Bulldog Weekly Report (Sept. 24)

Bulldog Weekly Report

Bulldog Booster Club Athletes of the Week

Male: Josh Powell, Football

Powell, who hails from Kennesaw, Neb., helped pave the way for two 100-yard rushers and 252 total rushing yards in Concordia’s 35-14 victory over Midland. The senior right guard has been a driving force behind the team’s average of 230.7 rushing yards per game and 3-0 start to the season.

Female: Ashlie Sklenicka, Soccer

Sklenicka, a native of Lincoln, Neb., notched the second goal in the Bulldogs’ 2-1 victory over Mount Marty in the conference opener on Saturday. Sklenicka, a junior forward, is second on the team to Rachel Mussell with three goals on the season.


News and Notes
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Bulldog football back in the NAIA national rankings: For the first time since September of 2002, Concordia football is ranked in the NAIA Football Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. The Bulldogs, who received votes last week, vaulted up to No. 20 this week after their impressive 35-14 victory at Midland on Saturday. For more on the story, click HERE.

Concordia puts on sports mini clinics for Seward High Middle School students: Several Bulldog coaches and student-athletes reached out to the community to provide sports mini clinics for Seward Middle School students on Friday, Sept. 20 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students rotated between the many stations throughout the two-hour session that promoted physical wellness. Check out photos from the day to the right.

Soccer games at Morningside moved to Sunday: Both Concordia women’s and men’s soccer games at Morningside will now be played on Sunday. The women will start at 5 p.m. followed by the men at 7 p.m. For more info, 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.

Men’s Soccer

  • Concordia men’s soccer ended last week on a high note with a huge second-half performance that netted a 5-0 GPAC-opening victory over Mount Marty inside Bulldog Stadium on Sept. 21. That performance allowed head coach Jason Weides’ squad to put behind a disappointing 3-0 loss to Bethany College three days earlier. The split on the week means the Bulldogs remain at .500 with a 4-4 overall mark. Concordia picked up three points in the league standings thanks to the win over the Lancers.
  • Concordia’s five goals on Saturday were the most for the program since defeating Dakota Wesleyan 6-0 on Sept. 29, 2012. The Bulldogs have tallied five or more goals on five occasions in the past four years. In Weides’ six years as head coach, Concordia’s best goal-scoring output came on Sept. 3, 2008, when the Bulldogs defeated Grace University 15-0. That gave Weides his first career victory.
  • Senior Nathan Douglas, who broke the school’s career goals record with his 32nd on Sept. 14, added two more goals to his tally in the blowout win over Mount Marty. Those were his fourth and fifth scores of the season and gave him his first multi-goal game of the season and ninth of his career. The Winnipeg, Canada, native has produced exactly two goals in eight of those games. His one hat trick came during his freshman year when he scored three times versus Midland. The Sept. 21 game also marked the third time in the career of Douglas that he has recorded at least one goal and at least one assist in a single game.
  • Douglas’ two goals on Saturday have placed him a tie for second on the GPAC leaderboard with five goals on the season. He also ranks third in the conference with 11 points, fourth in shots on goal per game (1.75) and seventh in total shots per game (2.63). His three game-winning goals are tied for the most in the league.
  • Junior Daniel Moore and sophomore Dean Stevens became the sixth and seventh different Bulldogs to score a goal this season when they both find the back of the net once during the second-half outburst against the Lancers. Moore enjoyed a big day with a goal as well as an assist on one of Douglas’ two goals. Junior Chris DeFeyter and sophomore Sean Doran currently rank second on the team with two goals apiece on the season.
  • Starting goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan and reserve Mark Horsburgh combined on Concordia’s third shutout of the season in Saturday’s victory. Buchanan played the first 82:18 of the game before being relieved by Horsburgh. Buchanan made five saves to push his season total to 44. Buchanan has played 696 of a possible 720 minutes in goal for the Bulldogs.
  • As a team, Concordia ranks seventh in the GPAC in goals per game (1.63), fifth in goals allowed per game (1.5), fourth in saves (45) and ninth in both shots per game (11.0) and shots on goal per game (5.0).
  • The Bulldogs are in the midst of a six-game stretch without a game following Saturday’s win. After four-straight games at home, Concordia will play on the road for the first time in the GPAC when it takes on Morningside (3-5, 0-1 GPAC) at 7 p.m. on Sunday in its only game of the week. Last season the Mustangs edged the Bulldogs 3-2 in Seward in the only meeting between the two squads.

Women’s Soccer

  • Like the Concordia men’s soccer team, head coach Greg Henson’s group shook off a nonconference loss last week on Wednesday and defeated Mount Marty, 2-1, to open up conference play. After falling to Bellevue by allowing a crippling late goal, Concordia came back and dominated the Lancers for the balance of the 90 minutes. That leaves the Bulldogs at 4-3 overall and 1-0 in GPAC action.
  • Concordia’s victory over Mount Marty followed a familiar formula with junior forwards Rachel Mussell and Ashlie Sklenicka leading the offensive attack. Mussell stayed just ahead of Sklenicka for the team goals lead by scoring in the 16th minute of Concordia’s most recent victory. Sklenicka then provided the second goal in the 41st minute to give the Bulldogs all the offense they would need on the day. Mussell now has four goals on the season to Sklenicka’s three.
  • Mussell, a native of Buffalo, Minn., now has 20 goals on her career. She ranked second in the GPAC last season with 14 goals. This season she currently sits tied for sixth in the conference. Dakota Wesleyan’s Thara Ali Said leads the league with eight goals in eight games. Mussell is also 10th in the GPAC in both points (8) and shots on goal per game (1.57).
  • Sklenicka, native of Lincoln, Neb., was especially active on the attacking end in the victory over Mount Marty. She fired off eight shots – all in the first half. She had a couple of opportunities to knock in more than the one goal, but came up just short. The eight shots more than doubled her season total. She entered the weekend with seven shots on the year.
  • Freshman goalkeeper Chrissy Lind made her first career start in goal over the weekend and held her own, notching four saves of the five shots the Lancers put on frame. Lind, who entered play with only 66 minutes of career action, played all 90 minutes in goal in the victory. Sophomore Elyse Muhle started each of the team’s first six games. She has played in over 473 minutes so far this season.
  • Depth has become an increasing concern as injuries have mounted for Henson’s squad. Several starters have been needed for all 90 minutes of the team’s first seven games. The Bulldogs went into Saturday’s game already expecting one starter and one key reserve to miss the remainder of the season. Lincoln native Kayla Asche then suffered an injury on Saturday and had to leave the game. Her return to the playing field is in doubt for the remainder of her senior season.
  • The 2-1 victory over Mount Marty marked Concordia’s third game this season that has been decided by a single goal. The Bulldogs are 2-1 in those games with the other win being a 3-2 decision over Jamestown (N.D.) and the loss being a 2-1 defeat to Bellevue last week. Concordia is 4-0 this season when scoring two or more goals. In the team’s three losses, Henson’s squad has combined for just one goal.
  • As a team, Concordia ranks fifth in the conference in goals per game (1.86), sixth in goals allowed per game (1.57), seventh in shots per game (12.86), eighth in shots on goal per game (6.43) and ninth in saves per game (5.14).
  • After playing each of their first seven regular-season games at home, head coach Greg Henson’s squad will finally hit the road on Wednesday when it will take on Grace University, a first-year program, at Creighton University’s Morrison Stadium. The game will be held at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs will then play their first GPAC road game on Sunday against Morningside (5-2-2, 1-0 GPAC) in Sioux City, Iowa, at 5 p.m. Concordia has won four-straight against the Mustangs.

Football

  • The Bulldogs improved to 3-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference play by running away from host Midland in the second half for a 35-14 victory in Fremont, Neb., on Sept. 21. Concordia outgained the Warriors 493-214 in a dominant effort on both sides of the ball. Head coach Vance Winter’s squad has won its first two road games by an average margin of 18 points.
  • The Sept. 14 victory over Hastings gave the program its first 2-0 start since 2010 when the Bulldogs finished 4-7 overall in Winter’s second season as head coach. The team’s latest win allowed Concordia to start 3-0 for the first time since 2001 when then head coach Courtney Meyer guided the Bulldogs to a 10-2 overall record, a co-GPAC championship and a berth in the NAIA Football Championship Series. The 2001 team won its first eight games of the season, giving the program nine-consecutive wins dating back to the final game of the 2000 campaign.
  • Offensive coordinator Curran White continued the trend of relying heavily on a ground-and-pound attack powered by freshmen running backs Trey Barnes (Seward, Neb.) and Bryce Collins (Boerne, Texas). The duo combined for 222 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 43 attempts in the process of punishing the Midland defense. Concordia’s latest game marked the first time two Bulldog runners went over 100 yards rushing in the same game since Oct. 13, 2007, when JaMaine Lewis (133 yards) and Jeff Neujahr (110) both topped the century mark in a 30-14 win over Nebraska Wesleyan.
  • Through three games, the Bulldog rushing attack is averaging 230.7 yards per game. That figure ranks third in the GPAC and 15th among all NAIA schools. Concordia has posted rushing totals of 192, 248 and 252 while piling up more than 50 rushing attempts in each of its three games. Collins, who leads the team in rushing with 274 yards, ranks third in the conference in both rushing yards and rushing yards per game. With 206 rushing yards, Barnes is eighth in the GPAC.
  • While the work of Concordia’s first-year backs in cohesion with an affective offensive line has been a key to the team’s early success, the defense has been equally as big a story. Defensive coordinator Patrick Daberkow’s unit leads the conference and ranks eighth among all NAIA schools in total defense (260.7 ypg). It also boasts ratings of first in the conference in scoring defense (16.7 ppg – 12th nationally) and second in the GPAC in rush defense (85.3 ypg – 11th nationally).
  • Concordia also ranks favorably on a national level in several other key statistical categories, including:
    • No. 4 in third down conversion rate (53.7 percent)
    • No. 7 in pass efficiency defense (95.9)
    • No. 12 in first downs per game (24.3)
    • No. 19 in opponent’s third down conversion rate (31.0 percent)
    • No. 20 in total rush offense (692 yards)
    • No. 23 in punt return yards/attempt (11.8)
    • No. 23 in fewest opponent first downs (52)
    • No. 25 in pass defense (175.3 ypg)
    • No. 32 in total offense per game (415.3 ypg)
    • No. 33 in scoring offense (30.3 ppg)
  • Not only has the Bulldog defense been stingy in terms of allowing yards, but it has also been opportunistic. Concordia’s six interceptions – all by different individuals – are tied with Nebraska Wesleyan for the most in the conference. Overall, the Bulldog defense has forced eight turnovers in helping the team to a plus-five turnover margin – second best in the GPAC.
  • Junior quarterback Von Thomas has piled up 693 total yards (554 passing, 139 rushing) through three games and ranks fourth in the GPAC with 231.0 total yards per game. Should Thomas continue that per-game pace, he would break the school record for total yards in a season. Former quarterback Phil Seevers holds the current program record with 2,443 in 1988. Last season Thomas totaled 2,300 yards (1,840 passing and 460 rushing).
  • The Bulldogs will try to extend their winning streak to four games on Saturday against a familiar nonconference opponent in Dakota State University of the NAIA’s Association of Independent Institutions. Last season Concordia shook off a sluggish start to defeat the Trojans 28-7 in Madison, S.D. This week’s game will again take place in Madison as Dakota State, Winter’s alma mater, celebrates its homecoming. The Trojans (1-3) picked up their first win of the season this past Saturday with a 35-28 victory over Presentation College (S.D.).

Volleyball

  • Head coach Scott Mattera’s young Bulldogs played three matches within the conference last week, all decided in straight sets, and won two of three contests. After being swept by Doane on Sept. 17, Concordia came back with a dominant effort over the weekend spent in South Dakota. The Bulldogs made quick work of both Dakota Wesleyan (Friday) and Mount Marty (Saturday) to improve to 11-5 overall and 2-3 in the GPAC. To read complete recaps of all three matches from last week, click HERE.
  • The 11 wins on the season have already surpassed last the team’s win total from last year when the Bulldogs finished 10-21 against a difficult schedule in Mattera’s first season at the helm of the program. The 11-5 start is also the best record for the program since the 2005 team won its first 18 matches of the season under then first-year head coach Rachel Miller. A 12th win would give Concordia volleyball its most victories since going 21-14 in 2007.
  • The Bulldogs showed how impressive they can be when their playing near their optimum level. Concordia put up eye-catching stats in both road victories against the GPAC’s South Dakota schools. In the Sept. 20 win at Dakota Wesleyan, junior Carli Smith and sophomore Claire White combined on a perfect night on serve receive as the Bulldogs did not commit a single reception error. On the season, Smith owns a 94.4 serve receive percentage.
  • After posting a negative attack percentage in the home loss to Doane, Concordia sizzled on the attack with percentages of .278 and .294, respectively, in the weekend triumphs. Most impressive for Mattera’s crew was how points were finished off by a multitude of Bulldogs. In the win over Dakota Wesleyan, three players posted between eight and 10 kills, led by the 10 apiece from White and junior Mariah Schamp. In the victory over Mount Marty, five players fell in line anywhere from five to 11 kills, with White again leading the way.
  • After collecting only four kills in the loss to Doane, White responded with great play both offensively and defensively in the pair of weekend wins. She hit .417 and .409, respectively, on Friday and Saturday to combine for 21 kills. She committed only two attack errors and no serve receive errors on the weekend. She also added a combined 21 digs in the two wins.
  • The victories over Dakota Wesleyan and Mount Marty boosted the Bulldogs’ record away from Walz Arena to 9-2 on the season, marking a major improvement from the 7-16 road/neutral record from 2012. Among GPAC schools, only No. 5 Midland (18-0), No. 11 Northwestern (13-0) and Nebraska Wesleyan (10-0) have better records away from their home courts.
  • Friday’s match marked the sixth time in Schamp’s career that she has totaled six or more blocks in a single contest. Her eight blocks in the victory over Mount Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) on Aug. 24 tied a career high. She also registered eight blocks on two occasions as a freshman. Her 59 total blocks this season rank fifth in the GPAC and 36th nationally. She also sits fifth in the conference with a .322 hitting percentage.
  • Freshman setter Alayna Kavanaugh, a Lincoln Christian High School product, dished out 36 assists versus Dakota Wesleyan and 30 at Mount Marty. She has tallied 30 or more assists in eight of 11 matches since taking over as Concordia’s setter. During that period she is averaging 9.92 assists per game.
  • The Bulldogs will again battle three conference opponents this week, beginning with a rematch at defending GPAC regular-season champion in No. 25 Hastings (11-6, 3-1 GPAC) at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Concordia will then host No. 11 Northwestern (19-1, 3-0 GPAC) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Morningside (7-5, 0-3 GPAC) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Cross Country

  • Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s Bulldogs participated in the annual Woody Greeno Invite at Pioneer Park in Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 21. It was the team’s first large meet against top-notch competition after hosting a tune-up meet a week earlier. Amongst teams placed in the “College Division” at Woody Greeno, the 14th-ranked Concordia men finished third out of 18 squads while the women placed seventh out of 18. After running a shorter course on Sept. 14, Woody Greeno gave the Bulldogs an opportunity to run the standard cross country distances of 8,000 meters for the men and 6,000 meters for the women.
  • Junior Ben Sievert came through with the highest individual finish among all Bulldog participants on the day. He out-paced all GPAC competitors on the way to an eighth place finish with a time of 25:58 on the 8K course. That time represents a 12-second improvement from Sievert’s 26:10 at Woody Greeno in 2012. The Frankenmuth, Mich., native has earned all-conference honors and has competed at the NAIA National Championships in each of the past two seasons.
  • Senior Hayden Hohnholt followed Sievert for the Bulldogs. Hohnholt finished 11th in the college division by clocking in at 26:25, placing him fourth among GPAC competitors. That time is 10 seconds faster than last year’s mark at Pioneer Park where Hohnholt ended up 45th overall.
  • Sophomore Jordan Portzeba was next in 27:00, followed by junior Josh Allwardt in 27:10 and senior Adam Prahlow in 27:15. Said Einspahr of Portzeba: “He really showed good improvement. He’s a great competitor and he continues to get better and continues to surprise me. He really impressed me today.”
  • On the women’s side, sophomore Kim Wood led the way with a 23rd-place finish by completing the 6K race in 23:57. Wood moved up 55 places from her finish last year at Woody Greeno and improved her time by almost five seconds. Einspahr has repeatedly mentioned what a great summer of training Wood had. She is expected to be Concordia’s frontrunner on the women’s side throughout the season.
  • Freshman Jessy Sweet of Colorado Springs, Colo., crossed the finish line less than four seconds after Wood, earning 25th place in a time of 24:01. Sweet provides immediate help after a stellar prep career at The Vanguard School where she was a three-time state qualifier in cross country and four-time state qualifier in track and field.
  • Junior Renee Williams followed in 24:39, junior Haley Harpham finished in 25:02 and sophomore Megan Burma crossed the finish line in 25:14. The women finished third behind Dordt and Doane among GPAC attendees.
  • Einspahr: “We’ve got a long ways to go, but I was pleased with how we looked and how we competed today,” Einspahr said. “I think our men can compete at the top of the GPAC. They’re going to keep getting better. Overall we’ve got a real solid men’s team.”
  • The Bulldogs will compete in another large meet on Saturday when they travel to St. Paul, Minn., for the Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota. Last year the Concordia men finished 12th out of 28 teams in the “Division II” Roy Griak grouping while the women claimed 11th out of 32 squads. This meet will provide another good test for Concordia against a strong field of runners.

Golf

  • The Bulldog men were busy last week, competing in meets on both Tuesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, the women had a week off until beginning play at the NAIA National Preview meet on Monday. The Sept. 19 event marked the most important meet to date for Concordia’s men’s team as it took part in the first GPAC qualifier meet of the campaign. After the first round of conference action, Concordia sits tied for ninth with its team total of 317. For recaps on all Bulldog golf meets, click HERE.
  • Freshman Josh Hinrichs turned in Concordia’s top score at GPAC Qualifier No. 1. The Hastings, Neb., native carded a three-over-par 75 at Green Valley Golf Course in Sioux City, Iowa. That score places Hinrichs in a tie for 10th on the individual leaderboard. Hinrichs shot a 39 on his front nine and then a 36 on his back nine.
  • Hinrichs finished three strokes in front of 2012-13 GPAC all-conference performer and teammate Shawn Rodehorst. The Kearney, Neb., native shot a 78 on the day, putting him in a tie for 24th in the conference. Head coach Brett Muller says Rodehorst has and will continue to play through pain in his hip that has forced him to continually make changes to his swing. Rodehorst has grinded out a team best average of 77.25 after four fall rounds. Hinrich is close behind with a 78.0 average.
  • The rest of the Bulldogs’ lineup at GPAC Qualifier No. 1 included sophomore Sam Simonson (T36 – 81), freshman Jared Knoepfel (T47 – 83) and sophomore Garrett Suchanek (53rd – 87). Suchanek moved up into Concordia’s group of five by shooting a 79 at the Doane Invite Sept. 17 in Lincoln, Neb.
  • Hinrichs and Rodehorst both carded a 78 at the Doane Invite as the Bulldogs placed third among the 13 teams at the event. Concordia’s ‘A’ squad carded a team score of 323. The ‘B’ squad, led by Suchanek’s 79, finished not far behind with a 333. The meet served as a tune up for the GPAC qualifier two days later.
  • The 317 recorded by Bulldog men’s golf at GPAC Qualifer No. 1 was two strokes lower than the team’s top qualifier score at any of the four meets from last season. Concordia finished the 2012-13 season 10th in the league by shooting a four-round 338-335-325-319–1,317.
  • The women are currently in the midst of the two-day NAIA National Preview meet, held at Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln. Concordia shot a 388 on Monday and will finish the event with round two on Tuesday.
  • Freshman Amy Ahlers of Albion, Neb., posted an 86 at Monday’s round one. That placed her in a tie for 21st among the field of 94 golfers. Fellow freshman Kayla Krueger came in next among Bulldogs with a 98, putting her in a tie for 64. Melissa McIntosh (T-66th – 100), sophomore Kristen Remm (T-75th – 104) and junior Allison Schieffer (89th – 120) filled out the rest of Muller’s lineup on Monday.
  • Ahlers and company entered Tuesday’s round confident in improvement on day two of the NAIA National Preview. McIntosh is the only Bulldog with prior experience on the course at Wilderness Ridge. Ahlers, who struggled with her short game – normally a strength, expects to move up the leaderboard along with the rest of the squad.
  • Both Concordia men’s and women’s teams have the rest of the week off. The women will next tee off on Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the second and final GPAC qualifier of the fall. It will also mark the final meet for the women until the spring. On the other hand, the men have three fall meets left, beginning with the Morningside Invite on Tuesday, Oct. 8.

24 September 2013

Photos from Seward Middle School Wellness Day, conducted by Bulldog athletes and coaches (Friday, Sept. 20):