September 27, 1996
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Bringing home two losses and a win, the Concordia women's soccer team faced off against Gustavus, Luther, and fourth-ranked Macalester over the weekend. The Cobbers lost to Gustavus and Macalester, but defeated Luther 9-1.
"We played our hearts out against Macalester, and we never gave up. I think we've improved dramatically, especially going throught the weekend playing three tough teams," said captain Angie Tohm.
Playing in St. Peter, the defending champion Gusties defeated the Cobbers 4-0 on Saturday. Cobber goalie Amy Gentz earned 13 saves and senior defensive sweeper Kari Eissinger picked up 25 interceptions. Teammates Kelly Morehead, Britt Nielson, and Julie Fretham each had seven interceptions.
"I thought we played well considering how good they [Gustavus] are this year," said freshman forward Allison Smith. "Our defense had an especially good game and we had a chance to work on some things to improve ourselves for the upcoming games."
Concordia made a comeback Sunday against Luther. Tohm scored the first three goals for the Cobbers, earning a hat trick in the first 24 minutes of play. She was followed in the next minute by a goal from Smith, assisted by Eissinger and Tohm. Freshman Julie Fretheim, Karyn Tilton, and Allison Daehlin also scored against Luther.
OnTuesday the Cobbers fell to Macalester 5-0.
"We played very well defensively, and Macalester was one of the toughest teams we've faced so far, so we expected quite a game," said Eissinger.
The women's team takes on Jamestown Saturday at home at 11 a.m.
Improving its conference record to 2-1, the Concordia women's volleyball team defeated Hamline Wednesday night 15-5, 15-6, and 15-5 at Memorial Auditorium.
This win does more than improve the Cobber conference record, however. According to a Sept. 24 Central Region Poll. Concorida ranks fifth in the region with the top four teams eventually heading to nationals. St. Olaf leads the region, and is the only other MIAC team in the top five.
"It felt really good because we're back to the way we normally play. We were much more confident," said junior setter Marsha Suko. "We went after everything and had a lot of fun. That makes the difference."
The Concordia volleyball team was also in action this past weekend at Augsburg and St. Olaf. After an 8-6 non-conference start, the Cobbers prepared for their first conference game of the season. Heading into the weekend, head coach Tim Mosser was optimistic about a win.
"Our expectations going into the conference were to go hard all the time, have fun, and play with intensity," he said.
Concordia matched up with Augsburg on Saturday afternoon. The Cobbers defeated the Augies twice last season, and according to freshman hitter Sara Seeger, the team felt very confident going in to the match. Concordia won 15-2, 15-3, 15-12.
"[The third game] was a mental lapse on our part," said sophomore Camille Graven, who led the Cobbers with eight digs.
In the Augsburg match, sophomore hitter Laura Reitmeier led the team with 12 of 31 kills. Suko provided 15 set assists and freshman setter Nikki Vetter added 14.
"We had confidence in ourselves and felt we could do anything," said Mosser.
Following the win at Augsburg, the Cobbers traveled for another conference game at St. Olaf. The Oles won the MIAC game last season despite a conference loss to Concordia. According to the latest coaches' poll, St. Olaf (14-2) is the top team in the region. In the first game, Concordia defeated St. Olaf 15-9.
"We played with tons of confidence," said Mosser. "We came in that first game and played very well."
Despite the defeat, St. Olaf fought back and took the match with three straight wins; 15-10, 15-4, and 15-6.
"They are a good team and believe they can win. They make adjustments when they need to and play relaxed," said Mosser.
In the Olaf game, junior hitter Leah Klevin had seven of 18 blocks, including three solo blocks.
"Our problem was that we doubted ourselves. When one thing would go wrong, we couldn't accept it," said Klevin.
The Cobbers take on Jamestown tonight.
Concordia football defeated St. Olaf 20-7 last Saturday to run its record to 2-1 overall, 2-0 in the conference.
"I think the win was nice, but in showed things we definitely need to work on," said senior defensive lineman Jason Caron.
At halftime, the Cobbers held a 20-0 lead. The Cobbers had troubles with offense in the second half, failing to put any points on the board. The Oles were driving in the second half when they fumbled and the Cobber defense came up with the ball, preserving their lead.
"When you have a lead in those conditions, there is no sense in throwing the ball around and committing turnovers," said Christopherson.
Due to rain, Concordia kept the ball mostly on the ground, amassing 304 yards rushing. Senior halfback Eli Schuff led the Cobbers in rushing and scored two touchdowns as well.
During the game, senior defensive lineman Jason Caron was injured during a block. X-rays show that Caron has a sprained ankle, instead of a broken ankle as was originally thought.
"Jason will probably miss the Macalaster game this week, but we expect him back for the game against Bethel," said Christoperson.
Caron's quick recovery is important. In the Sept. 14 game against Gustavus, linebacker Craig Gilbert tore ligaments in his knee and will not return this season.
"Everyone will just have to step up a notch," said Caron.
During Family Weekend, Concordia will host Macalester, which is coming off a win over Gustavus. Chirstopherson said he was impressed with video footage of the Gustavus-Macalester game.
After Saturday's game, Concordia begins a key three-game stretch against Bethel, St. Thomas and St. John's. According to Caron, these three teams were picked by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune to be the top teams in the MIAC, with Concordia coming in fourth.
"To win the conference, we have to beat these three teams," said Caron.
In a match up of the top teams in the nation, the 14th-ranked Concordia men's soccer team defeated the 7th ranked Macalester Scots 3-2 in overtime last Tuesday at Concordia. The win gave the Cobbers a four point lead over the rest of the Minnesota intercollegiate Athletic Conference as they prepare for nonconference games against UW-Oshkosh and St. Norbert.
"A 2-0 lead is one of the worst to have, because unconsciously you relax, and once they get one goal, it is almost easy for them to get another," said senior defenseman Zach Brumbach. "But once it went into overtime, I knew we would win."
Last year, Macalester beat the Cobbers with the same score, but this year the Cobbers prevailed. In the 29th minute, Concordia took the lead on sophomore midfielder Eric Berg's blast, assisted by junior forward Jim Stone. It was Berg's first goal of the season, and his first chance to score in two games because of a bone bruise.
Right after half-time in the 46th minute, senior forward Brian Johnson scored his second goal of the year, assisted by junior midfielder Todd Hashbarger.
Macalester rallied in the 59th minute and forced Concordia to give up their first goal of the season, a shutout which spanned 419 minutes. The Scots tied up the game in the 73rd minute with a goal by freshman midfielder Roland Broughton. The Cobbers put on a few attacks in regulation, but it was not enough. The game headed into overtime.
In overtime the teams play two fifteen-minute halves. The first team to score wins. If no one scores the game ends in a tie.
With 25 seconds left in the first half, Concordia's Brian Johnson scored, assisted by senior midfielder Jamie Johnson.
"Jamie beautifully crossed the ball to me, and I noticed the defenders were by the middle of the goal," said Brian Johnson. "I headed it back from where I was coming from over the goalie's head."
Even after Macalester made their comeback, Brian Johnson wasn't worried.
"Those weak points in the second half do put pressure on you. We played strong the whole game and I had confidence that we would come back," he said.
Macalester has a strong reputation for having five players on the roster from overseas, with only two players coming from Minnesota. However, Concordia was not intimidated by that fact.
"We knew who they had, and it was such a big game that we had to step it up a level and not be intimidated," said Brumbach.
The Cobbers head into this weekend undefeated.
Why would you want to do something like that?
This question is often asked of those who call themselves cross-country runners. They regularly subject themselves to tests of human limits such as mile interval runs for hours ad nausean and ten mile runs at 6 a.m.
"It comes down to the fact that we are just crazy," said senior Jerod Barnes. Several other runner have similar comments about their reasons, usually accompained by a chuckle. This laughter in the face of adversity if indicative of the spirit that dirves runners to test the limits.
These limits (to the average observer) make it seem as though this sport of human endurance is beyond reach for most, attainable only for a select few. Women's head coach Sharon Espeland disagrees.
"Anyone is suited for distance running. They just have to have the personal drive," she said. She cites a famous runner's cliche, The roads are always open," as the quintessential statement of a runner's drive, since there is nothing needed to achieve success but a pair of shoes and a deep drive to run.
The mental toughness created and accentuated through running is a reccuring theme among runners' lists of rewards. First-year student Joanne Maki cited the idea of being able to do anything fosters a deeper sense of self-respect.
Barnes draws a direct correlation between being able to challenge oneself and push limits while running, and accomplishing things in other aspects of life. Freshman Jeff Edwards said that the competitive drive to win is equally important.
These are examples of perhaps the most important thing when it comes to understanding the distance runner. Writing a paper or speaking in public doesn't seem quite so difficult after running ten miles at 6 a.m. in the rain or cold.
There are definite physical rewards to the sport, but the mental benefits often hold more importance than the "runner's high" serious runners acheive.
Cross-country running is such that the external rewards are little and the personal sacrifice is great. Consequently, the rewards are mainly personal, but they are invaluable. Perhaps that is what separates distance runners from those who struggle to understand them. Lace up those shoes and start running. Only then can the motivation of a distance runner be comprehended.
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