| Feb. 20, 1998 Concordian
| Cobber Sports |
Hockey | Swimming | Wrestling | Men's BB | Women's BB | Track |
Wrestling : Wrestlers prepare for MIAC tourney
The Concordia wrestling team members are sacrificing spring break vacations for extra practices before the MIAC Championship tournament Feb. 28 at St. Thomas. The MIAC Championship is also the national qualifying meet. The nationals will be held in Waterloo, Iowa, in early March. According to head coach Doug Perry, junior Nathan Reiff, senior Shawn Nicholas and freshman Todd Maki have the best chance of qualifying for the national competition.
Reiff is 14-5, Nicholas 22-15 and Maki 10-14. The winners of each
weight class at the MIAC Championship will advance to nationals. Twelve
additional wrestlers are chosen by the MIAC coaches after the meet is over
to represent the conference. Augsburg has won the national title
three out of the past four years, making the MIAC one of the toughest conferences
in the nation. Last weekend, Concordia split 1-1 at the Carleton
College Invitational in Northfield, Minn. Concordia earned a 24-23 victory
over Central College of Iowa, but fell 45-12 to St. Olaf. Maki and
Reiff captured victories against Central College
on Saturday. On Friday, Reiff and Nicholas
pinned their Ole opponents. Concordia took eighth place in the 13-team
Hockey Hockey team sweeps St. Olaf series
Sophomore Rob Gramer scored two minutes into the first period to give the Cobbers a 1-0 lead. The second period was a score fest as both teams combined for nine points. Concordia scored four goals, and St.Olaf scored five goals in the second period. "It became a track meet," said head coach Steve Baumgartner. "We got a couple of easy goals to put us up, and our team got a little goal-hungry. We had defensemen jumping up into offensive play to try and get in the action." Junior Paul Thacker and senior Greg Salvevold each had two goals for the Cobbers in the second period. In the third period, the Cobbers settled down on defense and shut down St. Olaf's game plan.
"We got back to our focus and our concentration in the third period. We had a couple of great chances in the third but we just couldnt put it away," said Baumgartner.
In the overtime period, Salvevold scored on a power play to give the Cobbers the win. Salvevold tallied three goals for the game. In the four-minute overtime periods, Concordia had nine shots on goal while allowing none on their net. Freshman Bryan Howard stopped 24 shots on goal for Concordia.
The Cobbers had to overcome point deficits twice in the second game to defeat St. Olaf 4-3 to sweep the series. In the first period the Cobbers gave up two goals and scored one of their own. Gramer scored at 3:31 on a power play in the first period. The Cobbers trailed 2-1 in the second when Arnold scored on a power play to tie the game at two goals apiece. St. Olaf scored another goal to increase their lead to 3-2.That was the last goal St. Olaf got as the Cobbers shut down St. Olaf's defense for the rest of the game. Junior Brock Blikre scored at 8:04 in the second period to retie the game and Salvevold scored the go ahead goal at 11:44. Both teams were scoreless in the third period.
In earlier hockey action the Cobbers took on Alabama-Huntsville February 7 and 8 in Alabama. Concordia challenged the Division II number one ranked team for most of the first game. The Cobbers held UAH scoreless in the first period. In the second period the Cobbers freshman Mike Gast scored at 3:59 on a power play. Alabama scored two goals in the second period to stay on top 2-1 going into the third period. In the third period Salvevold scored at 6:35 and tied the game momentarily, 2-2. However, Alabama scored two more goals in the third period, and the Cobbers fell 4-2.
"They are a very good team," said Baumgartner. "Salvevold had a breakaway shot that hit the crossbar in the second period. If it goes in its 3-2 for us, but it didn't, and they came right back and scored on us instead."
In Sunday's game the Cobbers gave up four goals in the first period and were unable to recover against Alabama. They lost 9-1 in the second game of the series. In the second period, the Cobbers let in two more goals as Alabama strengthened its lead to 5-0 after two periods of play. In the third period Gast finally got the Cobbers on the board. The Cobbers gave up another pair to Alabama to finish out the third period and the game.
"I am proud of the way we have played this season. Concordia hasn't been under four goals against in the goals against average for a number of years," said Baumgartner. "We are averaging about 3.5, and thats a dramatic improvement over last year. We are in the three-something range where you need to be competitive and be a champion."
The Cobbers still have a chance to get into the playoffs. The team must
win the two-game series against Augsburg February 20 and 21. They also
need help from Hamline, who must sweep Gustavus.
Men clinch third win
Kesselring scored a game-high 34 points Wednesday at Augsburg, but Concordia fell 109-89. Kesselring sank 13 field goals and eight free throws and had nine rebounds. Augsburg claimed at least a share of the MIAC men's basketball championship in their 20-point win. It's their first MIAC title since 1985. Augsburg is the 15th school to claim both football and men's basketball conference titles in the same school year in MIAC history.
In Wednesday's game, Augsburg trailed early, 15-10, but rallied to take its first lead, 25-24, at the 10:23 mark of the first half. The Auggies pulled away with a 9-2 run before halftime, then extended the lead to as much as 23 points in the second half. Devean George led Augsburg with 27 points and seven rebounds, pacing four Auggies in double figures.
Last weekend at St. Thomas, Concordia lost 72-39. The Cobbers current record is 3-20 overall, 2-17 in the conference.
Women's Basketball Sonstelie scores 1,000th career point
Concordia led 30-27 at the half. Augsburg and Concordia stayed even in the second half, scoring 36 points each. Freshman Sara Spears tallied 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Cobbers.
Last weekend Concordia traveled to St. Thomas ranked second in the west region to try and keep their winning streak going and their playoff hopes alive. However, St. Thomas was just too quick, as they kept the Cobbers away from the basket most of the first half. The Cobber defense let St. Thomas shoot nearly 56 percent from the field. The Cobbers never fully recovered from the first half and lost 84-61 even after a solid second half performance.
The Cobbers are 15-6 overall and 13-5 in the MIAC conference. Concordia is tied with Gustavus for third place. The leading scorer for the Cobbers was senior Sonstelie with 15 points. Junior Heidi Schwichtenberg had 12 points, including 3-4 from the 3-point line.
The Cobbers started out slow, missing a couple of shot opportunities in the first few minutes of play. St. Thomas used an aggressive full court press to kill the Cobber offense in the first half. The Cobbers made some mental mistakes early in the game and had four consecutive turnovers. St. Thomas held Concordia scoreless for a five minute stretch about midway through the first half. The teams mental lapses helped St. Thomas jump to a 24-12 lead with 8:30 left to go in the first half.
"St.Thomas was playing an up tempo game, and it was not our style," said Kathy Wall, head coach. "We are more a half court team. We threw different defenses at them, and they responded well."
The team gave the ball away to St. Thomas early with 25 turnovers for the game. "We had trouble breaking their press. You are not going to win against a good team when you have 25 turnovers," Wall said. The Cobbers also did not shoot the ball well during the first half. "We were going too fast, and it just wasn't our style," said Wall. "We were never in the position for the offensive boards. St. Thomas defense had us rattled a little too much."
The Cobbers shot a mere 20 percent from the field in the first half
and had five field goals in the first half. The Cobbers went into the locker
room with a halftime deficit, 47-22, for the first time in several games.
In the second half the Cobbers slowed down the pace of the game, and
Wall said earlier in the week that the team needed to contain St. Thomas Kristen Vipond, but Vipond had a game high 25 points. Paige Olson also gave Concordia problems, scoring 24 points for St. Thomas. The Cobbers outscored St. Thomas in the second half, 39-37, but couldn't overcome their lack of offense in the first half.
"I was disappointed in the way we played in the first half but not in the second half," said Wall. "We have improved from day one, and we continue to improve throughout the season; and that is something I can say has never really happened since I have been here. I am really excited about what this team has done and what they have yet to do."
The team still has a chance to make it into postseason play, but it will be a tough road. The Cobbers must win their remaining four games and get help with an Iowa loss to push them into 5th place in the West Region. As of the February 17 poll, the Cobbers were ranked 7th in the West Region.
"This year there are only 48 teams going to the NCAA tournament instead
of the usual 64, so it makes a huge difference," said Wall.
"Instead of the top eight teams in the region going to the tournament,
only the top six are going this year." According to Wall,
California gets an automatic bid, so Concordia must be ranked in the top
Tracksters prepare for indoor MIAC meet
The recent warm weather has many Concordia students heading for the outdoors. Concordia's track and field teams, however, have been honing their skills indoors as they prepare for the MIAC Indoor Track and Field Championships in March.
The women's team, which has competed in four indoor meets already this season, is looking to improve its sixth place finish at last year's championships.
"We really think we'll have a chance to win the meet," said sophomore Cindy Carstens. "We've kind of stepped it up this year."
Carstens cited the continuing improvement of returning and new members of the team as the reason for the chance at the championship.
"All the returning runners have improved [their times] at each meet," she said, "and the frosh have a lot of talent."
Over 20 team members qualified for the MIAC meet through the first four meets, according to Carstens. Two more indoor meets remain for members to qualify for the MIAC championships, to be held March 6-7 at the University of Minnesota.
Sophomore Karin McKenzie has qualified in three events for the MIAC tournament: the long jump, the triple jump and the 55-meter dash. She hopes to qualify at least one more event before the MIAC Championships.
McKenzie sees the season building up to the MIAC indoor meet, where she agrees that the women's team has a good chance of competing for the championship.
"We keep improving every meet," she said. "Hopefully, we'll all peak at the MIAC meet."
The Concordia men's team has competed in four meets this season. As with the women's team, the men are also looking to improve on last year's MIAC Indoor Championship performance, where the team placed seventh.
"A good goal for this year is to place in the top five in the MIAC," junior Rob Nick said.
Nick cited the addition of more coaches as a reason for possible improvement to the top five at the meet.
Coach Garrick Larson said the coaches were added because of a bigger team.
"Our team's gotten quite a bit bigger [in the past few years]. With more athletes it's been harder to train them well," he said.
Many of the additional team members are inexperienced, according to Larson. Fourteen track team members graduated last year.
"We are overall a very young team," he said. "Freshmen will have a big role as to how the team does [at the championships]," he said.
Because of the team's youth, Larson is looking at the indoor season as a time for the team to grow, rather than place well. He hopes instead that the team will improve to finish in the top five at the MIAC Outdoor Championships.
"We have about as good as a team as we've ever had in the past," senior Matt Drewes said. "Every week there have been some pretty outstanding performances by different team members."
With such performances, as well as the addition of coaches to the team, Nick even hopes for a surprise performance at the MIAC Outdoor Championships.
"We're starting to pick it up now and everyone's getting into a groove," Nick said. "I think we could really surprise some people at the conference meet."
Both the men's and women's teams are looking forward to a spring break trip to Texas for a meet and outdoor training.
"It should give us a good chance to get ready for the outdoor season," Carstens said.
Both the men's and women's teams will compete in the Cobber Quadrangular