Cobber Football |
Nov. 12, 1999 Concordian | Cobber Sports |
| Football | Volleyball | Men's Soccer | Men's Hockey | Women's Hockey | Men's Cross Country | Women's Swimming | Feature on Volleyball's Meredith Hegg | Top |
Cobbers fall from MIAC lead with loss to Tommies
The Cobber football team saw its postseason hopes dim after losing to St. Thomas Friday at the Fargodome 22-7.
The loss knocks Concordia out of a first place tie into a four way tie for second at 6-2.
"Riley came in and did a good job, but it's tough when you lose a captain and a great player," Christopherson said. "It has a way of effecting the rest of the team. Everyone was kind of stunned."
Concordia took the lead 7-0 late in the first quarter, but that would be the only score they could put on the board. St. Thomas came back scoring 22 unanswered points.
"St. Thomas is a good team, maybe the best team we played," Christopherson said. "Their defense played really well and shut down our offense." Concordia's rushing attack which has been so fierce in the last couple of games could only muster 46. The Cobber passing attack led by junior quarterback Jeff Hertel had trouble getting the passing game going, throwing for only 131 yards and no touchdowns. The Cobbers also had two fumbles and three interceptions.
Concordia's defense was a bright spot in a otherwise dim game. The Cobber defense picked off three interceptions and had four sacks.
Junior defensive end Mark Hankel broke Concordia's single season record for quarterback sacks after recording 2.5 sacks against The Tommies. Hankel has 13.5 sacks going into the season finale against Augsburg. The old record of 12 was set in 1989 by Kent Hanson.
"They kept coming up with plays to keep them out of the end zone," Christopherson said. "We stopped many of their opportunities. Our defense played magnificent."
Concordia plays Augsburg Friday in its final game of the regular season at the Metrodome.
"We need to move the ball offensively," Christopherson said. "I'm confident
our defense will play very well against anybody. We proved it against St.
John's and St. Thomas. Our defense has played well enough to win. Now our
offense has to get going and put points on the board."
| 1999 Cobber
Rocky season ends for volleyball team
The volleyball team ended their season last weekend with a tenth place finish in the MIAC tournament.
"We didn't do as well as we had hoped to in the tournament," Kristy Anderson noted. "We were hoping to finish with a bang and that didn't happen" The tournament also honored Anne Larson as an All MIAC first tournament team member and Sam Scariano as an All MIAC second tournament team member. "I'm very honored to be selected for that," Larson said. "But, I wish the team would have done better."
Despite the rocky start, the Cobbers have many memories of a great season. The Cobbers opened their season with a 2-1 start against three non-conference teams. From there, they struggled with MIAC teams staring out 0-6 in the first actions of conference play.
"It was especially frustrating when we went to five games and lost or when we lost 15-13," Anderson said. "It would have been a whole different season, had we won those games."
As far as the record goes, the volleyball team does have its highlights. One especially memorable part of the season was the winning streak of five games toward the end of the season.
"Our season started out a little frustrating," Leah Sanden said. "Then we peaked in the middle, giving us some confidence."
The netters will remember much more than what their record shows including solid friendships, long road trips, and a great coach.
"I will miss my teammates the most," said senior Larson. "We have a really close team and the friendships each year is what makes so many good things happen."
Anderson spoke of the team's trip to Montana for the Rocky Mountain tournament as one notable highlight of the season.
"It was a really good weekend," she said. "We got to go to Sam Scariano's house, see her hometown, and meet her family with the whole team." Larson praised Coach Tim Mosser for his dedication to the netters saying, "He always tries to keep the lines of communication open and be understanding."
The Concordia College volleyball team is already looking forward to next year's season with big hopes. The Cobbers will lose only Larson to graduation.
"Since we were so close on so many of those games," Anderson said. "Maybe
we will have the experience to turn it around next season."
| 1999 Cobber
Men's Soccer |
Men's soccer ends season with win
With nine seniors playing the final game of their college career, the St. Johns game possessed a sentimentality evident to any in attendance. Inspired, the Cobbers rallied from two goals down to win 4-2, ending an otherwise disappointing season on a high note.
"To come back and win our final game was just so emotional," said senior co-captain Eric Singer. "Our record was not what we'd hoped it to be this year, but to win like this in our last game is something I'm sure well always remember."
The comeback was all the more special because it was capped by an unlikely senior. Defender and Co-Captain Dustin Holt, playing in his hometown of St. Cloud in the final game of his career, scored his first collegiate goal in the 58th minute to put the Cobbers ahead for the first time. Unexpected as it was, the goal lifted an already close-knit team to final victory. "We're all friends, and to have Dustin score his first goal was special for all of us," said Singer.
Cobber players reached several milestones in their final game. In scoring the final goal on Saturday, Senior Josh Spaulding matched the MIAC single-season goals mark of eight. Singer finished just behind Spaulding and the record with seven goals. The two players combined for 41 total points to lead the MIAC in scoring as a duo, with Singer adding 20 points to Spauldings 21.
Ending the season on a winning note is great, but the Cobbers of next
season face a daunting task: Returning to the top of the conference.
The Cobbers return only three juniors next year, while seven sophomores
and 15 freshman will make the trip back to Moorhead. Though a young
team, next years squad definitely aims to return the team to glories of
years past, in an always tough MIAC.
| 1999 Men's
Men's hockey meets high expectations with wins
The Concordia men's hockey team opened their season with two convincing wins over Hamline last Friday and Saturday.
"It was good to get the first two wins of the year," junior Mike Gast said. "Our defense was good and improved from the first game to the second. That's going to be our strong point."
Although the Cobbers allowed only one goal in two games, Hamline got a lot more chances than the Cobbers wanted.
"We still need to work on defense," sophomore Brady Burgess said. "We let them have too many opportunities."
The Cobbers gave up 21 shots on goal during the first two periods of Friday's game, but after that only gave up 20 shots on goal during the next four periods of play.
"We settled down," head coach Steve Baumgartner said. "We played with poise in the pocket and patience. That's what we lacked in the first two periods."
"We had good play by everyone," Baumgartner said. "Even if it didn't show upon the scoresheet, everyone contributed in their own special way."
The Cobbers have their first home stand this weekend against St. Mary's, a team that is going to be more of a challenge.
"St. Mary's has more speed and savvy with the puck than Hamline," Baumngartner said. "We have to slow them down through the neutral zone."
There's no doubt that every game in the MIAC is going to be an important one.
"In this conference, it's so close," Baumgartner said. "Every series has so much riding on it, you have to be ready to play."
The Cobbers are currently tied for first in the MIAC with Augsburg at 2-0, and look for a couple more big wins this weekend.
"The attitude is that we need to win every game in the MIAC," Gast said. "As far as talent and experience in concerned, we're right at the top. We need to get ready to play our game."
"I expect our guys to come
out and give St. Mary's problems," he said. "It's going to be fun, I can
| 1999 Women's
Concordia's women¹s hockey team smashed Hamline over the weekend in their first varsity game ever. However, their victory wasn¹t only on the ice. When the Cobbers took the ice on Saturday, they became the first varsity women¹s hockey team to play in the Fargo-Moorhead area, beating both Moorhead State and North Dakota State to the punch.
Head coach Deb Lien said that Concordia advanced in this victory due to the help of Athletic Director Dr. Armin Pipho and many other supporters. "Concordia has been known to be supportive of athletic programs for both women and men," Lien said. "They realized the advancements that Minnesota as a whole and collegiate level schools in our conference were making in women's hockey."
The players are feeling a sense of pride as well. After two club seasons, the team finally took the ice on Saturday as a full-fledged varsity sport. "It's really exciting," said freshman goaltender Jill Leonetti, "The school's really supporting us. We have new equipment and locker rooms."
Playing Hamline, which is still a club team, was a good time for the Cobbers to work on plays and develop their lines. Concordia crushed Hamline in the first game, 12-0, and came back the second game to win 13-0.
"Everyone either scored or had an assist," said Leonetti, "We were expecting to go in as the dominant team but not expecting to win by as much as we did."
Both Leonetti and freshman forward Katie Jaques agreed that Hamline was not a complete view of the season to come. The team is looking forward to playing against the favored teams, Gustavus and Augsburg, according to Leonetti.
"We¹re the young team in our conference and are just going to take it game by game," said Lien.
According to Lien, the Cobbers goal is to make it to Nationals. Sophomore standout Sandra Johansson, from Sweden, might help clear the path. "She's pretty much the leader on the team," said Lien," she's played for many years on a co-ed team which makes her more physical and used to taking harder shots."
Concordia will be playing their home opener against Iowa
State this weekend. They will be drawing for a T-shirt and also an
| 1999 Cobber
Men's Cross Country |
Larson's leadership earns recognition
Garrick Larson, head coach of the men's cross country team, is a busy man. He can be found running with his athletes, working in his office, spending time with his family, talking to students, or teaching classes such as Biomechanics and Wellness.
"I'm stretched for time," he said. "I wish I had more time to spend with the athletes to get to know them well. You have to get to know them well to have an influence on them."
But Larson does have an influence; he was named the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year at the MIAC Championship Meet last weekend.
"It's well-deserved," said junior team member Chris Goebel. "He's just been incredible for the cross country program."
Larson said, "It felt pretty good- everybody's got to admit that being acknowledged feels good."
He's quick to point out that his award goes back to his athletes. "Two thirds of it is how my athletes perform," he said. "If they don't run well, I look bad. A coach has a lot better chance [at receiving the award] if their team does well."
At the MIAC championship meet, the team equaled its highest finish in twenty years with a respectable fourth place. The fourth place finish combined with the team's improvement from last year and votes from other MIAC coaches determined Larson's MIAC award.
Senior team member Gabe Arntsen said that when Larson started coaching at Concordia, he would have never guessed the team would finish so high in the MIAC.
"We sat down at the beginning of the year and [Larson] convinced us we could get in the top four at MIAC," Artnsen said. "Three years ago, we were in last place."
This is Larson's third year of cross country coaching at Concordia. He has also been the head men's track and field coach for seven years. Larson came to Concordia fresh out of graduate school at the University of Minnesota and undergraduate school at St. Olaf, where he competed in football and track and field.
"I was fairly successful in track," he said.
Outstanding would probably be a better word. While at St. Olaf, he qualified for nationals twice in the javelin and was all-conference in five different events "about 15 to 20 times," he said. Ironically, he never ran cross-country in high school or college.
Larson now runs with his team on easy days.
"Or I run with some them," he said. ³I can't keep up with a lot of them." Larson puts a lot of time and effort into planning the team's workouts. "I've gone to a lot of [coaching] clinics and done a lot of reading about training theology and exercise physiology," he said. "I've incorporated many ideas from many speakers, fellow coaches, friends, athletes. I've kind of woven it all together."
Carefully planned workouts aren't Larson's only factor in his coaching strategy; he also sees the importance of having good coach/athlete relationships.
"I try to find out something about each of them so that I understand what motivates them," he said. "That way, I'll understand how to approach then so they're comfortable talking to me."
Larson¹s motivation is found in testaments from the individuals he coaches. "When I came here, I didn't really have a lot of desire--I just wanted to run," said Arntsen. "He helped me realize I can be good. He helps all of us work hard."
His leadership has helped students advance on and off the field. "You always want to run a good race for yourself and for the team, but you also want to run a good race for [Larson]," said Goebel. ³I think he'll be the first to admit I've grown up a lot in these past years. I owe a lot of that to Garrick. He wants us to become better people, not just better runners."
Larson said the best part about coaching is seeing athletes' lives change or improve over their college career. "It's almost like being a parent," he said.
Now Larson is setting his sights towards Regionals, where the top four teams advance to nationals.
"I think we're seated about eighth," he said. "There are five nationally ranked teams above us, and the other two have received votes for nationals. There is still and outside possibility we could go."
If the Concordia Men's cross-country team finishes in the top four, it will be their first time ever at nationals.
Cobber Swimming and Diving |
Swimmers best St. Thomas for first victory
The Cobber swimming and diving team cruised past St. Thomas Saturday, winning their first duel meet 127-116.
The team dominated many events on their way to the victory.
Concordia took first in the 200 yard medley relay with a time of 2:00.18, nudging past second place St. Thomas by .36 seconds.
Junior Carrie Bunger dominated the 1000 yard freestyle, winning the event by 33 seconds. Bunger also took first in the 500 yard freestyle.
In the 200 yard freestyle, freshman Elizabeth Dougherty took first place.
Junior Shana Letnes won the 200 yard intermediate medley, and the 100 yard breaststroke. Freshman Andrea Ross took first in the one meter diving event. The Cobbers struggled in the 100 yard backstroke, however, as they were swept by the Tommies.
In previous action, the Cobbers finished in fourth place at the season opening MIAC Relays at St. Catherine on October 30.
The team will take on Moorhead St. and St.
Ben's tomorrow at 1:00 at the pool in Memorial Auditorium.
| 1999 Cobber
Hegg leads for the love of the game
While many athletes walk away from the game at the end Meredith Hegg couldn't completely step away.
Her love for the game helped her to decide to come back to Concordia's volleyball team after her senior season last year.
Hegg used up her eligibility while playing two years at North Dakota State University, one year at Moorhead State University and one year at Concordia. "I spent a year at MSU and wasn't content there either." she said. I loved my team but didn't feel ³I had much of an impact on them. I had five older sisters who had either played volleyball at NDSU or MSU and up until that point I felt I was basically just following in footsteps. So when I heard Concordia needed a setter I took a chance. It was the best decision I could have made."
Her experiences at NDSU, MSU and Concordia have helped her deal with her new role as an assistant coach. Instead of preparing to play each week, Hegg is now nestled in the coaches room after practice helping make the next game plan.
"Her role is different. She can't joke around as much as last year," senior Anne Larson said. "She has different duties now like [scouting] other teams. She's still a friend, but it's just a little different. She has to take a step back as coach. But she is really good with the younger girls. She gives them good coaching tips and has a understanding of the game." Hegg, working to finish her French education and coaching major, hopes to complete her work by fall term next year. "Meredith has a lot of good qualities," head coach Tim Mosser said.
"People can really see that she is sincere and honest and she's really trying hard."
While Hegg has learned a lot from coaching this year she knows there is still a lot to learn.
Even though coaching at the college level is new to Hegg this isn't the first time she has helped out with a volleyball team.
"I have been coaching since I was a senior in high school," Hegg said. "I coached seventh grade. After I started college I helped coach the Junior Olympic programs which are off season programs for high school athletes. My first coaching job was after my freshman year at NDSU. I coached seventh and eighth graders from my high school. I loved it. I tried to teach them the basics (passing, serving, defense) and we had a lot of fun. I love volleyball and I love coaching."
Having played last year Hegg knows what's it like to be a student-athlete at Concordia.
"I was just in their shoes last year," she said.
"I am sort of a link between them and the other two coaches. It's still so vivid in my memory. I still deal with some of the same things as they do, like homework and classes."
Because some of the players know her personally, it helps when the team is practicing because they know Hegg has been through this last year. "She is very knowledgeable about the game," sophomore Leah Sanden said. "She's an extremely hard worker and a very spiritual person who never gives up. She's a great leader who is always there to offer advice as to what I can do to help the team. she sees things out on the court that I can do to help out the team."
Hegg's experience here and at her other schools have helped her develop as a leader both on and off the court.
"She was a really good leader. She played at NDSU and MSU which gave her extra experience that was unique to the team," sophomore Kristy Anderson said.
"She was hard working and talented. Hegg was an easy person to play with. She was a good teammate. She communicated with you. She was very excepting of all the players and treated them with respect."
Mosser feels that, like last year, Hegg has learned a lot from her new experiences this year.
"I think one of the things she's learned is it's a very different perspective on the coaching side," Mosser said.
"She sees why it is very important to have players that are dedicated, intense and committed and if they aren't it can be frustrating as a coach and this year she's experienced some of that frustration, but has also experienced the joy of helping out."
Helping coach her former team has presented their own set of issues. "I'm learning that being a coach isn't just a way to earn money," Hegg said "It takes a lot of work. They learn hard work in practice and what it means to be on a team. I'm learning how to be a part of the team as a coach, not a player, which is taking some adjusting. With the girls at Concordia it is sometimes hard to draw the line between being friends and being their coach. But I think it is important that I keep that relationship with them where they feel comfortable talking to me about whatever."
While Hegg continues to learn her responsibilities as an assistant coach, her players are also learning valuable lessons.
Many students think of Hegg as another student, but at least one member of the volleyball team think of her as a mentor.
"Her experience with setting has helped me the most. I not only think
of her as a assistant coach, but also as the setting coach," Anderson said.
"She helps us with our technique with setting. It's a big asset to me to
just have her there as a former player, and I really respect her."