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Men's soccer looking for playoff spot by Kristen Young
The good news: After Wednesday's 2-1 win over St. John's, the Concordia men's soccer team still has a fighting chance for the playoffs. The bad news: Hopes for the MIAC championship were dashed after Macalester out-scored Gustavus in two overtimes last week, knocking Concordia out of MIAC contendership.
The Cobbers are currently ranked 8th in the region, but only the top six teams in the region go to the NCAA tournament.
Concordia hosts St. Thomas Saturday at 1 p.m. in their last regular season game and needs that win to stay alive. But if they win Saturday, the team will wait a week before they know whether they're ranked in the top six.
"If we win, we're walking around the house for a week," said head coach Jim Cella, referring to the week-long wait between the final regular season game and the release of the polls. "If we lose, we're packing our bags up and going back down the street."
Over midsemester break, the team traveled to Texas, where they played Trinity College in San Antonio, and Southwestern University in Georgetown. They split 1-1, losing to Trinity and beating Southwestern.
The loss to Trinity wasn't an upset, but a disappointment and a lost opportunity to move up in the polls. Trinity is ranked tenth in the nation, and a victory probably would have put Concordia in the playoffs. "It would have been a lock," said Cella. "Now we're trying to sneak in the back door."
Ben's ends Cobber volleyball streak by Darrell Ehrlick and Kristen Young
Usually losses aren't considered encouraging. But in the case of Concordia's Women's Volleyball team, their loss to St. Benedict's on Wednesday night is not so disheartening.
The St. Ben's team, ranked 7th in the nation, beat the Cobbers in close matches of 15-12, 15-10 and 15-11. The loss will probably tie Concordia for 2nd or 3rd place in the MIAC tournament pairings.
"Even though we didn't win, we played pretty well for the most part," said head coach Tim Mosser.
The Cobbers, who are ranked second in the MIAC conference, had a difficult time with St. Ben's blocking.
"They're a big team, but we know we could have done better and beat them," Mosser said.
Mosser feels the team could have served better and could have come through better in the clutch. However, he said the defense was outstanding.
Junior Amanda Glas also felt the team started strong, but confidence and communication could have been better.
"We know we can play better than we did," Glas said.
With continued improvement in practice and an increase in the mental game, Glas hopes the team will grow even stronger. According to her, it is a matter of just pushing a little harder.
"They've always given you their all, every second," Mosser said. "They come to play and they play hard."
Prior to Wednesday's loss to St. Ben's, Concordia was coming off a three-match winning streak that began Oct. 18 with a 3-0 win over St. Olaf and moved Concordia into second place in the MIAC.
"There is much more focus and intensity in critical matches," said Mosser. "We spanked St. Olaf."
"We're better about tough games," said sophomore Nicole Vetter. "We come through when our backs are against the wall."
The Cobbers came through again in a 3-1 victory over Augsburg on Oct. 23 and beat them again last Friday 3-2 at the University of Minnesota-Crookston October Classic.
According to Mosser, the first game against Augsburg started out slow. "But there was never any doubt in their minds that they were going to win," he said. "You can just tell. You know they're going to do well."
"We're in a good position," said Graven, prior to Wednesday's game. "We started the season struggling, but now we're peaking."
Football hoping to win MIAC by Vic Quick
The Concordia football team suffered consecutive loss on Saturday. After losing a home game against St. John's 20-12, the Cobbers fell at Augsburg by a score of 13-10. With the losses, Concordia's record now stands at 6-2, 5-2 in the conference.
Saturday's game at Augsburg matched the top two teams in the MIAC this year. The Cobbers got on the scoreboard first with a field goal by sophomore Clayton Horgen with 8:10 remaining in the first quarter. The first quarter came to and end with the Cobbers holding the three-point advantage. In the second quarter Augsburg took the lead on a four yard touchdown pass from Derrin Lamker to Scott Hvistendahl. Lamker would finish the day completing 30 of 49 passes for 251 yards. Hvistendahl caught 12 passes for 113 yards on the day.
The two teams went into the locker room with the Auggies holding the 7-3 advantage. With 2:55 remaining in the third quarter junior Ethan Pole scored from a yard out to give the Cobbers a 10-7 advantage. It would be the last score of the day for Concordia. With 9:12 remaining in the game, Martin Hlinka connected on a 30 yard field goal to tie the game at 10 a piece.
The Cobbers then drove deep out of their own territory to near midfield where they turned the ball over on a fumble. Augsburg preceded to drive down to the Concordia 12 yard line where Hlinka made the game winning kick of 29 yards with 17 seconds remaining in the contest. The Cobbers were unable to score in the remaining few seconds and the Auggies escaped with the victory.
Although Concordia has now suffered two losses, they still have a chance for a share of the MIAC title. Augsburg has only one loss, but in two weeks they have to play against Bethel in the Metrodome. Although they have dropped two straight, the Cobbers could still have a postseason opportunity. "We still have a chance at the post-season," said head coach Jim Christopherson. "If Bethel beats Augsburg, there is a chance that three or four teams could tie for the conference title with two wins, and one of those teams could be selected for the post season. But right now we need to focus on Hamline because that is our next major hurdle." A scenario could play out where if Bethel defeats St. John's and Augsburg, then Augsburg, Bethel and Concordia could tie for the conference lead with two losses each. If this happens, Concordia will be considered for the playoffs.
This week Concordia takes on Hamline at the Fargodome. The Pipers come in with a record of 4-4, 3-4 in the conference. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.