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Another march begins today

| Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003

To tell you the truth:

  • Didn't football season just begin•

    Wasn't it summertime not long ago?

    How can it be basketball season already•

    Every year, it seems like the march to madness begins even earlier.

    But, no, it's the same as it ever was. Today is Oct. 15. It's time for hoops.

    NCAA Division II and III men's and women's programs were to begin formal practices today, with some teams already having conducted midnight madness exercises earlier this morning; NCAA Division I programs are required to wait until Saturday, when numerous midnight madness events around the country are planned; and NAIA and junior college programs follow their own guidelines because many of those teams traditionally open regular-season play in advance of NCAA teams' openers.

    Yes, it's mid-October, but it's hard to believe that it was six months ago when Syracuse was beating Kansas for the national championship, Connecticut's women were winning another title, and all those small-college teams, many with either hyphenated or directional names from far-away places, were claiming championships, too.

    It's hard to believe, but it's true.

  • The Duquesne men's soccer team (8-1-2) is ranked No. 22 in NCAA Division I by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for the first time in its nine-year history.

  • The Grove City women's tennis team captured an unprecedented 17th consecutive Presidents' Athletic Conference title over the weekend in Erie. The Wolverines, under 12th-year coach Cathy Jacobs, posted 49 of a possible 54 points to outdistance five contenders.

  • When Washington & Jefferson defeated Hood, 2-1, in a field hockey game last week, it marked the first victory for the Presidents since the program was revived in 2001 after an 11-year hiatus. The last time W&J had won a match was in 1989, 3-0 against Chatham.

  • Wheeling Jesuit's winning streak in women's volleyball has reached 33 heading into Thursday's nonconference match at Indiana (Pa.). Wheeling Jesuit is ranked No. 3 in NCAA Division II.

  • Senior forward Matthew Roser of Westminster (Pa.) and sophomore forward Adam Zeleznick of Pitt-Greensburg recently established school records for most career goals in men's soccer. Roser scored the game's only goal two minutes into overtime in the Titans' victory Sunday over Pitt-Bradford, giving him a total of 34. Zeleznick, a South Park graduate, scored his 33rd all-time for Pitt-Greensburg in a 3-1 loss to Penn State-Behrend on Oct. 4.

  • Senior goalkeeper Annie Zinkavich posted her fourth shutout of the season in Penn State's recent 3-0 field hockey victory over Northwestern. It marked the 10th time she has held an opponent to one goal or fewer. Penn State is ranked No. 8 in NCAA Division I.

  • Allegheny senior Vicki Kajder, a Penn-Trafford graduate, set a school record for service aces in a season with three in a victory over Mt. Aloysius at the Gallaudet Bison Invitational last week in Washington. Kajder's total was 67 entering Tuesday's home match against Penn State-Behrend.

  • California (Pa.) kicker Gary Amos, a Beth-Center High School graduate, broke a 23-year-old school record with a 49-yard field goal in a 30-25 loss to Lock Haven on Saturday.

  • Juniata quarterback Greg Troutman passed for 290 yards, rushed for 129 yards and accounted for five touchdowns (four passing and one rushing) in the Eagles' 48-38 victory over Lebanon Valley on Saturday.

  • A week after St. Francis (Pa.) running back Michael Hall rewrote the Red Flash record book for rushing yards in a victory over La Salle, freshman quarterback Anthony Doria, a Seton La Salle graduate, shattered several single-game passing records at the school in a 44-21 loss to Albany (N.Y.): passing yards (398), completions (38) and pass attempts (63).

  • The Penn State women's golf team set a school record with a team score of 600 for 36 holes during the Nittany Lion Fall Invitational over the weekend.

  • If I didn't already mention it, just let me say that it's mind-boggling that today is the first day of college basketball practice for many teams.

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