Hello Cougar Fans and welcome to the A.D. Forum. Washington State University Director of Athletics Jim Sterk will post periodic entries on this page about topics regarding WSU Athletics.
Nov. 12, 2008
As I begin this entry, I want to offer my congratulations to the soccer team for earning a berth to the NCAA Championships on Monday.
Our selection marks the first time in six seasons that the program will take part in the NCAA Championships. After just missing out on an NCAA berth the last few seasons, the Cougars left no doubt this year, finishing the regular season with a 10-5-5 overall record, including a 4-3-2 mark and a fifth place finish in the always tough Pacific-10 Conference.
The Cougars depart today to Portland, Ore., where they will face the Texas Longhorns in a first round match scheduled for 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14 on Merlo Field at the Clive Charles Soccer Complex. The winner of the WSU-Texas match will face the winner of Friday's other first round match between Portland and Northern Arizona on Sunday (Nov. 16) at 1 p.m.
Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. today through all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, by calling 503-224-4400, or in person at the University of Portland Box Office. Reserved seats are $12 and $10 and general admission seats are $8.
For more information on this weekend's action, please click HERE.
While soccer reaches its postseason, basketball is just beginning its regular season. With the arrival of basketball season, I know you share with me the sense of anticipation of what is ahead for both the men's and women's programs this season.
Coming off consecutive NCAA Tournament berths and the school's first Sweet 16 appearance in history, Coach Tony Bennett returns five letterwinners from that Sweet 16 squad and welcomes seven newcomers, all freshmen, to the program.
Of the five returning letterwinners, four are returning All-Pac-10 All-Academic honorees (Taylor Rochestie, Aron Baynes, Daven Harmeling, and Nikola Koprivica). Last year, senior Robbie Cowgill earned Pac-10 Scholar Athlete of the Year accolades for men's basketball, highlighting a squad that earned its highest spring semester GPA (2.85) in the last decade, with 50 percent of team members earning at least a 3.00 semester GPA.
I applaud Coach Bennett, the coaching staff, and the student-athletes on the team, not only for their achievements on the court but off the court as well. It is these successes that are the epitome of my vision of providing one of the best student-athlete experiences in the nation for our student-athletes at WSU.
Entering her second season at the helm of the women's program, June Daugherty brings back an experienced squad as the Cougars return nine players from last year's team, including five players that started 20-or-more games.
Combined with that veteran group, Coach Daugherty has added the nation's 16th-ranked recruiting class and second-highest ranked group in the Pacific-10 Conference, according to Blue Star Basketball, to the roster.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate June on being the recipient of the 2008 Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association Public Spirit Award in recognition of her significant contributions in the field of sudden cardiac arrest awareness and prevention. In subsequent years, the award will be called the June Daugherty Public Spirit Award. June is a passionate advocate for the game of basketball, and she has brought this advocacy over to the cause of cardiac disease prevention.
Both men's and women's season and individual game tickets are on sale now. I encourage you to come to Beasley for what promises to be an exciting season for both teams. For ticket information, please call the WSU Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-COUGS or visit our website at wsucougars.com.
I greatly appreciate all of the support you have demonstrated for all of our programs. Your support has a significant positive impact in the development of our athletic programs now and in the future.