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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 21, 1999)
Soccer team to recuperate
NU looks forward to Benson’s return in the fall
By Jay Saunders
At times this spring, it has looked
like Nebraska Soccer Coach John
Walker was leading an infirmary
instead of a soccer team.
Of the 15 players on the
Corahuskers’ roster, nine missed all
or part of the spring season due to
injuries. Despite the lack of healthy
players, Walker said the team was
able to have a successful season.
“It shows a lot of character,”
Walker said. “We had six players that
were completely healthy and they
really want to compete at a high
The list of injuries suffered by
Husker players consists of all parts of
the body. Five players had knee
injuries, including two players who
were recovering from anterior cruci
ate ligament tears. Freshman Karla
Ledford was the only player not able
to compete in any of the spring drills.
Several players also had multiple
injuries. Freshman Danica Carey
sprained both of her ankles.
Sophomore Lauren Tatum had prob
lems with her knee and ankle. After
recovering from a knee injury, junior
Isabelle Momeau hurt her shoulder
in an exhibition game against North
Junior Lindsay Eddleman, who
injured her ankle against North
Carolina and was re-injured last
Saturday against Santa Clara said,
“Look at us, 95 percent of us were
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Eddl eman’s estimate was not that
Only six players survived the
spring season unscathed. Freshmen
Meghan Anderson, Najah Williams
and Becky Preston were all given
plenty of playing time because they
were not part of the walking wound
“Our younger players got a
chance to prove themselves,”
Eddleman said. “This shows any one
of us can step on the field.”
One player that Walker did not
think he would see on the field was
junior Jenny Benson. Benson tore her
ACL in the fall.
The coaching staff thought since
Benson redshirted last season, she
would be ineligible for the spring.
But Benson was able to come back
and play. She was on the field for 20
minutes against UNC, and played
I almost the entire game this past
I ve got a couple of games
under my belt and it has helped me
come along,” Benson said.
The Huntington Beach, Calif.,
native said recovery from her knee
injury has been slow but sure.
Benson said she was not fully
recovered, but her bubbly personal
ity and leadership could be seen
against Santa Clara.
“There are little things that
aren’t back,” Benson said. “I have
to make sure I don’t get frustrated
over stupid things.”
Despite all the injury problems,
Benson and the rest of the Huskers
were able to post some impressive
NU tied North Carolina, a
final-four team last season, 1-1. In
another battle against a Final-Four
side, the Huskers beat Santa Clara
3-1 in their only home match of the
The win over the Broncos
ended the season, which Eddleman
said was a blessing.
“Thank God this was our last
game,” Eddleman said. “Every sin
gle person needs to get healthy
makes the difference
By Darren Ivy
With the addition of one receiver,
Nebraska’s wide receiving corps went
from an inexperienced group to an
experienced one, NU Receivers
Coach Ron Brown said.
The difference-maker Brown is
referring to is Shevin Wiggins, the
Cornhuskers’ leading receiver last
season. Brown and Wiggins both
learned April 14 that the NCAA had
overturned an earlier ruling and decid
ed to allow Wiggins to play next sea
son for Nebraska
And Brown couldn’t be happier.
“He gives you a guy that has been
through a lot of things,” Brown said.
“He’s played four straight years. He’s
been around the block a few times.
Obviously that one player can make a
Like Brown, Wiggins didn’t think
he had much chance of regaining the
As a freshman, Wiggins was a par
tial qualifier and had to sit out. Then
he redshirted his second season.
Athletes normally have a five-year
period to use their four years of eligi
Wiggins’ eligibility clock ran out
after last season, but Proposition 16, a
new NCAA rule implemented last
year, allowed athletes who were partial
qualifiers to appeal to the NCAA to
get the lost year back. Wiggins figured
he had nothing to lose.
While he was waiting for the rul
ing, Wiggins skipped chances to go to
the Hula Bowl and the NFL Combine
because they would have jeopardized
his eligibility. Then he got the initial
ruling right before spring football
started, which said his appeal had been
No real reason was given, Wiggins
said. The same day Wiggins found out
his fate, NU quarterback Jeff Perino
learned he would be allowed to play in
1999. After learning that Perino had
been granted another year, and he had
been denied, Wiggins was prepared to
“I just figured it wasn’t meant to
be,” Wiggins said. “I was kind of upset
because I had turned down the all-star
game and combine.”
Then some friends and advisers
convinced him to appeal the ruling.
And Wiggins won. The new decision
came as a pleasant surprise to Brown.
“You talk about a gift. That was a
gift,” Brown said. “I really thought we
didn’t have much of a chance to get
him. I think most of us had resigned,
and 1 think Shevin had, too, to the fact
that it wasn’t going to happen. And it
happened. You talk about a bonus.
That was a bonus.” ^
Brown said he was grateful to get
his leading receiver back one more
While Wiggins was the leading
receiver last year, he probably is most
famous for his part in the Miracle in
Missouri two years ago when he
kicked the ball into the air. He does a
whole lot more than just catch passes
for the Huskers, Brown said.
“He’s so versatile in the kicking
game, deep receiver, short receiver. He
gives you skills as the pitch-back in
the option game,” Brown said. “He’s a
very intelligent player. That guy really
makes great decisions on the field.
The wingback is not an easy position
and he’s mastered it”
The return of Wiggins for one
more season was great news to Matt
Davison, the other half of the Miracle
“I saw Matt in the Hewitt Center
one day after finding out the decision,”
Wiggins said. “He had his little child
with him, but he gave it to someone
else to hold. Then he jumped up into
my arms and said, ‘We have another
Wiggins also is looking forward to
playing one more season with Davison
and his other NU teammates.
“I think we have a great team,”
Wiggins said. “I think last year we
beat ourselves in some games, but I’m
not going to let that happen this year. It
also means I will get a lot more expo
sure for the draft next year.”
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