With the UW men’s soccer team’s elimination by penalty kicks in the opening round of the Big Ten Championship, the playing career for UW’s four seniors is effectively over. Barring an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship, Victor Diaz, Kenny Dix, Zack Lambo and Andy Miller have played their last game as Badgers. For Miller, who has been a fixture on defense during his four years as a Badger, facing the end is an uneasy prospect.“It’s tough. It’s tough. I feel like I came in as a freshman last week,” Miller said. “It’s hard. … I put a work into [soccer] my whole life. A lot of us will never play in a situation like this again.”UW’s four seniors were all starters and accounted for 21 of UW’s 87 individual points this season, as well as 4 of 28 goals scored. The graduating class of 2009 finished its career with a 32-34-10 record, though the group was not able to get a Big Ten tournament win during that time. The Badgers got heartbreakingly close to their first before falling on penalty kicks 4-3, and Miller was glad he got the opportunity to shoot with his career on the line.“Absolutely. Any senior that wants to take one is going to get one,” Miller said of making the first shot for the Badgers. “It’s our last game, you know, it’d be horrible not to take it. It’s an incredible honor to be able to go up and have the chance to do it.”The seniors received recognition for their work on and off the field, as Diaz and Miller have been named as Academic All-Big Ten selections multiple times, and Diaz has received spots on the All-Big Ten first and second teams. Diaz and Miller were also named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2005, and all four seniors have been named to all-tournament teams during their careers.Though the team’s losses number-wise will not be great going into next year, the experience and minutes they played will be sorely missed. All four seniors have started since their freshman year, offering beneficial stability, which, according to head coach Jeff Rohrman, has been indispensible.“I’ll tell you what — it’s a great group of guys. They’ve really contributed to the growth of this program over the last four years,” Rohrman said. “I can’t say enough about the quality we have in that group.”Though the elimination by Michigan is likely the end of the line for UW, a number of pieces could fall into place and net them a spot in NCAA postseason play. For the at-large bids, RPI — a measure of strength of schedule as well as results — is taken into consideration. The Badgers are currently No. 26 in RPI, which puts them in contention to receive one of 26 at-large spots in the 48-team field. The strength of the Big Ten as a conference could play in UW’s favor when the teams are selected, as well as the fact that the game technically goes in the books as a tie, with Michigan advancing on PK’s.If Thursday’s game indeed ends UW’s season, it will leave a bitter taste in Miller’s mouth. Although all three of the Big Ten tournament opening round games went to overtime, the Badgers were the only team to be eliminated on penalty kicks, making it all the tougher to swallow.“It’s an unfair way to go out, but I guess it’s part of the game,” Miller said. “It’s the worst way to go.”
Julia Erickson | Daily TrojanAwards on lock · Senior midfielder and defender Savannah Levin was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday.Returning home after a 2-0 win at Arizona State, the No. 5 women’s soccer team welcomes Washington State to McAlister Field on Thursday. The Women of Troy had their program-record 10-game winning streak halted against Cal two matches ago, but they rebounded with a clean shutout of Arizona State over the weekend. Now, they hope to work on a new streak, starting with two in a row against the Cougars.Last time out, USC got back in the win column thanks to goals from redshirt senior forward Katie Johnson and senior midfielder and defender Savannah Levin, along with another shutout from redshirt senior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme. The Women of Troy’s success so far this season has been built on a high-octane, but unselfish offense — and a stone wall between the sticks.Johnson’s seven goals are tied with senior midfielder Morgan Andrews for the most on the team, and four other players have chipped in with multiple scores this fall, including six from redshirt junior forward Alex Anthony. A whopping nine Women of Troy have also recorded more than one assist, and Prudhomme has conceded just seven goals in 14 games. Prudhomme now has nine clean sheets on the year and has let in two goals on just one occasion: the team’s season opener at Santa Clara. Simply put, the Women of Troy score often and are rarely scored against — an effective, if not revolutionary, strategy.USC is currently the fifth-ranked team in the nation, but head coach Keidane McAlpine’s group is looking up at four schools in the Pac-12 standings. With five games left to play in the regular season (all in-conference matchups), the Women of Troy are within spitting distance of the conference summit, as Colorado, Cal, Stanford and Utah are all within a game of USC. A matchup against Washington State (1-5 in Pac-12 play) might be just what the Women of Troy need to make up that short gap. Utah and Colorado take on both Northern California teams in this week’s slate of games, making it a prime opportunity for USC to catapult itself into the Pac-12 lead.The Cougars won’t be easy prey, however. Although USC edged Washington State 1-0 in both of the teams’ previous two meetings, the Cougars claimed a 2-0 victory the last time they visited Los Angeles. They grabbed their first conference win of the season a week ago against Arizona State but lost to Utah in their most recent game. Washington State is yet to win on the road this year, and the Women of Troy will look pile on and hand the Cougars their sixth loss in seven matches.The Women of Troy will kick off at 2 p.m. on Thursday before returning to McAlister Field on Sunday to host Washington.
At least 10 killed in Kabul funeral blastAt least 10 people were killed and wounded in explosions that rocked the funeral of an Afghan man who died during protests over the worsening security situation in Kabul, the interior ministry said.“Initial reports show at least 10 casualties,” ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP.
In a jolt to the CPI(M) ahead of next year’s Assembly polls, CPI(M) MLA from Khandaghosh on Thursday joined the TMC accusing its leadership of failing to reach out to the masses.Nabin Chandra Bag along with other CPI(M) leaders from Bardhaman district joined the TMC in the presence of senior ruling party leaders Partha Chatterjee and Arup Biswas.“He has decided to join the TMC to become part of the developmental work ushered in by our party leader Mamata Banerjee,” Chatterjee said.Bag said he was unhappy with the CPI(M)leadership as the party had completely lost touch with the masses.The CPI(M) leadership is yet to officially react to the development.