NCAA tourney or bust

first_imgMost coaches can only dream of boasting a roster full of young, yet experienced, players. The fine line between youthful exuberance – and the four years of eligibility that come with it – and veteran resolve is a mixture that can breed long-term success. It is a dream Wisconsin women’s soccer head coach Paula Wilkins is currently living in her sixth year with the program.After earning a bid to the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years last season and finishing sixth in one of the toughest conferences in the country, Wisconsin returns nine starters to the field in 2013 – none of whom are seniors.Wilkins, the five-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, knows having underclassmen who can contribute is a recipe for long-term success.“It’s not just building for the season, and we want to take care of this season, but it’s also building the program for the future,” Wilkins said. “There’s a core of them that have the same philosophy and work for the same things and building on those experiences to make them better and better not just this year but next year and beyond.”The 2012 season ended for the Badgers in Los Angeles in a first round 1-0 wrenching defeat at the hands of UCLA, a team which would make a run all the way to the elite eight.Wisconsin was grateful to even be chosen to play in the big dance as the Badgers sat square on the bubble heading into the selection process. But now with more postseason experience under their belt, expectations are rising.“Expectations are high,” junior forward Cara Walls said. “Everyone knows that our group has a lot of potential, and if we play up to our ability every game, we can go really far. We don’t have set destinations, but we think we can do well in the Big Ten, if not win it, and go far in the NCAA tournament this year.”Wisconsin’s success will hinge on its Walls-led offense that exploded last season for a program record of 38 goals. The Badgers return four of the top-five point-getters this season including top-scorer and second-team All-Big Ten selection Walls who sparked the front line attack last season with 10 goals.“Our attacking group has a lot of confidence,” Walls said. “We know there is a lot of ability with the new freshmen and the returning players. We are going to go for it because we know we have the ability.”The Wisconsin front line will continue to gain depth as freshman forward Rose Lavelle looks to make an immediate impact on UW’s attack.The Ohio native already has national experience playing for the United States at the U20 level this summer and has been quick to make her presence known on the field in the cardinal and white, notching her first goal and assist in Wisconsin’s first two regular season matches.Wilkins has high hopes for what Lavelle and her fellow freshman teammates are able to bring to the team this season.“I think they can be very impactful,” Wilkins said. “Kylie Schwarz in the back has had experience at the regional level … and I think she gives us more confidence in keeping possession coming out of the back. Rose Lavelle has U20 experience and is a very dynamic and exciting player to watch and I think she’ll compliment the players that are in there. I think they will all have a major impact and it will be exciting to watch.”Schwarz and the rest of her backline mates will have big shoes to fill as four-year starter and UW’s 2012 defensive player of the year Lindsey Johnson is now gone.Wilkins is looking at a host of players to help contribute on the defensive side of the pitch this season and is not too concerned with the loss of Johnson.“Morgan Taylor has come in and done a good job and Schwarz has come in as a true freshman and has been able to [help on defense,]” Wilkins said. “With the fact that Brianna Stelzer has to carry the load in the spring last year really has elevated her game too, so I think that experience in the spring has really helped everybody.”Between the posts, Wisconsin will bring back redshirt junior Genevieve Richard who started to see the field last year as she split time with senior goalkeeper Lauren Gunderson during the end of the season.It was Richard who manned the woodwork against UCLA in Wisconsin’s first round of the NCAAs and believes she will benefit from knowing she is the outright starter going into this season but still remains focused.“Preparation-wise [knowing I am the starter] just helps me to be a little bit more ready and mentally I’m a little more prepared,” Richard said. “Overall, at the end of the day, if I am given the opportunity, I’m just going to take it and try to do my best to help out the team. It’s nice but at the same time I have to stay focused on each and every game as if I didn’t have a next one.”Wilkins is not undervaluing the experience her Canadian net minder gained in the postseason last year and can already see the impact some game action has had on Richard.“I think in college, goalkeeper experience is a huge thing, and I think her experience in the later part of the season last year has helped her come into the game. I think just decision making in the games has made her more confident. You can tell she’s a little bit more calmer, which is really what you from your goalkeeper.”last_img read more

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Announcing the December Geocacher of the Month

first_img SharePrint RelatedDecember Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentJanuary 17, 2014In “Community”Announcing the Newest Geocacher of the MonthApril 15, 2014In “Community”January Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentFebruary 7, 2014In “Community” The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month GeocoinGeocachers united from across the world to sing the praises of three sets of geocachers last month.  Each of the nominees is already a winner, with a prize package headed their way. But only one geocaching person, or couple, can be named the Geocacher of the Month.All the nominees add a special contribution to their local communities and inspire the global geocaching community. Each will receive special recognition for their contribution to the adventure of geocaching. Before naming the Geocacher of the Month, Geocaching HQ  reviews community input and blog comments. Each comment is read.A geocaching couple from Denmark with some of the most inspiration hides on Europe claimed this month’s prize. Siig is December’s Featured Geocacher of the Month.One comment reads, “Hands down winner this month must be siig! There is a reason why they are by far the team in Denmark with most favourite votings (and not just 100 as hintet above….almost 2800 favourites received!). You always leave one of their hides with a silent smile or a big and noisy laugh, as they are most often very innovative and funny caches. Their caches are well kept and always an experience. It is very clear that they stay true to the notion: Would I personally like to find this cache – due to its nature or the environment surrounding it? With this in mind when you place a cache, you cannot go wrong – and Siig don’t!”Siig will receive the earned, never for sale, collector’s edition Geocacher of the Month Geocoin, along with a Geocacher of the Month hat and a certificate acknowledging their contribution, signed by two of the founders of Geocaching.com.Siig – Winner Geocacher of the Month December 2013If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor, send an email to [email protected] Every nomination must include the following items and abide by the following guidelines:Your name, the name of your nominee, their usernameA picture of the nomineeDescription (200 or more words) explaining why he or she deserves to be the Geocacher of the MonthPlease inform your nominee that you have submitted them for the award. Nominations for Geocacher of the Month are accepted at any time.Congratulations again to Siig  for being recognized as the Geocacher of the Month for December. Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

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Microsoft: All Your Cloud Belong To Us

first_imgWith a slew of announcements surrounding its Windows Azure ecosystem on Tuesday, Microsoft has more clearly defined its cloud computing positioning. And that position is: Manage the bejeezus out of everything in the enterprise.Microsoft’s crack PR team may not have put it quite that way, but the focus of today’s announcements, kicked off with a press webcast this morning, brought Microsoft’s goals with its cloud offerings into sharp relief.System Center 2012 Service Pack 1The centerpiece of the announcements is the general availability of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1, which can now work with Windows Server 2012 to manage cloud apps and resources wherever those apps happen to be running. That means a datacenter, a hosted service provider’s datacenter or out on Windows Azure, Microsoft’s answer to Amazon Web Services and OpenStack-based cloud-hosting services.The capability to shift virtual server instances to different locations using what Microsoft calls a “single pane of glass” is intriguing, and gets Microsoft into a place it really needs to be: a provider of cloud management services that starts to rival the capabilities of competing cloud/infrastructure providers.This kind of management is available already for other cloud ecosystems, but typically customers have to use multiple vendors working with whatever cloud provider they favor. There are third-party vendors in the Azure space, too, but if anything was made clear today in today’s press event, it’s Microsoft’s keen desire to provide a end-to-end solution for a customer’s cloud solutions.That won’t come as any surprise, of course, but what might surprise enterprise CIOs is that if these services work as advertised, they would be a attractive tool for any company moving towards cloud computing and hesitant to work with multiple vendors and heterogeneous platforms.Happy, Homogenous Days Are Here Again?Microsoft is betting big on the fact that in the days before Linux and, well, Windows, many IT managers preferred homogeneous shops. Recall the days of UNIX servers and dumb terminals. Sure, you put all your eggs into fewer (or one) vendors’ baskets, but you sure had less service and support headaches.Microsoft is hoping those happy, homogeneous days are here again, betting that IT administrators who recognize the value of cloud and elastic computing will also want to keep things managed by a single set of vendor tools.Staying IntuneRedmond is so sure about this angle of attack in the enterprise and cloud marketplace, it’s doubling down on centralized management with another general release: the latest version of Windows Intune, a cloud and device management tool that, with Service Center, enables deep management of Windows-based devices, as well as management of Android and iOS devices.By folding the single-pane approach into Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) management, Microsoft is declaring that if you want one-stop-shopping for enterprise management, you’d better check out its product line.It’s not a bad bet – if the price is right and the services are indeed worthy. Microsoft has traditionally eschewed notions like keeping prices in check, but with a highly crowded cloud marketplace, it’s unlikely it wouldn’t at least try to remain competitive on prices. The only thing left will be how the tools function, and time will have to tell there.The rest of the cloud marketplace has become a smorgasbord of services and tools, many of them very good, but also scattered across multiple vendors. While some IT vendors will prefer stitching together tools for the optimum solution, there will always be a market for end-to-end stacks like Microsoft announced today.It’s an alternative to which the rest of the cloud-computing ecosystem had better pay attention.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#Microsoft brian proffitt Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for …center_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Related Posts last_img read more

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