By Gene McGivern, Sports Information Director
This weekend, a classic football rivalry returns to campus, and UST’s nationally ranked cross country teams will compete in some big races with quality opponents.
For the first time since 1994, St. Thomas gets to host archrival St. John’s in MIAC football on the Tommies’ campus in St. Paul. None of UST’s 23 seniors has ever played a home game against the Johnnies in their careers. The teams play at 1 p.m. Saturday in O’Shaughnessy Stadium. A standing-room-only crowd of more than 7,000 is expected. There’s no advance ticket sale — tickets go on sale at the stadium at 11 a.m. Saturday. Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. (no reserved seating). Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for students. Of course, UST students, staff and faculty are admitted free with their ID. If you can’t make it in person, the game is being televised live on Media One cable outlets in St. Paul and some north and south suburbs.
Under second-year head coach Don Roney, the Tommies have won seven consecutive MIAC games and are 1-0 in the conference and 1-1 overall after last Saturday’s 33-3 win at St. Olaf. The Johnnies (1-0, 2-0) have won 10 consecutive MIAC games after going 9-0 to win the MIAC championship last season and beating Macalester 42-7 at home Saturday. The Johnnies’ last MIAC defeat came in the final game of 1997 when the Tommies rallied to beat them 31-27 in the Metrodome.
St. John’s leads the all-time football series 36-29-1. The Tommies are 8-12 in the series since 1980, but have lost five of the last six times the teams have played. SJU won 31-13 last year in Collegeville, scoring two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the first half to take a 24-7 halftime lead.
In cross country, the St. Thomas men and women’s teams race Saturday morning in the University of Minnesota’s Roy Griak Invite at the Bolstad Golf Course in Falcon Heights (a mile east of Highway 280 on Larpenteur Avenue). Coach Pete Wareham’s men’s team, ranked 25th nationally, competes at 9:30 a.m., while Coach Joe Sweeney’s women’s team, ranked ninth in Division III, runs at 10:15 a.m. The UST women placed second of 33 teams last Friday at the National Catholic Championships hosted by Notre Dame.
In volleyball, Coach Cole Tallman’s Tommies play four matches today and Saturday in the Wisconsin-Whitewater tournament. UST plays Simpson (Iowa) and Whitewater today and Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Augustana (Illinois) Saturday. The Tommies improved to 2-0 in the MIAC and 5-6 overall with Wednesday’s 15-5, 15-11, 15-7 win over St. Mary’s. UST plays 16 of its first 17 matches away from home to start its volleyball season but will have five home matches in October. Senior Rachel Myskevitz broke the school career record for service aces in Wednesday’s match and now has 208.
In soccer, Coach Colleen Carey’s UST women, 3-3 overall, will try to break a two-game losing streak Saturday when the Tommies travel to Wisconsin-LaCrosse (1 p.m.). The Tommies lost 1-0 to Gustavus and 1-0 in overtime to St. Mary’s, two teams with a combined 11-1 record. Coach Denzil Lue’s men’s team (2-4) has lost four in a row but will try to rebound Saturday at Hamline (1 p.m.). The Tommies bowed 2-0 at St. Mary’s Wednesday in their first conference game.
In golf, Coach Cathy Lombritto’s UST women, ranked 15th in the country, play an 18-hole tournament today and a 36-hole tournament Saturday and Sunday hosted by Gustavus. These are the Tommies’ final competitions before the Oct. 2-3 MIAC Championships hosted by Concordia-Moorhead. Coach Dave Landry’s men’s golf team plays Sunday and Monday in a 36-hole tournament hosted by Wisconsin-Eau Claire. UST freshman John Weiberg won medalist honors last weekend at the Carleton Invite, his first college tournament. Meanwhile, UST’s Matt Rasmussen fired a hole in one Sept. 16 in a practice round.