit www.chicagoriotsoccer.com.

The MISL last week approved the addition of the Chicago Riot for the 2010-11 season. Peter Wilt, who has previously led successful Chicago soccer teams in the National Professional Soccer League (Power), Major League Soccer (Fire) and Women's Professional Soccer (Red Stars), is a part owner of the Riot and will serve as the team's President, CEO and official spokesperson. Wilt has won championships in four professional soccer leagues, is a member of the Chicago Fire Ring of Fire and is a former MLS Executive of the Year. Jeff Kraft, the former head coach of the Rockford Rampage, will serve as Chicago's Director of Team Operations and Head Coach.

"I'm really excited to be back in Chicago and working with a great group of people to put together the Chicago Riot. It's a tight timeline, but I'm confident we'll have an exciting team and a great atmosphere for Riot fans at the Odeum," Wilt said. "The seating is extremely limited and we're offering really affordable tickets starting at $10 for individual seats and $72 for a full season ticket and parking is free. This is going to be the best value for sports fans in Chicagoland."

Jeff Kraft, the Riot's Head Coach, said he expected to see intense soccer all season long.

"Every Riot game will be action packed, and our team is going to have a blue collar ethic," Kraft said. "We are putting together a young and hungry roster, and we will play with toughness every night."

Name: The team is named after the numerous landmark riots in Chicago history that have defined the city since its incorporation in 1837.

"It was important to select a name that both connects with the history of the city and reflects the passion and spirit of our team and fans," said Riot President and CEO Peter Wilt. "Chicago Riot is a historical reference to the city's famous civil unrests - including the Chicago Lager Beer Riot of 1855, the Haymarket Square Riot of 1886 and the Grant Park Democratic National Convention Riot in 1968. While polarizing at the time, the famous Chicago riots all led to a better place to live for all Chicagoans."
From DePaul sports' information's Bob Sakamoto

The Blue Demons' 1-0 victory over Pittsburgh was the school's first-ever BIG EAST Conference Championship tournament win---courtesy of Michelle Scandora's penalty-kick goal in the 39th minute.

DePaul (11-8-2) advances to the BIG EAST quarterfinals and a 1 p.m. game on Sunday at No. 13/12 Marquette (14-3-2).

There was Arianna Foster in the 39th minute making a surgery-precise pass through the narrowest of openings between two Panther defenders to Natasa Radosavljevic.

"I made my move on the right and Ari had two players on her, so I yelled to her, Radosavljevic said. "She slipped it right through. I saw the keeper coming out and took a touch.

 

        Picture (Device Independent Bitmap)       

"The keeper clipped my foot and I rolled over, and we got a penalty kick."

The whistle in the box handed DePaul a golden opportunity.

"I kind of got excited because I anticipated taking it," Scandora said. "I was telling myself to relax, focus on the shot and don't over-think it."

Scandora fired her shot into the lower left corner as Pittsburgh goalkeeper Morie Kephart moved in the other direction.

"I was real excited," Scandora said about her second goal of the season. "I turned around and looked at my teammates and thought it would help us get the momentum back."

DePaul goalkeeper Kelsey Hoinkes and a back line of Casey Mercurio, Kylie Nordness, Rebekah Roller and Beth Perry with help from Janina Locascio combined for the team's eighth shutout of the season.

Hoinkes made two huge saves in the second half.

The first one was a diving stop, and the second one she leaped and deflected a Pittsburgh shot headed towards the upper portion of the DePaul net.

"There were a lot of legs in front of me, and I just reacted to the shot," Hoinkes said abut the first dramatic stop. "I guess you could say I made the right move at the right time.

"The other shot, those are the scariest. It's up in the air and with all the wind, you never know. I was able to get enough fingers on it to push it high.

"It's awesome to get this first BIG EAST playoff win. I'm a senior, and all of us just won our last game at Wish Field. Now, we want to keep on going."



NOTES: The 11th win of the season is the second-highest total in the 15-year history of DePaul women's soccer... the 2003 Blue Demons went 14-7-2 en route to a Conference USA tournament title and NCAA tournament appearance... the victory over Pittsburgh snapped a four-game losing streak for the Blue Demons... it's appropriate that DePaul wins its first BIG EAST playoff game in the first season of the new Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium... Marquette is riding an 11-game winning streak and hasn't loss since Sept. at then-No. 10 Brigham Young... Pittsburgh outshot DePaul 11-9 on Thursday and had a 5-3 edge in shots on goal... Tara Strickland took two shots for the Blue Demons while Scandora, Lauren Pagone, Callie Hemming, Roller, Kelly Blumberg, Ashleigh Goddard and Erin Pekovitch each had one... Hoinkes made five saves in recording her first shutout of the season... Pagone leads DePaul with six goals and one assist for 13 points, followed by Strickland (three goals, six assists) with 12 points and Hemming (fur goals, three assists) with 11... Strickland tops the team in shots with 54 and shots on goal with 19... the Screamin' Demons Band that fired up the Wish Field at Cacciatore Stadium crowd on Thursday was under the direction of Jeff Livursi.

From Arlington Park's David Zenner


 

Arlington Park again proved to be a stepping-stone for the Breeders' Cup World Championships with three Breeders' Cup Challenge winners, three additional 2010 Arlington stakes winners, 10 other Arlington Park '10 participants and six additional horses who raced at Arlington in past seasons listed among the 184 horses pre-entered for this year's event to be run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6.

 

Leading the way among 2010 Arlington stakes winners pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup is Éclair de Lune, who earned a berth into the Grade I $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf by virtue of winning the Grade I Beverly D. on Aug. 21.  The Beverly D. was part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" format, which automatically places the winners of selected major stakes races at racetracks worldwide including Arlington Park into a corresponding divisional race.

 

            Joining Éclair de Lune in the Filly and Mare Turf are Beverly D. runner-up Hot Cha Cha who previously won the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes here in 2009; the 2008 Filly and Mare Turf champion Forever Together, who made her turf debut that year by taking the Reluctant Guest Stakes here; and Keertana, who broke her maiden at Arlington Park in Sept. 2008.

 

            Also taking advantage of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" format is Grade I Arlington Million hero Debussy who has been pre-entered in the $3 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf. 

 

            Among the other horses pre-entered for the Turf are 2008 Secretariat Stakes (Grade I) winner Winchester; the one-time Arlington-based Telling, a regular performer over the Arlington turf in 2008-09; and 2010 Secretariat victor Paddy O'Prado, who has also been pre-entered for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

 

            The third Arlington Park Breeders' Cup Challenge winner to take advantage of the "Win and You're In" provision is Chamberlain Bridge, who captured the Arlington Sprint here on June 26 and is one of 18 horses pre-entered for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

 

            Two other horses with Arlington running lines have been pre-entered for the Turf Sprint - Stadivinsky, who won a $35,000 claiming race here in May before being claimed in his next start at Churchill Downs; and Due Date, who finished off the board in an allowance race here in 2008.

 

            Informed Decision, winner of the $1 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint last year, will attempt to defend her title in that race.  The Jonathan Sheppard-trained mare has won back to back editions of the Grade III Chicago Handicap over the Arlington Polytrack.

 

            Rinterval, who finished second to Informed Decision in the Chicago 'Cap, has also been pre-entered for the Filly & Mare Sprint.

 

            Arlington-Washington Futurity (Grade III) victor Major Gain is one of three horses with Arlington Park ties to be pre-entered in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.  The other two are Rough Sailing, a maiden winner here at first asking Aug. 8; and Willcox Inn, another first-asking maiden winner on Sept. 18.

 

            Gio Ponti, the 2009 Million winner who was second to Debussy in this year's renewal, has been pre-entered in both the Classic and the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Mile.

 

            Acoma, seventh in this year's Beverly D., will return to dirt racing as one of a dozen distaffers pre-entered for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.

 

            The locally based Mad Flatter, third in the Grade III Washington Park Handicap after winning an allowance race at a one-turn flat mile, is the lone Arlington Park representative in the $1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

 

            Jordy Y, runner-up in the Grade III Arlington-Washington Lassie after two wins here, has been pre-entered in both the $2 million Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies and the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

 

            Giant Oak, winner of the 2009 Arlington Classic and more recently runner-up in this year's Grade III Washington Park Handicap, has been pre-entered in the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon as has Gabriel's Hill, who shows an off-the-board finish in a 2007 allowance race here.

 

            This year's two-day Breeders' Cup format has all of the races restricted to fillies and mares plus the Marathon run on Friday, Nov. 5, and the remaining championship races contested Saturday, Nov. 6. 

 

The 14-race Breeders' Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing's richest program with $25.5 million in total purses, will be simulcast to Arlington Park and its network of Trackside off-track wagering facilities.

 

On Friday, first post at Churchill Downs is 1 p.m. Central time with the first of six Breeders' Cup races slated to go to the post at 3:10 p.m.  The last of Friday's Breeders' Cup races, the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic will be run under the lights at 6:45 p.m.  Illinois Thoroughbred racing at Hawthorne will start at 1:45 p.m.  The following day's action from Churchill Downs begins at 11:05 a.m. with the first of eight Breeders' Cup events scheduled for 12:50 p.m. while the first local race from Hawthorne is set for 12:35 p.m.  The final Breeders' Cup race, the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, will be run at 5:45 p.m.

 

Arlington Park will open its Million Room restaurant for a special Breeders' Cup package on Saturday, Nov. 6.  For $42 per person, fans will receive admission, program, a continental breakfast and a special lunch buffet. Reservations are required for this package and can be secured by calling (847) 870-6943 or by purchasing tickets online at www.arlingtonpark.com.

 

In addition, Mr. D.'s Sports Bar located on the east end of the apron level of the grandstand will be open both Friday and Saturday.  On Friday, the popular sports bar will be open from noon until 7 p.m. while on Saturday it will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

 

Illinois Trackside locations will open early both days and each location will offer food and beverage specials throughout the day.  For more information regarding Breeders' Cup events at Trackside locations, visit www.tracksideotb.com

 


Arena Rush signs WR Robert Quiroga

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A release from the Rush ...



The Chicago Rush has signed wide receiver Robert Quiroga for the 2011 season.  Quiroga is entering his fifth season in the AFL and his first with the Chicago Rush.

 

"Q (Robert Quiroga) is a great addition to the Rush," said Rush head coach Bob McMIllen. "He can help us in all three phases of the game.  We see Q becoming an elite receiver in this league."

 

Quiroga spent the 2010 AFL season with the Orlando Predators, where he amassed 59 receptions for 635 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Though primarily a wide receiver, he also made his presence felt on defense by tallying 14 tackles and 4 assists.  Prior to his time in Orlando, Quiroga spent three seasons with the Los Angeles Avengers showcasing his versatility with a strong presence on both offense and defense.

Red Stars protected list

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The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced their 10-player protected list in conjunction with the Nov. 4 WPS Expansion Draft.

The following players from the Red Stars' 2010 roster have been protected:

Goalkeeper: Karina LeBlanc, Jillian Loyden
Defenders: Marian Dalmy, Whitney Engen, Natalie Spilger
Midfielders: Karen Carney, Megan Rapinoe
Forwards: Veronica Boquete, Ella Masar, Casey Nogueira

Super Six Series women's basketball challenge

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From the Big Ten ...


Six conferences have joined forces to create the Super Six Series women's basketball challenge. Conferences participating are the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Southeastern and Pacific-10.

Michigan State and Minnesota will represent the Big Ten in the inaugural Super Six Series. The Spartans will travel to Baylor on Nov. 19, while the Gophers will host Pittsburgh on Nov. 17, the opening matchup of the Super Six Series which will be broadcast nationally on www.bigtennetwork.com.

 

"The initiation of the Super Six Series is an outstanding opportunity for our coaches and student-athletes to compete against some of the best competition in the country," Big Ten Associate Commissioner Andrea Williams said. "With compelling matchups and top players, we anticipate this series will provide the participating teams with a unique and competitive preseason experience."

 

Michigan State finished last season second in the Big Ten at 12-6, with a 23-10 overall record. The Spartans advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament a year ago and finished with 11 wins in their last 14 games of the 2009-10 season. The Bears and Spartans have met once previously, facing off in the 2005 NCAA Championship game, won by Baylor.

 

Minnesota returns three starters from the 2009-10 squad that finished 13-17 overall and 6-12 in conference play. In addition to welcoming back three of their top four scorers from last year, the Gophers will receive an influx of young talent off the strength of one of the nation's premier recruiting classes. The meeting between Minnesota and Pittsburgh will be the first between the two programs.

 

Matchups for the 2010-11 Super Six Series can be found below.

 

2010-11 Super Six Series Matchups

All times are ET

 

November 17   

Pittsburgh at Minnesota, 8 p.m.

www.bigtennetwork.com

 

November 18   

UCLA at Notre Dame, 7 p.m.

Duke at Auburn, 7 p.m.

 

November 19   

Michigan State at Baylor, 8 p.m.

 

November 21   

Vanderbilt at Florida State, 2 p.m.

 

November 22

Nebraska at Washington State, 10 p.m.

 

From the Red Stars ...

U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage named her U.S. Women's National Team roster for 2010 CONCACAF Women's World Cup Qualifying. The roster includes Chicago Red Stars midfielder Megan Rapinoe and goalkeeper Jillian Loyden. Qualifying opens for the U.S. against Haiti on Oct. 28.

Rapinoe has six goals and 16 international caps for her national team career. Loyden earned her first cap on Oct. 2 as the Americans posted a 2-1 victory over China.

Red Stars trade for GK Karina LeBlanc

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From the Red Stars ...

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer announced Tuesday that they have traded their first-round (third overall) and third-round selections in the 2011 WPS Draft to the Philadelphia Independence for veteran goalkeeper and Canadian international Karina LeBlanc.

"When we knew she was available, giving up a couple of draft picks for a goalkeeper who I think will add to the goalkeeping position was a no-brainer," Red Stars Head Coach Omid Namazi said. "She brings experience, leadership and will provide for healthy competition for the starting spot within our team. We're happy to be getting a quality goalkeeper."

The 2011 first-round draft selection traded to Philadelphia is Chicago's pick based on 2010 standings and the addition of the Western New York franchise, which will have the first overall selection. The Red Stars previously acquired a first-round selection (second overall) from the Atlanta Beat during the season.

Namazi said the organization would like to have its 2010 starting goalkeeper Jillian Loyden back, as well, to create heated competition and provide goalkeeper depth with the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup on the horizon.

Red Stars to host clinics with Elise Weber

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From the Red Stars ...

The Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer are hosting three clinics to close out the 2010 year, with Oct. 30 and Dec. 20 sessions taking place in Schaumburg, and a Nov. 26 clinic in Naperville.

The Saturday, Oct. 30, session runs from 3 to 6 p.m. at Schaumburg Sports Center, 1141 W. Irving Park Road, in Schaumburg. The cost is $55 and features Red Stars defender and Elk Grove native Elise Weber. Weber earned three state championships at St. Viator in Arlington Heights, then played collegiately at Wisconsin and Notre Dame.

The Nov. 26 Black Friday Drop N' Shop runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Players Indoor Sports Complex, 1740 Quincy Ave., in Naperville. The cost is $95.

The Monday, Dec. 20, Holiday Drop N' Shop takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Schaumburg Sports Center. The cost is $95.

Clinics are for girls and boys, ages 7-16, and participants will receive a Red Stars T-shirt. Lunch will be provided for the day-long Drop N' Shop sessions.

For more information about Red Stars Fall and Winter Clinics, contact Carrie Sear at 1-708-496-9517 or e-mail csear@chicagoredstars.com.

Red Stars camps and clinics information is available at www.ChicagoRedStars.com by clicking the "camps" menu.

Red Stars' Kate Markgraf retires

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From the Red Stars

The Chicago Red Stars and U.S. Soccer announced Thursday that veteran defender Kate Markgraf is retiring from professional soccer.

This year, Markgraf made 21 starts and logged 1,873 minutes for the Red Stars in Women's Professional Soccer play. Because of her in-season success, Markgraf was called back to the U.S. Women's National Team for three matches, pushing her career caps total to 201 and becoming one of only seven U.S. players to reach that mark.

Markgraf joined the Red Stars heading into the inaugural 2009 WPS campaign as a U.S. National Team-allocated player. But Markgraf missed the season as she gave birth to twins Carson (girl) and Xavier (boy).

The mother of three -- Markgraf has another son, Keegan -- completed her soccer comeback and captained a Red Stars defense that ranked second in the league behind only WPS champion FC Gold Pride this year.

Markgraf earned her 200th career cap for the U.S. during a 1-1 draw against Sweden on July 13 in Omaha, Neb. Markgraf, typically a center back, made the switch to right back and also wore the captain's armband.

Rush signs former H-F star Barnes

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From a Rush release ...



The Chicago Rush has signed wide receiver Freddie Barnes for the 2011 season, the team announced on Friday. Barnes, who attended Homewood-Flossmoor, set an NCAA record with 155 receptions his senior year at Bowling Green.

"Freddie is a hard worker with NFL talent," head coach Bob McMillen described. "His speed and toughness will make him a nightmare for defenses next year."

Barnes finished the 2009 season at Bowling Green with 155 catches for 1,770 yards and 16 touchdowns. His record breaking season earned him All-American accolades, and a spot as a Biletnikoff award finalist.

Barnes was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bears on April 24 before being released on September 3.

NU names Kennedy director of operations

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From NU sports information


Northwestern head men's basketball coach Bill Carmody has announced the hire of Joe Kennedy as the team's director of operations. Kennedy replaces John Davidson who recently left the program to pursue other professional opportunities.
 
His duties include assisting in all aspects of the everyday workings within the Wildcat basketball office and program, including all travel arrangements and serving as the team's academic liaison among a variety of other demands.
 
"This is a dream come true," Kennedy said. "I am extremely excited to assist Coach Carmody and the entire staff as Wildcat Basketball continues to move forward."
 
A 2007 Northwestern graduate with degrees in social policy and religion, Kennedy was a four-year letterwinner with the Wildcats from 2004-07. He served as a team captain his senior year and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

Mariah Smith picks Princeton

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Peoria Richwoods' 6-foot all-state guard/forward Mariah Smith said Monday night that she had given a commitment to Princeton.

The daughter of the late Mark Smith, a Richwoods graduate and former Illinois player, Mariah who already has one state title to her name, chose Princeton after visits to the New Jersey school as well as Standford, Illinois, Iowa and Yale.

Red Stars announce mutual release of Katie Chapman

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A release from the Chicago Red Stars

The Red Stars of  Women's Professional Soccer announced the mutual release of England international midfielder Katie Chapman.

Chapman is rejoining Arsenal and then beginning preparations with the England Women's National Team for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.

"Playing with the Red Stars has been a great experience and a new challenge for me," Chapman said. "WPS is a lot more competitive and great to play in. I thought we were great this year -- our possession was unbelievable, better than any other team. If we had that final touch, no doubt we would have made the playoffs."

Chapman started and played in 21 matches with the Red Stars during the 2010 WPS season. She logged 1,874 minutes and notched an assist in a 1-1 draw against Saint Louis Athletica during the Red Stars' home opener on April 17.

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