Monthly Archives: August 2013

My Life with Madden Football

Nathan McCreary

AtariI grew up in the era of video games. Not X-Box, PlayStation, or Nintendo, but Atari was me and my brother’s vice. We played games like Pit Fall, Space Invaders, and Basketball. The graphics were revolutionary for the time. The box-like figures stomped around the screen in a sluggish motion, but it didn’t matter. It was video games in our own home that we didn’t have to put a quarter in to play. The Atari defined the video game industry in the 1980’s and it was an absolute must have. The first football video game that I TI Footballplayed was on the Texas Instruments TI 99. You played as either the red team or the blue team. The game had no NFL license and you had to name your team.  Being an avid Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan in the 1980’s was brutal, but the video game allowed me to bring victory to the virtual team I named the Bucs, because it would only allow eight characters to name your team. Leading my Bucs to victory is what hooked me on video games. It allowed an eight-year-old kid to change the virtual reputation of a franchise who was a perennial loser. It allowed me to challenge my older brothers and escape with a win. It was a glorious experience and I was hooked.

From the Texas Instruments in the mid-80’s there was a lull in gaming. The fire was once again sparked in 1988 when I received a Nintendo for my 13th birthday. It came with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. The graphics were like nothing I had ever seen before. The games were crisp and fun. I played-madden89 as plumbers, commandos, baseball players, basketball players, and yes, football players. The John Madden Football series was released and I once again had my chance to redeem the Buccaneers who had gone 2-14 in ’85 and ’86 seasons. They improved to 4-11 in 1987 and clearly needed my help. With the release of Madden (with no NFL License or real players), I was back in the game and taking my Buccaneers to the playoffs. It was a rekindling of that eight-year-old who believed I was making a difference. Playing Madden football for a young child was the stuff dreams were made of. The gaming industry had come so far in such a short amount of time and I was living it.  Madden was revolutionary, but quickly got challenged by a new football game.

In 1991, Joe Montana Football was released for the Sega Genesis.  It included a real player in Joe Montana and it looked very different from Madden. There was video game competition for football gamers, although Madden and Montana were both developed by Park Place Production Team. A NFL Football '94 Starring Joe Montana (U)legendary coach and the greatest quarterback of that generation competing for footballer fans hearts and minds. Madden out sold Montana, but Joe Montana Football was the preferred video game by me and my brother, because in 1992, Joe Montana Football had the NFL license and the actual teams. I could finally play in the Florida Orange uniforms of my Buccaneers! Madden matched Montana with the NFL license in 1994 and the competition for Football gaming champion was on. The hitch for the Montana series, which dropped the Joe Montana Football title, came in 1996 when the Sega Saturn was released with the NFL ’97 game, which was made exclusively for the Saturn platform. The Saturn was a total failure and the gaming industry shunned the football game that was linked with it. The NFL football game series took a fatal blow with the release of NFL Prime Time ’98. The Madden series  took the next step in gaining the NFL Players Association in  Madden ’95, which pushed Madden ahead of any other sports video game franchise and set new standards. The Madden series continued to add new features, such as Create-a-Player and the two-minute drill in the games artificial intelligence. Madden ’96 was also the first game to offer “Classic Teams.” The biggest complaint about the Madden series year-in and year-out was the game play didn’t change very much. New features were minimal and fans began to look elsewhere for football video games.

The next real competitor for Madden was the 2K Sports series released in 1999 titled, NFL 2K for the Sega Dreamcast. The NFL 2K series was amazing visually and fun to play. The excitement for2k video games was back after a half-decade of ho-hum football games. The battle for began and Madden brought in the “franchise” feature into their
game hoping to take steps to outlast 2K. The competition was great for football gamers. You had players who loved Madden and hated 2K and those who were die-hard 2K fans and turned their noses up to Madden. In 2004, 2K did a very business savvy maneuver when they teamed with Take-Two espn 2kInteractive and teamed with ESPN and released ESPN NFL 2K4 for a $19.99 retail price versus Madden, which was $49.99. Fans flocked away from Madden and checked out the 2K Sports football game and liked it. Madden was in trouble and against the ropes. Like a wounded boxer, Madden went for the K.O. and they threw $400 million NFL’s way and gained exclusive licensing rights mortally wounding the 2K series. Madden also stole the ESPN rights away from 2K Sports. Madden had survived and was undefeated in the video gaming war.

Moving forward nine years to Madden 25. It is the only NFL game in town, but give it to the Madden franchise for continuing to improve upon the Madden series each year, even without any competition. Madden 25 is no different. After picking up the game, I couldn’t wait to get it home to play. Once home, and struggling to open the cellophane wrapping, I finally used my teeth to tear into the game and placed it into my PS3. Of course an update was available for the Madden 25 game and I intuitively accepted everything to update the game files. The game took about three minutes to update and it was go time! The game’s title screen appeared and I was peeled to the television. I’ve always liked watching the opening sequence of video games to get pumped and motivated. I sat staring at the title screen for several seconds, then a minute, then two minutes. I grabbed the controller and began pushing buttons, nothing. The game was frozen. Not a good way to start. But, hey, it was a new game, these things happen so I restarted my PS3 and….the same thing happened on the second try. I really have no patience for these kinds of things. My motivation to play was diminished considerably, but I grabbed my smart phone and began to search for answers. There was no doubt that this was madden-25-bucshappening and happening a lot based on the flood of gamers complaining online. I searched for about 15-minutes and finally found a gamer who had blogged the update at the very beginning of the game was the issue and the game ran fine without the update. So, I had to go into the Game Data Utility and delete the existing Madden25 file and re-start the game. It worked, I got past the title screen and knew I had to regain some motivation to play, so I played the training tutorials. I was less than impressed. I figured I had better get in the game. I selected my opponent, the New Orleans Saints. Of course, I played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The game was impressive from the beginning once I got past an awkwardly animated Jim Vance and Phil Sims introduction. The graphics were top-notch, the game play was smooth, and very quick. Playing offense or defense was extremely fun with challenging Artificial Intelligence. I was back to that eight-year-old child sitting in the den and playing video games reflecting back on my life with Madden.

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2013-2014 Kennesaw State Men’s Basketball Schedule is out!

The much anticipated release of the Kennesaw State men’s basketball schedule has been released and it doesn’t disappoint. The marquee non-conference games a

KSU Myles vs Tenn

re there, such as @Mississippi State (Nov. 14),  a rematch from last year against UT-Chattanooga (Nov. 19), @Cincinnati (Nov. 29), the battle of KSU @Kent State (Dec. 1), and the first rematch against Georgia Tech since the Owls defeated the Jackets in the Convocation Center Nov. 15, 2010, 80-63. The Owls also battle @GA Southern (Nov. 18). The big money battle is on Dec. 22 in the Hoosier State against @Indiana.  After the Hoosiers, the Owls start their Atlantic Sun Conference schedule on Dec. 30 in Jacksonville versus North Florida. The slate of Atlantic Sun loosk to be fairly distributed, as the Owls hit North Florida and Jacksonville on the same road trip, before heading home for the first ASun home game of the season on Jan. 4 against ETSU. The Owls have a challenging road trip from Jan. 10-18, where they travel south to take on Mercer, then maneuver Interstate 75 north to meet Lipscomb in Nashville on Jan. 16 before ending the road trip two days later in Highland Heights, Kentucky against Northern Kentucky.

Overall, this appears to be a favorable travel schedule for the Owls. The one thing that is glaring is the Owls play a home game versus Truett-McConnell in “The Barn” on Nov. 26 and do not play at home again until Jan. 4. The entire month of December, KSU will be on the road. Last season, the Owls played two games in December. Another interesting tidbit from the schedule release is the Owls have changed their start times on most Saturday home games to 12:00 P.M., whereas last year they played consistently at 2:30 P.M. on the home floor. Fifteen home games and fifteen away games is a nice balanced schedule, but there is an opportunity for more home games with the new Atlantic Sun Championship rules. For the first time, and rightly so, the higher seeds will host a home post-season game. The A-Sun got this change correct and it will benefit the team and the fans who struck gold during the season. Owl fans have a lot to be excited about and the tip will be before you know it.

The Big South Football and Kennesaw State

The Big South Conference is now confirmed as the future home for Kennesaw State football beginning in 2015. The Owls  join the conference as a football only associate member and continue to compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference for the other 17 NCAA Division I sports. But, there are questions regarding the football side of the Big South Conference. With recent departures of cornerstone teams, like Stoney Brook and Virginia Military Institute, how will the conference survive? What teams will join the Big South and what teams will seek greener pastures? Most importantly, where does Kennesaw State fit into this ever-changing world of college football conferences?

big south footballThe Big South Conference has 12 members that include Campbell, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Gardner Webb, High Point, Liberty, Longwood, Presbyterian, Radford, UNC-Asheville, Virginia Military Institute (VMI), and Winthrop. Of those teams, only seven have football as a varsity sport, (Campbell, Charleston Southern, Gardner Webb, Liberty, Presbyterian, and VMI). Campbell’s football does not compete in the Big South Conference. The Fighting Camels are a non-scholarship program that plays in the Pioneer League, but have considered making football a scholarship sport. That leaves six schools competing in football. However, this is the last season for VMI, as they will move to the Southern Conference in 2014.  Liberty is likely to make a move from the Football Champion Series (FCS) to the Football Bowl Series (FBS) before 2015. So that leaves five lonely schools to compete for an 2013 automatic bid into the FCS playoffs with Monmouth joining in 2014. But,  the potential for the Big South is significant with several schools looking for new conferences, upgrading divisions, and adding football.

As Kennesaw State joins the Big South Conference, they will be the only team from Georgia in the conference. But there is potential for expansion. The University of West Georgia formed a commission in the summer of 2012 to explore moving athletics to the Division I level, according to the AJC.  The addition of West Georgia would create an instant footprint in Georgia for the Big South and create a rivalry with Kennesaw State that previously didn’t exist. The Wolves announced on August 6, 2013 that their current Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Daryl Dickey will exclusively be focused on the job of Athletic Director. That move clears the way for a new football coach and the focus on moving West Georgia’s athletics forward.

Valdosta StateAnother Georgia college that would make sense for a move to the Big South is Valdosta State. The Blazers have won back-to-back D-II national championships and brought attention back to Winnersville, USA. The big hurdle for Valdosta State is their facilities. They still are sharing a stadium with the legendary Valdosta High School. Brazemore-Hyder Stadium belongs to the city of Valdosta. The stadium was opened in 1922 and currently seats just under 12, 000 fans.  The stadium recently added field turf and painted the Valdosta High School logo at mid-field. That made Valdosta State fans and players question the need for their own stadium. But stadiums cost money and Valdosta State has not moved on seeking to build their own stadium as of yet. However, they have looked into purchasing Brazemore-Hyder Stadium from the city, but that is just chatter. The pressure maybe put on Valdosta State to upgrade to D-I if their in-state rival West Georgia makes to move.

Outside of Georgia potential members for the Big South include a school from the Alabama,  The University of North Alabama. They currently are Division II and compete in the Gulf South Conference with West Georgia and Valdosta State. The athletic department has been very outspoken about exploring the move into Division I. The Lions will have several options when they move. The Big South is one and the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) is another. Rumor has it that North Alabama has already been in contact with the OVC about making a move. But, if the Big South can get West Georgia and Valdosta State to commit to its conference, North Alabama just might follow. There has been a long history and rivalry between North Alabama and Valdosta State. It would be a shame to lose it if both schools move into D-I.

delawarestateThe Gulf South Conference of NCAA Division II isn’t the only conference the Big South may pillage. The Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) may also be a target. There are tons of chatter about the Delaware State Hornets making the move into the Big South. The Hornets were one of the first teams to be considered a candidate for the Big South once VMI bolted to the Southern Conference.  Delaware State is a member of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and would be only the second HBCU that played outside of one of its conferences. The other one being Tennessee Tech. That probably wouldn’t deter Delaware State, but it might encourage other HBCU schools to take flight. Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia has also been rumored to be seeking a Division I conference such as the OVC or Big South. A move by Delaware State may open new doors for the Big South to attract schools from the HBCU.

Some existing schools that are outside of the Big South, but are currently playing football might be another option. Jacksonville University is a prime candidate. They currently play in the Pioneer League with Campbell. Although there isn’t much internet hoopla about them advancing to the scholarship level, Jacksonville has had a successful program in the stepping stone that is the Pioneer Football League. The program there is ready to make the move and the Big South would be a very easy move for the Dolphins. It would also bring Florida into the Big South’s presence.

One final opportunity for the Big South is completely out of their hands. Current Big South member Winthrop University has hinted that they may begin playing football. Similarly to Kennesaw State, the community and students are clamoring for it, but the university still is saying, “not yet.” The Eagles have a soccer complex that would be suitable for a start-up football team, but of course, everyone wants their own stadium, so that would have to be a consideration. Watch the Winthrop situation closely, because it could change very rapidly.

Currently with six teams in the Big South competing in football the conference prestige has dwindled. Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander has stood firm on the idea that the Big South is still strong. Believe it,  he is reaching out to solidify his conference in new ways. No one is off-limits and if he can pull off the aforementioned candidates, the Big South will be relevant once again.

* Potential* 2015 Big South Conference

Campbell

Charleston Southern

Coastal Carolina

Delaware State

Gardner Webb

Kennesaw State

Monmouth

North Alabama

Valdosta State

West Georgia

Winthrop

Atlantic Sun Women’s Soccer Preview

ASun Soccer preview

Defending Atlantic Sun Women’s Soccer Champion, Florida Gulf Coast, hosted an abundance of talent last season. From ASun Coach of the Year Jim Blankenship to All-Freshman and 2nd Team ASun stand out Shea Rhoney. The Eagles were stacked. The finished the season 14-4-3 and 7-1-1 in the conference. Their 1-0 victory over Mercer in the Atlantic Sun Championship propelled them into the NCAA Tournament. But, of course it is a new season and new talent will be on the field for all 10 Atlantic Sun teams. Who will capture the title in 2013? Here is a preview of Atlantic Sun Women’s Soccer:

Wacker-ASun_SemiFlorida Gulf Coast Eagles: Earning top billing in our preview is the defending two-time defending champion, FGCU. The Eagles lost a key player from last season to graduation in defender Ashley Ciesielczyk. Ashley missed the NCAA regional game against Florida due to suspension, but started 20 games for FGCU and was the Eagles assist leader with 10 on the season. Another loss for FGCU is mid-fielder Danielle Faller a 2nd Team All-ASun selection. Faller was a 21-game starter and was a leader on the field. But even with the losses, the Eagles return one of the most talented teams in the ASun. Coach Blakenship will have the talents of Shannen Wacker, as perennial game-winning goal scorer. Wacker had five last season, which was 17th in the nation. Between the pipes, All-Frosh Team Brittany Brown returns to the Eagles. Brown posted a save percentage of 0.867 and was 24th in the nation in Goals Against Average of 0.651.  The FGCU roster is full of young talent including Shea Rhoney who scored six goals, including a game winner against Stetson.  Also mid-fielder Ally Kasun returns for her sophomore campaign as the only unanimous selection to the 2012 All-Conference First Team. Kasun had seven goals and seven assists to post 21 points for the season. If that weren’t enough, All-Freshman Team selection Emma Blackwell returns her talents to the Eagles defense. The nest is also going to be full of incoming freshman, Lauren Knight, Ashley Parks, Tabitha Tidwell, and Yazmin Velez. Coach Blakenship welcomes one transfer from the University of Florida Paulina Speckmaier. Without question the Eagles are primed to make a run at the Atlantic Sun Championship and they are the favorite to make another trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Jacksonville Dolphins: A 9-7-3 (5-2-2) record for the Dolphins in 2012 was good enough to put them in the middle of the pack. Head Coach Brian Copham enters his sixth season with a history of success for the ‘Phins. In 2011 they shared the regular season title and last season they advanced to the conference semi-finals on the back of returner Kaitlyn Bassett’s six goals (3 GW) and 13 points. Jacksonville will be without mid-fielder, Emily Culbreth, who was a team leader from last season.  Although there is a void in the midfield, the goal keeper’s position is filled with returning GK Jill D’Amico. D’Amico (Naperville, Ill.) started 17 games for the Dolphins and had a 1.23 Goal Allowed Average came to Jacksonville as the Chicago Tribune’s Player of the Year. Another highlight of last season was Jacksonville’s only All-Conference First Team selection, defender,  Alexandra Lee. It wasn’t the amount of goals allowed by the Dolphins that hindered their season, but the lack of success on shot attempts. The Dolphins were second in the ASun in Shots, but just sixth in Goals. They averaged 1.37 Goals per Game, which was seventh in the conference. So, where will Jacksonville find goals? Bassett has to be more productive and forward Marie Weckhurst should get involved more. They will get some help from incoming freshman Cassie Elmore, who comes in highly touted from Murietta, California. There are a lot of questions about the Dolphins offense. If Coach Copham can find some crooked numbers on the scoreboard, expect Jacksonville to finish in the top five of the conference.

Zadrazil_STOCK_5East Tennessee State Buccaneers: The Atlantic Sun 2012 Player of the Year Ramey Kerns shocked Buccaneer Nation as she decided at the end of last season to forego her last season of eligibility and focus on her studies to graduate. The nation’s leading goal scorer announced she would not return to the Buccaneer’s roster card in 2013.  Head Coach Adam Sayers enters his third season looking to improve on  the impressive 12-6-0 (6-3-0) campaign in 2012. Without Kerns, that appears unlikely, but the Bucs do have the 2012 Freshman of the Year returning in Sarah Zadrazil. The Austria-native scored 4 goals (2GW), 10 assists, and 18 points in first season at ETSU.  She averaged 0.56 Assists per Game, which was 9th in the nation. Her time with the Austrian National squad this past spring should give her an advantage of being an on field leader for the Bucs.  Another returning starter will be defender Hannah Short.  Short (Bristol, England) is another international player for ETSU that brings great experience of U17 and U19 levels and confidence to the Bucs. She had 8 shots in 2012 and one assist. What the Bucs lack in returning talent, they make up for in incoming talent. Coach Sayers welcomes in four quality signees for 2013. Leading the pack is Cecilia Re from Milan, Italy. Re has an impressive resume including time with Italy’s Women National Team. She had 13 caps (appearances) for the U-17 squad, 18 caps with the U-19 squad and five caps with the U-20 team. Re is a well-traveled Mid-Fielder that should produce for ETSU immediately.  The Buccaneers lost a key element in their success last season, but they still have a very good squad. Preseason voters are likely to put ETSU finishing third in the Atlantic Sun.

KSU SoccerKennesaw State Owls: The first fifteen minutes of the 2012 season changed the Owls remaining games. In the opener versus Alabama, redshirt-freshman Chelsea O’Callaghan suffered a season ending knee injury. The Owls lost a key element of their team, but Head Coach Rob King forged his team onto a 10-8-1 (6-2-1) record. The Owls also hosted a first round game in the ASun Championship Tournament. Kennesaw State returns the core of the team last season, which included South Carolina transfer and First Team All-Conference mid-fielder Katrina Frost, Alabama transfer and 2nd Team All-Conference defender, Jewelia Strickland, South Carolina transfer and Second Team All-Conference Kelsey Barr, and ASun All-Freshman Team selection Danielle Gray. Frost was the engine for the Owls scoring 10 goals (2GW), 3 assists, and 23 points. Gray contributed 8 goals and scored on 25.8 percent of her shots. Strickland was another efficient striker as she scored two goals on just six shots during 2012.  The defense for Kennesaw State will return Alma Gardarsdottir, and Tasia Williams, who transferred from Auburn. The Owls lost four key players from last season, Liz Blackburn, Lexi Hastings, and both goal keepers, Melissa Hutto and Lauren Roberts. Unfortunately, with Hutto and Roberts are gone leaving the keeper duties to incoming true freshman Olivia Sturdivant, which will be the position to watch as the season progresses through a brutal non-conference schedule. She is the only Gk on the roster, so help isn’t available. That is a lot of pressure for a true freshman. Kennesaw State has all the tools necessary to finish in the top five of the conference, but with a freshman between the pipes, it may be difficult.  Expect the Owls to finish at fourth in the conference if Sturdidivant has a solid year.

North Florida Ospreys: The Ospreys had an interesting season last year as they had a losing regular season record 8-10-2 (5-3-1) but, played very well in the ASun Championship Tournament. They defeated Kennesaw State on the road, but fell to Mercer in the semi-finals. The Ospreys have lost a significant portion of their 2012 lineup. Michelle Larrinaga, Katheryn Husted, and Sadie Mclean are gone, but the top scorers return. Thea Linkfield and First Team All-Conference selection Carolina Lencina bring a serious offensive threat to the field for UNF. Also Rachel Beninati returns as the goal keeper for the Ospreys. Beninati had a 5-5-1 record between the pipes last season, had a 1.96 Goals Allowed Average, and only stopped 69% of the shots on goal. A large signing class of eight recruits will bring in a lot of new talent, but will it be enough to repeat their success last year? Head Coach Linda Hamilton lost seven players off last season’s roster, but gains eight talented recruits. She will be the key to preparing these young women to play at the division I level. Expect a roller coaster season from the blue and white, but they will have enough success to make the conference tournament.

MerceeMercer Bears: The final season in the Atlantic Sun for the lone remaining founding member of the conference appears on paper to be another solid lineup. The Bears lost Patricia-Anne Upson who started 21 games for the orange and black, but return one of the top goal keepers in the nation, Maggi Cropp. A 0.291 Goals Against Average and a Saver percentage of 0.923 topped the statistical category for the nation earned Cropp Second-Team All-Conference honors. She had a fantastic year only allowing four goals in 18 matches. The top scorer for the Bears also comes back to Macon. MF/D Lauren Gassie brings her six goals and 19 points back to the lineup along with Second – Team All-Conference honoree forward Tess Patton who scored five goals and had 14 points.  Mercer also welcomes back First Team All-Conference selection defender Devon Fry. In addition to the talent already at Mercer, the signed a talented class of seven recruits, including Canadian standout Katelyn Dimpoloulos. The Mercer Bears are good, there is no question, but will they be consistent enough to make it to the ASun Championship for the fourth straight season? For the record, they won it in 2010, but have lost to FGCU the past two seasons. The Bears are a team to watch as the season progresses. Expect Mercer to finish second in the ASun.

 

Stetson Hatters: A revamped program has seen the hiring of a new head coach, Manoj Khettry, and a new coaching staff. The Hatters finished 2012 with a disappointing 3-13-1 overall record and a 1-7-1 conference record. The Hatters do have some light at the end of the tunnel. A decent recruiting class for a program in major transition may be exactly what Stetson needed, fresh blood. So, the program will be interesting to watch as All-Freshman Team selection Mara Keomanivane returns to the Hatters as a MF/Forward.  Keomanivane scored three goals a season ago and was second on the team in points (23 points), behind Alyssa Welch (37 points) , who also returns. In goal, Victoria Troccoli started 16 games for the Hatters, but struggled. She had a 2.09 Goals Allowed Average, but frankly it wasn’t all her fault. The Stetson defense under performed putting Troccoli in tough spots.  Coach Khettry, who was hired in late March, didn’t have a lot of time to get to know his players, but in a recent interview he challenged the fitness level of the returning players. He also commented that the new recruits will have an opportunity to challenge for starting positions. With all of the newness and adjustment, it will be a rebuilding season for the Hatters. They again will be at the bottom of the ASun standings.

Northern Kentucky Norse: The newbies of the Atlantic Sun conference made a splash in conference play with a 3-6-0 record and an overall record of 6-11-0. The Norse had great play out of returning All-Conference Team selection Megan Fry, who posted 15 points, three assists and six goals. Fry and then freshman Maria Silbersack led the Norse offense.  Both return to the team coached by veteran Bob Sheehan who enters his 16th season in Highland Heights, Kentucky. The Norse roster is young and full of talent. With just three seniors on the squad, could their youth make them vulnerable? Not likely, as NKU boosts a very talented lineup. The Norse will likely raise eyebrows again around the conference as they come one year close to being post season eligible.

Lipscomb Bisons: A very tough season for L.U. and first year head coach Kevin O’Brien had the Bison finishing the season 2-11-4 (0-7-2). The bright spot for the Bisons was the play of 17-game starter, Erin Zerio, who finished the season 26th in the country in saves (112). Zerio graduated and that leaves the tending job to incoming freshman Anna Buhigas. Like, Kennesaw State a freshman GK and no back up is a dangerous way to play, but Lipscomb is still in a rebuilding phase. They announced the largest signing class in the ASun with 14 players committing to Lipscomb. With all the new talent in Nashville, including several new international players. It will be an interesting season to see who makes the cut and is the cornerstone for the Bisons future.

USC Apartans PlantzUSC Upstate Spartans: At 3-15-0 (1-8-0) The Spartans struggled in every area on the field. There was a compensatory prize in the awarding of Sarah Plantz as Goal Keeper of the Year in the Atlantic Sun with 122 saves, beating out favorite Mercer’s Maggie Cropp. Abbey Minihan enters her second season as head coach with the Spartans and very similarly to Lipsomb and Stetson, the rebuilding continues. Plantz does return for her senior season and will be looked at for team motivation and leadership. In Spartanburg,  just six recruits were brought in by Coach Minihan as she also looks to build a winning program almost from scratch.

 

2013 Atlantic Sun Women’s Soccer Prediction

1. FGCU

2.  Mercer

3. ETSU

4. Kennesaw State

5. Jacksonville

6. North Florida

7. *Northern Kentucky

8. Lipscomb

9. Stetson

10. USC Upstate

* – Not eligible for post season due to reclassification

 

 

 

Kennesaw State Owls Basketball