Another Season of Success
Concordia's Fall 1996 athletic teams again found a large measure of success. Women's golf and men's soccer captured MIAC titles again. The volleyball team, along with men's soccer, earned NCAA post-season tournament bids. The football team posted another winning season by going 6-3 in the MIAC. Women's soccer posted its best winning percentage ever. And young men's golf and cross country teams demonstrated promise.
Men's Soccer Repeats as MIAC Champion, Earns NCAA Berth
Coach Jim Cella's Cobber mens soccer team earned their second consecutive MIAC title with a 9-1 MIAC season record, 12-3-2 in the regular season overall. The Cobbers ended the regular season ranked 16th in the nation and earned their first NCAA Division III Tournament appearance. Concordia beat Macalester 2-1 in the NCAA West Region Tournament's first round game and then lost to Luther in the Regional final.
The Cobbers were led by All-MIAC midfielder Todd Hashbarger ('98, Fargo, N.D.) and All-MIAC forward Brian Johnson ('97, Fargo, N.D.). Hashbarger, who was also All-MIAC in 1995 led the Cobbers in scoring with 9 goals and 9 assists. He also earned All-Region honors. Johnson tallied 8 goals and 5 assists.
Earning All-MIAC Honorable Mention for the Cobbers was the MIAC's top goalie, Chad Anderson ('97, Wausau, Wisc.) Anderson set Cobber records for shutouts in a season (8) and a career (22).
Cobber Peter Benson ('97, Moorhead) was another major reason the Cobbers have the best record in the MIAC over the past 4 seasons. He had 15 career goals and 16 assists and has consistantly been one of Concordia's best defenders.
Women's Golf Captures 5th MIAC Title in 6 years
Duane Siverson's 1996-97 women's golf team continued to dominate in fall competition, finishing second in their first fall tournament and then reeling off seven consecutive wins. Among those wins was the the Cobbers' 30-stroke win at the MIAC Championship Meet, their 5th MIAC title in the past 6 years.
Concordia's 332 tournament scoring average was the best in school history. Concordia ended the fall season ranked 2nd nationally among NCAA Division III colleges and will compete in the NCAA Division II-III National Championship next spring. The Cobbers finished 6th in last spring's NCAA Tournament.
Concordia was led by 5 All-MIAC golfers. Sarah Penfield ('97 Staples) earned her fourth all-MIAC award by finishing 2nd at the MIAC Tournament. She led the Cobbers in stroke average and is ranked third in the nation among Division III golfers.
Christie Strecker ('00, Albert Lea) earned the MIAC individual championship by shooting rounds of 84-76 at the Winona Country Club. She ended the fall season ranked 5th nationally.
Also earning All-MIAC honors were Kari Weidner ('00, Fargo), who finished 5th at the MIAC Tournament, Jenny Dick ('98, Rochester) and Kristin Hanson ('89, Fosston). Dick and Hanson tied for 8th at the MIAC. Jenny Dick was also named Academic All-MIAC.
Volleyball Earns Repeat Trip to the NCAA
The 1996 Cobber volleyball team, under 4th year head coach Tim Mosser, posted a 25-12 record, earning 2nd place in the MIAC, a No. 4 regional ranking, and a second consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. The Cobbers went 9-2 in the MIAC's regular season and then placed second at the MIAC's post season tournament. Concordia lost it's first round game in the NCAA Central Regional in Lincoln, Nebraska, falling 3-1 to MIAC champion St. Olaf.
The Cobbers were led by three All-MIAC performers. Hitter Angie Carlin ('98) and setter Marsha Suko ('98, West Fargo, N. D.) repeated as members of the All-MIAC team. They were joined by sophomore hitter Laura Reitmeier ('99, Fisher). Reitmeier and Carlin were also named to the All-Region Team. Reitmeier also earned Academic All-MIAC Honors.
With no seniors on this year's roster and all three All-MIAC players returning, Cobber volleyball prospects continue to look bright.
Football Posts 6-3 MIAC Record
The 1996 Cobber football team went 6-4 overall, 6-3 in the MIAC, good enough for 4th place. Coach Jim Christopherson opened his 28th season with a 31-14 loss at Moorhead State. Then, after reeling off three straight wins, the Cobbers faced a series of three consecutive games against undefeated teams. The Cobbers fell to Bethel, St. Thomas and St. John's before ending the year with wins over Augsburg, Hamline and Carleton.
Eight Cobbers earned All-MIAC Honors. Cobber MVP, receiver Tory Langemo (97, Litchfield), led the Cobbers with 943 yards on 44 catches and 577 yards on kick returns.
Halfback Eli Schuff, the 1995 MIAC rushing leader, finished third in MIAC rushing in 1996 with 960 yards. He tallied 2,331 yards rushing in his four year career.
Defensive tackle Jason Caron ('97, LaPorte, Bemidji) capped an outstanding career that included 213 career tackles and 22 sacks.
Joining Langemo, Schuff and Caron on the All-MIAC first team was tight end Nathan Merseth, ('97, Frazee). Merseth ended his career with 59 catches and 8 TDs.
Cobbers earning second team All-MIAC honors were linebacker Ryan Sannes ('98, Breckenridge), defensive lineman Jeff Gronner ('98, Underwood), defensive back Tim Aadland ('97, Bismarck, N.D.) and offensive lineman Noah Caron ('98, Bemidji).
Sannes led the 1996 Cobbers in tackles with 72. Gronner was second in tackles with 66. Aadland, a team captain, ended his career with 83 tackles and 5 fumble recoveries. Caron, the "little" brother of Jason at 6-6, 280 lbs, helped the Cobbers finish second in MIAC rushing offense with 204 yards per game.
Langemo, Aadland and Shawn McGee earned Academic All-MIAC honors.
Sophomore quarterback Ethan Pole ('99, Moorhead) emerged as a strong team leader as the season progressed and gave fans reason for optimism in 1997. Pole compled 54% of his passes for 1,451 yards.
Women's Soccer Posts 11-6-1 Season
The 1996 Cobber women's soccer team's 11-6-1 season was the best winning percentage in the team's history. Dean Hashbarger's Cobbers finished 7th in their MIAC season with a 4-5-1 record, including a win over traditional power St. Mary's.
The Cobbers were led by two All-MIAC seniors, defender Kari Eissinger ('97, White Bear Lake) and forward Angela Tohm ('97, Blaine).
Eissinger set Cobber single season and career records for defensive points.
Tohm, a three-time All-MIAC honoree and a repeat All-West Region performer, set Cobber records for assists in a season (16) and a career (49). She aslo set the school career scoring record with 147 points on 44 goals and 49 assists.
Sophomore goalkeeper Amy Gentz ('99, Bloomington) recorded a school record 7 shutouts in 1996 and already holds the Cobber career record with 10.
Young Men's Golf Team 5th at MIAC
The 1996 Cobber men's golf team ended their fall season by taking 5th at the MIAC Tournament held at the Winona Country Club October 4-5. Concordia was led by All-MIAC sophomore Brandon Riddering ('99, Maple Grove). Riddering tied for 5th at the MIAC with a 157 two-day total. He also had the low scoring average for the Cobbers fall season.
Mike Lanning ('98, Moorhead) was second among Cobber golfers at the MIAC, followed by sophomore Mike Simonich ('99, Mora).
Simonich, who earned All-MIAC honors in 1995, was second on the team in scoring, followed by freshmen Jeremy Anderson ('00, Moorhead), Lanning, and freshman Kyle Newman ('00, Fargo).
Cross Country Teams Work on Building
The Cobber women's cross country team, under first-year coach Sharon Espeland, made steady progress throughout the year, fell to 12th at the MIAC Championship Meet and then recovered to finish 15th at the NCAA Regional Meet.
The Cobbers were led at the MIAC and the NCAA Regional by freshman Joanne Maki ('00, Beaverton, Oregon).
The Cobber men's cross country team, which tied for 11th at the MIAC Meet, was also youthful. The Cobbers were led by Jeff Edwards ('00, Red Wing), Edwards was second among the Cobber runners at the MIAC and was their lone entrant at the NCAA Regional.
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