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The Concordian Sports 

September 5, 1997
| Women's Soccer | Men's Soccer |
 | Volleyball | Football |

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Women's Soccer:  Strong group of freshmen will help to rebuild the  team 
Kristen Young, 95/97 

 As the Cobber women's soccer team opens their 1997 season, the pressure is on to match last year's team record which left the Cobbers with the best winning percentage in the team's history. 
But this year's team will have to meet or beat that record in spite of the many players that graduated last spring. With little experience and many new faces, the talent and teamwork of the Cobbers will be put to the test this weekend at the St. John's Tournament in Collegeville, Minn. 
"We lost some good leaders last year," said Jeanette Wells, co-captain and this year's only senior. 
But despite the team's lack of experience, Wells sees a lot of strength in her teammates. "Even though we're young, we have strong leaders this year as well," Wells said. "All our players are incredibly skilled. I'm very optimistic." 
Sophomore Allison Smith returns after an impressive freshman year, finishing  as the Cobbers' second leading scorer. 

 Smith has confidence in the young team and predicts this will be a year for rebuilding. "We have several strong freshman coming in," Smith said. "The strength is not just in the starters. We're solid all the way through." 
Also returning to the team this year is junior Amy Gentz, one of the MIAC's top returning goalkeepers in 1997. She currently holds the Cobber career record with 10 shutouts. 
The Cobbers will play their opening game Saturday against Briar Cliff College. 

Return to Sept. 5  index of The Concordian Sports 

A Volleyball team falls 3-2 to UND in season opener 
Kristen Young, 9/5/97 

The Cobbers opened their 1997 season with a strong 2-0 lead against UND Tuesday in Grand Forks, but fell to a 3-2 loss after coming up short in the final three games of the match. 
Junior Laura Reitmeier said the team was pleased with the way they performed against UND even though they lost the first match of the season. "We were down by 10 points in the first game, but we came back to win," she said. "We played really well for it being our first match." 
Reitmeier led the Cobbers with 16 kills, followed by sophomore Anne Larson, with 11, and junior Laurie Flick, with 9. Counteracting the Cobber attack was UND's Kristi Rasmussen, leading her team with 15 kills. Nicole Vetter, a sophomore at Concordia, also contributed to the Cobbers" efforts with 30 assists. 
According to Reitmeier, the Cobbers opened the match with high intensity, but suffered a let down after the second game. "(Coach Tammy Anderson) said during the first two games she saw the look in our eyes that we wanted that ball," she said. "After that, UND picked up a little bit, and we let down a little bit." 

 "We just lost our focus," said Larson. "It was really hard for us to get the momentum back. We continued to play well, but the focus wasn't there as much as it was in the first two games." 
Although the Cobbers got off to a rough start, Larson is confident the team will comeback strong in future games. "If we just stay focused and continue to play the way we did at UND, we'll come out on top," she said. 
Last year's team earned 2nd place in the MIAC's post season tournament, and a number four regional ranking. "Our goal this year is to win the MIAC conference," Larson said. "But right now we have to focus on whatever game is in front of us." 

Return to Sept. 5  index of The Concordian Sports 

Football: Cobbers Host Dragons  Saturday 
Vic Quick, 9/5/97 

Jim Christopherson begins his 29th season as Concordia's head man on Saturday as the Cobbers host the Dragons of MSU in the annual Crystal Bowl. Concordia is coming off a 6-4 season (6-3 in the MIAC). 
On offense, Concordia will be led by co-captain and four-year starter Jed Seeger. Seeger will help anchor a veteran line returning most of its starters from last season. Tom Fuchs joins Seeger at the other guard spot, while Noah Caron and Abe Hinderaker are the starting tackles. Bob Zacher is the center. 
Junior Ethan Pole returns as the Cobbers" starting quarterback. So does his favorite target, senior Tory Langemo. The receiver led the Cobbers with 943 yards on 44 catches last year. Langemo can also cause headaches for the opposition special teams coordinator as he had 544 return yards last season. Langemo has 2002 career receiving yards and is one of the most explosive players in the MIAC. 
Langemo will have to step up even more after the loss of Nathan Merseth and Shawn Mcgee. The running game, which Concordia has traditionally relied on, is now a question mark. The Cobbers lost one of the MIAC's best tailbacks, Eli Schuff. Dan Steinbesser is slated to be the starter in Saturday's game, but is presently hobbled by a hamstring injury. If unable to play Saturday, the Cobbers will play Casey Marshall who is currently suffering from a pulled muscle. According to Christopherson, freshman Marcus Ludtke is looking good in the early going. 
At this stage, Concordia's passing team is looking good. "We can throw the ball," Christopherson said. "Time will tell if we will be able to run." 
The Cobber defense is not as experienced as the offense. "We expect more out of the offense at this time," Christopherson said. On the defensive line, Jon Jasken, who began his career at Concordia as a tight end, was switched to defensive end late last season, and will begin this season there. 
Ryan Albrecht will be the other end, with Jeff Gronner returning at tackle, along with James Poock at the other tackle. 
Co-captain Ryan Sannes will help anchor the linebacker core. Cory Polzine is the middle linebacker, with Jamie Aaneson the weekside linebacker. Craig Gilbert returns this year as well, after a knee injury from last season. 
The Cobbers' secondary is another area of concern. "Our secondary will be tested once we get into the conference," Christopherson said. Chris Johnson and Eric Stenehjem are the safeties with Jared Ziebarth and Jeremy Zirbes on the corners. 
There is no dominant team in the MIAC this year. All-American quarterback Kurt Ramler graduated from St. John's, and it is not yet known who will replace him. 
According to Christopherson, any one of five teams has a shot at the championship. "The key is to not lose a couple of games early and find yourself out of the race," he said. 
The race for the MIAC title kicks off at Concordia next Saturday against Gustavus. 
But first the Cobbers must deal with the Dragons. The Crystal Bowl kicks off this Saturday at 1:35 in Jake Christianson Stadium. 

Return to Sept. 5  index of The Concordian Sports 

Men's Soccer:  Men's Soccer Team aiming for first MIAC three-peat in conference history 
Kristen Young, 9/5/97 

The men's soccer team is on a mission: with two consecutive MIAC titles behind them, the Cobbers are determined to be the first team to win the conference title three years in a row. 

The team began practicing for the upcoming season on Monday, Aug. 18th. After two weeks of practice, freshman Keith McCoy is optimistic about his first season as a Cobber soccer player. "We're going to be amazing," he said. "Coach Jim Cella keeps saying, "Let's make history this year.' No MIAC team has ever won the title three years in a row." McCoy is confident in his team's abilities, and ready to take on the challenge. "We definitely have the talent to do it," he said. 

 The Cobbers finished 16th in the nation last year, and pre-season polls rank them 18th this year. Returning to the team this fall is senior Todd Hashbarger, a two-time All-MIAC midfielder. Hashbarger led the Cobbers in scoring last season with nine goals and nine assists. 

 Other returning starters are midfielder Todd Stebleton, a sophomore from Burnesville, Minn., and forward Josh Spaulding, a sophomore from Minnetonka, Minn. 

The Cobbers open their 1997 season Sept. 6 against Briar Cliff at the St. John's Tournament, and they host Lawrence College at home on Sept. 13. 

Return to Sept.5  index of The Concordian Sports 

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