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Like most athletic programs at UND, it's hard for the Sioux women's soccer team to not look ahead to the 2012-13 season -- the school's first in the Big Sky Conference. But the focus this week is on the Great West Conference tournament, which begins Friday in Newark, N.J. And the Sioux want their last appearance as a Great West member to be memorable. "It's the end of one chapter and the beginning of another," UND coach Kristin Gay said. "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves." UND will play Howard University in Friday's quarterfinals.
Earlier in the day, coach Chris Mussman watched the film from the 2009 UND game against the University of Sioux Falls, an NAIA program that came into the Alerus Center and game and took it to the Sioux. "It's there; you can't make it go away," Mussman said Tuesday, referring to UND's 28-13 loss home loss two years ago -- one of the most disappointing in the program's history. "They kicked our rear ends. They flew around and played with passion and we didn't.
When the Division I Football Championship Subdivision polls were released Monday, Cal Poly was nowhere to be found. Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh wasn't surprised by the omission. Still, he was disappointed that his 5-3 Mustangs -- who are closing in on another Great West title -- have been left off the national radar. "We beat three ranked teams in a row and we're still not getting a lot of respect," Walsh said. "From a public relations and marketing standpoint, it's a darn shame.
GREELEY, Colo. -- A year ago, UND struggled to find ways to win games. The Sioux finished 3-8 as they were unable to make plays late in the game. That's changing this season as UND picked up its second road win of the year, a 27-25 win Saturday against future Big Sky opponent Northern Colorado. After Patrick Walker's 88-yard touchdown pass gave the Bears a 25-24 lead with less than four minutes to go, the Sioux responded.
GREELEY, Colo. -- There is something special about kicking a football in the North Dakota weather. Sioux quarterback Brent Goska has watched Zeb Miller boot the ball at practice enough to know the UND sophomore kicker can handle all types of outdoor conditions, such as the one he faced with the game on the line. Miller's career-long 54-yard field goal with 1 minute, 52 seconds to play carried UND to a 27-25 win against Northern Colorado on Saturday before 3,171 fans at Nottingham Field. The win improved No.
GREELEY, Colo. -- Throughout the season, UND coach Chris Mussman has said senior Brent Goska is one of the team's most valuable players -- even though the quarterback hasn't seen the field too much. Goska's leadership is what stands out, Mussman said. And that leadership will be important Saturday as UND -- still stinging from a disappointing home loss a week ago -- tries to regroup in a nonconference game at Northern Colorado, a former Division II North Central Conference rival. "We can't look at last week as the end of the season," said Goska, referring to Cal Poly's 23-19 win.
Saturday's forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-40s with a partly sunny sky. Not a bad day for a run. UND's forecast for Saturday's Great West Conference cross country championship at Ray Richards Golf Course hasn't been made. Right now, the best guess calls for a partly cloudy day. But both the Sioux men's and women's team have one goal -- to finish in the top three. "Utah Valley, on both sides, is the favorite," UND coach Dick Clay said. "But you never know. We're running at home. Sometimes that can be a good thing." Both UND teams are young.
UND's surge at the end of last season resulted in a Great West Conference postseason championship and the school's first Division I tournament berth in men's basketball. With all five starters returning, the bar has been raised for the Sioux. But first things first. Before UND tries to build on last season's success, capped by an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com tournament against Air Force, the Sioux first will take care of some unfinished business close to home.
During his playing days at Northern Colorado, Earnest Collins Jr. made his mark as he set the school's single-season record for punt return yardage in 1994. He also was well aware of UND football as both the Sioux and Northern Colorado were Division II North Central Conference programs at the time. His best memory of the Northern Colorado-UND games during his career? That's easy, he said. "It was the game we didn't play," Collins said. In 1991, Northern Colorado was scheduled to play at UND. But an early November blizzard roared through the region, forcing the game to be canceled.
UND returned to practice at Memorial Stadium today not knowing who will open at quarterback for the Sioux on Saturday at Northern Colorado. Either sophomore Joey Bradley, who started UND's first seven games, or senior Brent Goska, who came off the bench last week to rejuvenate a stalled Sioux offense against Cal Poly, will get the call. But the announcement on who will start against UND's former North Central Conference rival may not be made until a few minutes before kickoff. And that's by design. "We'll put together a plan for both guys," UND coach Chris Mussman said.