Bulldog Weekly Report (Oct. 3)

By Jake Knabel on Oct. 3, 2017 in Athletic Announcements

Bulldog Athletic Association Athletes of the Week

Male: Micah Lehenbauer, Soccer

Lehenbauer, a native of Kathleen, Ga., recorded his first hat trick last week in the win over Mount Marty during a four-goal week. The junior forward also knocked in a goal as part of a victory over Bellevue. Lehenbauer has tallied six goals on the season for the undefeated Bulldogs (9-0-1).

Female: Maria Deeter, Soccer

Deeter, who hails from Seward, helped Concordia remain unbeaten in conference play by registering two goals apiece in wins over both Mount Marty and College of Saint Mary. The junior midfielder has already produced a career single season high of eight goals for the Bulldogs (7-2-2).

Previous athletes of the week
Sept. 26 – Kordell Glause (football) / Emily Deschaine (cross country)
Sept. 19 – Lewis Rathbone (soccer) / Victoria Cera (soccer)
Sept. 12 – Tarence Roby (football) / Murphy Sears (golf)
Sept. 5 – Jack Bennett (soccer) / Lindsey Carley (soccer) 

News and notes:

Breakout goal scorer Rathbone enjoying every minute: Lewis Rathbone is soaking up a senior year that is off to an impressive start. The Manchester, England, native is one of the nation’s leading goal scorers for one of the nation’s last remaining unbeaten teams. The senior midfielder has racked up 11 goals while leading the Concordia men’s soccer team to an overall record of 9-0-1 entering this week. For more on Rathbone, click HERE.

Bulldog Coaches Show airs every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CT: The Bulldog Coaches Show is underway in its third year of existence. The show airs live for a half hour every Thursday beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT on KTMX-FM 104.9 Max Country. The weekly feature can also be heard live via 104.9 Max Country’s website or by downloading the Max Country app. Throughout the 2017-18 season, Bulldog football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball contests will be aired live on Max Country. Tyler Cavalli serves as the host of the coaches’ show as well as the play-by-play voice for football and basketball. Frank Greene is again calling volleyball action.

Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting http://www.cune.edu/csn at game time. Check team schedules/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.

Men’s Soccer

  • Counting the previous Sunday (Sept. 24), it was actually a three-win week for the undefeated Bulldogs. After opening up conference play at Dakota Wesleyan with a 5-0 win, Concordia continued its magical run by returning home to record a 6-0 win over Mount Marty (Sept. 26) and then a 3-0 triumph over Bellevue University (Sept. 30). On the strength of its longest unbeaten run in program history, 10th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad is now 9-0-1 overall and 2-0 in GPAC action. For more information on Bulldog men’s soccer, click HERE.
  • Over the opening six games of the season, Concordia’s largest margin of victory was two goals. Since then, the Bulldogs have been more dominant. They have put together four shutout wins in a row, outscoring their opponents by a combined total of 17-0 during that stretch. Based on the official NAIA men’s soccer modified ratings percentage index released last week, the victory over Bellevue represents the team’s most quality win. Bellevue checked in at No. 64 in the MRPI rankings. There are 193 men’s soccer squads in the NAIA.
  • As of last week’s national top 25 poll, Concordia still had yet to garner any votes. Strength of schedule is the biggest thing that has held the Bulldogs back in regards to greater national respect. Concordia appeared at No. 40 in last week’s MRPI. In the official GPAC poll, the Bulldogs sit third behind defending conference and national champion Hastings and Midland. The Broncos and Warriors have both dropped three games outside of league play.
  • The Bulldogs own the fourth highest win percentage (.950) in the nation and are one of six NAIA men’s soccer programs without a loss. The others are William Carey (Miss.) (7-0), Florida College (3-0), Corban (Ore.) (10-0-1), Missouri Valley (8-0-1) and Faulkner (Ala.) (6-0-1). Corban and Bluefield (Va.) (11-2) are the only NAIA squads with more wins than Concordia.
  • Thanks to those four shutouts in a row, the Bulldogs have now gone more than 386 minutes since surrendering a goal. Concordia has conceded only six goals all season and now ranks sixth nationally in terms of fewest goals allowed per game (0.6). That figure leads the conference by a fairly wide margin. Northwestern comes in next at 0.92 goals allowed per game.
  • On the attacking end, senior Lewis Rathbone has continued his surge. Ten of his team high and career high 11 goals have come over the past six games. Last week Rathbone notched a goal apiece in the wins over Mount Marty and Bellevue. Only seven players in all of NAIA men’s soccer have found the back of the net more often than Rathbone this season. Rathbone’s goal count has gone from two in 2015 to five in 2016 to 11 so far in 2017.
  • Goalkeeper Jack Bennett has more than held his own in his first season as a starter. The junior from Oxford, England, has moved up to No. 6 among NAIA keepers in goals against average (0.651). He has earned credit for four shutouts and has made 38 saves out of the 44 shots on goal he’s faced.
  • While Rathbone has been the team’s most consistent offensive force, Micah Lehenbauer enjoyed a big week. Four of his six goals this season have come during the two GPAC victories. In the win over Mount Marty, Lehenbauer turned in his first career hat trick. Lehenbauer has recorded 21 career goals over 66 games as a Bulldog.
  • This appears to be the most challenging week so far this season for Concordia. The Bulldogs are set to make two pivotal road trips within the conference. First up is Wednesday’s journey to Sioux City, Iowa, for a 3:30 p.m. CT kickoff at Briar Cliff (8-2, 1-1 GPAC). Then on Saturday, Concordia will venture to Northwestern (6-4-2, 2-1 GPAC) for a 7:15 p.m. start in Orange City, Iowa. The Bulldogs have gone 3-0 this season in true road contests.

Women’s Soccer

  • The opening three games of conference play have gone as well as the Bulldogs could have scripted. Over a recent seven-day stretch, Concordia toppled Dakota Wesleyan, Mount Marty and College of Saint Mary by a combined score of 13-0. An active five-game unbeaten streak has pushed fifth-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad to 7-2-2 overall and to 3-0 in conference play. Of the eight GPAC teams to play three conference games, the Bulldogs are the only squad that sits at 3-0. For more information on Concordia women’s soccer, click HERE.
  • The Bulldogs last experienced a loss to a conference opponent on Oct. 12 of last year when visiting Midland left Seward with a 3-1 victory. Since then, Concordia has dominated its GPAC rivals, winning 11 in a row against them. That stretch includes three conference tournament wins. Champions of the 2016 GPAC tournament, the Bulldogs have outscored GPAC foes by a collective total of 42-3 during their win streak versus league teams. Eight of the 11 games have resulted in shutouts.
  • Last week junior Maria Deeter snapped a drought of six consecutive games without a goal. She scored twice against both Mount Marty and College of Saint Mary in a big offensive outburst. A Seward native and product of Lincoln Lutheran High School, Deeter has raised her goal count each season of her college career. She recorded six as a freshman, seven as a sophomore and eight so far as a junior. Her career stat line shows 53 games, 21 goals and 17 assists.
  • Last week’s games produced some unusual statistics. The 5-0 win over Mount Marty was more lopsided than even that final represented. Concordia outshot the Lancers, 41-3, in a dominant outing. A few days later, the Bulldogs put up only 11 shots but were more efficient. Six of their first seven shots versus College of Saint Mary found the back of the net. The six goals were one off of a season high set in the 7-1 victory at Waldorf University on Sept. 13.
  • A big offensive week has vaulted Concordia up the conference and national statistical leaderboards. The Bulldogs rank first among GPAC teams in shots per game (21.1) and shots on goal per game (12.9). They rank second in the conference in goals scored per game (3.45). On the national leaderboard, Concordia checks in at No. 7 in shots on goal per game, 11th in total goals (38), 17th in shots per game and 22nd in goals per game.
  • Deeter was one of seven Bulldogs to notch at least one goal over last week’s pair of home victories. Senior Esther Soenksen contributed two goals (one in both games) and one goal apiece came from senior Jeannelle Condame, junior Lauren Martin and freshmen Michaela Twito and Sarah Wuthrich. Twito, a native of Ames, Iowa, got on the board with the first goal of her career.
  • The victory over College of Saint Mary marked win No. 30 at home since the beginning of the 2014 season. In that time, Concordia owns a home record of 30-6-2. The Bulldogs have not lost any more than twice at home in a season over the past four years. The 2016 team broke a school record for most home wins in a season by going 10-2 inside Bulldog Stadium. Concordia won eight home contests in both 2014 and 2015.
  • Lindsey Carley and Jessica Knedler have continued to share time at goalkeeper. Carley has played nearly 631 minutes while Knedler has seen a total of 385 minutes of action. The duo has combined for 49 saves, a goals against average of 1.0 and a save percentage of .817. The Bulldogs have posted five shutouts.
  • Two road trips await this week. Concordia will be at Briar Cliff (6-4, 0-2 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. CT kickoff on Wednesday. Three days later, The Bulldogs will head to Orange City, Iowa, and take on Northwestern (7-2-2, 2-0-1 GPAC) at 5 p.m. Concordia defeated the Chargers twice last season, but the Red Raiders have had its number. The Bulldogs last defeated Northwestern in 2008.

Golf

  • It’s the stretch run of the fall season for both golf programs. At the time of this writing, the men’s golf team was in the midst of day two of the GPAC golf championships in Sioux Falls, S.D. On day one, the Bulldogs equaled a school record by shooting a 288, good for fourth place on the conference leaderboard. Meanwhile, the women still have yet to play their 36 holes of GPAC fall championships (Oct. 9-10). They last competed at last week’s College of Saint Mary Fall Classic (Sept. 27). For more information on Bulldog golf: MEN | WOMEN.
  • The men got off to a solid start in regards to their big to move up from their seventh place conference finish from 2016-17. Their score of 288 on Monday (Oct. 2) broke a school record for lowest single-round score during a conference meet. It is the exact same total the team carded on their home course, Highlands in Lincoln, on the final day of last fall’s Blue River Classic. So far this season, the Bulldogs have turned in five rounds of 300 or better (288, 293, 295, 299, 300).
  • Tyler Ehresman, a senior from Omaha, cut two strokes off his previous career low that came during his freshman year. He shot a one-under-par 70 on Monday. He and junior Nolan Zikas turned in identical scores and were tied for fourth on the individual leaderboard, three strokes out of first place. Zikas has his sights set on a third all-conference season in a row.
  • An even-par 71 for sophomore Tylar Samek gave the Bulldogs three individuals among the top eight golfers out of the field of 50 following day one in Sioux Falls. The 71 represented a career best for Samek, who has recorded a score of 72 in two different rounds since becoming a Bulldog last fall. Concordia’s lineup was rounded out by senior Russell Otten (77; T-36th) and freshman Kort Steele (79; T-44th).
  • Head coach Brett Muller hopes sophomore Murphy Sears is hitting her stride at just the right time. Two of her top scores this season have come over the past three rounds. At the College of Saint Mary Classic, Sears shot a six-over-par 78, marking a career best and the first time she’s cracked the 70s as a collegiate golfer. Her previous low was an 81 in the final round of last season’s conference championships.
  • A native of Crete, Neb., Sears represents Concordia’s next best hope for a GPAC champion on the women’s side. Amy Ahlers rose to GPAC championship status last season as the most accomplished golfer in program history. After averaging an 18-hole score of 86.93 as a freshman, Sears appears poised for improvement. She finished in the top-10 of three tournaments last season. She already has two top-five claims as a sophomore.
  • Sophomore Payton DeMers-Sahling improved on her career best by five strokes at the CSM Classic. DeMers-Sahling shot a 92 and tied for 43rd overall. The rest of Muller’s five-person lineup included freshman Rebecca Day (100; 61st), sophomore Paighton Barbre (102; T-63rd) and freshman Haley Nolde (104; T-67th). In addition, junior Madison Pitsch (104; T-67th) and freshman Gabrielle Coviello (113; T-72nd) also competed individually.
  • The men will finish up the fall portion of their schedule this weekend at the annual Nebraska Intercollegiate (Oct. 6-7) at Norfolk Country Club. The women will also soon complete their fall slate. They will be at the GPAC Fall Championships on Monday and Tuesday (Oct. 9-10). They will unfold at The Bluffs Golf Course in Vermillion, S.D. Both teams will resume action this coming spring.

Football

  • The week-by-week alternation of wins and losses has carried on through the first half of the season for Concordia. After earning a signature 29-18 upset of No. 7 Doane on Sept. 23, the Bulldogs slipped up on the road once again. On its homecoming, Hastings piled up 276 rushing yards and dominated the second half on the way to a 38-18 win over Concordia last week. First-year head coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad moved to 2-3 overall and to 1-2 in conference play. The Bulldogs are 2-0 at home and 0-3 on the road. For more information on Concordia football, click HERE.
  • Though the samples are small, the home-road splits are dramatic. Defensively, the Bulldogs have allowed an average of 33.7 points and 446.0 yards per game on the road. On the flip side, they have yielded an average of only 12.0 points and 266.5 yards per game in this season’s first two home contests. Offensively, the Bulldogs have averaged 26.5 points at home and 17.3 points on the road. However, Concordia’s highest offensive yardage outputs came at Kansas Wesleyan (482) and at Northwestern (413).
  • Senior Tarence Roby is without a doubt one of the nation’s top return men. At Hastings, Roby totaled 234 kickoff return yards on six attempts with a long of 49. He also returned one punt for 10 yards. Despite rarely playing an offensive snap, Roby ranks 21st nationally in all-purpose yards per game (135.2). On the national leaderboards, Roby is also listed at No. 2 in kickoff return yards (475), fifth in kickoff return yards per attempt (33.9) and 12th in punt return yards per attempt (11.9).
  • Quarterback Riley Wiltfong has been sidelined by injury for the past two weeks. He and Andrew Perea have shared signal caller duties this season. Perea has gone 60-for-112 (.536) with 606 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions. Wiltfong provides more of a dual threat. Wiltfong is the team’s second leading rusher with 135 yards on 23 attempts. He’s thrown for 330 yards and four touchdowns. Perea’s 195 yards passing at Hastings were a career high.
  • Sophomore Jackson Hall has taken over the team lead for receiving yards after putting his second 100-yard receiving game of the year. He caught six balls for 123 yards at Hastings. On the season, the native of Berthoud, Colo., has reeled in 14 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. He caught one of his touchdown grabs in the upset win over Doane. He also enjoyed a five-catch, 108-yard performance at Northwestern on Sept. 16.
  • Freshman Sir-Zavius Broussard is a candidate to see his workload increase. He carried the ball six times for 38 yards at Hastings. The native of Fresno, Texas, has been used in a variety of roles. He has taken snaps out of the Wildcat formation and as the tailback in the I-formation. On the year, he has rushed 15 times for 63 yards.
  • Linebacker Lane Napier is establishing himself as the team’s most reliable tackler. Over the past four games, he has posted tackle totals of eight, seven, nine and seven. He has registered 2.5 tackles for loss. With an average of 6.4 tackles per game, Napier ranks 13th among GPAC players in that category.
  • Daberkow continues to seek consistency at the punter position. Four different Bulldogs have attempted at least one punt this season. That includes Perea. Brendan Cremin began the season with punting duties. He booted the ball 14 times with an average of 34.5 yards per punt. Payton Stevens took over the role for the third and fourth games of the season and averaged 36.4 yards per punt. Finally, Brady Fitzke was called upon at Hastings and punted twice for an average of 42.5 yards per attempt.
  • Concordia will have a bye this weekend at exactly the midway point in its schedule. The Bulldogs look forward to hosting Midland (4-1, 2-1 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. CT kickoff on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Warriors saw their unbeaten run end with a 55-21 loss at No. 25 Dakota Wesleyan last week. Concordia will attempt to extend its eight-game home win streak when it meets up with Midland.

Volleyball

  • Two more opportunities fell by the wayside this past week as the Bulldogs dropped conference matches to College of Saint Mary (21-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-21, 15-9) and Briar Cliff (18-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-17). Concordia’s most recent win came over York College at the Bulldog Bash on Sept. 2. Sixth-year head coach Scott Mattera’s squad begins the week at 5-13 overall and at 0-8 in the GPAC. For more information on the Concordia volleyball program, click HERE.
  • The Bulldogs remain snake bitten. After winning their first four matches of the month, they closed September by slipping in the next eight. Of those eight losses, six came against nationally-ranked opponents. The conference slate began with Concordia going up against each of the GPAC’s six top 25 squads. So far this season, the Bulldogs have been challenged with matches against nine teams either ranked or receiving votes and another three squads that are members of NCAA Division II.
  • A trio of freshmen have assumed critical roles on the floor for Concordia. Rookie Tara Callahan has been a starter all season at setter. She’s also a very capable pin hitter. In 67 sets played, Callahan has recorded 580 assists, 110 digs, 68 kills and 37 blocks. Additionally, freshmen Marissa Hoerman (123 digs) and Anna Lund (56 kills) have seen increased playing time in recent outings. Hoerman played libero last week while Lund has worked in the middle and on the outside.
  • Junior Jenna Habegger emerged as a bright spot in the five-set loss at College of Saint Mary. The native of Pawnee City, Neb., put down a career high 16 kills on 31 attempts in Omaha. Habegger is another Bulldog with a much larger role in 2017. She had 50 kills over her first two seasons at Concordia. So far this season she has totaled 142 kills and a .200 hitting percentage.
  • Throughout conference play, the Bulldog offensive attack has been effectively stifled. Concordia is hitting .173 in conference matches. Its top hitting percentage against a GPAC opponent was .224 last week versus Briar Cliff. A season high .381 hitting percentage was turned in the victory over York. The Bulldogs rank ninth in the GPAC in hitting percentage (.181).
  • Concordia did manage to make use of all of its hitters versus Briar Cliff. Senior middle Annie Friesen topped the Bulldogs with 10 kills. Five other Bulldogs contributed at least seven kills: Emmie Noyd (9), Callahan (8), Habegger (8), Alex La Plant (7) and Lund (7). Four players have at least 100 kills on the year: La Plant (173), Habegger (142), Kelsey Baarck (133) and Noyd (101).
  • The Bulldogs have a chance for a breather with their only match of the week set to take place on Friday when No. 15 Doane (10-9, 2-5 GPAC) visits Walz Arena for a 7:30 p.m. CT. Concordia lost in four sets in Crete on Sept. 13. The last Bulldog victory over the Tigers came during Concordia’s national tournament qualifier season in 2015.

Cross Country

  • The Dean White Invitational (Sept. 23) marked the second official meet for head coach Matt Beisel’s squads. In a field made up of mostly GPAC competitors, the Bulldogs placed third out of 10 on the women’s side and fifth out of nine on the men’s side. Two weeks earlier, the men finished second out of eight teams at the Dordt Classic while the women placed sixth out of seven squads at the same meet. Both teams had this past weekend off from competition. For more information on Concordia cross country, click HERE.
  • The women put together a performance to build upon. The only teams to outrun them at the Dean White Invite, which was hosted in Crete by Doane, were nationally-ranked teams: No. 21 Hastings and No. 11 Dordt. Notably, Concordia beat out a 15th-ranked Morningside, which placed sixth at the meet, though several top Mustang runners traveled to a different event. The men had hopes of placing higher than fifth at the Dean White Invite, but still managed to finish higher than GPAC rivals Midland (sixth), Hastings (eighth) and Mount Marty (ninth).
  • Senior Emily Deschaine is now 2-for-2 in regards to claiming top 10 finishes this season. She placed 10th (eighth when excluding alumni runners) at the Dordt Classic while finishing the 5k course in a time of 19:33.12. On a slower course, Deschaine ran it in 19:56.22, placing sixth at the Doane meet. Deschaine figures to continue to get closer to the form she showed at last year’s GPAC championships when she clocked a time of 18:20.96 and placed ninth in an all-conference performance.
  • While Deschaine has led the women at each of the first two meets, junior Thomas Taylor has edged out fellow junior Evan Asche for the team’s top spot on the men’s side. Like Deschaine, Taylor has also left the first two races with award earning finishes. Excluding alumni, Taylor finished 10th by running in a time of 27:05.50 in the 8k race at the Dordt Classic. In his most recent outing, Taylor’s time came in at 28:16.40, allowing him to earn another 10th place finish.
  • The newcomers are making a significant impact for both teams. Two freshmen came in next after Deschaine at Doane on the women’s side: Alyssa Fye (20:51:03) and Everett Elder (21:10.26), both top 25 overall finishers. Sophomore Rebekah Hinrichs (21:11.00) was close behind while improving her time by more than a minute, as compared to what she ran on the same course as a freshman. Lydia Cook (21:36.39) and Miranda Rathjen (21:36.69) ran neck-and-neck for the fifth and sixth positions on the team.
  • Experience won out at the top for the Bulldog men. Junior Evan Asche placed 15th and clocked in at 28:38.06 and senior Pat Wortmann claimed 20th by finishing in 28:46.31. The team’s top five was rounded out by senior Kohlton Gabehart (29:28.82) and freshman Jordan Lorenz (29:31.52). Lorenz was one of nine freshmen to represent Concordia on the men’s side.
  • Beisel expects each of his runners to improve significantly as their training patterns begin to change. Said Beisel after the Dean White Invite, “One of the things I explained to my team the other day is we just finished the most physically and mentally challenging phase of our training season. We put a lot of hard work in that will result in us being much better as we move into the next weeks. We’re going to work the system of our bodies and different ways and they’re going to suddenly find that they’ve got legs and ability to push.”
  • The 2017 schedule is consistently made up of an on and the off again pattern. The Bulldogs are back on this week and are prepping for Saturday’s Briar Cliff University Invite at Adams Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, Iowa. It will be one of two remaining meets before the GPAC championships on Nov. 4.