NKU wraps up largely successful sports year

Somehow it’s the end of another school year. This is easily the fastest semester and fastest school year I’ve had so far.

And it’s been a fast year in sports at Northern. A successful one, but it’s gone by in a blur. Records set, conference titles won and a National Championship to boot.

It was only five months ago that the men’s soccer team was, in a word, perfect.

The team went from the first week of school to the first week of November without losing a single game.

Amazingly, the Norse finished a perfect 13 of 13 in the GLVC. John Basalyga was rightfully selected the coach of the year. After all, he was the first NKU soccer coach to lead his team perfectly through the gauntlet.

The Lady Norse had nearly comparable success, starting off as hot as the men’s team. But a mid-season slide propelled the Lady Norse into a rather precipitous downfall.

They eventually bowed out of the GLVC Tournament in the first round. If it’s any consolation, the Lady Norse landed three players on the all-GLVC team.

The Norse basketball team had somewhat of a new look this year. No more all-American Steven Wright. No more Dayton transfer James Cripe to patrol the middle. However, the Norse still achieved a great deal of success.

Despite being rather size-deprived, the Norse managed a very respectable 21-8 record, a 14-5 clip in the GLVC, and they shared the East crown with Kentucky Wesleyan.

Although there’s no such thing as a good loss, Northern was rather respectable in bowing out to perennial power Grand Valley State.

The Norse looked more respectable in bowing out to GVSU in 2008 than they did in 2007, coming much closer to winning. GVSU has been known to dominate the Division II landscape.

Of course, the biggest story of the year was the most unexpected run in the history of any sport at NKU-or even in this part of the country for that matter.

I think most people are still trying to wrap their head around the fact that an unranked, one-vote-in-the Top 25 team can squeak their way into the dance-and then proceed to go six-for-six in the tournament and essentially win a National Title on a “neutral floor.”

Something like this may never be duplicated in the history of this school again.

It may be several years before we see two seniors as influential and instrumental as local stars Nichole Chiodi and Angela Healy. Sometimes the best things in life are in your own backyard. Hope you enjoyed it while it lasted.

Not to mention a baseball team recovering from a horrific start to be in the thick of things as the season ends.

It was a fast, but good, year in sports.

See you in August.