Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 4, 1998)
Husker players learn from first season
Tatum, Greco now major threats
By Darren Ivy
Sitting on the bench last season, Lauren Tatum and
Julie Greco had a lot of time to think about their Mmes
on the Nebraska womenk soccer team.
Each player averaged 15 minutes per game
while playing in threerfourths of the
Comhuskers’ matches. They never started.
As freshmen, they waited on the bench to see
action and didn’t talk much.
They would cheer their teammates on, but
inside, Tatum and Greco said they were thinking
about how frustrating it was not to play and won
dered if it would ever change.
They said they wondered whether it was
worth sticking it out at Nebraska.
About that time, one of them would have
their number called.
“I just sat there all bundled up waiting for
John (Walker) to say, ‘Lauren, warm up,”’ Tatum
said. “Then I jumped off the bench and pulled off
my warm-ups as fast as I could.
“It doesn’t matter if it is 10 degrees outside. I
was just so excited.”
This season, as sophomores, Tatum and
Greco have gone full-circle and could be the
ones the players on the bench are talking about.
The pair of 5-foot-3 speedsters are likely to
Qtart Annncifp nrw» annfViAr nn tVw* frnnt lino in
tonight’s home opener. The Huskers play
Wisconsin-Milwaiikee at 7 p.m. at the Abbott
“I’m really excited for the start of a new sea
son, a new year,” Greco said. “My role has com
pletely changed. I went from playing not much to
seeing a lot of time.”
As an incoming freshman, Greco thought she
would be able to contribute as a defender, but 1
then she tore die meniscus ligament in her knee
during preseason drills. She had arthroscopic
surgery two weeks before school started.
Recovering from the surgery completely
immobilized Greco for three weeks and put her <
out of game action for six weeks. i
gained,” GrgggWftolgH) always trymg^BqpSsai
baelrmto shape and be where everyone else was *1
a month before.” ]
During those trying times, she said she was ]
trying to find out where she fit in on the team, or
if she did at all. With fellow freshmen Heather ■
Dyche, Sarah McCrea and Sarah Deacon already
looking to transfer, the temptation and curiosity
also was there for Greco.
“Just being a freshman is really hard,” Greco
said. “If you come here to play, most of the time
you were the best player on your club or high
school team. Then you have to sit on the bench
and learn new coaches and new players.”
That was also the case with Tatum, who was
the Louisiana State Player of the Year her senior
season while playing for the top high school
team in the state.
Unlike Greco, Tatum said she wasn’t ready to
play right away.
The Baton Rouge, La., native said the level of
soccer in her home state is below most places in
the nation, and she knew it would take some time
to adjust to Division I soccer.
“I had to learn a lot of stuff that most people
already knew coming out of high school - things
like what types of runs to make as a forward and
basic defensive techniques,” Tatum said.
Although Tatum said she wasn’t as good as
most of the other Huskers,she didn’t stop hoping
for playing time.
“In the back of your mind, you hope you are
mina tn Xatiim caiH
But she didn’t:
On top of that, she was homesick. And to
make matters worse, she couldn’t go home
because her parents had moved.
“It made it even harder to keep plugging
iway with no benefits,” Tatum said
Then the season finally ended and Tatum and
3reco had some time away from soccer.
By the time the spring season rolled around,
hey figured it was too late to transfer, even
hough Greco said she was still “iffy.”
Tatum saw a lot of action in the spring and
iecided she would give it one more year and then
e-evaluate her situation.
Greco, however, suffered another setback - a
Mut iujuiythaf limitedher playing time in the
rirst few spring games. That injury finally
tealed, allowing Greco to see her first serious
claying time as a Husker.
“Once I started playing, I realized this is
vhere I like playing,” Greco said.
For Greco and Tatum, starting together as
SOPHOMORE STRIKER JUUE GRECO spent most of her freshman season sitting on the bench and
cheering for her teammates. Greco and fellow sophomore Lauren Tatum are expected to start
tonight at 7 p.m. against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at the Abbott Sports Complex.
strikers could be short-lived.. about what he will do when everyone returns, but
Lindsey Eddleman, a second-team All- he said he will try Tatum and Greco as outside
America striker, is expected to be back from a midfielders as well.
broken foot within a few weeks and will likely “They have the type of speed you need to
take one of their spots. play that position,” Walker said. “The more ver
Greco said that if she was the one who had to satile they are, the more minutes they will
sit, she would be happy for both Eddleman and receive.”
Tatum. Said Greco: “I don’t really care where I play.
. Coach John Walker really hasn’t thought I just want to play.”
j^sjygw-~ jrd Players atW.C.’s ^
1:00 - close / ^
Come beat the cover!
Empyrean Ales will be there with prizes! \
$1 Well drinks from 8-9! I
nenkugel bottles fkQ Coronas! ^1228 P Street
[&• .}'$£ . '
Powered by Open ONI