Alyssa Dahl (#14 - right) and the rest of the Cobbers will be hoping to pick up right where they left off in 2006-07.
Courtesy of GoCobbers.com, Release: October 30, 2007
The 2007-08 Season Preview
The 2007-08 Concordia women’s hockey team will be hoping to pick up right where they left off in 2006-07 when they won their last three games of the season and five of their final seven games. The late-season kick pushed the Cobbers up to sixth place in the MIAC standings, narrowly missing a berth in the five-team MIAC playoffs. CC finished with an 8-9-1 record in the conference last year and will be looking to improve on that mark as they make a push for their first postseason berth since the 2002-03 season when they finished in second place in the league standings.
The tall task for second-year head coach Ace Gregg will be dependent on finding a more explosive offense. Last year the Cobbers finished in goals in conference games. In the first 11 games of the conference in 2006-07, CC scored over two goals on only two occasions. In their sprint to the finish in the final seven games, the team scored at least two goals in five games.
Individually, the top point getters for the team in 2006-07, Alyssa Dahl (Jr., Willmar, Minn.) and Mandi Samuelson (So., Willmar, Minn.), finished in a tie for 38th place on the conference scoring chart. The pair were the only players to net over 10 points in the team’s 18 league games. They will be counted on to up their point total in 2007-08 and lead a young Cobber offensive attack. Of the team’s 13 offensive players on the roster, seven are either freshmen or sophomores. Besides Dahl and Samuelson, the top returning scorers from last year are Bri Bian (Jr., Cedarburg, Wis.) and Kayla Thorson (So., Rugby, N.D.). Both players had only six points in the MIAC last year.
On defense, Concordia will return only two of their defensemen from a year ago. The tandem of Ceara Bergsrud (Sr., Devils Lake, N.D.) and Brit Vander Kooy (Jr., Redlands, Calif.) prove that quality is better than quantity. Bergsrud was the team’s lone representative on the MIAC All-Conference Team in 2006-07 and has earned MIAC postseason honors in consecutive seasons. Vander Kooy will join Bergsrud as the No.1 defensive unit for Concordia. They will be called upon to mentor a group of first-year defensemen that have the potential but not the experience.
One of the traditionally strong parts of the Cobber women’s hockey team is goaltending. This year’s group will be no exception. Gregg will be able to call upon both of his top goalies from last year and will have a freshman that is ready to be thrown into the mix should anything happen to the returners. Maddie Haroldson (So., Sartell, Minn.) and Amber Malcolm (Jr., North Vancouver, B.C.) practically split the minutes in half from last year. Haroldson led the team in goals against average and save percentage. Her 2.30 GAA and .922 save percentage were among the league leaders. In conference play she was fourth in the MIAC with a 1.78 GAA and second in save percentage (.935). Malcolm finished the year with a 3.20 GAA and an .885 save percentage. Freshman Julie York (Bismarck, N.D.) will be the third goalie competing for playing time in 2007-08.
Concordia will open the season with a pair of games at Adrian (MIch.) followed by a single game at Buffalo State (N.Y.). After the trip out east, CC will host their home opener against UW-Superior on Nov. 9 and 10 before opening the conference against St. Kate’s the following weekend.
If the Cobbers can forget about the eight-month layoff from last season and pretend they are just continuing on from last year’s successful finish, then the team might wind up playing in the MIAC playoffs for the first time in five seasons.
2007-08 MIAC Coaches' Preseason Poll
Gustavus, ranked third nationally, was the top vote-getter in the Women's Hockey Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Gusties beat out 2006-07 playoff teams St. Thomas, St. Olaf, Hamline, and Saint Mary's for first. Non-conference women's hockey action begins tonight and MIAC games start on Friday, November 16.