Hadlock, Nevada ready for WAC Tournament
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – This is the kind of season Terran Hadlock hoped to have when she signed on to play soccer at the University of Nevada four years ago.
What she got were losses and plenty of them. During her first two years under coach Dang Pibulvech, the Wolf Pack went 4-28 overall, including a 2-13-1 Western Athletic Conference record. It was so bad that Hadlock contemplated not playing soccer anymore.
That was tough to take for Hadlock, who came from a highly competitive and successful program at Douglas High School. Hadlock was used to success. She lettered three years at DHS and was the 2002 Northern Nevada Player of the Year, leading the Tigers to the 4A title.
The Pack went 11-7-2 under Terri Patraw last season, and improved to 11-4-3 this season. Nevada finished third behind Fresno State and Utah State, and opens the WAC Championship tonight at 5:30 against Hawai’i, a team it beat 5-0 earlier this month.
When Teri Patraw came in to coach Nevada last year, Hadlock got a new lease on life. Hadlock was one of only four players left from the previous regime, and she’s been instrumental in helping get the program turned around.
“It’s been a 180-degree turnaround the last two or three years,” Hadlock said after a recent win over Idaho. “We went from being the worst team to being one of the best. It’s been awesome. It’s nice to have some success.”
Hadlock, a co-captain along with Blaine Dugan, is one of the leaders, and she’s been vocal in that role.
“She really leads by example,” Patraw said. “Terran and I are a lot alike. She can get on players when they need it. She’s a great leader that way. We’re both Type A and a little hard-headed. We say what’s on our minds. Those qualities make for a great captain”
Hadlock, who plays a lot of minutes at defensive midfield, just smiled when told of Patraw’s comments.
“I’m not afraid to hurt somebody’s feelings,” Hadlock said. “I tell it like it is. I’ve always been like that. My parents always stressed doing your best and not settle for anything less.”
Hadlock’ mental and physical toughness are a key to Nevada’s defense, which has allowed only 12 goals all year, six of those coming in WAC play. Nevada has won four of its last five matches, allowing only four goals. She has teamed with the back line of Randee Robinson, Devin Noe, Jessica Wilcox and Patrice Godwin to give the Pack one of the best defenses in the WAC.
One thing that Patraw noticed right away about Hadlock is that she loves to play the game, and she’s not afraid to get dirty doing it.
“She’s extremely good in the air,” said Patraw of the 5-foot-8 Hadlock, who is one of the tallest players on the team. “She’s also a great tackler. As a player, she is really passionate.”
That’s what makes Hadlock so special.
“The air game is all mental and desire,” Hadlock said. “If you want to win the ball, you’re going to win the ball.
“I’ve always taken pride in what I do. You don’t want to leave anything on the field. The big key is to have respect in each other and trust each other.”
Hadlock will be counted on to win her share of balls this week, and if she does, the Pack have a chance to contend for the title and possibly earn a spot in the NCAA playoffs. Nevada lost 2-0 to Utah State and 2-0 to Fresno State.
Patraw thinks the team’s chances may have been damaged by a 2-1 overtime loss to Wyoming back on Sept. 15, and if that’s the case, the Pack will have to win the WAC to get the first post-season invite in school history.
• Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281
WAC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Today: 3 p.m. – No. 4 San Jose State vs. No. 5 Boise State, 3 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. – No. 3 Nevada vs. No. 6 Hawai’i
Friday: 3 p.m. – No. 1 Fresno State vs. San Jose State-Boise State winner; 5:30 p.m. – No. 2 Utah State vs. Nevada-Hawai’i winner
Sunday: 1 p.m. Championship game