Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer are the three players shortlisted for the world footballer of the year award.Former Manchester United forward Ronaldo was the 2013 winner of the Ballon d’Or.His victory ended Messi’s three year run as winner.This year has seen Neuer win the German league and cup with Bayern Munich, and the World Cup with Germany. The 25 year old was nominated for the incredible volley she scored for Peamount United in the Women’s National League last October.Roche is battling James Rodriguez of Colombia and the Netherlands’ Robin Van Persie for their World cup goals against Uruguay and Spain respectively.She will join them in Zurich for the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony on 12th January, when the winner will be announced.
Juniors Caitlin Ingle and Lizzy Wendell of the Drake University women’s basketball team each made immediate impacts early in their collegiate careers. Ingle, a classic pass-first point guard, and Wendell, a high-scoring forward, have helped each other climb the program statistical rankings as well as help the Bulldogs win many games. The pair were the first signees for fourth-year Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk and it didn’t take long for the two to form a bond on-and-off the court. Ingle, a local product from Runnells, Iowa, and Wendell from Blue Springs, Mo., had a chance to sit down for an interview as Missouri Valley Conference play was starting in early January. You two came in together in coach Baranczyk’s first recruiting class what made you decide to join her program and be student-athletes at Drake University? Ingle: “What really sold me was meeting Jennie, seeing her passion for the game and for coaching. I saw the up-tempo style of play she likes to run and I knew it was a good fit all around. I think Drake has great people and it was just a great feeling for me when I visited.” Wendell: “I agree with Caitlin on meeting Jennie, hearing her vision for us and the program and what she wanted to accomplish and the style of play she likes. Also her passion and her as a person was really easy to connect to. I had a great feeling when I visited Drake and knew it felt right.” What is it like playing together and being such great friends off the court? Ingle: “Playing together for three years, now we know when we are both feeling pretty good and playing well and have that confidence that the team is going to follow. After playing together for three years I have that feel and complete trust in her when I get her the basketball.” Wendell: “I also have complete trust in her. We are at that point where we can just give each other a look on the court and where we are going to go off that or what is going to happen next. We’ve built that over the last three years and it’s really fun playing together and living together.” Now that MVC play has started what does the team need to do to meet its goals of winning games and the MVC? Ingle: “We came out really confident at the beginning of the season, including our freshmen who we rely on. The South Dakota overtime loss was the first experience losing in college for them and I think we took a step back and lost that confidence. We had to get our confidence back and get our feet back under us and I think we have done that. We are at that point in our culture where we expect to win every game and contend for the conference title and those are our goals. We have to bring that confident mindset everyday now in conference play.” Wendell: “We came out carefree and confident playing our style. Like Caitlin said we had an issue with the confidence, but we have gotten back to ourselves and playing the selfless style of play we want of making the extra passes and setting each other up. I think that is really going to help us now in conference. We have to protect our home court and make it a really hard place to play at. Road trips are tough too and we have to bring that confident mindset every single game.” What is your favorite memory so far at Drake? Ingle: “My best memories are playing at home at the Knapp Center in big games and getting wins. Making big shots and plays. Having great crowds. There is nothing like that feeling and having everyone involved and excited.” Wendell: “Home games, big wins where we hit big shots at the end. Having huge crowds at the Knapp Center like the Iowa State game this year where we they gave us great energy in a close game at the end. I love the big crowds and the energy our fans bring us.” Print Friendly Version