Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Booster Club Athletes of the Week
Male: Michael Gill, Football
Gill, a native of Ogallala, Neb., enjoyed a career day at his nose guard position in Concordia’s 32-0 victory at Dordt. The sophomore made nine tackles (2.5 for loss) and two sacks, helping the Bulldogs to a second-straight shutout.
Female: Emily Fleming, Soccer
Fleming, a senior from Gretna, Neb., scored her first goal of the season and played near flawless defense in the back last week as Concordia defeated Dordt and tied with College of Saint Mary. Fleming and company held the Defenders without a single shot in Saturday’s 3-0 win.
News and Notes:
Concordia-Nebraska Wesleyan up for NAIA Football Game of the Week: Help make No. 15 Concordia versus No. 22 Nebraska Wesleyan the NAIA Football Game of the Week by liking the appropriate photo on Facebook HERE. The voting will close at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Homecoming: Monday marked the start of homecoming week on the Concordia University campus. Below is this week’s schedule of home athletic events. For a complete listing of homecoming events, including student activities, click HERE.
Homecoming week athletics home schedule:
-Tuesday: Volleyball vs. York College, 7:30 p.m.
-Saturday: Football vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, 1 p.m.
--W soccer vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, 5 p.m.
--M soccer vs. Nebraska Wesleyan, 7:30 p.m.
All-star cast of women’s basketball coaches to convene at Concordia on Saturday: The cast of coaches set to speak at Saturday’s women’s basketball coaches’ clinic is loaded with successful collegiate coaches. The lineup includes current Bulldog head coach Drew Olson as well as former Concordia women’s basketball coach Todd Voss. For more details, click HERE.
Sievert named GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Week: On the heels of a great performance at the annual Roy Griak Invitational held near St. Paul, Minn., Concordia junior Ben Sievert received the Men’s GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Week honor on Oct. 2. The two-time cross country all-conference performer received the same weekly honor twice as a sophomore.
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.
- Concordia women’s soccer put together a strong week with a 2-2 tie on the road (Oct. 2) against an accomplished College of Saint Mary squad and then a 3-0 home victory over Dordt as the Bulldogs returned to GPAC play. The draw was the first of the season and first since a 1-1 tie at Nebraska Wesleyan last season. Concordia now sits at 6-4-1 overall and 2-1 in GPAC play (tied for fourth). For more coverage of last week’s games, click HERE.
- A balanced offensive attack saw all five goals last week scored by different individuals. Senior midfielder Emily Fleming (Gretna, Neb.) and freshman defender Megan Brunssen both got on the board with their first goals of the season in the tie with College of Saint Mary. Fleming, one of the most experienced players on the Concordia roster, has three goals and eight assists in 63 career games. Meanwhile, Brunssen (Omaha, Neb.) has started the first 11 games of her career.
- In Saturday’s win over Dordt, forward Rachel Mussell continued her fine junior season by heading in her eighth goal of the campaign prior to assisting the final two goals of the contest. She is currently tied for third in the GPAC in goals. Her 22 goals since the start of the 2012 season are the second most in the conference. The Buffalo, Minn., native is also fourth in the conference in points (18) and ninth in both shots per game (3.0) and shots on goal per game (1.91).
- Freshman Jordan McCoy of Arvada, Colo., made her first two career starts last week and made a big impact in both games. McCoy racked up four shots to lead the team in consecutive games (at Morningside and at College of Saint Mary). She notched her second goal of the season in the 30th minute of the win over Dordt. McCoy is one of four Bulldogs with two or more goals on the season, joining Mussell and juniors Ashlie Sklenicka (3) and Melissa Stine (2).
- The tie versus College of Saint Mary was a good result considering the Flames’ success this season against GPAC opponents. College of Saint Mary holds wins over Dakota Wesleyan, Dordt and Northwestern. The Flames, a member of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference, boast a record of 9-2-1.
- As a team, Concordia ranks fourth in the GPAC in goals per game (2.27) and third in goals allowed per game (1.27). Head coach Greg Henson’s squad is fifth in the league in terms of goal differential with a plus-11 margin. The top five are all tightly bunched as Hastings tops the GPAC with a plus-15 differential, followed by Nebraska Wesleyan (plus-13), Briar Cliff (plus-12) and Morningside (plus-12).
- Mussell and company remain unbeaten when scoring two or more goals per game, sporting a record of 6-0-1 in such contests. Conversely, Concordia is 0-4 when recording less than two goals. In their six wins, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 22-5. In their four losses, they have just one goal compared to seven for the opposition.
- Brunssen, Fleming and senior midfielder Jordan Donohoue were all instrumental in preventing the Defenders from getting off even a single shot in Saturday’s win. Prior to the game, Concordia’s season low for shots allowed had been two in the 7-0 rout of Grace University on Sept. 25. The Bulldogs now have two shutouts on the season. Freshman goalkeeper Chrissy Lind was credited with her first career shutout against Dordt.
- Henson’s crew looks forward to two GPAC matches this week, beginning with a road contest at Doane (2-7, 1-3) on Wednesday at 5 p.m. The Tigers won both meetings last season, including a 2-1 decision in the GPAC Tournament that ended Concordia’s season. Then on Saturday, the Bulldogs host Nebraska Wesleyan (6-1-3, 3-0-1 GPAC) at 5 p.m. for homecoming. Concordia carries a four-game unbeaten streak against the Prairie Wolves. Last season the two teams played to a 1-1 draw.
- Head coach Brett Muller’s women’s golfers concluded the 2013 fall season with another strong showing in GPAC qualifier action. With 36 out of 72 GPAC qualifier holes in the books, the Bulldogs sit in fifth place out of the 11 conference schools with a two-round 366-374–740. Individually, freshman Amy Ahlers ranks highest among Concordia competitors. The Albion, Neb., native is tied for eighth with her 89-80–169. For more on last week’s GPAC Qualifier No. 2, click HERE.
- Ahlers, a former Boone Central High School standout, fit in well at the top of the Concordia lineup all fall long in her first taste of collegiate competition. Her fall average of 85.29 through seven rounds leads the team by more than five strokes. Her 80 at the Oct. 2 GPAC Qualifier at Whispering Creek Golf Club in Sioux City, Iowa, set a new personal best and tied for first among all GPAC participants on the day.
- Fellow freshman Kayla Krueger could also compete for all-conference honors (top 10 finishers are named all-conference). Krueger, who hails from Aberdeen, S.D., shot a season low of her own with an 84 at GPAC Qualifier No. 2. That score allowed her to move up to 17th place (92-84–176) on the individual leaderboard. Her 84 was a full eight shots better than her performance at the first qualifier. She ends the fall with an average of 90.86 – second best on the team.
- At the end of the two qualifiers, juniors Melissa McIntosh (T-37th, 87-110–197) and Allison Schieffer (42nd, 98-106–204) are Concordia’s other two representatives listed on the GPAC leaderboard. McIntosh, a native of Lincoln, Neb., posted the Bulldogs’ top score at the first qualifier but was unable to duplicate that performance after getting off to a rough start at Whispering Creek last week. She is currently Concordia’s No. 3 golfer with a 97.29 average after seven rounds. Meanwhile, Schieffer holds a 106.57 average.
- Concordia’s play at the first two qualifier rounds is a huge improvement from last season. The team’s average of 370 at the first two GPAC meets is more than 30 strokes better than its average of 401.5 at last year’s four GPAC qualifiers. The Bulldogs have moved up from 11th place last season to fifth place so far this season. Two additional qualifiers will be held in the spring.
- The Bulldog men have been off since competing at their first GPAC qualifier in Sioux City on Sept. 19. They returned to the course on Tuesday for the Morningside Invite – also in Sioux City. They will have two additional meets this fall – the Nebraska Intercollegiate Tournament (Oct. 11-12) and GPAC Qualifier No. 2 (Oct. 14). Concordia currently sits in a tie for ninth place after carding a team score of 317 at the first GPAC qualifier.
- After breaking the school season record with an average of 75.15 last season as a sophomore, Shawn Rodehorst leads this year’s team with a 77.25 mean score. He has done so despite battling a nagging hip injury. Freshman Josh Hinrichs is not far behind with an average of 78.0. Hinrichs shot a 75 to tie for 10th at the first conference qualifier, while Rodehorst is tied for 24th after shooting a 78.
- Look for results from the men’s competition at the Morningside Invite on Tuesday evening at ConcordiaBulldogs.com.
- No. 15 Concordia continued its unbeaten run to start the season with a 32-0 victory at Dordt on Saturday. The Bulldogs also continued their pursuit of the accomplishments put forth by the 2001 co-GPAC championship team that began the season with eight-straight victories. Head coach Vance Winter’s team is currently tied atop the league standings with No. 1-ranked Morningside, who is also 3-0 in the GPAC. Concordia is 5-0 overall with four of its five wins coming on the road.
- The play of defensive coordinator Patrick Daberkow’s unit remains the biggest story so far for the undefeated Bulldogs. After recording its second-straight shutout with the victory at Dordt, Concordia moved up to No. 1 in the NAIA in both total defense (238.2 ypg) and scoring defense (10.0 ppg). Daberkow’s physical bunch has not allowed a single point over the last nine quarters of play. In five games, the defense is responsible for allowing just four touchdowns – all passing.
- In the process of maintaining its run of shutout defense, Concordia also kept up a remarkable streak of not allowing a rushing touchdown. Opponents have attempted 225-consecutive runs, spanning 23-plus quarters, without finding the end zone on the ground against the Bulldogs. Out of all 84 NAIA football programs, every team has allowed at least two rushing touchdowns this season other than Concordia, which has not allowed one since the final game of last season.
- The impressive defensive numbers do not stop there. The Bulldogs also rank third nationally in pass defense (129.0), third in pass efficiency defense (87.7), seventh in fewest opponent first downs (75), ninth in lowest opponent third down conversion rate (28.8) and 10th in rushing defense (109.2).
- Behind a great performance from sophomore defensive lineman Michael Gill (9 tackles, 2.5 tfls, 2 sacks), Concordia held Dordt to only 195 total yards. The Defenders’ 131 rushing yards were more than 100 fewer than their per game average coming into the game. The Bulldogs’ hounding defense has yet to allow an opponent to reach 300 yards of offense. The most yardage they have given up in a game this season was 299 in the season-opening win at William Jewell.
- Concordia, averaging 221.2 rushing yards per game offensively, has more than doubled its opponents in rushing yards. The terrific rushing trio of junior quarterback Von Thomas (276 yards) and freshman running backs Trey Barnes (333 yards) and Bryce Collins (336 yards) has combined for 945 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns. As a team, the Bulldogs have racked up 1,106 rushing yards compared to 546 for their opponents.
- For the second-straight game, freshman defensive back Matt Keener reeled in an interception. As a team, the Bulldogs have at least one interception in six-consecutive games dating back to the final game of 2012. Concordia ranks fifth in the NAIA with nine interceptions so far this season. Only Briar Cliff (11) has more among GPAC schools. Kenner’s two picks are tied with sophomore safety Tait Sibbel for the team lead.
- The four road wins already ensures a winning record on the road for the first time since the 2003 Bulldog team went 3-2 away from home. The four road victories are the most for the program since the 2001 squad went 5-1 away from Bulldog Stadium. The only road loss that season came in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Championship Football Series at Sioux Falls by a 34-10 score.
- With more focus on containing him this season, senior corner/return man Derek Blessing has had fewer opportunities for big returns. However, he still managed a 38-yard punt return that set up a touchdown at William Jewell and this past Saturday took the opening kickoff of the second half 85 yards, leading to a Barnes two-yard touchdown run. Last season Blessing led the NAIA and set school records with 388 punt return yards and three punt return touchdowns. He remains one of the NAIA’s top return men, ranking 14th in kickoff return yards per attempt (28.5) and 17th in punt return yards per attempt (11.8).
- The schedule stiffens over the weeks to come as the next four opponents are all either ranked or receiving votes in the national poll. The difficult stretch run begins on Saturday with No. 22 Nebraska Wesleyan (3-2, 3-1 GPAC) paying a visit to Seward in Concordia’s homecoming game. Last week the Prairie Wolves eked out a 20-19 upset of then No. 13 Doane. Both of Nebraska Wesleyan’s losses have come to ranked opponents – then No. 17 Tabor College (Kan.) and No. 1 Morningside. In last year’s meeting at Nebraska Wesleyan, Concordia fell 16-6. The Bulldogs last beat the Prairie Wolves in 2010 in a 3-0 defensive battle.
- Head coach Jason Weides’ squad split a pair of games over the week, getting a 6-2 nonconference victory at York a week ago prior to a frustrating 1-0 home loss to Dordt over the weekend. Concordia was shutout for the fourth time this season in the defeat at the hands of the Defenders, after a big scoring outburst in the three preceding contests. The Bulldogs now stand at 6-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play. For recaps of last week’s action, click HERE.
- The 6-2 triumph at York pushed Concordia’s winning streak to three at the time. During that run, the Bulldogs racked up 16 combined goals and earned back-to-back GPAC Offensive Player of the Week awards (Nathan Douglas and Chris DeFeyter). After 10 games, the Bulldogs had vaulted up to No. 3 in the conference with an average of 2.4 goals per contest.
- During the three-game offensive explosion, three Bulldogs – Douglas, DeFeyter and sophomore Dean Stevens – each posted at least one goal in all three matches. Douglas, a senior from Winnipeg, Canada, racked up a total of 13 points during a red-hot fury in which he totaled four goals and five assists. Meanwhile, DeFeyter piled up four goals and Stevens notched three goals and one assist. Concordia won each of the three games by four goals or more.
- Douglas, now with 36 career goals, continues to rank among the top strikers in the GPAC. With 13 points over the three-game scoring binge, he is now tied for second in the conference with 19 points. He also rates third in the league in goals (7), second in assists (5), fourth in shots on goal per game (1.55) and ninth in shots per game (2.73). His five assists have already tied a career high. Douglas is also four goals away from equaling another career high.
- DeFeyter, a Scottsdale, Ariz., native, has provided a nice scoring compliment to Douglas. The midfielder has already reached a career high with five goals on the season and was named the GPAC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 1. He’s been incredibly efficient, finding the back of the net on five of his 17 shots on goal.
- Offensive consistency has been an issue throughout the first two-thirds of the 2013 season. In the team’s six wins, the Bulldogs are averaging 3.8 goals per game. That figure drops to just 0.2 goals per game in their five losses. Concordia is 6-0 when scoring at least two goals and 0-5 when putting up less than two goals. The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 23-4 in their six victories. In their five losses, they have been outscored 12-1.
- As a team, Concordia ranks in the middle of the conference pack in both goals (5th – 24) and goals allowed (6th – 16). The plus-eight goal differential is third best in the GPAC behind only Midland (plus-23) and Doane (plus-19).
- To date, Weides has used 16 different starters with junior Brendan Buchanan making all 11 starts in goal. Freshman defenders Mark Campbell (Dublin, Ireland) and Marcos Leon (Sonora, Mexico) have started each of the last three games since making their collegiate debuts on Sept. 29 at Morningside. Leon has already contributed a goal and an assist.
- The Bulldogs now enter the stretch run with seven GPAC regular-season contests remaining on the schedule. That run begins on Wednesday when Concordia takes on GPAC-leading Doane (5-4, 4-0 GPAC) at 7:15 p.m. in Crete. The two teams have engaged in several nailbiting games in recent years, including last season when the Tigers came away with a 2-1 double overtime win at Bulldog Stadium. Concordia hopes to enter the weekend with momentum as it shifts focus to its homecoming tilt with Nebraska Wesleyan (3-6-1, 1-3 GPAC) under the lights at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldogs have won three-straight against the Prairie Wolves.
- A light week gave head coach Scott Mattera’s squad a chance to rest up following a four-set loss to Nebraska Wesleyan on Oct. 1. The break came at an opportune time as junior defensive specialist Carli Smith sat out the loss to the Prairie Wolves with an injury. “Fortunately we’re at a point in the season where we do have kind of a break,” Mattera said after the Oct. 1 match. “After York (Oct. 8) we don’t play for another week so we actually have two weekends off, which is very, very rare. But it’s coming at a good time for us. We have a lot of little nagging injuries and things like that.”
- Smith, a native of Temecula, Calif., had played in 62 straight matches until missing last week’s tilt. She appeared in all 114 sets last season and played in the first 69 sets of this season. She has posted 1,207 digs and 1,712 receptions in 267 career sets played. Smith serves as a leader in more ways than one. She is the primary passer in all six of Concordia’s rotations.
- In Smith’s absence, sophomore Kendra Dinkel stepped into the role of the libero and even donned Smith’s pink No. 15 jersey. Dinkel, a native of Norfolk, Neb., tallied 24 digs – far surpassing her previous career high of seven digs. She also played well on serve receive as she did not commit a single reception error while teaming with fellow sophomore Claire White on a two-person serve receive.
- White enjoyed one of her best matches so far in conference play by posting 16 kills and 19 digs versus Nebraska Wesleyan. The Exeter, Neb., outside hitter recorded a .310 hitting percentage and added a block assist. She now has eight kill-dig double-doubles on the season. Her best kill output was 21 on two occasions. Her highest dig total is 24, a number she piled up on Aug. 24 in a win over Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio).
- Freshman Taylor Workman came through with a career high nine total blocks (three solos, six assisted) in the loss to Nebraska Wesleyan. Her previous career high occurred during the Aug. 31 win over Ottawa (Kan.) in which she notched seven total blocks – all assisted. The Lincoln native’s 57 blocks are second most on the team behind junior Mariah Schamp’s 68.
- The 13 team blocks in last week’s match came up one short of a season high. The Bulldogs blocked 14 attack attempts on Aug. 24 against Mount Vernon Nazarene. Concordia has posted double figures in blocks in four different matches this season. The Bulldogs are 3-1 in those contests.
- Mattera’s squad is still looking for that breakthrough win against a nationally-ranked opponent. The loss to Nebraska Wesleyan marked Concordia’s sixth defeat this season to a team that was either ranked or receiving votes in a national poll at the time of the match. The Prairie Wolves sit just outside the NCAA Division III top 25 in the latest ratings.
- Just like last week, the Bulldogs will play their only match of the week on Tuesday night. As part of homecoming week, Concordia hosts York (4-16) at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Last season the Bulldogs topped the Panthers in five sets at York. The Panthers are 0-4 so far this season against GPAC opponents, including straight-sets losses to Dakota Wesleyan, Dordt and Midland and a four-set loss to Mount Marty.
- Twenty-second year head coach Kregg Einspahr’s Bulldogs have not competed since the Sept. 28 Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. They will end a two-week layoff on Saturday when they participate in the NAIA Preview meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, Kan., – the site of this year’s NAIA Cross Country National Championships.
- Concordia received good news on the men’s side on Oct. 2 as the Bulldogs moved up four spots to No. 10 in the national poll following a great performance at the Roy Griak meet. In addition, junior Ben Sievert of Frankenmuth, Mich., earned GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Week honors on the same day. Sievert clocked in at 25:57 on the 8K course near St. Paul, Minn., finishing 15th overall in the “Division II” grouping. His time placed him above all NAIA competitors.
- Saturday’s race will be good preparation for the national championships, provided the Bulldogs send qualifiers to the meet. This year’s national meet moves to Lawrence, Kan., after being held in Vancouver, Wash., in each of the past four years. The NAIA and agreed on a deal with the Lawrence Sports Corporation and the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference last fall, locking in Rim Rock Farms as the national championship host for the next two seasons. For more on the championship site, click HERE.
- The NAIA Cross Country Coaches’ Top 25 Polls are released every Wednesday during the season. Check back HERE on Wednesday to see where the Bulldog men are ranked this week.
8 October 2013