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@DEN_Sports tweet of the day: #EIU women’s golf placed 12th out of 13 at the Chicago State Fall Classic on Tuesday.

S ports men’s soccer | recap

Sports Editor Anthony Catezone 217 • 581 • 2812 DENSportsdesk@gmail.com

T H E DA I LY E aste r n News

D a i ly e a s t e r n NE W S . C O M

w ed n e s day, s e p t. 18, 2013 N o. 2 3 , V O L U M E 9 8

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rugby | player profile

Panthers return players By Michael Spencer Staff Reporter @DEN_Sports The Summit League men’s soccer season was in full swing this weekend with a total of 10 matches being played around the league, while two key players returned to the field for Eastern. Conference teams collectively played in three tournaments, including the 50 Years of Men’s Soccer tournament hosted by Eastern at Lakeside Field. League play begins in two weeks. However, no Summit League team managed to win a single match this weekend. Eastern (0-4) lost twice, bringing up the rear in the Summit League after this week’s slate of results. However, the Panthers remain just a win away from vaulting to the middle of the league standings. Eastern coach Adam Howarth said he has the league picture in perspective. The former Panther said he wants to make sure he has his key players healthy by the time conference play begins. “We’re hoping that, certainly by conference time, we’re going to have everyone we need available,” Howarth said. Red-shirt sophomore midfielder Spencer Filosa, who started in all but two matches for Eastern as a freshman, was back from injury after a pair of surgeries forced him to use a medical red-shirt for the 2012 season. Filosa scored the opening goal in Sunday’s match against Western Michigan, just nine minutes into his return to the side. He played 36 minutes against the Broncos. Additionally, red-shirt junior forward Chris Boswell was back in action for the Panthers Friday. Howarth said Boswell is farther along in his recovery than Filosa, who is still playing a limited number of minutes. Elsewhere in the Summit League, Denver (1-3-1) stumbled against Saint Louis, 1-0. Omaha (1-3) lost to Drake by a score of 4-3 as Friday’s match was brought to a close when a penalty kick was awarded with only 16 seconds remaining on the clock. Western Illinois (1-4) held Dayton to two goals in the Flyers’ shutout victory over the Leathernecks in the Baymont Inn Classic. Dayton is the highest-scoring offense in Division I, scoring 3.67 goals per game. Western lost the final match of the tournament to Missouri State 2-1 in overtime Sunday. IUPUI (0-5-2) played twice over the weekend, losing to Valparaiso and Milwaukee 2-1 and 3-0, respectively. Oral Roberts (0-4-1) came away with the best result of the week, tying Mid-American Christian 0-0. Coming in at sixth in the league is Fort Wayne (0-5-1). The Mastodons dropped two matches this weekend at the Qdoba Invitational, losing to St. Francis (Pa.) and Marshall. Michael Spencer can be reached at 581-2812 or at tmspencer2@eiu.edu.

K atie Smith | The Daily Eastern Ne ws

Members of the Eastern rugby team rush to tackle an opponent on the Wisconsin All-Stars during a match Sept. 7 at Lakeside Field. The Panthers lost 66-7 and are currently 0-3 on the season.

Local recruits eager to improve By Bob Reynolds Staff Reporter @DEN_Sports On Aug. 12, Eastern women’s rugby players Miranda Hankins and Hannah Vieth stepped onto a rugby field for the first time. Both of them knew nothing about the sport, and Hankins had never heard of rugby until her senior year of high school. Hankins said her first ever rugby game against Quinnipiac was very nerve-racking. “It was my first Division I sport that I had only picked up three weeks ago,” Hankins said. “Luckily, right before the game, I talked to one of my co-workers who helped me calm my nerves down.” Vieth said she was nervous, scared and excited all at the same time and also added that she had no idea what was going on. Eastern coach Frank Graziano said Vieth is playing one of the hardest positions in rugby, fly-half, and it will take time for her to learn it. “Hannah certainly has a huge overload,” Graziano said. “It is almost like playing quarterback in football. Imagine if you tried to play quarterback in football and never played the sport before. She certainly has more mental aspect of the game because of the position she plays.” Hankins, who went to Charleston High School, was not a fan of going to the college in her hometown. “I started to think about all the people who support me still close by,” she said. “I have an amazing support group, and I am lucky to be so close to home. “I’ve always dreamed of playing a Division I sport. I knew if I worked hard, I could achieve that goal.” Vieth, who lives in Mattoon, said

she was first worried about attending Eastern because she had been away from home at Illinois Central College, playing soccer for two years already. “Now that I am so busy, I don’t even realize that I am 10 minutes from home,” Vieth said. “It is neat to represent the local athletes and play at this high of a level.”

Hannah Veith

emailed coach Graziano. “I thought he was crazy when he told me that, but one of my dad’s friends knows Coach,” Vieth said. “I didn’t think I would get a reply, and five minutes later, Coach responded. I had a choice to start something new or continue with soccer. It was hard, but I wanted to try something new and took on the challenge.”

mir anda hankins

going to take them a while to learn the game of rugby to where their personal assets become a gigantic plus.” With Hankins playing both of those sports for all four years in high school, she said track and field has helped her most with rugby. “Track is about how fast you run,” Hankins said. “Rugby has the same concept. It is just about how fast you can run with the ball in your hand.” Vieth also was a multi-sport athlete at Mattoon High School in playing soccer and volleyball and said soccer has helped her become a better rugby player. Graziano said the personality of Hankins and Vieth has been great and that they are very coachable. “They are eager to learn,” he said. “Rugby can be a very complicated game to learn, especially if you haven’t grown up with it. They do extra work. They are always eager to do whatever it takes to be successful for their team.” Learning any sport for the first time is not easy, and Hankins and Vieth had to learn rugby for the first time this year. Hankins said it was hard at first, and she also adds that she improved a lot. “I still don’t have some of the passing techniques down, but I am getting better,” Hankins said. “It is such a hard sport if you haven’t played football in your past. A lot of the moves and running the ball are like football. It is a fun sport that I cannot wait to increase my knowledge and become a great rugby player.”

Graziano said he tries to recruit local athletes. Hankins did not know she was being recruited to play rugby when one day her mother was walking by the campus pond on the way to work in April of her senior year of high school and passed Graziano. They started to talk about how Graziano goes to track meets to recruit some of his athletes. Hankins mother mentioned her name and then Graziano stopped in his tracks. “He had been trying to recruit me for months,” Hankins said. “I never got any of the papers he sent. After that, we kept in touch, and here I am.” Vieth, on the other hand, was getting set to sign with a school in Chicago to player soccer. Her dad joked with her about playing rugby at Eastern and said he would give her five dollars if she

Coach Graziano said the Charleston and Mattoon areas always have great athletes that come out of their high schools. He said it is great to have local talent on his team. “If you check some of the other sports teams, you will find local talent, male or female,” Graziano said. “Obviously, there are some good athletes locally, and we are excited to have them on the team.” Hankins was a multi-sport athlete in high school, playing volleyball and running track and field. She also plans to walk onto the track and field team in the spring at Eastern. Graziano said both Vieth and Hankins are great to have on his team because they both have a lot of natural talent and a lot of athletic ability. “This is great to have in our program,” Graziano said. “It is certainly

9/13 - @ GRAND VALLEY ST. 8:30 A.M.

8/12 - @ TENNESSEE NOON

10/19 - @ KENTUCKY 10 A.M.

11/2 - OPEN DATE

9/28 - OPEN DATE

10/5 - @ DAVENPOR T 3 P.M.

10/23 - @ LINDENWOOD 7:30 P.M.

11/9 - @ MICHIGAN STATE NOON

Bob Reynolds can be reached at 581-2812 or rjreynolds@eiu.edu.

2013 RUGBY SCHEDULE

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