Erickson: This may be the end, but it’s not goodbye

first_imgWell, it’s certainly been a brief four years my friends.I’ve covered countless beats during that time. I toiled through rebuilding seasons with the soccer teams, a season with each tennis team respectively as they tried to find the right mix, two wonderful years with the women’s hockey team that ended in a national title and, of course, two years with the football team that were each capped with return trips to the Rose Bowl.But no beat was closer to my heart than men’s hockey.Yes, I’ll admit it: I love hockey with unquantified passion.After a season of struggle, the hockey team almost had me convinced I was going to cover another down year for my final lap on the beat after a 1-7-2 start. As fans and critics tried to persuade me with their outsider beliefs that head coach Mike Eaves should be fired or that this team with all their talent was such a waste, I held onto my convictions that they were capable of something great.Enter the WCHA tournament.Sitting in the press box at the Xcel Energy Center, I was a ball of nerves for three days straight. On the verge of breaking out in tears at a Badgers’ loss, I was stunned again and again as Wisconsin continued to win game after game until that beautiful moment they hoisted the 2013 Broadmoor Trophy – the last one in the WCHA as it’s currently known.Their run earned them a spot in the NCAA tournament. With a fourth seed, Wisconsin traveled to Manchester, N.H. and got smacked by UMass-Lowell 6-1.I didn’t travel to Manchester. As far as I knew, my final days covering the team were some of the greatest I had ever experienced. A week later it was all finished, but I never had to say goodbye. I never shed a tear. The ending was perfect.And maybe that’s the way I need to leave not only The Badger Herald but also Madison — to let it go in this open-ended way.As far as I’m concerned these last four years – with all their ups and downs – are exactly like my final days covering hockey. They were wonderful, nerve-wracking and eventually made me feel like I was on top of the world.There was move-in freshman year, sporting a confident exterior that hid the well of insecurities, waiting to be unpacked in turn. The nerves set in but eventually went away.More than a year later, I was already covering a major sporting event: the Women’s hockey team’s 2011 NCAA Title. I was living a dream. I was covering the sport I love, doing exactly what I love. It felt like nothing could slow me down – not even a nasty bout of strep throat or the awful city that is Erie, Penn. (Apologies to any natives, but that town is not my cup of tea).And I didn’t slow down. During my junior year, I stepped into the football and men’s hockey beats. But I also faced my own personal crises; those few moments that creeped into my life every now and then, making me question whether I really wanted to write, whether I could really make a career of it. In the face of self-created, minor adversity, I knew I didn’t want to do anything else.Finally, my senior year, that playoff push and insane tournament run which just served as a quick metaphor for my college career.I’ve been dreading my ultimate goodbye to this wonderful city and all the brilliant people in it.So instead of worrying about it or attempting to write some perfectly worded farewell, I’m just not going to say anything.Sure, come Sunday, May 19 there will be tears and hugs all around as I part ways with some of my greatest friends and move onto the daunting, scary, real world. But there will be no goodbyes on my part.Until next time.Kelly is graduating in a week and, well, is thoroughly freaked out by it. She is moving back home to the great state of Minnesota to cover some baseball for the summer before worrying about finding a full-time job. Feel free to keep in touch via Twitter @kellymerickson.last_img read more

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No excuses for Di Maria sending off – Van Gaal

first_imgManchester United manager Louis van Gaal said Angel Di Maria can have “no excuses” for his FA Cup quarter-final sending off against Arsenal.The Argentina midfielder was dismissed for two quick yellow cards in their 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.He was booked for diving and then grabbed the shirt of referee Michael Oliver – earning himself a red card.”I think he’s touched the referee and that’s forbidden in every country, so he has no excuses,” said Van Gaal.Angel Di Maria was dismissed after appearing to grab Michael Oliver’s shirt “In Spain, he knows that he doesn’t touch the referee, but that is also in his emotion.”I’ve already spoken with him, he knows my opinion but also I have to see on the video.”Former Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck returned to Old Trafford to score the second-half winner for Arsenal.Earlier, Nacho Monreal’s opening goal for the Gunners was cancelled out by Wayne Rooney’s header.Van Gaal on United’s FA Cup exitFA Cup: Man Utd 1-2 Arsenal highlights “I’ve said in the dressing room we gave [the game] away by ourselves and that is the biggest disappointment. In the second half, we had the first chance also then we gave it away again.”We don’t lose from the opponent, we lost from ourselves and it was very disappointing. You play this match to win; to beat the opponent. We wanted to be in the semi-final.”Oliver under the spotlightMichael Oliver found himself at the centre of four second-half talking pointsReferee Oliver’s performance also came in for close scrutiny. As well as the Di Maria incidents, Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin escaped a second yellow card for a foul on Ashley Young and Adnan Januzaj’s appeals for a late penalty were turned down and the Belgium winger was booked for diving. Incident one – Bellerin escapes second yellowBellerin received a booking for a foul on Ashley Young in just the third minute. Just after the hour mark, the pair tangled again and Young went down under the challenge.The Arsenal player avoided seeing yellow again and stayed on.Louis van Gaal: “He hasn’t received a second yellow card. The referee is the boss of that, he decides.”Bellerin was replaced shortly after and replaced by Calum Chambers.Incident two – Di Maria divesWith United trailing 2-1 and 15 minutes remaining, Angel Di Maria throws himself to the floor and is booked for a tame dive. Incident three – Di Maria sees redThe Argentine’s yellow quickly becomes a red as, amid confusion around Old Trafford, the club’s £59.7m record signing grabbed the shirt of Michael Oliver.Chief football writer Phil McNulty: “Di Maria was utterly senseless to tug at his shirt to see a second yellow.”John Murray, BBC Radio 5 live commentator: “Angel Di Maria walks off the field and they’re applauding him.”But for goodness sake, two yellow cards for that behaviour, he’s cost his side a place in the semi-finals. He grabbed the referee’s shirt and you simply cannot do that.” Di Maria had earlier supplied the cross for Wayne Rooney’s headed equaliserIncident four – Januzaj booked for divingFive minutes were left on the Old Trafford clock as United attacked the Stretford End in search of an equaliser.Adnan Januzaj attempted to get past Nacho Monreal and fell to the floor by the byeline with the home fans appealing for a penalty.Oliver waved away the appeals and awarded an Arsenal free-kick, booking the Belgian for simulation.Phil Neville on BBC Radio 5 live: “Januzaj showed brilliant ability on that right-hand side to go past Monreal, but it’s a brilliant decision – there was no need to go over. There was no contact at all and Januzaj goes down too easily.” Danny Murphy on Match of the Day: “That was the right decision and a brave decision by the referee right in front of the Stretford End.”Adnan Januzaj protests for a late penalty were ignored by Michael Oliverlast_img read more

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