Swimming: Butterfly

    Major: Kinesiology

    Dream Job: Running my own gym.

    Favorite part about being a Bulldog swimmer: Hanging out with teammates and having a great support system.

    Something no one knows about me: I am a vegetarian.

    Something everyone should know about being a swimmer: It's a lot of cross training along with swimming and you smell like chlorine 100% of the time.

    What do I look forward to most about the new swimming and diving complex: Not having to travel in vans to practice.

    Best thing about being a swimmer: You have the best tan year around!

    You know you are a swimmer when...you have to be reminded constantly that having no clothes on is not appropriate all the time.

    I'm Kevin Botterill and one of my main responsibilities on the Bulldog Soccer team is coaching the goalkeepers.  Goalkeeping is a very specialized position, and has a completely different set of requirements to those of the field players.  This means that it requires a player with a very different skill set and also requires a different type of training.

    The following is a list of the main requirement s of a goalkeeper in no particular order:-

    1)      Size and range - A goalkeeper has top be able to cover as much of the goal as possible to save shots.  Height is a huge advantage, as well as, quickness and power in jumping and diving.  The goalkeeper also has to be able to claim balls above the field players in crossing situations.

    2)      Quickness and agility - A goalkeeper must be able to cover ground towards the ball or across the goal quickly both on their feet and diving.  They must also be able to change direction suddenly while maintaining balance and control of their body.

    3)      Hand - eye coordination - A good goalkeeper cleanly catches everything that they get two hands to.   They are also able to make very quick one-handed reaction saves and can adjust at the last second to stop a ball that is deflected.

    4)      Distribution - A goalkeeper is the last line of defense but also the first line of attack.  She must be able to keep possession with her feet when dealing with back passes, often under pressure.  She must be able to start quick counter attacks with long and accurate throws, punts and dropkicks.  The goalkeeper must also be able to come out of her area at speed to clear bouncing balls at awkward heights with her feet or her head.

    5)      Fearlessness - A goalkeeper is expected to put their body where forwards and defenders may both be swinging their legs at the ball.  Collisions are part of the game and must be accepted to excel.

    6)      Attention to detail -A goalkeeper is the difference between the opposition scoring or not, and therefore, winning and losing.  The difference between making a save cleanly and giving up a goal is often minute but these differences have to be worked on every day in practice.  A goalkeeper must constantly strive to be perfect in her handling, positioning, diving technique etc. in order to reach her potential.

    7)      Mental toughness - While field players can make numerous big mistakes during a game and often go unpunished, a goalkeeper's mistakes generally lead to goals.  A goalkeeper has to be strong enough to accept this, put mistakes behind them and continue to be aggressive and take responsibility for protecting the goal.

    8)      Leadership and communication- The goalkeeper is far more than a shot-stopper.  They are the leader and coach of the defenders.  A goalkeeper must understand the game and the defensive tactics of the team and be able to communicate quickly and effectively with their teammates.  The goalkeeper must inspire trust from the defenders in front of them and also instill the desire to defend fearlessly for them.  The goalkeeper must hold their teammates accountable for what they do wrong and make sure that they are acknowledged for what they do right.

    I am often asked what drills a goalkeeper should practice in order to improve.  This is a very difficult question as all goalkeepers are different and therefore have different strengths and weaknesses to address.  Also depending upon the age, skill set and physical abilities of the goalkeeper a different route to improvement may be appropriate.  Below are some basic tips to ensure that you develop your game.

    1)      Get goalkeeper coaching - this can be in the form of individual lessons from a club or college coach, from your team coach before, during or after practice or by attending camps and clinics.  Obviously the more quality coaching you receive and then apply the better you will get.  Ask the coach about your strengths and weaknesses and what you can do to improve. 

    2)      Improve handling - Basic handling (which is hugely important) requires just a ball and a wall, a goalpost or the ground to work on.  Simply throw the ball against a rebounding surface and catch it cleanly with correct technique.  Our goalkeepers spend 15 mins or so a day just some variation of this.

    3)      Practice communication and leadership in every game situation - The leadership aspect is the most important and hardest to teach of all goalkeeping skills.  Train it every chance you get, make sure you are vocal in all of your games, but also scrimmages and small-sided games in practice and any other team situation you find yourself in.  Your teammates need to view you as a leader all the time, don't think that you can just turn it on in games.

    4)      Improve your distribution - The ability to drop kick (striking the ball just as it hits the ground) is huge in the women's game as it allows a player to add 10-20 yards to their punts.  All it takes is a few minutes a day hitting directly into a goal until you get the timing right.  The overarm throw is also a big (and underused) weapon for starting counter attacks and can be trained the same way.   Make sure that your arm brushes against your ear as you throw it and that you step down on the ball-side leg (your right if you throw right handed) as you release.

    5)      WATCH SOCCER - This last tip is not restricted to goalkeepers, but in order to learn the most about what attackers might do, what defenders should do and what decisions (good and bad) other goalkeepers make you need to watch as much soccer as possible.   This can be on TV, on the internet (youtube etc) and also live (local college, club, High School and professional games are all great learning environments).


    I hope that this has been informative and given you some insight into the being a goalkeeper.  I look forward to seeing you at our games and working with you at one of our camps/clinics.

    Varsity equestrian is set up in a head-to-head format.  The competition is made up of two different styles of riding, English and Western.  Each style has two events that the student-athletes compete in to earn points for their team.  The English competitors compete in Equitation on the Flat and Equitation over fences.  The Western competitors compete in Horsemanship and Reining.  In each event riders from each team compete head-to-head on the same horses which are provided by the hosting school.  A random draw assigns the riders to specific horses and the student-athletes face the challenge of riding an unfamiliar horse after a brief warm-up.  For each head-to-head match the rider with the highest score will receive one point for their team.

    The English competition attire is very proper and professional.  The rider wears tan colored stretch pants called breeches with suede knee patches to help them grip better in the saddle.  The English competitor also wears a white, long sleeve, button up shirt known as a rat catcher.  The shirt has a white collar that attaches around the rider's neck to help complete the clean look.  There is also a long sleeve jacket worn in competition known as a hunt coat.  To complete the look the rider will wear a black helmet for safety and black leather gloves.

    The Western competition attire is a little bit more casual.  The riders wear nice, clean jeans and cowboy boots.  The competitor wears fitted suede or leather chaps around their jeans to help them stick better in the saddle.  A button up cotton shirt is worn on top usually with the team's logo on the front.  The look is topped off by a traditional cowboy hat.

    Equitation on the Flat is scored on a scale of 0-100.  A pattern is memorized by the rider consisting of nine maneuvers performed within a rectangular shaped arena known as a court.  The judge watches the rider's position and effectiveness at guiding the horse through each individual maneuver. 

    Equitation over Fences is also scored on a scale of 0-100.  Each rider jumps the same predetermined course made up of eight to ten jumps.  Riders are judged on their position, consistency of pace and accuracy of leads, turns and distance to the fences while producing a smooth, polished performance.

    Western Horsemanship and Reining is scored with a base of 70 points.  There are eight maneuvers and an overall score.  Each maneuver is awarded a score from -1.5 to +1/5 in half point increments.  Horsemanship is a slower, more precise pattern judged based on pivots, stops, backing, circles, and consistency of pace.  The riders overall effectiveness and posture in the saddle are also important factors.

    Reining is judged on a fast paced pattern made up of spins, sliding stops, roll backs, circles, and lead changes.  Riders are judged on symmetry of figures, variations of speed, size and symmetry of circles.  The rider's position and effectiveness to get an unfamiliar horse through a predetermined pattern is also judged.

    The Fresno State equestrian team will be competing on Saturday, October 23, at the Student Horse Center located on the south/east corner of Barstow and Woodrow.  The 'Dogs will be taking on New Mexico State and admission is free.

    Dede Torres


    Swimmer/ Sprint Freestyle           

    Team building has never really been an exciting thing for me. Usually it's the cliché trust fall that throws me off of the team building. But this last weekend we did something different than I've ever done with my fellow teammates. Thanks to the E.D.G.E ropes course our team had so much fun as we worked together to overcome various obstacles.

    4250526.jpegWe DID do a trust fall and yes it did require a lot a trust, but we also did some other really crazy things too. Most were really frustrating at first. Like hoisting our student coach Steven into the air with only ropes and brute strength so we could slowly lower him into a circle to get a small rubber chicken. Did I mention he was blindfolded? And id I also mention Steven is about 6'5''? Ya. He was heavy. But we succeeded!

    One of my favorite things we did this weekend was a team jump rope; as in all 24 or so of us jumping in the air at the same time. It was not an easy task for a bunch of swimmers (see previous blogs, extreme is a word I would use in describing the coordination of a swimmer and not in a good way.) It was so entertaining trying to figure out how we could all get in the air and over this rope and not injure ourselves or the person behind or in front of us. But we finally figured it out without any major mishaps as well as a great photo op!

    Thumbnail image for 4250527.jpegI think one of the greatest challenges of the day was the chicken jump. One person climbed up a not so convincingly stable telephone pole in order to jump off so they could reach out and catch a rubber chicken. (I don't know what it is about rubber chickens and these E.D.G.E people!) It was fun and exciting for me, but not so much with other girls on the team. They were terrified! But they ended up overcoming their fears and got that chicken!

    I can safely say that it was one of the best team building activities I've ever been a part of. I look forward to the coming season as we all grow better as swimmers and closer as teammates and friends.



    Check out some cool 'Dog Bones about tonight's game:

    •    Fresno State has 79 players in uniform for tonight's game, most for a home game in Pat Hill's tenure.
    •    Tracy Slocum will be back in deep returns along with Jalen Saunders.
    •    This is the 43rd meeting between the California State University System sister schools in a series that began in 1922.
    •    Fresno State owns the series advantage with a 30-10-2 record.
    •    Cal Poly and Fresno State meet for the first time in 25 years.
    •    The 'Dogs have a six-game winning streak against teams from California dating back to the 2006 season.
    •    The game features a battle of head coaches who were college teammates. Pat Hill and Tim Walsh played together at UC Riverside in the early 1970s.
    •    This is the third meeting between the two coaches, with Hill owning a 2-0 record over Walsh.
    •    Quarterback Ryan Coburn has a passing efficiency of .730 which ranks him ninth in the NCAA going into tonight's action.
    •    Fans can vote for Coburn for the Davey O'Brien Award for the nation's top quarterback at www.VoteOBrien.org.
    •    Wide receiver Rashard Evans is back on offense and special teams after missing the last game due to injury.
    •    This the second straight year of the Bulldog Football Fiesta night.
    •    Before the game, Fresno State observed a moment of silence in memory of Nathan Ray, a member of the Bulldog marching band who passed away following the 'Dogs home opening 28-14 victory over Cincinnati from injuries suffered in a car accident.

    The third annual FedEx Cup took place last weekend and former Bulldog star, Nick Watney, was a big contender in the tournament.  Watney entered the tournament ranked 28th in the PGA tour, and finished the tournament in 12th place with 880 points, just 2,100 points behind the champion.

    The winner of the tournament was Jim Furyk, who ended the cup with 2,980 points.  Furyk turned pro back in 1992 and has been playing great golf during his journey on the PGA tour.  Watney turned pro in 2003 and has shown that he can keep up with all of the best veteran golfers.  Furyk and Watney both have seven top ten finishes in the 2010 season. 

    Watney made his mark at the 2010 FedEx Cup by setting all sorts of records over the weekend.  He played the best round of the week earning a score of 63.  Watney played the best back nine that the golf course has ever seen in its' history with a score of 28 and played the best overall East Lake Golf Course nine holes which tied him with Tiger Woods' score at the course.  Watney also had the lowest nine hole score for the season. 

    The records he set didn't stop there.  Watney's nine birdies that he shot at the FedEx Cup were the most par breakers he's ever had in his career.  This was also the most birdies that a tour championship has ever seen since 1990.  The former Bulldog star shot birdies consecutively from hole 8-13 which has him tied for the best birdie streak of the season. 

    Watney's PGA tour success can be followed at www.pgatour.com. 


    5756225.jpegTOPSoccer is the Outreach Program for soccer. It is for players with special needs whether they be physically or mentally challenged. TOPSoccer allows players to participate from the age of 4 through adult. There are no boundaries. TOPSoccer has been in existence for 10 years. Director Gary Waltz has been coaching soccer for more than 20 years, and has been doing TOPSoccer for 9 years in District VII.

    Last season, the 'Dogs spent a couple of hours before the season started with TOPSoccer players. The team helped with a clinic and then invited all that attended the clinic to a game.

    Check out www.cjsl.info/topsoccer for more information on TOPSoccer. 


    Former Bulldog golf star Nick Watney is making a big name for himself on the PGA tour.  He started his professional golf career back in 2003 after he finished is collegiate play at Fresno State.  This week he is getting ready for the third annual FedEx Cup Championship which starts on Thursday.  He has been working hard in the 2010 season on his journey to make it into the top 30 and qualify for this prestigious tournament.


    The road to the FedEx Cup started with the Barclays tournament played at the Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.  The top 125 golfers in the PGA tour were invited to play in this event and this was considered the start of the road to the FedEx Cup.  Watney tied for 36th place at the Barclays and was able to continue on to compete in the next big tournament in Massachusetts.

    After the Barclays, the top 100 golfers continued on to play at the Deutsche Bank Championship at the Tournament Players Club of Boston.  Watney improved his game and finished this tournament tied in 33rd place. 

    The final stop before the FedEx Cup was the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Illinois.  The top 70 leaders were invited to play in this tournament and Watney did extremely well and finished tied for 17th place.   

    All of his hard work has paid off and Watney is going to play in the FedEx Cup at the end of this week along with the rest of the top 30 golfers in the PGA tour.  The FedEx Cup will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on the East Lake Golf Course.  The course is 7,154 yards long with a par of 70.   The winner of the FedEx Cup will receive $1,305,000.  This tournament was first played in 2007 and Tiger Woods currently holds the champion title for this Cup.  Official competition begins Thursday Sept. 23 and will conclude on Sunday Sept. 26.  Live updates from the tournament can be found at www.pgatour.com . 


    Former Fresno State pitcher Justin Wilson won his second championship playing minor league ball in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. The College World Series winning pitcher has one six championships in a row dating back to his days at Buchannan High School. Wilson won championships at Buchannan, Fresno State and with two different minor league affiliates of the Pirates. His most treasured championship is the 2008 National Championship with the Bulldogs.


    Click here to see a highlight video of Justin Wilson win his 6th Championship!

    The last time the Bulldogs played Utah State on the road in Logan there was an exciting finish in the final seconds. Kicker Kevin Goessling hit a career-high and Fresno State record of a 58-yard field goal lifting the 'Dogs over the Aggies as time expired.


    Watch this video to relive the magic from 2008. The Bulldogs play Utah State in Logan on Sept. 18 at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on WAC Sports Network.


    Goessling's game-winning kick!