Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Athletes of the Week
Female: Jena Schwalenberg, Cross Country
Schwalenberg, a native of Columbus, Neb., clocked in at 23:40 in the 6K Griak Invitational course at the University of Minnesota to place 32nd overall and second among all NAIA competitors at the event. The senior fueled the Bulldogs to a 14th-place finish out of 38 teams.
Male: Hayden Hohnholt, Cross Country
Hohnholt, who hails from Saratoga, Wyo., raced to the second best finish of all GPAC competitors in the “Division II” category at the Griak Invitational. The junior finished third among all NAIA participants with a time of 26:41 on the 8K course, helping Concordia to an 11th-place finish out of 36 squads.
Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting http://webprod2.cune.edu/csn at game time. Check team schedule/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
Bulldogs host sports mini clinics
Bulldog athletics hosted its annual sports mini clinics day on Sept. 28 as Seward Middle School students were welcomed to Plum Creek Park for instructional, fun-filled activities. Read more about the event HERE.
Winter sports previews
Men’s and women’s basketball and wrestling each begin their seasons in late October/early November. Season previews for each sport will be available at concordiabulldogs.com later this month.
- Led by three second-half touchdown passes from quarterback Von Thomas, the Bulldogs recovered from a sluggish first half to win 28-7 and spoil Dakota State’s homecoming on Sept. 29. Head coach Vance Winter earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Dakota State in 2002.
- “The first half was like a root canal,” Winter said. “They came out and they really moved the football. We knew we would get their best shot on homecoming, and that’s what we got.”
- Thomas delivered one touchdown pass each to junior tight end Jordan Larrington, junior receiver Noah Smith and senior receiver Colten Quinabo to put the game out of reach.
- Trailing 7-0 coming out of the halftime locker room, Concordia (2-3, 1-2 GPAC) finally got on the board when freshman running back Victor Brown capped a 13-play, 66-yard drive with a two-yard plunge into the end zone. The drive, which occurred on the opening possession of the second half, spanned 5:47 and energized a team that needed a shot in the arm.
- “It was a sleepwalking fest in the first half,” Winter said. “Dakota State did a bunch of stuff that we didn’t react well to. We were very fortunate to only be down 7-0. In the second half we got back to doing what we had planned on. To Dakota State’s credit, they did a lot of things that we didn’t handle very well.”
- Thomas finished 18-for-24 passing with 154 yards and three touchdowns, marking his second-straight game with a trio of scoring tosses. The Miami, Fla., native now has 10 touchdown passes on the year to go against five interceptions. He ranks 19th in the NAIA in total yards per game (237.6) and 28th in passing yards per game (190.4). He also is Concordia’s leading rusher with 236 yards and four touchdowns on 45 carries.
- Winter is now 2-0 against his alma mater having defeated the Trojans 49-21 last year. Dakota State has lost nine-straight games with its last win coming against Briar Cliff on Oct. 15, 2011.
- The Bulldogs continue to rank as one of the most prolific offenses in the NAIA, currently sitting 15th overall with an average of 33.2 points per game.
- Junior cornerback Derek Blessing, the NAIA’s leading punt returner at 28.0 yards per return, did not get a chance to touch the football on Dakota State’s two punts. Senior kicker Kenny Zoeller remains No. 1 nationally with 10 field goal makes despite not getting an attempt versus the Trojans. Zoeller is 10-for-10 on field goal attempts and 16-for-16 on extra points.
- Concordia will return to GPAC action for its final six games of the season. The Bulldogs will travel to Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday to take on Briar Cliff (1-4, 1-3 GPAC), which defeated Dordt 33-29 on Sept. 29. Concordia beat the Chargers 47-12 in Seward last season.
- Head coach Jason Weides’ squad bounced back from a physical 2-1 overtime loss to No. 23 Hastings on Sept. 26 with a 6-0 blowout of Dakota Wesleyan on Sept. 29. The Bulldogs had been gunning for their first victory over NAIA powerhouse Hastings since 1998.
- The home defeat at the hands of the Broncos snapped a 10-game home winning streak that dated back to a 2-1 loss to Briar Cliff on Oct. 30, 2010. Concordia won all eight home contests in 2011.
- The Bulldogs quickly shook off the tough loss and pounded the Tigers at Bulldog Stadium. Five different players scored goals as Concordia collected its first GPAC victory. Junior forward Nathan Douglas, who led the team with 11 goals last season, drilled a pair of goals to help get the Bulldogs back in the win column.
- Freshman midfielder Gideon Soeknsen, sophomore midfielder Kevin Soensken, freshman defender Sean Doran and sophomore defender Daniel Moore also got in on the act as each recorded one goal in the Dakota Wesleyan game.
- “They responded really well,” Weides said. “They didn’t feel sorry for themselves. They didn’t feel like they were cheated or slighted. They knew (the Hastings game) was a good game, we just didn’t get on the good end of it. They were hungry to get back at it.”
- Douglas and company would love to get another shot at the Broncos, defending GPAC champions and national runner-up in 2011, in the GPAC Championships. “We were looking forward to it all season,” sophomore midfielder Kevin Soenksen said. “This is the one, but we’ll get them another time.”
- Douglas, a native of Winnipeg, Canada, has vaulted up the GPAC leaderboard with his recent scoring binge. He now sits fourth in the league in goals per game at 0.63. Senior forward Aaron Skipworth remains atop the GPAC with 0.44 assists per game.
- As a team, the Bulldogs are allowing the fewest goals per game at 0.8 after goalkeepers Chris Podlich and Brendan Buchanan combined on the team’s fourth shutout of the season in the win over the Tigers. Concordia is tied for third in goals scored per game with a 2.1 average.
- Sophomore defender Daniel Moore became the 10th Bulldog to record a goal this season when he found the back of the net in the 79th minute of Concordia’s win over Dakota Wesleyan.
- With an overall record of 7-3, the Bulldogs boast the top winning percentage in the conference. Northwestern (6-3) is next with a .667 win percentage.
- Jagger Schindler, a cousin of Ian Euler, served as Honorary Bulldog Junior on Saturday. The five-year-old Jagger, who has a condition called Childhood Apraxia of Speech, joined Concordia on the field for pre-game introductions. “It was real nice,” Euler said. “He got a lot of smiles out of it today. We’ll all remember it.”
- Concordia will break from GPAC play on Wednesday when Central Christian College (Kan.) (5-3-1) of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference visits Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs then return to GPAC action on Saturday at Mount Marty (1-8, 0-2 GPAC) with kickoff scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
- Sophomore forward Rachel Mussell continued to be a bright spot despite a pair of losses last week for head coach Lisa White’s Bulldogs. Concordia lost twice by a 3-1 score on the week, falling to Hastings on Sept. 26 and Dakota Wesleyan on Sept. 29.
- Mussell, the reigning GPAC Offensive Player of the Week, scored the lone goal for the Bulldogs in both contests to extend her GPAC leading goal count to nine on the season. The Buffalo, Minn., native also leads the conference with 19 points. She ranks 24th nationally with 1.13 goals per game and 32nd with 2.38 points per game.
- “I may be the one finishing goals but it’s a team effort. The way we play, our whole team puts in an effort to score a goal,” Mussell said after the game.
- Mussell has now scored at least one goal in four-consecutive games and at least one in six of eight games this season. Mallorie Blanck led Concordia last season with nine goals for the entire 2011 campaign. Mussell notched two goals during her freshman season.
- A slow start in the loss to the defending GPAC champion Broncos doomed Concordia in its first game of the week. Hastings got on the board in the second minute and the Bulldogs never did recover. “We’re a little frustrated with how the first half went,” White said. “We were a little timid and afraid. We lacked some belief. They were challenged at half time to correct that. The response in the second half I was happy with; we were a different team in the second half.”
- A second-straight GPAC loss followed in a matchup with Dakota Wesleyan. Concordia, which entered play as the GPAC’s second-highest scoring squad, often struggled to capitalize on prime opportunities as the visiting Tigers (2-4, 2-1 GPAC) came away with a 3-1 victory at Bulldog Stadium.
- “Whether it was just a bit of precision we were missing today or miscued on some timing we really weren’t able to capitalize on all of those chances,” White said. “Not much more you can do than to create those chances and hope the players can really execute what we’re asking them to do.”
- Concordia (3-5, 1-2 GPAC) had several scoring chances midway through the second half. Donohoue’s liner on a free kick drilled the cross bar in the 59th minute prior to her shot on goal in the 61st minute that was turned away by goalkeeper Erika Carpenter. Sophomore midfielder Ashlie Sklenicka then had her attempt at the left post knocked away by a diving Carpenter in the 62nd minute.
- Junior forward Jordan Donohoue ranks second in the GPAC in both assists (4) and assists per game (0.5). As a team, the Bulldogs are third in the conference in goals per game at 2.13.
- White’s squad is idle until Saturday when Concordia will play at Mount Marty (3-6, 0-2 GPAC) at 1 p.m.
- The Concordia men’s and women’s cross country teams returned to action for the first time since the Greeno Invite as they traveled to St. Paul, Minn., on Sept. 29 to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational cross country meet, which hosted numerous schools from across the nation. Races consisted of schools from NAIA and NCAA Division I, II and III levels. Concordia competed in the division II races.
- On the women’s side, senior Sarah Kortze led the way with a fifth place overall finish, and a time of 22:28 as the Bulldogs finished 14th out of 38 teams. Senior Jena Schwalenberg was next in line, clocking in at 23:40 and a 32nd place finish. Freshman Kim Wood followed with a time of 25:11, sophomore Megan Letts was next at 25:23 and freshman Megan Burma finished in 25:25.
- “I thought Sarah and Jena had very good races,” head coach Kregg Einspahr said. “Especially with their level of fitness right now, and having the experience of having ran this race already, this is a huge race so that really helped.”
- The men finished in 11th place overall out of 36 teams, and were led by sophomore Ben Sievert, who took 29thplace and finished in 26:28. Junior Hayden Hohnholt was next in 26:41 and took 47th place. Junior Beau Billings followed in 65th place with a time of 27:06. Freshman Jordan Potrzeba finished in 27:51, and senior Joel Heckman ran 27:57.
- “I thought our top three runners had good races,” Einspahr said. “We still have a big gap between our three and then four and five runners. Joel and Jordan ran well. I thought we had a god race, but we can be much better than we were today.”
- “Our younger runners ran well, but after running this race a couple times, we can get a better feel for what it’s like,” Einspahr said. “I really feel that our younger runners can get better. We ran well today, but we were a solid team, not a great team.”
- In the most recent coaches’ polls that were released on Sept. 26, Einsphar’s men’s and women’s squads both landed at No. 19. The women began the season at No. 10, while the men have held steady since being tabbed No. 19 in the preseason.
- Next up for the Bulldogs is the Briar Cliff Invite on Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. in McCook Lake, S.D. The event is smaller in scale than the team’s first two meets with roughly a dozen teams taking part. The course is known for being flat and fast.
- After enjoying consecutive wins between Sept. 18 and 22, head coach Scott Mattera’s squad dropped both matches last week against excellent competition. The Bulldogs fell 25-18, 25-15, 25-16 to No. 7 Hastings on Sept. 26 prior to a 25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 25-16 loss to defending GPAC champion Morningside on Sept. 29. Both defeats were on the road.
- The Bulldogs got 15 assists from sophomore setter Jami Nekoliczak in the Hastings match that was played tighter than the final score would indicate. Senior outside hitter Amanda Kisker again led the team in kills, going for eight more in 23 attempts. Sophomore middle block Mariah Schamp added two service aces.
- On the night, Hastings out-hit Concordia .373 to .104. The sizzling Broncos played nearly flawless in posting an attack percentage of .367 or better in each of the three games. The Bulldogs played best in set No. 1 with a .286 percentage.
- The match against Hastings marked the team’s sixth contest this season against a nationally-ranked opponent. The Bulldogs have also played two other teams that were receiving votes at the time of the match.
- Kisker and company gave a stronger showing in the Sept. 29 loss at Morningside. Great efforts from sophomore right side Amanda Abbott and sophomore defensive specialist Carli Smith allowed Concordia (5-11, 2-5 GPAC) to hang with the defending GPAC champion Mustangs (11-8, 2-4 GPAC) in Sioux City.
- “After some early adjustments we played fantastically well defensively,” Mattera said. “The problem was that we were on defense entirely too much. I certainly can't fault the effort, we just need to execute the skills of the game more consistently.”
- Abbott again had an efficient day, going for 11 kills on only 23 attempts for a .423 hitting percentage. Smith put forth a great performance defensively with 20 digs and better than 90 percent efficiency on 45 serve receive attempts. “Carli was a terror in the back, mixing great discipline with hustle,” Mattera said.
- Kisker and Smith continue to represent Concordia on the GPAC leaderboards. Smith ranks second in the league at 4.6 digs per set, while Kisker is fifth with 3.2 kills per set. Kisker, a Lincoln native in her third season as a Bulldog, has amassed 711 total kills at Concordia.
- The Bulldogs have a busy week ahead as they will play at in-state York College on Tuesday before returning to GPAC action on Friday and Saturday. Concordia will host both weekend matches as it takes on Briar Cliff at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and then challenges Mount Marty at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
- Concordia senior Makenzie Deutschman capped a solid second and final day at the Doane Invite on Sept. 25 by carding an 82. Despite her performance, the Bulldogs slipped from 18th place following the Sept. 24 round to 20th place at the event’s conclusion. A total of 21 teams and more than 100 individuals competed at Wilderness Ridge Golf Course in Lincoln, Neb., site of the 2013 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships.
- As a team, Concordia shot a 388-392–780. Duetschman finished in a tie for 37th place (90-82–172) thanks to a strong Tuesday performance that saw her knock eight strokes off of her Monday total and post her best 18-hole score of the season. Her season average per 18 holes now sits at 87.3 through six rounds.
- “Makenzie played lights out,” head coach Brett Muller said. “For her to shoot her lowest score of the year on the toughest course we play all year really tells you how well she played. Makenzie shot 41 both days on her first nine holes, so she was in good shape at the turn. Monday she played her final four holes 11 over par. On Tuesday she played those same four holes at even par.”
- Senior Chelsea Peck (season average of 93.5 in six rounds) came in next for Concordia after shooting a 93-100–193. Peck was followed by sophomore Melissa McIntosh (99-103–202), senior Madison Phillips (106-107–213) and sophomore Jenelle Hallaert (108), who did not participate on Tuesday due to illness.
- “Overall today was disappointing to shoot four shots worse on the same course we played the previous day,” Muller said. “I hope we learned something from the last two days. We need to bounce back and on Wednesday on the same course for GPAC Qualifier No. 2.”
- Sophomore Shawn Rodehorst tops the men through seven rounds of play with an average score of 77.14. Duetschman’s 87.33 average ranks best for the Bulldog women.
- The men have been off since the Sept. 24 Hastings Invite. They will finish off the fall portion of their schedule with GPAC Qualifier No. 2 in Sioux City, Iowa, on Oct. 10. They currently sit in 10th place following a team score of 338 at the first GPAC Qualifier.
- The women have their final meet of the fall on Wednesday with the women’s GPAC Qualifier No. 2, which will also be held at Wilderness Ridge. They will try to dig out of their 11th place standing from the first GPAC Qualifier when they shot a 415.
2 October 2012