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Mighty Hoagies use athleticism to down Shot Callers

BY IAN MARTIN | FEBRUARY 02, 2010 7:30 AM

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Soccer and basketball don’t have much in common.

But one minor thread intertwines the two sports at Iowa — a team called Mighty Hoagies. The intramural squad is composed solely of players from the Hawkeye soccer team who use their athleticism on the pitch to win on the court.

Making it to last season’s championship game, Mighty Hoagies sported many returning players from a year ago and rolled over freshman crew Shot Callers in the team’s season-opener Monday night, 32-16.

Sarah Langlas, an Iowa midfielder, was the catalyst for her team at the start, scoring the Mighty Hoagies’ first 10 points in just under three minutes of play. She finished with 16.

Langlas attributed Mighty Hoagies’ hot start to a sheer anticipation.

“Last year, we played, and it was pretty much the same team,” said Langlas, an all-state honorable mention in basketball at Wheaton Warrenville South in Illinois during her senior year. “We would talk about it at soccer practice and stuff. We were just excited, I guess.”

The scoring eventually slowed down, but the Shot Callers didn’t come any closer than a 12-6 deficit early in the first half.

The team’s leading scorer for the evening, Rachel Warford, said the athleticism of her opponents put Shot Callers in the early hole. But she wasn’t overly worried about her squad’s ability in the future.

“We were just really out of shape … We have more players [next game], but it was a good experience for our first game,” she said.

Mighty Hoagies was able to capitalize on its athletic advantage by starting the game in a 1-3-1 press, forcing deflections and hurried play from Shot Callers.

The decision to throw out the diamond was made by injured junior Amanda Martin, who played the role of coach for the team.

“We’re sure we’re in better shape than most people, so if we press and force turnovers, we’ll be good,” she said. “That’s what we did last year, and it took us to the championship.”

From all the deflections, aided by three blocks from goalie Kali Feiereisel, the Mighty Hoagies scored the majority of its points on either fast breaks or inside shots.

The lay-up strategy is intentional, numerous players said, because they aren’t good shooters.

Aside from Langlas, Mighty Hoagies received six points from sophomore Morgan Showalter, and four apiece from freshman Dana Dalrymple and junior Stephanie Swanson, as well as two from Feiereisel.

Of those, only Swanson’s shots were from the outside — two late 2-pointers banked in from the top of the key.

Shot Callers seemed to have the opposite strategy on offense. Running a Todd Lickliter-esque scheme, the team lived — and subsequently died — behind the 3-point arc, nailing only two attempts from downtown the whole game.

Yet, even if their shots were working, players seemed to think they may not have had a shot against the Hawkeye Hoagies.

“We just played D-1 athletes,” Samantha Yeater said after the game shrugging.


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