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Monday, April 24, 2017 This Week's Paper

SPORTSWATCH

SOUNDERS U23 TO FACE OSA IN US OPEN CUP OPENER IN MAY

The Sounders U23 team will face the Olympic Soccer Academy (OSA) in the first round of the 2017 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on May 10 at Seattle Memorial Stadium. Kick off for the game will be 7:30 p.m. Winner of the first round matchup hosts Reno 1868 FC of the USL in the second round on May 17.

For the third time since inception in 2012, the Sounders U23 will compete in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. In 2013, the defending PDL Western Conference Champions fell to the Charlotte Eagles of the USL in Charlotte, North Carolina after advancing to play professional competition. The 2015 run in the cup stopped at Kitsap SC after dispatching Outbreak FC from the USASA ranks in California.

OSA is a NPSL team playing primarily out of French Field in Kent, Washington after playing games in Pierce County during the 2015 NPSL season. The 2016 NPSL NW Conference Champions will look to build on a successful 2016 season with the addition of former PDL club, Kitsap SC joining the NPSL along with FCM Portland, PDX FC, Pierce County FC, and the Spokane Shadow. OSA is coached by Paul Aur and Giuseppe Pezzano is the owner of the team.

“The Open Cup is always an honor to be a part of and we will look to create an entertaining game against OSA as our college players make their way here in May,” said Darren Sawatzky, Sounders U23 head coach and general manager, “OSA has done well in the NPSL and we look forward to the competition.”

To find the PDL schedule and purchase tickets to the Sounders U23 regular season, go to www.soundersu23.com.

RAINIERS UNVEIL 2017 TACOMA PUBLIC SCHOOLS JERSEY

The Tacoma Rainiers today announced the winner of the 2017 Tacoma Public Schools Jersey Design Contest winner as Franklin Elementary School fifth grader, Isayas Hampton.
Isayas’ winning jersey design, featuring silhouettes of numerous iconic Tacoma landmarks, will be worn on-field by Tacoma Rainiers players and coaching staff on Friday, May 26, 2017 as part of the festivities for Tacoma Public Schools Night at Cheney Stadium.
Prior to the game, Isayas will be presented with a personalized jersey emblazoned with his design, take a VIP tour of Cheney Stadium, and be given the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The specialty jerseys will be made available for purchase through a silent auction held on the night of the game, with proceeds benefiting Palmer Scholars.
“Our annual jersey design contest is a favorite of mine and our entire staff,” Rainiers Team President Aaron Artman said. “It’s a great way to engage with our youth and provide a fun opportunity for students. Tacoma Public Schools has done, and continues to do, great work in our community. We’re very proud to play a part in that.”
Join the Tacoma Rainiers and support Tacoma Public Schools with the purchase of group tickets to the Friday, May 26 contest by calling group event coordinator Lauren Hall at (253) 722-1047.
Single-game tickets, season ticket options, group outings, and suite packages for the club’s 2017 season are available now and can be purchased by calling the Tacoma Rainiers front office at (253) 752-7707, online at www.tacomarainiers.com, or in person at the Cheney Stadium Box Office. The most up-to-date news and notes about the Rainiers leading up to and throughout the 2017 season can be found by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand) and liking the team on Facebook.

PLU WOMEN’S CREW REMAIN NEAR THE TOP NATIONALLY

The Pacific Lutheran University women's rowing team's varsity eight remains static at seventh in the nation in the fourth installment of the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association/US Rowing Coaches Poll, presented by Pocock Racing Shells.

The Lutes secured 86 votes in the poll, remaining the top West Coast squad in the rankings and remaining seventh for the third consecutive week. Northwest Conference rival Lewis & Clark College is tied for 15th (10 points) while the University of Puget Sound sits just outside the Top 15 in the other receiving votes section.

Bates College sits atop the poll with 148 points and nine of the 10 first place votes. Wesleyan University (134 points) and Williams College (123 points) remain second and third with Tufts University (116 points) in fourth. Ithaca College rounds out the top five, securing 114 points and the remaining first place vote.

The Lutes are back on the water on Sunday, April 23, hosting the NWC Championships on American Lake.

MILLER EARNS THIRD NWC WEEKLY NOD OF THE SEASON FOR LUTES

For the third time this season, Pacific Lutheran University softball student-athlete Marissa Miller is the Northwest Conference Pitcher of the Week, securing the accolade on Monday after a dominant weekend inside the circle against crosstown rival University of Puget Sound.

The Edgewood, Washington native concluded the weekend series with a 0.54 earned run average, striking out eight while collecting two complete game victories. Miller allowed just one earned run and struck out five in a 7-1 victory over the Loggers on Friday afternoon before capping off the weekend on Saturday by allowing no earned runs and fanning three in a 12-2 victory. Miller's efforts helped the Lutes (20-14, 16-12 NWC) return to the NWC Tournament for the first time since 2013.

Miller previously won NWC Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 6 and Mar. 6 while fellow pitcher Elli Rassbach claimed the award on Feb. 27 after tossing a no-hitter against Pacific University.

The Lutes open postseason play on Friday, April 21, facing Linfield College at 2:30 p.m. in the double-elimination NWC Tournament held in Spokane, Washington.

PLU’S HATTON EARNS SECOND NWC WEEKLY NOD BEFORE FINALS

The Northwest Conference released its weekly track & field award winners on Monday, April 17, with Pacific Lutheran University student-athlete Lucas Hatton securing NWC Field Athlete of the Week for the second time this season.

The senior thrower secures the honor after winning two events on Saturday at the Lewis & Clark Invitational in Portland, Oregon. The Eatonville, Washington native won the shot put with a season-best toss of 51 feet, one inch, while winning the hammer throw with a personal record heave of 169' 7". Hatton additionally placed fourth in the discus throw (134' 5"). His performance helped the Lutes place second overall at the six-team meet, finishing four points shy of meet champion George Fox University.

Hatton, who was the NWC Field Athlete of the Week on March 13, currently owns the best throw in the NWC in the hammer and ranks second in the conference and 25th nationally in the shot put.

This marks the fifth time this season the Lutes have earned an NWC track & field weekly award. Brad Hodkinson won Track Athlete of the Week on April 10 and March 20, while Richard Johnson secured the honor on March 13.

PLU returns to action on Friday, April 21, competing at day one of the 2017 NWC Championships in Spokane, Washington.

HASELWOOD AND JESSEN REPRESENT PLU AT NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Pacific Lutheran University women's golf student-athletes Anna Jessen and Desirae Haselwood have had a lot on their plate recently. Two weeks ago, both Jessen and Haselwood had the opportunity to present their capstone research at the National Center for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Memphis, Tennessee. The trip to Memphis was sandwiched around two weekend golf tournaments for the two seniors.

Both Jessen and Haselwood submitted their abstracts last December and out of 4,000 applicants, were both picked to display their research. Jessen's capstone focused on the viability of mass public transportation in the Puget Sound region which was influenced by her experiences riding the bus to Seattle for internship last summer.

Haselwood's focused on golf and the attributes or skills that are most important for a PGA golfer's ranking.

“We were surrounded by so many smart and successful students who had done some brilliant research and it was really fun,” Haselwood said. “It was special because I really enjoyed my capstone project and was excited about the work I put into it so being able to present it at a national conference was really rewarding.”

“There were students from all across the country and they were presenting in any discipline you could think of,” Jessen said. “I was very fortunate to be able to go with three other fellow economics majors.”

The weekend prior to the research conference, both Jessen and Haselwood were hitting their stride on the golf course. Jessen shot a 158 (77-81) to finish third while Haselwood was two strokes back in sixth place (77-83), helping the Lutes to a third place showing at the Whitman Invitational in Walla Walla, Washington.

However, unforeseen circumstances kept the two Lutes sidelined the following weekend for the Northwest Conference Spring Classic after getting stranded halfway across the country.

As a result from a delayed flight due to weather, Jessen and Haselwood didn't make it back in time for their tee time for day one of the Spring Classic. They watched their teammates from the sidelines as the Lutes placed fifth. Despite their absence, there was no disappointment from their coach, Sara Griffin, or their teammates.

“They understand the hectic life of a college golfer and a graduating senior,” Griffin said. “I applaud them for all they do and I'm grateful that they are representing PLU.”

Not too often do athletes miss competition due to extracurriculars, it usually is the other way around. However, Haselwood and Jessen as well as their teammates and coach understand that being accepted into this conference was an opportunity that they couldn't pass up.

That support was evident by the work Griffin did attempting to get them back in time, calling the airlines trying to work with them to get her players back home in time for the tournament. Although it didn't work out, Haselwood and Jessen enjoyed supporting their teammates from the sidelines during the Sunday final round at the NWC Spring Classic.

“I've really just tried to take things one day at a time because there is so much going on -- golf, school, looking for jobs for post-graduation,” Haselwood said.

“The beauty of Division III is the chance to be able to focus on school and athletics at the same time,” Jessen added.

Jessen and Haselwood and the rest of the Lutes are back in action on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23, hosting the 2017 Northwest Conference Championships at the Tacoma Country and Golf Club. – By Dylan Foreman, PLU Sports

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