|Nov. 14, 1997
Football | Men's Soccerl | Women's Soccer |
misses NCAA playoff bid, finish season 12-5
Cal-Lutheran lost to Claremont 6-1 in a men's soccer match-up last weekend, sealing Concordia's fate in the regional polls and revealing exactly what Concordia's team didn't want to hear - they did not get an NCAA Tournament bid. They finished with a 12-5 record and tied for second place in the MIAC race.
"The season went pretty well, despite a few lapses," said sophomore Eric Singer. "Of course were disappointed we didn't make the playoffs, but we're happy we turned the season around after losing a couple bad games."
Senior Todd Hashbarger was named 1997 MIAC Most Valuable Player, and appointed to the MIAC All-Conference team. He finished his career with 99 points and 47 assists, leading the MIAC in both categories. Singer and sophomore Josh Spaulding were also named to the team.
"Although we didn't get into the playoffs, we finished second (in a tie with Gustavus)," said head coach Jim Cella. "If you don't finish first, it's good to finish second."
According to Cella,
the Cobbers have carried the best record in the MIAC for the past three
years. "We've had juniors and seniors starting before," said Cella.
"This year we had eight sophomores and freshman starting. It was great
for them to come as far as they did."
Next year the Cobbers will lose a couple of key players, but will return nine starters. Along with Hashbarger, senior Jim Stone finished his career at Concordia this year. "It will be tough to replace both of them," said Singer. "I think it's more a matter of finding someone to take over their duties, not replace them. I don't think anyone can replace those two."
The men's soccer program at Concordia has high expectations for themselves. Cella sees this as a good sign, but doesn't want to discredit the team's second place finish. Although the team is not continuing on into the NCAA Tournament, Cella wants his players to remember that second place is still a good way to end the season.
"People are seeing our second place finish as a downer, but hey, we finished second," said Cella. "That's the sign of a program that will be there year after year, and that's what we want."
But Singer sees
it differently. "If you're happy with second place, you don't
The Cobber women's soccer team wrapped up their season Nov. 1 with a 3-0 loss to St. Thomas, bringing their season record to 7-11 overall, 3-7 in the MIAC. After finishing ninth in the MIAC, the players don't think their record reflects how well they played this season.
"Our record is really deceiving," said head coach Dean Hashbarger. "Literally, there wasn't a game where we were blown out. We cant say that of the past."
Hashbarger attributes much of the teams success to its strong defensive season. The Cobbers held their goals against average to 1.94 this year - one of the lowest averages in Hashbarger's 12-year coaching career.
The Cobbers showed potential throughout the season, and their season was what some may refer to as a growing year. The team relied heavily on 13 first-year players, and depended on the leadership of only one senior.
Sophomore Julie Fretheim says the season was a part of a growing process. "We're like a puzzle," she said. "This year we shuffled all of the pieces and next year they are all going to come together."
Hashbarger says the team didn't have
one player that stood out above the rest this year. He has set high expectations
for everyone next season. The Cobbers are looking forward to the
future, especially after being the youngest team in the conference this
year. Next season the 13 first-year
Team back in playoff picture
The Concordia football team received an unexpected pleasant surprise on Monday when they learned they were ranked fourth in the latest NCAA Division III West region poll. The Cobbers defeated Carleton by a score of 39-10 Friday. The win, combined with a Wisconsin-LaCrosse loss and an unimpressive win by Central of Iowa, propelled the Cobbers to the fourth spot in the west.
The Cobbers played the Knights Friday afternoon in the Metrodome. They found themselves down 3-0 early after a Carleton field goal. However, they bounced back quickly with an junior Ethan Pole to junior Mike Rice for a 62 yard touchdown to take a 6-3 advantage. Carleton had a 62-yard kick return for a touchdown to go up 10-6. From there, it was all Concordia.
Senior Dan Steinbeisser gave Concordia the lead for good with a three-yard touchdown run with 53 seconds left in the opening quarter. In the second quarter, Concordia added two Len Crouse touchdown runs as well as a 12-yard scoring strike from Pole to Rice. This gave Concordia a 33-10 lead at the half.
In the fourth quarter, Pole scored on a 12-yard run for the only points of the second half. The Cobber ground attack was led by Steinbeisser, who had 147 yards on 22 attempts. Crouse was right behind him with 127 yards on 20 attempts. Pole threw for 133 yards and two scores. On the defensive side of the ball, senior Eric Stenehjem and sophomore Chad Bertram each managed to pick off a pass.
This week Concordia is practicing in the Olson Forum due to the cold temperatures in hopes of a game next Saturday. When asked of his team's chances, head coach Jim Christopherson said, "The pollsters knew our season was over. I don't think they would have put us in the fourth spot, then later take us out. We're planning accordingly for a game next week."
The Cobbers' likely opponent in the game is Wisconsin-Whitewater, undefeated at 9-0, and the number one seed in the west region.
"Everyone will be excited to play another game," said senior defensive captain Ryan Sannes.. "We just need to spend a lot of time in preparation since we have never played them before."
Other current seedings are: 2, Simpson-Iowa, 3, Augsburg, 5, Central