The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 22, 1997, Page 8, Image 8

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Win adds to NU confidence I
By Jay Saunders
Assignment Reporter
For the first time in the four-year
history of the Nebraska soccer pro
gram, the Cornhuskers defeated a
team ranked in
the top five of
coaches’ poll
with a 5-0 win
over Duke on
With the win
the 13-2 Huskers
extended their
winning streak
to nine games.
Since the game
was played
Monday, the outcome is not reflect
ed in the most recent poll, but NU
Coach John Walker said the win
will affect how the rest of the season
may play out.
“Our players feel good about
(the win), and rightly so,” Walker
said. “At this stage, you are angling
yourself for playoff position. They
are hungry for the stretch run.”
In the game sophomore striker
Lindsay Eddleman scored a hat
trick with three goals, and Amy
Walsh added two goals to propel
NU to the victory.
NU goalkeeper Rebecca
Hornbacher, who recorded her ninth
consecutive shutout against the 12
3 Blue Devils, leads the nation with
a 0.31 goals-against average. The
senior from Ralston said the team
knew going into the game how
important a solid effort would be for
the program.
“Our team was mentally pre
pared and focused,” Hornbacher
said. “We dominated in a lot of
aspects of the game.”
One of those aspects was field
Hornbacher said most of the
first half was played in Duke’s end
of the field as the Huskers allowed
the Blue Devils just two corner
kicks and five shots on goal.
Junior midfielder Kim Engesser
said the Huskers played the best
they have all season.
“It is good to play against a
ranked opponent on the road and
beat them,” Engesser said. “It gives
us a little confidence and shows us
that anything less than this is unac
The Huskers also proved they
could win on the road. Nebraska
had lost some confidence after los
ing to Texas on Sept. 12, and No. 7
Texas A&M on Sept. 14, both by the
score of 1-0.
“It’s not like we have a history of
not playing well on the road,”
Walker said. “We answered (ques
tions) really well. Yeah, we can go
out and win a big game on the road.”
Now the Huskers must go on the
road again this weekend, closing out
Big 12 Conference play with games
at Oklahoma State (6-8-1 and 2-5)
and Oklahoma (2-11-0 and 1-6).
Both of those teams are in the bot
tom half of the conference, but
Walker and Hornbacher said the
possibility of a letdown is non-exis
“We don’t fear letdowns,”
Hornbacher said. “We just focus on
what it takes to be successful.
“You have to remember what
brought you that success and con
tinue that. This team is mature
enough that they understand that.”
NU freshmen find court time
FRESHMEN from page 7
she is,” Pettit said. “It’s because her
strength is what she doesn’t do. She
doesn’t make errors.
“She’s not spectacular. She had
the second-most kills and the sec
ond-highest hitting percentage
Saturday, and nobody knew it until
after the match. When she gets a kill,
she usually hits the ball off the
blockers’ hands instead of slamming
it down to the floor.”
Slamming the ball on at quick and
direct path downward is
Meendering’s specialty. The 6-1
graduate of Western Christian High
School in Hull, Iowa, has benefited
from a recent change in the Huskers’
offensive scheme.
Pettit, in an attempt to open NU’s
offense, decided to move All
America right-side hitter Lisa
Reitsma to the middle blocker posi
tion, allowing Meendering and
freshman Katie Jahnke to compete
and rotate on the right.
Pettit said he anticipated the
move would take place later in the
season, but injuries to starter
Krondak and back-row specialist
Renee Saunders forced an earlier
“Meendering is very explosive,”
Pettit said. “She has a quick arm
swing, jumps well, and she is really
strong. Jahnke hits quit sets, and
Meendering hits higher balls on the
outside of the court. With those two
at the same position, it forces oppo
nents to make adjustments.”
The move places Meendering
and Reitsma side-by-side, a situation
both know well. The two played
alongside each other while compet
ing on the Western Christian High
School team that won the 1993 Iowa
Class 2A championship. The
reunion pleases Meendering.
“It’s exciting playing next to
Reitsma, and I’m having a blast
doing it,” Meendering said. “She
makes everybody look good. She is
really cool. Everybody is. They real
ly make you feel like you fit in with
Pettit doesn’t expect Meendering
or Oxley to spend much time on the
sidelines for the remainder of the
season. With Krondak still ham
It’s exciting
playing next to
Reitsma, and I’m
having a blast doing
•. >>
Nancy Meendering
NU outside hitter
pered and Saunders out for three
more weeks, Pettit will continue to
count on the consistent play of
Meendering and Oxley.
The expanded responsibility
thrills Meendering.
“It has really helped my confit
dence a lot,” Meendering said. “I
was frustrated. I know you can’J t^ke
things personally, but knowing that
you can help the team makes you
feel better. I’m really excited about
Osborne: Top ranking means little
FOOTBALL from page 7
Arizona State and a 37-27 setback to
Texas in the Big 12 championship
game kept the Huskers from playing
for their third straight national
championship. NU won the national
championship in 1994, edging out an
undefeated Penn State team, and
1995 by beating Florida 62-24 in the
Fiesta Bowl.
The problem with sitting on top,
though, is everyone wants to take a
shot at you.
“I know now people are going to
be gunning for us because we’re No.
1,” senior rush end Grant Wistrom
said. “We’re playing pretty dam
good football right now.”
Despite the Huskers’ current No.
1 ranking, Nebraska Coach Tom
Osborne said he just wants to contin
ue the type of football his team is
playing. Osborne, who is in his 25th
season of leading the Huskers, said
he doesn’t want to change his coach
ing style just to try to hold on to the
top spot.
“We’ve just got to play well,”
Osborne said. “I don’t plan to
change. I want to do what’s best for
the players on our team.”
The Huskers’ next opportunity to
play well comes Saturday when NU
faces Kansas (4-3 and 2-2) at 6:07
p.m. in Lawrence. The game will be
televised by Fox Sports Net on
Channel 58 in Lincoln.
Nebraska senior defensive tackle
Jason Peter said since the Huskers
have no chance of possibly playing
Penn State for the national champi
onship, the Huskers need to play
well to keep their No. 1 ranking. If
Penn State wins the Big Ten
Conference, the Nittany Lions will
play in the Rose Bowl, and if
Nebraska doesn’t lose a game and
wins the Big 12 championship, the
Huskers will play in the Orange
Bowl as part of the Bowl Alliance.
“I thought the voters would keep
with Joe Paterno and Penn State,”
Peter said. “I’m happy it’s us and not
them. Until they finally get this
whole thing settled with one game,
it’ll be like this.”
Osborne said with the way the
Bowl Alliance works - without the
Rose Bowl - the field is uneven for
many teams.
“It’s OK if everyone is in the
same pot,” he said. “With the system
now, it’s a concern. Perception is
obviously a factor.”
Osborne said he doesn’t want to
have to run up the score on teams to
keep a hold of No. 1. Earlier this
month NU could up the
score on Baylor, but Osborne said he
felt he shouldn’t have to. Nebraska
led the Bears 42-7 at the half and
won the game 49-21.
“We probably had that game put
away by halftime,” Osborne said.
“But you do what’s best for your
Osborne said doing what’s best
for the Husker players is playing
NU’s first team until a game is safe
and then putting second- and third
team players in the game to gain
Wistrom said he understands ,th^
process, but it doesn’t lessen his
desire to play the full game.
“I want to play the whole ghiWe,”
Wistrom said, “no matter what the
score is. I feel cheated by not playing
60 minutes of football.”
Junior defensive tackle Jason
Wiltz will miss Saturday’s, game
against Kansas for violating the
team’s class-attendance policy.
Nebraska senior defensive tackle
Jason Peter said Wiltz will be missed
on the defensive front.
“He tips the scale with three
bills, and takes up some guys,” Peter
Sophomore Steve Warren will
start in Wiltz’s place.