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Winter  1986-87,   Alumni News - Concordia Moorhead
 
  Athletes continue stellar year

 The Lady Cobbers Place Second Nationally

The Lady Cobbers basketball team finished a phenomeral season by placing second in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Divison Ill tournament this year Third year coach Duane Siverson described them as possibly the best women's basketball team in Concordia history."

On their way to the national playoffs the women captured the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship by closing the season 21-1 and achieving a national rating of sixth place.

The team led the conference in scoring and in field-goal and free-throw percentages. They ranked second in the nation in field-goal percentage and fourth in scoring, with an average of 81.3 points per game. Six of the 10 top MIAC shooters were members of the Concordia team.

Individually, Jessica Beachy '88 of Staples, Minn., was the teani standout, leading the team in steals and scoring.  an average of 20 points per game, Beachy was also the MIAC's leading scorer and 23rd best nation wide Her free-throw percentage of 87.5 percent topped MIAC and national lists.

Marylee Legried '88, New York Mills, Minn., also topped national statistics with an average of 11.6 assists per game.

"Beachy and Legried are the best pair of guards in the conference - possibly in the nation," said Siverson

Patty Kubow '89 of Rush City, Minn., led the conference in blocked shots, helping limit the opponents to an average of 57 points per game.

Beachy, Legried and Kubow were named to the MIAC AllConference Team. Nancy Jacobson '88, Llincoln, Neb., and Jillayn Quaschnick '89, Sebeka, Minn., received honorable mention. Beachy and Kubow also earned spots on the Academic All-Conference Team. Beachy was named MIAC and West Region Most Valuable Player. The American Women's Sports Federation named Beachy to its First and Legried to its Second All-American teams.

A finalist for Player of the Year, Beachy was named to the NCAA Division III Kodak All-America First Team by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

In post-season play the Lady Cobbers defeated California State-Stanislaus 77-64 and Pornona-Pitzer, Claremont, Calif., 68-46 to win the West Region championship.

Next, the Concordia team took on the nation's No.1 team, Rust College of Holly Springs, Miss., in a home game, winning 72-62 to reach the Final Four in the national championship playoffs. After defeating Kean College, Union, N.J., 74-69, they fell just short of the national championship by losing to Wisconsin-Stevens Point 81-74.

"The Final Four had been a goal for our student athletes the past two years, and they weren't going to be denied the opportunity to play in the national championship," Siverson said.

Intro to Stellar Year

Concordia's winter sports teams racked up an impressive list of achievements, which, when added to the successes of the fall, make the 1986-87 school year a remarkable one for athletics.

In addition to football coach Jim Christopherson's being named Coach of the Year last fall, hockey coach Steve Baumgartner and women's basketball coach Duane Siverson were named Coach of the Year for their respective sports in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Siverson was subsequently named Coach of the Year in District 8 and in the West Region.

The Lady Cobbers reached their goal of playing in the Final Four and placed secoud in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III national tournament. (See story above.)

The hockey team won the MIAC championship, and the men's basketball team captured a third-place finish in the MIAC.

Nine athletes were named to MIAC All-Conference teams  four hockey players, three Lady Cobbers and two men's basketball players - and the Lady Cobbers were also represented at the national level.

Hockey

First-year coach Steve Baumgartner led the Cobber hockey team to an MIAC championship with 12 wins in 16 conference games, despite predictions that the team would finish seventh in the eight-team conference.

"We were under very little pressure at the start of the season," Baumgartner said. "We had nothing to lose and everything to gain. The more we kept winning, the more confident we became that we had a shot at the title."

The Cobbers made it to the top of the MIAC pack when they won a two-game sweep of Winona {Minn.) St. Mary's in February.

'The highlight of the year was the MIAC playoffs against St. Thomas, where we won in overtime. That was one of the best games I've eve seen," Baumgartner said

The Cobbers challenged longtime foe Bemidji State University in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs, but lost 8-6 in a two-game sweep

Mark Rice '87, Moorhead, was named the MIAC Most Valuable Player. Voted to the MIAC All-Conference Team were junior Brian Johnston, Thief River Falls, Minn., and seniors Rice; Cohn Kerslake,  Regina, Saskatchewan; and Todd Thompson, Devils Lake, N.D. "The team's success did not come in individual flash, but in the 28 players' team effort," Baumgartner said. "We had the most balanced scoring of any team in the league. That's why we got as far as we did."

Men's basketball

The men's basketball team finished third in the MIAC, despite losing seven of the top nine players to graduation last year.

In the Concordia Holiday Tournament, the Cobbers defeated North Dakota State University, Fargo, for the first time in seven years to win the tournament. Then in late February they qualified for the MIAC playoffs after defeating Augsburg 75-72 in the final regular season game.

The team finished 11-9 in the MIAC and 14-11 overall before losing to Gustavus Adolphus 58-52 in the MIAC playoffs.

"The most satisfying part of the season was the fact that we weren't expected to do very well this year,' Coach John Eidsness said. 'The players worked cxtremely hard."

The Cobbers set a school record for defense by allowing an average of only 58.3 points per game, the thirdbest record nationwide.

Montana co-captains Marv Eberling '87, Sidney, and Rodger Taylor '88, Fairview, were named to the MIAC All-Conference Team. Honorable mention went to Minnesota players Mike Schwarz '88, Burnsville, Wade Hanson '89, Willmar; and Mark Thimjon '89, Barnesville.

Wrestling

It was a year of individual successes rather than collective honors for members of the wrestling team, which finished fifth in the MIAC Tournament. Junior Brett Larson of Elbow Lake, Minn., won his weight class and led the way for Concurdia's fifth-place finish. His overall record of 24-9 earned him a place on the MIAC All-Conference team and a chance to compete in the NCAA Division III Tournament in Buffalo, N.Y.

North Dakota juniors Todd Risa, Fargo, and Milan Larson, Bismarek, also had impressive seasons.

"Prospects for next year look bright," Nellermoe said. "We have some outstanding individuals coming into our program, and we will be looking to our upperclassinen for leadership and experience.''

 Barry Bennett '78 named to Wrestling Hall of Fame

Barry Bennett '78, a member of the New York Jets, was inducted into the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Wrestling Hall of Fame. The induction took place at the NAIA National Tournament held in March at West Liberty (Va.) State College.

Bennett, a North St. Paul native, won the NAIA heavyweight crown in 1976 and 1977 and captured the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III title in 1978. He was also a Minnesota All-Conference and All-American performer in football.