Here we are — right smack dab in the middle of college football season with the heart of our schedule almost upon us. As a result, almost everywhere you turn there is a story, article or conversation, allocating an inordinate amount of deliberation over individual players, schemes and predictions. So, in an attempt to shake things up a bit, I wanted to report on some of our other teams and how they are performing.
Over in cross country, our reigning national champion women’s team kicked off their season by sweeping the Viking Classic at Portland State University; defeating Oregon State, Portland and PSU. This past weekend the men and women of Ducks Cross Country traveled to Beantown to compete in the Boston College XC Invitational. Although team leader Sara Penney suffered a terrifying fall during competition, our No. 5-ranked women were still able to finish second to only No. 1 Providence. The men were led to an impressive victory by freshmen Edward Cheserek and Jake Leingang during the same meet, and now hold a promising No. 4 ranking that could change in the blink of an eye this early in the season.
Elsewhere in Oregon sports, the women’s soccer team is being forced to battle through serious adversity. Going 0-5-0 on the road last season, the Ducks are now hoping to put that history behind them. Friday, they embark on their first road trip of the season. However, having to face a 4-1 Utah team, and then an 8-2 crew in Colorado, it definitely won’t be an easy outing for the women who currently sport a 2-4 record. This is certainly not a narrative heard all too often coming from Autzen. All is not gray though, the team does field a staunch defense that only allowed two goals over the last four games. Their battle-tested squad also features the Pac-12’s leading goal keeper. This season has the beginnings of what could be an exciting Cinderella-type ending.