October 4, 1996
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Concordia football survived a first-half scare Saturday and went on to defeat the Macalaster Scots by a score of 34-7.
The Scots gave the Cobbers problems early in the game and led 7-6 after the first quarter. Concordia , however, rallied to a 12-7 lead at halftime and never looked back. Macalaster took and early 7-0 lead when Scot quarterback Nathaniel Eyde found Kris Lecours for a 30-yard touchdown. Concordia made a comeback when senior wide receiver Tory Langemo caught his first of three touchdown passes to bring the Cobbers within one point. The extra point was no good.
"We shouldn‚t have given them that edge," said senior halfback Eli Schuff.
At halftime, senior fullback Mike Halverson‚s one-yard run gave Concordia the lead. In the second half, Langemo racked up two more touchdown catches, including an 87-yarder from senior quarterback Greg Nielson, assuring the Cobber victory.
Once again, Concordia‚s ground attack was led by Schuff, who rushed 26 times for 139 yards. Concordia dominated the game in the second half, amassing 21 first downs compared to Macalaster‚s seven.
Starting tomorrow, the Cobbers will begin a difficult three-game stretch. They take on Bethel Saturday, St. Thomas for Homecoming, and St. John‚s the following weekend. Concordia is currently in a four-way tie with those teams for top MIAC rank. Losing anyone of these games could wipe out a conference win for Concordia.
"Everybody knows it‚s going to be a tough game. Practices are harder and more intense," said Schuff. "It‚s kind of a little kids atmosphere out thereųeverybody‚s really pumped."
The Concordia-Bethel game will match up the top rushing offenses in the conference. Concordia is first with 285 yards per game, while Bethel check in at number two with 234 rushing yards per game.
At a more individual level, Bethel also bring the number one rusher in the league, senior Jeremy Twedt. Twedt leads the MIAC with 153 yards per game, followed by Schuff at 128 yards per game. This is a rivalry carried over from last year, with Schuff coming out on top late in the season. Schuff says the competition adds a little spark to Saturday‚s gaem, but his priorities lie elsewhere.
"I‚d rather win the game," he said.
Defensively, Concordia is first in the conference in rushing, passing, and total defense. For the Bethel game, senior defensive tackle Jason Caron will be returning after an ankle injury kept him out of the Macalaster game. The Cobbers are welcoming his experience as they prepare for the Royals.
"This is the best Bethel team I‚ve seen since they entered the league in 1978," said head coach Jim Christopherson.
Andy Pratt, 10/04/96
Taking on Gustavus Wednesday afternoon resulted in a 3-2 conference loss for the Concordia men‚s soccer team. According to head coach Jim Cella, the loss has only a minimal effect on overall conference play.
"We‚re still on track," he said. "But we‚re playing without a safety net now."
In the weekend tournament, the team split a pair of games, losing 1-0 to the University of WisconsinųOshkosh on Saturday and defeating St. Norbert on Sunday, 4-1. The game against UWųOshkosh was a defensive struggle, with the Cobbers getting only six shots off the goal. The only score occurred in the 29th minute on a shot by Wisconsin‚s John Schaak which eluded senior goalie Chad Anderson. The goal was assisted by Wisconsin‚s Chad Blakenberg.
"We put on pressure in that game, but we really didn‚t play up to our full potential," said sophomore sweeper Forrest Olson.
The rest of the first half and all of the second saw no more goals, and the Cobbers swallowed the bitter taste of defeat for the first time all year. Last year, the Cobbers defeated UWųOshkosh 3-0, breaking their 53-game winning streak.
"We came out a little flat, which was to be expected after that big win versus Macalaster," said Cella. "They were pumped to play us with a great crowd, and they played us physical on their own field. They are a very good team, yet I feel that we can play on that level."
On Sunday, against St. Norbert, Concordia found their offensive groove once again as they rang up four goals and 11 shots on the goal. Senior forward Brian Johnson opened the scoring in the 27th minute with a goal assisted by senior midfielder Jamie Johnson and sophomore Eric Berg. However, St. Norbert came back right after halftime, scoring in the 48th minute.
"We struggled a little bit early, but the sign of a great team is how quickly they can turn up their play," said Cella.
The Cobbers then put the game out of reach with three goals in ten minutes. Jamie Johnson scored his fourth goal of the year in the 60th minute off a penalty kick. Berg registered his second score in the 68th minute, assisted by both Jamie Johnson and Brian Johnson. Freshman Josh Bergerson finished off the blitz by scoring his first career goal, which was unassisted.
This weekend, the Cobbers take on Augsburg and Northland College. Cella said the team need to be healthy and would eventually like to start a game with an ideal line-up. Olson also sees room for improvement.
"We need to have some good preparation before games, and we have to keep up the defensive pressure," he said. "This is one of the most talented teams I have ever been on and hopefully by the playoffs, we will have a better recognition of what college soccer is like."
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