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Men’s soccer faces stiff test in Creighton

first_imgBlake Succa and the Badgers will be hard pressed to get a win against a Creighton team that has won four consecutive games against Wisconsin.[/media-credit]After only two games at home, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team gets back on the road this weekend to take on No. 16 Creighton.Sporting a 1-4-1 record, the Badgers are still looking for another win, as their only victory came in the first game of the season. Hitting the road to face the Bluejays Friday, though, will be a tough challenge.Creighton is 5-1-0 on the season, returning six starters from last season. The Bluejays also have a new head coach this year in Jamie Clark, who previously coached at Harvard where he brought the team to the NCAA tournament two years in a row.“For a team like that – I played some guys this summer – they’re fast, they’re strong,” sophomore defenseman Kyle McCrudden said. “It’s hard to prepare for a team like that – high intensity practices. Hopefully we’ll come out this weekend and just play well.”The last time Wisconsin and Creighton matched up was in 2006, when the Badgers fell 1-0 at home. Overall, Wisconsin is 2-6-1 against Creighton. In their last four meetings, the Bluejays have bested the Badgers, something UW hopes to change this year.“We started off on the road for the first four games, we’ve been traveling a lot and then we had a home stretch here this last week,” freshman defender Blake Succa said. “We’ve had a few days off. We know they’re going to be a big challenge for us so we rested up for two days and [Wednesday] we got back in it. We had a pretty hard practice knowing that we’ll have [another] day of rest.”With a solid defense already in place, Wisconsin is now looking to get their offense rolling. In the spots they missed last weekend at home – connecting on passes and controlling the ball in front of the opponent’s goal – the Badgers are hoping corrections will bring more success.“We’re doing a lot of focusing on our top of game play, which is positioning,” junior defenseman Arnel Zahorivic said. “Keeping the ball in small areas and then distributing it out wide. Just keep working on that and keep building so we can use that against Creighton. I think we’ll be very effective with that.”Despite all the work put in during practice, UW knows Creighton will still be one of its biggest challenges this year. For the young team, playing a top-20 team is certainly a helpful experience.“We’ll give it our best shot,” Succa said. “It’ll be a challenge, but I think it’ll be good for us.”Heading back on the road again will serve as a test for the Badgers. So far this season, the squad has been learning a lot with every game. While the Badgers feel they are continually improving, going on the road against a tough team will show how far the team has come.“We’re developing as well,” Zahirovic said. “If we just keep working hard, keep improving, I don’t see why we couldn’t put up a challenge against them. After all they’re just another team just like us.”last_img read more

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Oil Kings, Montrose star Bertolucci claim Memorial Cup

first_imgMontrose native Luke Bertolucci have come a long way since putting on the skates in Rossland/Trail Minor Hockey Association.The former Kootenay Ice star of the BC Major Midget Hockey League helped the Edmonton Oil Kings win the first MasterCard Memorial Cup title with a 6-3 victory over the Guelph Storm Sunday at the Tier I Junior Hockey Championship in London, Ont.This was the first Memorial Cup in the current franchise’s short seven-year history. Bertolucci, in his second season with the Oil Kings, helped guide Edmonton to the Western Hockey League title before shocking the critics at the Memorial Cup.After falling behind 2-1 in the first period, the Oil Kings scored five times in the final two periods to secure the win.A previous version of the Edmonton Oil Kings won Memorial Cups in 1966 and 1963 before relocating to Portland.The WHL ended a three-year run of Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams winning the Cup. The Oil Kings were also the first WHL team to claim it since the Spokane Chiefs in 2008.WHL teams have won the most Cups since the tournament went to a round-robin format in 1972 with 19. The OHL has won 14 and the QMJHL 10.The Memorial Cup has been given to Canada’s junior hockey champions since 1919 in memory of those who died in the First World War.Sixty teams in the Western, Ontario and Quebec major junior leagues begin play every September. The three league champions join a host team in the annual tournament to determine the Canadian Hockey League champions.The 2015 MasterCard Memorial Cup will be held in Quebec City.last_img read more

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BAFFERT TRIO OF EL KABEIR, HOPPERTUNITY & CAT BURGLAR HEAD FIELD OF EIGHT IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $500,000 SAN ANTONIO STAKES GOING 1 1/8 MILES ON THE MAIN TRACK

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 3, 2016) – Bob Baffert’s trio of El Kabeir, Hoppertunity and Cat Burglar will all hope to cash in on the $500,000 purse in Saturday’s 79th running of the Grade II San Antonio Stakes at 1 1/8 miles contested on the main track.Formerly trained by New York based John Terranova, El Kabeir has been in Baffert’s shedrow here in Southern California since early December and will have his 4-year-old debut and a return to longer distances this Saturday. A winner of the Grade III, one mile Jerome at Aqueduct in January of his 3-year-old year and also a winner of the Grade III, mile and a sixteenth Gotham in March, El Kabeir most recently ran fourth to the 2015 Eclipse Champion Sprinter, Runhappy in the seven furlong, Grade I Malibu Dec. 26 at Santa Anita.With two bullet works serving as his most recent over the Santa Anita main track, El Kabeir would appear to like his new base of operations. Owned by the Triple Crown winning connections of Zayat Stables and by the late sire Scat Daddy, El Kabeir will gain the services of Gary Stevens for the first time in the San Antonio. El Kabeir is 12-5-2-2- overall with $852,892 in earnings.Hoppertunity, a 5-year-old by Any Given Saturday and a probable to travel to Dubai to run against California Chrome in the March 26th World Cup, hopes to win Saturday’s San Antonio first. A third to the late Shared Belief and California Chrome in this race last year, Hoppertunity won the Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs and Grade II San Pasqual at Santa Anita just prior to his San Antonio defeat in 2015.Out of 17 lifetime starts, his last 11 have all been consecutively run in Grade I or Grade II company. The bay gelding has only run out of the money once in nine starts over the Santa Anita main track and will gain Flavien Prat in the saddle Saturday. Owned by Karl Watson, Mike Pegram and Paul Weitman, he is 17-4-6-3 overall with $1,572,675 in earnings.Cat Burglar returns to his preferred track in the San Antonio as he attempts to win his first added money event. The often overlooked “other Baffert” in many of his 14 lifetime starts, has never run worse than second in six tries at The Great Race Place and most recently comes off a win in a mile allowance on Jan. 8 against San Antonio contender, Cyrus Alexander.The 6-year-old horse by the late Unbridled’s Song is owned by Michael Lund Petersen and will retain the services of Rafael Bejarano who was aboard for his most recent win. He is 14-4-4-3 overall with $ $334,400 in earnings.Also prominent, trainer Doug O’Neill will send out recently acquired Donworth for owner Paul Reddam’s Reddam Racing, LLC for the first time since purchasing the 4-year-old colt by Tiznow during Keeneland’s November breeding stock sale on Nov. 10. A winner of Delaware Park’s Stanton Stakes by 11 lengths on June 20 in his last out, brought $550,000 to top the sale when Dennis O’Neill, Doug’s brother and stable consultant bid by phone for the colt previously trained by Graham Motion.The complete field for the Grade II San Antonio, to be run as the 7th race on a nine race program Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Cat Burglar, Rafael Bejarano, 119; Donworth, Mario Gutierrez, 119; Cyrus Alexander, Martin Garcia, 119; Hard Aces, Joe Talamo, 121; Hoppertunity, Flavien Prat, 124; Blingo, Alex Solis, 119; Imperative, Mike Smith, 119 and El Kabeir, Gary Stevens, 119. First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.last_img read more

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