Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Booster Club Athletes of the Week
Female: Chrissy Lind, Soccer
Lind, a native of Colorado Springs, Colo., played a big role in Concordia’s advancement to the GPAC semifinals. The freshman keeper saved six shots through the 90 minutes of regulation and two overtimes and then made a pair of saves in a penalty kick shootout as the Bulldogs got past Briar Cliff on Nov. 7.
Male: Emilio Rivera, Wrestling
Rivera, who hails from Escondido, Calif., got his Concordia wrestling career off to a great start at the Swede Open over the weekend, where he went 7-1. The 133-pound junior recorded two pins and defeated three nationally-ranked opponents on the way to a third-place finish in his bracket.
News and Notes:
Concordia hosts ‘Dawg Strong’ Saturday: This Saturday has been tabbed ‘Dawg Strong’ white-out Saturday. Dawg Strong t-shirts can be purchased for $5. Fans are encouraged to wear these t-shirts, or other white clothing, to Concordia’s trio of home events on Saturday: football (1 p.m.), women’s basketball (5 p.m.) and men’s basketball (7 p.m.). For more information, click HERE.
Banner year for Cattle Classic: This year’s Cattle Classic (held over the weekend) set new records with canned food collections totaling 2,246 cans and cash donations totaling $1,572. In the 14 years of the Cattle Classic hosted by Concordia University, 40,526 canned food items have been brought in and cash donations have equaled $14,844. The Cattle Classic raises money and food for the Blue Valley Community Action's Food Pantry. Pac N Save of Seward matches all canned food donations.
Heithoff named to 2013 Capital One Academic All-District® 3 Football Team: Senior defensive lineman Dylan Heithoff received a prestigious honor when College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) placed him on the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District® 3 Football Team of the College Division. He is the third Concordia student-athlete to receive all-district honors this fall, joining Nathan Douglas (soccer) and Rachel Mussell (soccer). For further details, click HERE.
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.
- After opening the season with three-straight losses to ranked opponents, Concordia would not let the fourth opportunity slip through its fingers. After falling 102-82 to No. 18 Culver Stockton College (NAIA Division I) on day one of the Cattle Classic on Nov. 8, the Bulldogs rebounded for an 85-76 upset of No. 13 Oklahoma Wesleyan (NAIA Division II) the following night. The win put Concordia at 1-3 overall and gave head coach Ben Limback his first at the helm of the men’s basketball program. For recaps from the weekend’s action, click HERE.
- Senior Adam Vogt led the way in Concordia’s first victory of the season. The 5-foot-9 guard from Syracuse, Neb., went off for a career high 26 points, including 16 in the first half. Vogt made 4 of 10 attempts from 3-point range while nailing all 10 free throw tries. He ended up with 34 points over the two Cattle Classic games, allowing him to collect all-tournament honors. Through four games, Vogt is the team’s leading scoring with an average of 17.3 points per game.
- With sophomore Max Wegener having to leave the Nov. 8 game early after falling hard to the floor on his knee, the play of fellow sophomore Robby Thomas has become even more important. Thomas came through with 13 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 34 minutes of action in the upset of Oklahoma Wesleyan. Both point and rebound totals were career highs. The 6-foot-7 sophomore from Shawnee, Kan., currently tops all GPAC players in blocks (9) and blocks per game (2.25).
- Offensive efficiency proved to be a key in allowing Concordia to earn its first win. The Bulldogs shot 52.2 percent (24-for-46) from the field, 40 percent (8-for-20) from beyond the arc and 80.6 percent (29-for-36) from the foul line. Freshman Chandler Folkerts was near perfect, going 6-for-7 from the field and 4-for-5 from the charity stripe. He ended up with a career high 16 points.
- With Wegener missing the second Cattle Classic game, freshman Aaron Walker of Lincoln stepped into a starting role and contributed 13 points and four rebounds in 24 minutes. With Walker added to the lineup, the starting five included two freshmen, two sophomores and one senior.
- Saturday’s victory marked the program’s first win over a ranked foe since stunning then No. 14 Northwestern, 94-75, in Orange City, Iowa, on Jan. 4, 2012. Last season Concordia came up empty in nine games against top 25 teams.
- The Bulldogs complete a stretch of four-straight home games with two more contests inside Walz Arena this week. Concordia hosts Grace University (1-4) at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The Royals picked up their first win of the season by downing Trinity Bible College, 82-58, on Nov. 9. The Bulldogs will then look forward to start of conference play as they welcome Morningside (2-2) to Seward for a 7 p.m. tipoff on Saturday. The Mustangs hold wins over two Midwest Collegiate Conference opponents – Clarke University (Iowa) and No. 7 William Penn University (Iowa).
- The Bulldogs played just once last week as GPAC postseason play began with the quarterfinal round on Nov. 7. Concordia advanced to the conference semifinals in thrilling fashion, coming away with a 3-1 advantage in the penalty kick shootout with Briar Cliff. The shootout followed a 0-0 double overtime draw. As the GPAC’s No. 6 seed, the Bulldogs had to travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to take on the third-seeded Chargers. Head coach Greg Henson’s squad stands at 9-8-2 overall.
- Freshman goalkeeper Chrissy Lind thrived under the pressure that comes naturally with a penalty kick shootout. With the game hanging in the balance, Lind made a pair of terrific saves, diving to her left and then her to her right to keep the shootout tied at 1-1 after three attempts by both teams. The native of Colorado Springs, Colo., made six saves on the afternoon to earn her third career shutout. Lind has come up with 22 saves over the last five matches, during which Concordia has gone 3-1-1 and allowed only three goals.
- The Bulldogs have advanced to the GPAC semifinals for the second time in three seasons. Remarkably, Concordia also moved on to the semifinals in 2011 after winning a penalty kick shootout in the quarterfinals. It got past Dakota Wesleyan thanks to a 4-3 edge in the shootout. The Bulldogs then dropped a 3-1 decision at Hastings in the next round.
- The Concordia celebration jump started when junior forward Melissa Stine narrowly slotted her penalty kick try past goalkeeper Kalynn Sortino to clinch the shootout advantage. Stine and fellow junior Rachel Mussell, who also knocked in a penalty kick goal, were active with a combined nine shots and six shots on goal prior to the shootout.
- Concordia was the only team to eliminate a top-four seed in the GPAC quarterfinals. No. 1 Morningside, No. 2 Hastings and No. 4 Midland all advanced with two-goal victory margins over lower seeds. The highest seeds host throughout the tournament, meaning the Bulldogs would also play on the road again in the title game should they upset Hastings in the semifinals.
- Henson’s squad will battle Hastings at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The game is a rematch of Concordia’s heartbreaking 1-0 double overtime loss at Hastings on Oct. 30. In that contest, the Bulldogs went on the defensive, leaning on seniors Jordan Donohoue and Emily Fleming to clean up the action in the back. The strategy nearly paid off in the form of a victory as Concordia had a couple of quality chances to win in the first overtime.
- The Broncos (14-4-1, 9-1 GPAC) lead the conference with 57 goals. They are tied with Concordia for fifth in the league in goals allowed at 24 apiece. Hastings’ plus-33 goal differential ranks as the best figure in the GPAC. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs have tallied 33 goals (seventh in the GPAC) and hold a plus-nine goal differential. Individually, Hastings’ Amanda Olson, who notched the golden goal against Concordia, ranks second in the GPAC with 18 goals.
- Concordia ventured on the road for the final time in 2013 this past Saturday, coming away with a 24-13 defeat at Dakota Wesleyan (7-3, 6-2 GPAC) in Mitchell, S.D. The Bulldogs struggled offensively, managing 242 total yards and only three points after halftime. Head coach Vance Winter’s squad completed its road slate with a 4-2 mark away from Bulldog Stadium. Concordia is 6-4 overall and 4-4 in conference (sixth place) play heading into its final game of the season on Saturday.
- Freshman cornerback Bruce Hicks stepped up in a big way defensively. The Los Angeles native blanketed Dakota Wesleyan star receiver Anthony Muilenburg for much of the day. Muilenburg, working with four-year starting quarterback Jon Bane, entered Saturday’s game averaging nearly 100 yards receiving per game, but caught only four passes for 34 yards up against Hicks and the Bulldog pass defense.
- The solid defensive effort at Dakota Wesleyan marked the eighth time this season that Concordia has held an opponent to fewer than 300 total yards of offense. The Tigers finished with 249 yards, including only 120 through the air. Coordinator Patrick Daberkow’s unit continues to lead the NAIA in pass defense, averaging only 134.7 passing yards allowed per game.
- Despite the four-game losing streak, the Bulldog defense remains one of the top groups in the NAIA. Concordia ranks sixth nationally in total defense (293.9), seventh in pass efficiency defense (97.5) and eighth in scoring defense (18.3).
- For the fourth-straight game, freshman receiver Chevarius Curry-Felix caught a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Von Thomas. Curry-Felix’s 15-yard touchdown catch in the team’s most recent outing tied the score at 7-7 late in the first quarter. The native of Columbia, S.C., leads the team with 31 catches for 354 yards and four touchdowns. He has 19 receptions for 221 yards to go with his four touchdowns over the last four games.
- Concordia put up an uncharacteristically bad turnover margin of minus-three in the loss. The Bulldogs had entered the game with 20 takeaways and only 12 giveaways on the season. Concordia is now 1-3 this season when losing the turnover battle compared to 4-0 with a positive turnover margin and 1-1 when turnovers are even.
- Defensively, the Bulldogs have forced at least one turnover in every single game this season. They have an active streak of 11-straight games with one or more takeaways. Concordia has turned its opponent over four times in two games this season – wins over Hastings and Nebraska Wesleyan.
- The Concordia defense did not seem to miss a beat despite playing without starters Darnell Woods, a senior safety, and Drew Baxter, a junior linebacker. Both missed the Dakota Wesleyan game with injuries. Woods was coming off a career high 17 tackles the week before against Morningside. His 80 stops in nine games are most on the team. Meanwhile, Baxter has made 39 tackles.
- With 197 total yards (159 passing, 38 rushing) in the loss to Dakota Wesleyan, Von Thomas now has 2,239 combined passing and rushing yards for the season. He stands 61 yards off his total from last season and 204 yards off the program’s all-time record of 2,443 by quarterback Phil Seevers in 1988. Thomas 486 rushing yards have surpassed his total of 460 from 2012.
- Among Concordia’s defensive lineman, sophomore Michael Gill boasts the most tackles with 45, including seven for loss. The Ogallala, Neb., native led the team with eight tackles at Dakota Wesleyan. His 2.5 sacks are second only to senior Dylan Heithoff for the team lead.
- The Bulldogs wrap up the 2013 season on Saturday when Briar Cliff (4-6, 3-5 GPAC) visits Seward for a 1 p.m. kickoff. Concordia will honor its talented senior class, which includes standouts Jeff Balz, Derek Blessing, Heithoff, Langston Jones, Dylan Klassen and Woods. The Chargers are riding high after a 32-23 home victory over Doane this past Saturday. Briar Cliff is a much improved team after winning only a single game in 2012. Last season the Bulldogs routed the Chargers 45-12 in Sioux City, Iowa. With a win, Concordia could finish as high as a tie for fourth in the GPAC standings.
- Concordia’s now 19th-ranked men’s squad entered Saturday’s GPAC championships with hopes for a second-straight conference title. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs came up short, completing the race with a third-place team finish. Meanwhile, the Concordia women finished fifth. The championships were held on the Concordia University campus for the first time since 2004. For a recap of the meet, click HERE.
- The men again got stellar performances at the top with junior Ben Sievert (3rd – 26:30), senior Hayden Hohnholt (6th – 26:44), sophomore Jordan Potrzeba (9th – 26:57) and senior Beau Billings (15th – 27:10) all finishing in the top 15, which automatically places all four on the all-conference list. Sievert was also an all-conference performer in 2011 and 2012 while Hohnholt has now collected all-GPAC honors in back-to-back years. Potreba and Billings are first time all-conference recipients.
- “We had some guys that had good races but we didn’t hit on all cylinders today and that’s what you have to do to win the conference championship,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “Obviously we’re disappointed to finish third. We wanted to win the conference championship.”
- On the women’s side, junior Renee Williams came through with a breakout performance that saw her place 15th in a time of 19:23 in the 5K course. Concordia’s top runner for most of this season, freshman Kim Wood, raced to a 40th-place finish in 20:32 while battling through pain. Sophomore Erika Schroeder emerged as the Bulldogs’ No. 2 at the GPAC meet with a time of 20:13, putting her in 31st place.
- “I thought we had some gals that had their best race of the season,” Einspahr said. “Erika, Jenean (Williams) and Renee in particular had very good races. We just had a little bit of a mixed bag. Renee had her best race of the season by far.”
- On Monday, the NAIA officially announced the qualifying field for the 2013 national championships, which will be held in Lawrence, Kan., on Saturday, Nov. 23. For the 12th time in the last 13 years, the Concordia men have advanced to nationals. The Bulldogs received an at-large bid based upon their standing in the national poll. For more details, click HERE.
- Individually, Billings, junior Charlie Bloomfield, Hohnholt, Potrzeba, senior Adam Prahlow and Sievert all carry prior national championship experience having run at last year’s meet in Vancouver, Wash. Colin Morrissey, last year’s GPAC Runner of the Year, is Concordia’s only 2012 national championships competitor that has graduated and moved on. As a team, Concordia placed 21st.
- Over his 22 years as head coach, Einspahr’s men’s and women’s cross country teams have now combined for 31 appearances on the national stage. At least one Concordia cross country squad has reached the national championships in 20-consecutive seasons. From 1994 to 2009, the Bulldog women captured top-20 national finishes each season, including runner-up placements in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004. The Concordia men have landed outside the top 25 only once in the last 12 years.
- The national championships will mark the end of the 2013 cross country season. For more information on the NAIA cross country national championships, click HERE.
- The 2013-14 Concordia wrestling season got underway on Saturday morning at the Bethany College Swede Open in Lindsborg, Kan., where a pair of Bulldogs found themselves on the medal stand. Senior Austin Mogg (125) advanced all the way to the title match in his weight class, while Emilio Rivera (133) ran through the consolation bracket and ended up with a third-place finish. For a recap of Concordia’s performance at the Swede Open, click HERE.
- Second-year head coach Dana Vote unveiled plenty of new grapplers at Concordia’s season-opening tournament. Of the 19 Bulldogs who competed in Lindsborg, 14 wore the navy blue singlet for the first time in their careers. The five returning wrestlers were senior Alex Stepanek (141), sophomore Peter Ovens (157), sophomore Austin Starkey (157), senior Nick Sheppard (174) and junior Kale Hintz (184).
- Concordia’s 19 wrestlers combined for a record of 34-32 with 12 wins by fall, three by major decision and one sudden victory. Rivera’s seven wins were most on the team. Fifteen of the 19 grapplers recorded at least one victory on the day and seven came through with at least one pin.
- Concordia’s highly-touted trio of transfers – Mogg, Rivera and Enrique Barajas (149) – went 13-2 collectively. Mogg won his first four bouts – two by fall – on the way to the first-place match against Midland’s Josh Heinzer, who topped Mogg by an 11-4 decision. After falling in his second match, Rivera won six in a row to capture third place. Meanwhile, Barajas had to withdraw from his semifinal bout due to injury. Barajas had won his first two matches before being sidelined as a precaution.
- A total of seven freshman competed on the collegiate level for the first time with heavyweight Ceron Francisco making a big splash early in the day. The native of Fayetteville, N.C., pinned former junior college All-American Xavier Fisher in 2:41 in his first bout of the day. He then took a 5-2 decision over Bethany College’s Tyler Smith. After falling 3-0 in the semifinals, Francisco was also pulled because of injury.
- Kodie Cole (133) of Palmdale, Calif., and Austin Fehlhafer (174) of Seward, were the leaders among Concordia’s freshmen with three wins apiece at the Swede Open. After getting pinned in his first match, Cole responded with three-straight wins, including one by fall over Doane’s Jonathan Larsen. Cole then hung with his teammate, Rivera, in consolation round five, where Rivera triumphed 3-2. Fehlhafer picked up all three of his wins by way of pins. His day also came to a conclusion in round five of the consolation bracket.
- The majority of the Concordia wrestling team will not compete this week. Only a select few will travel to Ames, Iowa, for the Iowa State Cyclone Open on Saturday. The event will feature top-notch competition, including participants from several NCAA Division I schools. Concordia will then host its first dual on Nov. 20 when NCAA Division III Buena Vista University (Iowa) comes to town. Most of the opens Concordia participates in are scored live via Track Wrestling.
- Head coach Drew Olson’s fifth-ranked Bulldogs went 2-1 last week with a pair of ranked opponents and one who received votes in the national poll making up a tough slate. Concordia lost for the first time this season as No. 10 Jamestown (N.D.) came away from Walz Arena with a 77-74 victory in a top 10 showdown on Nov. 8. The Bulldogs rebounded with an 80-63 victory over Valley City State (N.D.) to close the Cattle Classic the next day. Earlier in the week, the Bulldogs won 96-89 at No. 23 College of Saint Mary. Concordia sits at 4-1. For recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
- The loss to Jamestown marked the program’s first defeat in the month of November since Nov. 20, 2010, when Morningside topped the Bulldogs. Concordia went 8-0 in November in 2011 and 8-0 last November as the Bulldogs raced out to a 15-0 start. The Bulldogs had won 20-consecutive games in the month of November until Friday night.
- Junior Jericca Peason represented Concordia on the Cattle Classic all-tournament team. The 5-foot-10 forward from Gibbon, Neb., had a monster day on the boards against Jamestown, hauling in a career high 15 rebounds. Pearson has been a big story so far this season, averaging 14.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 1.0 block per contest through five games. She totaled a combined 25 points and 18 rebounds at the Cattle Classic.
- Junior Tracy Peitz led Concordia in scoring last week with 74 points over the three games, including a career high 22 at College of Saint Mary. On the season, Peitz’s 15.4 points per game rank second only to senior Kristen Conahan’s 16.5 for the team lead. Last week, Peitz went 18-for-32 (56.3 percent) from the field and 16-for-21 (76.2 percent) from the free throw line.
- Another junior – Kelsey Hizer – quietly had a solid weekend with double-figure point totals in both games. The Parker, Colo., native averaged 10.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals at the Cattle Classic. She has seen her role increase each season (three starts) and is being counted on to score more this season.
- Concordia’s ability to force turnovers continues to be a staple of success under Olson. The Bulldogs’ heavy pressure has resulted in 15.2 steals per game (7th most in NAIA Division II) and 23.6 turnovers forced per contest. Peitz’s 18 steals are the second most in the GPAC. Concordia turned Valley City State over 27 times in the team’s most recent outing.
- Conahan and the Bulldogs entertain a much lighter schedule with only one game on this week’s slate. Concordia will welcome No. 3 Morningside (5-0) into Walz Arena for a big early-season clash to begin the GPAC schedule. The Mustangs have lit up the scoreboard with an average of 91.2 points through five games. Concordia has won four-straight against Morningside. This Saturday’s contest will mark the fifth-consecutive meeting in which both the Bulldogs and Mustangs carried top-five-rankings into play.
- A pair of losses last week at No. 6 Midland ended Concordia’s 2013 season with a record of 17-14. The Bulldogs pushed the Warriors to four sets in both meetings in Fremont – the second one being a GPAC quarterfinal matchup between seventh-seeded Concordia and second-seeded Midland on Saturday. After head coach Scott Mattera’s Bulldogs outlasted the Warriors, 28-26, in the first set, Midland responded by winning the next three in a competitive match. For recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
- The 17 wins were seven more than Concordia’s total from 2012 and the most for the program since a 21-14 season in 2007. Since 2001, the Bulldogs have produced three seasons with more than 17 wins. From 2005 to 2007, then head coach Rachel Miller led the team to a combined record of 65-39 with three-straight 20-win seasons.
- Freshman Paige Getz finished her first collegiate season strong by leading Concordia with a combined 21 kills last week. Getz exploded in the second half of the season and became the team’s most potent force on the attack. Her 152 kills in 13 matches since Sept. 28 topped the Bulldogs. During that stretch she averaged 3.38 kills per set and had 10 matches with 10 or more kills.
- Sophomore Claire White also completed a fine first season in a Bulldog uniform. The transfer from Washburn University led the team with 339 kills on the season. White, a native of Exeter, Neb., ranks seventh in the GPAC with 3.1 kills per set. She also made a huge impact on serve receive, in area she teamed with junior Carli Smith on. White was successful on 180 of 220 (94.8 percent) serve receive attempts.
- White (339 kills) and Getz (304 kills) both finished with more than 300 kills on the season, making them one of four teammate duos in the conference to accomplish that feat. They others are Northwestern’s Karlie Schut (468 kills) and Kaitlin Floerchinger (412 kills), Midland’s Mackenzie Scheef (397 kills), Ashley Wheeler (386) and KC Heimann (382) and Hastings’ Kalynn Dahlke (348 kills) and Katie Zoucha (321 kills).
- The Bulldogs proved to be one of the top service teams in the GPAC throughout 2013. On the offensive side, juniors Mariah Schamp (0.4 aces/set) and Michala Maurer (0.4 aces/set) and White (0.3 aces/set) all ranked in the top seven of the conference in aces per set. Defensively, Smith (93.5 percent serve receive) and White (94.8 percent serve receive) where a formidable combo.
- The Bulldogs will not graduate a single player who saw significant time on the court in 2013. Concordia’s nucleus of Getz (freshman), Alayna Kavanaugh (freshman), White (sophomore), Schamp (junior), Smith (junior) and Taylor Workman (freshman), along with the return of junior Amanda Abbott from injury, should give the Bulldogs a chance to make another step forward in 2014. Said Mattera after Saturday’s season-ending loss: “It hurts knowing the season is over but the way we played should give us both confidence and hunger as we move forward.”
- Head coach Jason Weides’ squad saw its season draw to a close on Nov. 6 as the Bulldogs fell 3-2 at Northwestern in the GPAC quarterfinals. Concordia let a 1-0 halftime lead slip away as the Red Raiders roared back with three-consecutive goals in the second half to power their way to the semifinals. The Bulldogs concluded the season with an overall record of 10-9, including a 6-4 GPAC mark (which set a school record for GPAC wins in a season).
- While Concordia has fallen in the GPAC quarterfinals in each of the past three seasons, it has also won 10 or more games three years in a row, producing a record of 32-22-3 over that stretch. There are only three other GPAC schools who have won 10-plus games in each of the last three years: Hastings, Midland and Northwestern.
- Senior Nathan Douglas did his part to try to lead a Concordia comeback win at Northwestern when he scored at the 78-minute mark to pull the Bulldogs within a goal at 3-2. That goal pushed Douglas’ career high season goal count to 14 and gave him 43 for his career (school record). The native of Winnipeg, Canada, tallied seven, 11, 11 and 14 goals by season during over his four seasons as a Bulldog.
- Douglas will go out with his best season statistical season as a Bulldog. Not only did he rack up a career high 14 goals, he also had career highs in assists (7) and points (35). His 14 goals rank as the second most in the GPAC and the 27th most among all players in the NAIA.
- Sophomore midfielder Gideon Soenksen put the Bulldogs in front of Northwestern, 1-0, at the 12-minute mark. Both of Soenksen’s two goals on the season came over the final two games. Soenksen is one of eight Bulldogs this season with two or more goals, joining Douglas (14), Chris DeFeyter (6), Carlos Acosta (3), Donal Landrum (3), Dean Stevens (3), Sean Doran (2) and Jake Sells (2).
- With Douglas and reserve goalkeeper Skylar Lewis being the only seniors on this year’s squad, the Bulldogs will return plenty of experience in 2014. Weides will have a strong nucleus with the likes of Brendan Buchanan (junior), Mark Campbell (freshman), Chris DeFeyter (junior), Doran (sophomore), Sells (sophomore) and others back in the fold next year. Thirteen of the 14 players who started nine or more games last season have eligibility remaining.
12 November 2013
Junior Bailey Morris