Men's Hockey |
March. 10, 2000 Concordian | Cobber Sports |
| Men's Hockey | Women's Hockey | Women's Basketball | Wrestling | Swimming | Men's Track | Women's Track | Softball | Top |
National Tourney next for Men's Hockey
Last year the Concordia men's hockey team was knocked out of conference playoffs by St. Thomas, so last weekend's conference rink rematch proved to be a thriller.
"There wasn't much of a revenge factor since we played them earlier in the year," head coach Steve Baumgartner said. "We didn't bring it up, but it was in the back of our minds."
The victory gives the Cobbers their first trip to the eight-team NCAA Division III playoffs since 1987.
"On Sunday we had our backs against the wall," Baumgartner said. "We had a greater sense of urgency."
Concordia fell behind early 1-0, but scored four answered goals in the second period to lead to the 5-2 victory.
Because St. Thomas and Concordia split the regular games, a 15-minute mini-game was played to determine the winner of the series. With about four minutes left in the mini-game, freshman Brian Nelson scored the loan goal after Concordia was granted a penalty shot.
A St. Thomas player intentionally covered the puck in the crease, which lead to the St. Thomas penalty.
Baumgartner said that there was no question who he would choose to take the penalty shot.
"I looked at Tony Kunka, the assistant coach, and he was thinking exactly what I was," he said. "He pointed at Nelson, and I said 'absolutely'. Nelson is a goal scorer."
Nelson said he had an idea of what move he wanted to make before he went out there, but the enormity of the situation still weighed heavily on his mind.
"I was nervous right before I took it," Nelson said.
Nelson scored three goals on the day, including the penalty shot goal.
"It was a team victory," Nelson said. "We came out hard with a sense of urgency."
Senior Jason DiMatteo scored both goals in Saturday's 4-2 loss while senior Rob Gramer added a goal and three assists during the series. Junior goalie Bryan Howard added 58 saves over the two full games and mini-game.
Concordia will be playing at UW-Superior tonight and tomorrow night in the NCAA quarterfinals. The Cobbers defeated UW-Superior earlier this year, and hope to sweep them again to advance to the semifinals.
"They're a lot more physical," Nelson said. "They don't have as many weapons as St. Thomas, but they're more balanced."
The Cobbers are still reaching for the goal they set at the beginning of the year.
"We set out to win it all, and that's what we're going for," Nelson said.
Howard and Nelson players of week
Junior goalie Bryan Howard and freshman wing Brian Nelson were named MIAC co-players of the week on March 7. Howard and Nelson led Concordia to its MIAC Playoff Championship victory last weekend against St. Thomas.
Howard stopped 23 of 25 shots Saturday in the first game and then 8 more shots in the mini-game. Nelson scored 3 goals on Saturday, 2 in the 5-2 win in the regulation and then the series winner on a penalty shot in the mini-game.
Women's Softball goes 4-6 in Florida
At the Gene Cussic Classic in Fort Myers, Florida, Concordia’s softball team won four out of ten games against various teams from around the nation. Leading the way offensively for the Cobbers was sophomore catcher/infielder Jill Pontius, who in nine games batted .407 with 2 doubles and 5 RBI. On the mound, Concordia was paced by sophomore Erin Gunderson, who posted a 3-2 record with a 2.65 ERA. Gunderson also boasted 38 strikeouts in only 34 1/3 innings of work.
First year on ice for women's hockey
In splitting at Bethel in its season series finale, Concordia women’s hockey brought to a close its first year of varsity MIAC action. The Cobbers’ 4-2 win and 1-0 loss against the Royals, set their final conference mark at 2-11-1 (7th), 9-15-1 overall.
Freshman goalie and All MIAC Honorable Mention Shyla Wilson said that Concordia’s split with conference basement-dweller Bethel was indicative of the Cobbers’ entire season.
“We played down to their level,” Wilson said. “The first game was good, but the second wasn’t. We didn’t play the way that we were capable of playing.”
Coming off of a promising year at the club hockey level, this season promised to the Cobbers more than it gave. Wilson states, however, that the dissapointments of this season are just small bumps on the road to future success.
“We have every potential to contend in our conference,” said Wilson. “If we can come together more as a team, we will be so much better.”
Cobber highlights this season included a 9-3 start capped by a 6-5 overtime win at St. Ben’s, a tough MIAC opponent who finished 4th in the the conference. Invariably, high points such as these will be what Concordia stresses in hopes of future improvement.
“We have a lot of individual talent, and a solid base to build upon,” said Wilson. “Composure was what helped us beat St. Ben’s, and with more consistency, we will be more successful next year.”
Cobber Wrestling |
Wrestlers successful hosting MIACs
This year’s MIAC Wrestling Championships took place last February 26th here at Concordia College. While Augsburg captured its 17th consecutive conference title, the Cobbers had their own share of success.
Four Concordia wrestlers, sophomores Aaron Swartz, Ryan Smith, Jason Dubord and Zack Schroeder, earned all-MIAC honors as the Cobbers finished fourth at the championships with a team total of 37.5 points.
Head coach Douglas Perry recognized the team value in these individual performances.
“One of our goals was just to do as best as we could, and I think that goal was met." said Perry.
The success was welcome, but there are still some feelings of a need for improvement.
"I was pretty happy with that, (being all-conference) but we still have a lot of work to do especially in the off-season," commented Schroeder.
Although cases of injury and some academic troubles might have set the Cobbers back a little, there are many things to look forward to next year.
"We just need to build some more depth in our team.” stated Perry. “I think we can do that by getting more recruits.”
As far as personal goals, Schroeder expressed a wish to advance to nationals.
"I really want to get to that next level, and I think some more hard work will help me achieve that.” said Schroeder. “Our assistant coach (Nathan Reiff) is someone to look up to for my personal goal. He was an all-American last year."
With these goals in mind,
and some hard work in the off-season, the Cobbers look to come back next
year stronger than ever.
Cobber Women's Basketball |
Women's Basketball ends with winning season
After a phenomenal season, the Cobber women's basketball team hangs up their shoes for the 1999-2000 year. The Cobbers ended the season on a two win high, leaving their record at 19-6 overall and 17-5 in MIAC play.
"This has been the best season for a long time, winning wise and success wise," senior guard Nikki Vetter said. "We overcame a lot of things with injuries and sickness."
Concordia started its strong season right away with a win in California at Pamona-Pitzer. From there, they moved back home and began playing in the MIAC, leading to some memorable games for the players.
"Playing Gustavus, a good team, . . . everything just clicked," said sophomore guard and MIAC Honorable Mention Mandy Berggren. "Then scoring 100 points against St. Kate's was great."
In the last part of the season, the Cobbers continued their strong play, despite a dimming chance for post-season play. Before break Concordia won over Hamline 87-72 and St. Mary's 89-72. The Hamline game brought the extra challenge of playing without head coach Kathy Wall.
"It was a different feel when our coach was gone," Vetter said. "We missed her, but it all worked out ok."
The team even received some prestigious awards for their hard work this season, as junior guard Brandi Myers and junior forward Sara Spears were both selected to the All-MIAC team and freshman guard/forward Kasey Bostow named to the all first year team.
"We had so much talent," Vetter said. "Every night a different person could be on fire, whether they were a starter or coming off the bench."
The close of this season brings hope for next season, and many memories of great basketball. Building on this year's lessons will be the key to next year's success.
"Our defensive pressure and
quickness gives us a style of game that is hard to keep up with and
play with," Berggren said. "I would like to see our defense be stronger
and a consistent running game again next year."
Cobber Swimming and Diving |
| 1999-2000 Cobber Men's
and Women's Track and Field |
Track surprises at MIAC championships
For the Concordia track and field program, the indoor conference championships were a tale of two teams. The men had an outstanding weekend, finishing second and tying the team's highest placing ever (1992). The women finished second, but were disappointed about failing to defend their indoor title, as St. Thomas ran away with the championship.
On the track, the Cobbers were led by senior Gabe Arntson. Arntson won the 1000 meter run.
"I expected him (Gabe) to do that well," said head men's track coach Garrick Larson. "Gabe did whatever it he needed to do (in training) to win. It was awesome to see him win that, he worked really hard for it."
Senior Micah Benson also had an outstanding meet for the Cobbers. Benson took second in the long jump, qualifying for nationals and setting a school record with a leap of 23-6. Micah also set a school record in the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.04.
Other top finishers for the men were junior Joel Nelson, who finished second and third respectively in the shotput and weight throw, Strainer who finished second in the triple jump, and Schmidgall who placed third in the high jump.
"I encouraged the team to take this finish and to start or keep doing all the little things for outdoor," Larson said. "We don't have a better chance than right now (to win the outdoor title)."
On the women's side, it was not a performance up to usual standards, but the Cobbers also ran into a red hot St. Thomas team that was in top form.
"St. Thomas had an awesome meet," said head women's coach Marv Roeske. "You would watch them run, and all you could say was wow."
While the Cobbers are disappointed with their performance, it will be a learning experience for the outdoor season.
"This needs to be a motivator and help us appreciate wins that much more," Roeske said.
Grineski placed second in the 55 hurdles with a time of 8.49, the fastest in school history. Hodapp pole vaulted 10-2 3/4, finishing third, and Senst finished third in the weight throw with a toss of 49-1. Grineski and Senst both qualified for nationals with their performances.
"Sara ran an awesome race," Roeske said. "[And] We've been waiting for Karyn to do this. We knew she had the tools, it was just a matter of time before it happened."
The national indoor meet is March 10,11 at Illinois Wesleyan. Representing the men will be Strainer in the triple jump and Benson in the long jump. The women have three athletes going: senior Maria DeBoer and Senst in the weight throw, and Grineski in the hurdles.
"Once you get to nationals,
you never know what can happen," Roeske said.