- October 27, 2000
Cobber Football |
Football blows lead, loses heartbreaker to St. Olaf
The knife in the heart of the Concordia football team got twisted a little deeper last Saturday.
The culprit, St. Olaf.
The Oles rallied from a 21-0 deficit and drove 99-yards for the game winning touchdown as they handed the Cobbers a devastating 27-24 defeat. The loss drops the Cobbers to 2-5 overall, 2-4 in the MIAC. “It was a real heartbreaker,” said head coach Jim Christopherson. “Our team needed a win right now.”
Late in the fourth quarter, it appeared as if the Cobbers would get that win. With just over three minutes to play and Concordia clinging to a 24-19 lead, sophomore Cobber punter Scott Belseth unleashed a 75-yard punt that was downed at the St.Olaf one-yard line. But that is where the Oles would begin their game-winning march. Behind the passing of quarterback Brian Senske, the Oles methodically marched down the field. Facing third-and ten from the Cobber 45, Senske found Jake Rath on a wide receiver screen, which Rath turned into a 30-yard gain down to Concordia’s 15-yard line. After picking up another first down inside the Cobber five, Senske hooked up with Steve Ryan in the back corner of the endzone with 20 seconds left to give St.Olaf the lead and the win.
The winning drive: 16plays, 99yards.
“We really wanted to get this one after last week when we kind of got embarrassed,” said senior defensive tackle Jeff Westrum. “To lose it this way is really tough.”
In the first half, the Cobbers appeared well on their way to victory. Concordia scored on three straight drives to take a commanding 21-0 lead. The Cobbers opened the scoring, when senior quarterback Jeff Hertel hit junior Raleigh Schmidt deep over the middle for a 40 yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. On their next possession, the Cobbers dug into their bag of tricks. Senior Adam Strainer threw a 69-yard strike to junior wide receiver Jake Olson on a wide receiver reverse-pass and the Cobbers led 14-0. Senior halfback Jason Braaten capped off the scoring spree for the Cobbers, busting through tackles on his way to a 78-yard touchdown run.
Concordia led 21-6 at half, and stretched that lead early in the third quarter, when senior kicker Eric Wold connected on a 29-yard field goal to give the Cobbers a 24-6 lead. But after that, things fell apart for the Cobs.
St. Olaf took the ensuing kickoff and marched 71-yards, scoring on a 12-yard pass from Senske to Ryan, cutting the lead to 24-12. On Concordia’s next possession, Hertel fumbled, and St. Olaf recovered the ball at the Cobbers 41-yard line. The Oles moved right down the field and scored on a 5-yard run by Maunel Spreigl, making the score 24-19.
“We just didn’t get any drives put together in the second half when we needed to,” Christopherson said. “Especially in the fourth quarter when we had the wind and needed to run some time off the clock. We just couldn’t get it done.”
The Cobbers now have to prepare for Carleton, which will be their last home game of the season. It will also mark the last home game for this year’s seniors and for coach Christopherson. “We want to try and get him and the seniors a few wins their last couple games,” Westrum said.
The game is scheduled for 1 pm on Saturday.
Cobber Men's Soccer |
Cobber Women's Soccer |
Soccer teams ready selves for final run:
There is one word men’s and women’s soccer coach Jim Cella uses to describe this year’s men’s and women’s soccer teams: opposite. "The women’s team can score, but has trouble playing defense,” he said. “The men can play defense, but have trouble scoring. If I could combine them, I would have the perfect team.”
Despite their differences, leadership has been an important issue for
both teams, especially now as they are busy gearing up for their last few
games of the season. “You can’t have one person be a leader,” Cella said.
“Everybody has to do it. That’s why you play a team sport.”
“My heart gets a work out every time we go down the field,” Cella said. “I have more gray hair than I used to, but that’s good because it means we’re right there with every team we play.”
The Cobbs defeated Whittier in overtime by a score of 2-1. Whittier was the first to score, but the Cobbers came back for the win. “They were a physical team,” Cella said. “I just told my team to keep going at them. As soon as you let them know they’re bothering you, that’s going to get you down.”
Junior Gennard Lombardozzi scored the first goal for the Cobbers, with junior Kevin Roos scoring in overtime to give the Cobbers the victory. Goalie Eric Dunn added four saves for the Cobbs. The Cobbers also went to overtime with California Lutheran, a team ranked eighth in the region, but came up short by losing 1-0.
“California Lutheran is the best team we have played this year,” Cella said. “We had our chances to score, but couldn’t pull through.”
Cella said the trip was a great experience for his team, both on and off the field. “On the field we saw a high level of competition and learned from other teams,” he said. “Off the field, the guys got to go to Hollywood and go surfing, which are great bonding experiences.”
The men have two MIAC games remaining, and hope to win them both to finish in the top four in the conference. Two more victories would also give the men’s team ten wins on the season, something Cella cites as an important goal to reach.
The men play at Bethel on Tuesday and have their last home game against St. John’s next Saturday.
The women’s team returned to practice Monday after a few days of midsemester rest, something that Cella thought seemed to help.“They seemed more relaxed and refreshed,” he said. “I could tell they were having fun being back.”
The women most recently defeated MIAC opponent Augsburg by scoring three goals in the first half to win 3-1. Senior Jordi Kortan played a part in each goal, recording two goals and an assist. Senior Whitney Ostrem scored the other goal, her first of the year. Junior Kathy Braun added five goalie saves for the Cobbs. The victory improves the Cobbers to 3-4 in the MIAC and 7-5 overall, but their record doesn’t reflect how Concordia has been playing, according to Cella.
“We lost a couple close games,” Cella said.
With two conference games left to play, the Cobbers hope to win both to finish with at least five conference victories, the most in Cobber history. However, the Cobbers have yet to play Macalester, the undefeated leader of the MIAC.
“Our main goal is to play well in the big games,” Cella said. “We just need to be solid defensively and let the offense take over.”
Cella said the strength of this year’s team is their ability to play not as individuals, but as a team. “It’s fun to see them come together,” he said. “This year, they’ve learned how to play together as a team.”
The Cobbers will play at Macalester today and have their last home game
against Bethel tomorrow.
Cobber Volleyball |
Volleyball nets five more wins
While other Cobbers were relaxing over spring break, the Concordia volleyball team was extending its winning streak in conference play and taking charge of the St. Ben’s tournament. The Cobbers are now 6-4 in the MIAC and 17-10 overall.
“Now we are ranked fifth in the conference,” said junior Kristy Anderson. “We are only behind the teams we lost to.”
In the MIAC, the Cobbers kept their momentum from their October 3rd upset victory over Bethel as they went to five games against Gustavus on October 13th. Gustavus took the first game18-16. Concordia jumped back in the next two games 15-9 and 15-12. The Cobbers slipped in the fourth game 11-15, but regained control for the fifth game to win 15-11.
Concordia followed their win over the Gusties with a sweep of Carleton College on the 14th. The Cobbers won in three games, 15-7, 15-5, and 15-10. Senior Sam Scariano led the team with nine kills for the match and junior Leah Sanden added 30 assists. “We played really well and got the job done.” Anderson said.
Hamline found they could not mute the Cobber’s winning streak, as the Concordia netters blew past them in three games on the 18th, 15-3, 15-12, and 15-2. Senior Stacy Davis led the offensive attack for Concordia with 15 kills. Scariano contributed nine kills and freshman Beth Clarke added 8. The wins at St. Ben’s left the Cobbers in good position to go into the St. Ben’s tournament the next weekend, October 20th and 21st.
Concordia split the opening day of the tournament. In their first match, the Cobbers fell to Central of Iowa in three quick games 15-10, 15-6, and 15-11. Davis highlighted 11 kills and 13 digs for the Cobbers. Sanden and sophomore Sarah Russell contributed 10 digs each for Concordia’s defense. The Cobbers fared better in their second game against Dubuque, Iowa. Dubuque took the first game15-6, but the Cobbers pushed focused and won the next three games, 15-12, 15-5, and 15-11.
“We’ve been focused on good attitude and effort,” Anderson said. “We need to be strong and ready to go hard right away.”
In their second day of tournament play, the Cobbers again split their matches, falling to St. Olaf in the first and defeating St. Ben’s in the second. The Oles swept past the Cobbers in the first two games. Concordia jumped back into the match in the third game, winning 15-13, but slipped behind again as the Oles finished off the match with a 15-12 win. In their second game of the day, the Cobbers shot past tourney host St. Ben’s in three straight games, 15-2, 15-7, and 15-4.
“It was really fun to see everyone playing together,” Anderson noted, “And of course just spending time with the girls.”
The Cobbers wind down their regular season today and tomorrow at the
UW River Falls Tournament. Next weekend Concordia competes at MIAC tournament
at St. Mary’s.
Cobber Women's Golf |
There is no article this week.
Cobber Men's Golf |
There is no article this week.
Cobber Men's Cross Country |
There is no article this week.
Cobber Women's Cross Country |
Brenden twins leaving lasting impression:
When the 2000 cross country regular season draws to a close with the MIAC Championships at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Como Park in St. Paul, it will take with it the twin sisters who are partially responsible for the dynamic turnaround of Concordia’s cross country program. Since coming to the Cobbers, seniors Heidi and Heather Brenden have helped the team break a habit of losing, and to this year battle for best in the conference.
For many years, the running had been rough for Concordia cross-country. The last time the Cobbers went to the NCAA Division III National meet was ten years ago, in 1990. The team then followed their trip to Nationals with a 6-year stint near the bottom of the MIAC. In 1996 the team hit rock bottom, 12th place in the conference standings.
Now fast-forward a year to the 1997 season. The Cobbers have a new runner named Heidi Brenden. In just her first year on the team, she helps the slumping Cobbers move to 10th in the MIAC. Early on the signs are clear that, in Heidi, Concordia has a runner who can help them gain some ground in the conference.
Now jump ahead another year, and another Brenden. This time it is Minot State transfer Heather. While the cross country program was happy the previous year to have Heidi, they quickly find that two Brendens are better than one, as the new twin tandem runs the Cobbers all the way to 3rd place in the MIAC standings. In 1999, Concordia fell to 4th place, but was just behind three nationally ranked teams.
This season the Cobbers have loftier goals. Heidi and her coach, Marv Roeske, say that the team has aspirations of again qualifying for the national meet, November 18 in Spokane, Washington.
“This year one of our goals is to qualify for nationals as a team. Heidi and Heather are a big reason why we can talk in those terms,” said Roeske.
Before they became teammates on the collegiate level, the Brendens spent their freshman years competing for different teams. While Heidi was helping kick-start Concordia, Heather was closer to home at Minot State. By chance, the sisters had to race against each other at a meet that season, a new experience for the teammates by birth.
“We had always run together and now we had to run against each other,” said Heather.
The Cobbers finished third and Minot sixth. Both agreed it was a little weird seeing the other in a different colored uniform.
The Brendens say that they do not harbor much sibling rivalry, and because of that consider themselves more teammates than competitors. “I’ve never had the drive to beat her or anything like that,” said Heather. “We’re not competitive, just happy for each other,” agreed Heidi.
While the sisters rely a lot on each other, their team also means a lot to them. Heidi said that the team is one of the reasons she continues to stay with cross-country, and that she is more interested in talking about her teammates than about her personal accomplishments.
According to Roeske, however, Heidi and Heather add a lot themselves to the concept of team.
“Heather and Heidi bring a great deal of personality to the team.
They are very popular with their teammates and make practicing fun without
sacrificing the hard work that needs to be done.”
“There are not many upperclassmen on the team this year, so the younger runners really do look up to them,” said junior Elen Halvorson. “I also see the younger runners looking at their success and trying to do the same.”
While this season is their last running college cross-country, it doesn’t mean the end of competition. This spring they will be forces in track, and they say they will be running in the Grandma’s Marathon later this summer.
But the end of the track season also brings an end to the “The Brenden
Era” at Concordia College, and the sisters have their own plans for life
after school. Heidi hopes to teach physical education at the elementary
level in a medium-sized town in Minnesota or North Dakota, and Heather,
a health education and nutrition major, says she’ll “see the world,”
As for Concordia after the Brendens, things are looking up because the sisters’ influence. “It will certainly seem odd not having them around after this year and they will be difficult to replace,” said Roeske. “As much as we will miss them we do feel things are going well enough with the program that we can maintain our success,” said Roeske.
The Brendens have made Concordia a more attractive place to run cross-country
with all of their success, noted Roeske. While they have been turning
a program around, they, whether they know it or not, have paved the way
for the future.