October 27, 2004

Sports Shorts 10-22-04

UAA honors three soccer players

Having dominated the conference of late, men's and women's soccer were both showered with UAA Athlete of the Week honors on Tuesday.

The 10th-ranked men—unbeaten in their last eight games—earned recognition on both offense and defense. Second-year goalkeeper Keith Crum won for the first time in his career after allowing only one goal in three games last week. Proving his skill under pressure, his last-second diving stop clinched Chicago's 2-1 win over Brandeis on October 15. His double-overtime shutout Sunday against NYU was his ninth of the season, a new school record.

Fourth-year midfielder Ben Preyss also won his first career award for his two goals last week. He scored the game's first goal against Brandeis and kicked the game winner on a penalty kick against NYU.

Quarterbacking a defensive backfield that allowed only two shots on goal in as many games last week, third-year Elise Aiken was named athlete of the week. After the award was announced—her second-career—Aiken notched a goal against Illinois Wesleyan.

Soccer rises, cross country drops in latest poll

Men's and women's soccer each climbed up the latest rankings after a dominant weekend that put both at the top of the UAA. The men jumped from 14th to 10th, their highest ranking of the season. The women rose two spots to 11th.

Cross country didn't fare as well this week, plagued by injuries and some off races the past two weeks. The men dropped from 9th to 14th after their third place finish in last weekend's University of Wisconsin-Parkside Invite. They

remain the top-ranked UAA team heading into the October 30 conference


The women, having finished sixth at UW-Parkside, dropped out of the top 25.

Men's tennis takes two of three

The men's tennis team may not have had the long fall schedule of its female counterpart, but it certainly made the most of its games. Following the Intercollegiate Tennis Association regional tournament two weeks ago in which four of five Chicago participants finished .500 or better, the Maroons won two out of three matches against Division-II opponents at the St. Joseph's College Tournament last weekend.

In Saturday's opener against Grand Valley State, Chicago fought in a few close matches, but ultimately ended up losing 6-3. Third-year transfer and first-singles player Ward Bortz—who lost in the ITA regional finals—cruised through his match, winning 6-2, 6-2. Second-year fourth-singles player Vivek Venkataraman and first-year fifth-singles player Bharath Sithian each added singles victories. Both Bortz's and Venkataraman's respective doubles teams lost close matches, however, 6-8 and 8-9, accounting for the final difference.

The Maroons rebounded back in their second match, defeating Charleston 8-1. Chicago's only loss came in first singles, where first-year Joseph Tchan replaced the injured Bortz. Men's tennis swept the other eight opponents in straight sets.

Sunday's match against Wayne State—which finished the spring ranked 30th in D-II—proved to be the team's best performance. The Maroons' third- through sixth-singles spots won out, as did the second- and third-doubles teams. Venkataraman had a particularly roller coaster-like match, defeating second-year Phil Tharakan 6-4, 0-6, 6-1. Bortz had to retire in his first-singles match, trailing 1-4 due to an ankle injury.

Men's tennis (2-1) resumes play February 5 at Luther College in Whitewater, Wisconsin.