Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Athletes of the Week
Female: Emily Fleming, Soccer
Fleming, a junior from Gretna, Neb., posted her first goal and her team-leading fifth assist of the season in the Bulldogs’ 4-1 homecoming win over Morningside on Oct. 13. Fleming has been a fixture on the Concordia back line over the last three season, playing in 47 games.
Male: Tait Sibbel, Football
Sibbel, a freshman from O’Neil, Neb., came up from his safety spot to make eight total tackles, two for loss, as the Bulldogs defeated No. 11 Northwestern 17-16 on Oct. 13. Sibbel, who ranks fourth on the team with 41 tackles, made a key fourth down stuff on a quarterback run late in the first half.
Class of 2012 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees: Rachael (Geidel) Burger (’01), Matthew List (’91), Victor Peter (’56), Jennifer (Davis) Schwartz (’06) and the 1991-92 men’s basketball team were inducted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame at the Oct. 12 banquet. If you missed it, read their bios HERE. View our photo gallery of the induction ceremony HERE.
GPAC preseason basketball coaches’ polls released: Junior guard Kristen Conahan and the Bulldog women’s basketball team have been picked by league coaches to finish atop the conference for a second-straight season. The Concordia men, led by post Porter Birtell, have been slotted in a tie for sixth by GPAC coaches.
Four Bulldogs grabbed weekly GPAC honors: Last week saw four Bulldogs receive weekly honors from the GPAC. Nathan Douglas (soccer) was named GPAC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 9, while Carli Smith (volleyball) received GPAC Defensive Player of the Week on the same day. Then on Oct. 10, the cross country duo of Sarah Kortze and Ben Sievert were tabbed GPAC Runners of the Week.
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 schedule/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
- Head coach Vance Winter’s squad thrilled a large homecoming crowd on Oct. 13 with a 17-16 upset victory over No. 11 Northwestern. Watch the post-game celebration in the Bulldog locker room HERE.
- Bulldog stadium erupted with jubilation as Northwestern’s Mike O’Brien missed wide right from 25 yards out on a field goal attempt in the final minute, preserving the one-point Bulldog victory. Behind a lockdown defensive effort in the second half, Concordia extended its win streak to four games and produced the biggest shocker in GPAC football action this season.
- “It’s big,” junior cornerback Derek Blessing said. “We’ve been working on this for the last three years – even more than that. We put in our hard work and it just comes down to this. We played our hearts out.”
- “Our guys have shown a ton of perseverance and kept working. We could have folded after the 0-3 start,” Winter said. “We could have went into woe-is-me mode. Our guys have continued to fight. I’m just so proud of the effort and the work. This game was like our whole season, except we finished the deal.”
- Blessing, named GPAC Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday, came up huge in special teams once again. His 50-yard punt return touchdown with 8:03 left in the game got Concordia within 16-14 to provide the jolt the Bulldogs needed. The native of Ogallala, Neb., is second in the NAIA with an average of 22.1 yards per punt return and first with 353 total punt return yards.
- The Bulldog defense also played a prominent role in the win, holding the potent Red Raider offense to 86 total yards and no points in the second half. Defensive coordinator Patrick Daberkow’s unit limited the prolific rushing duo of Brandon Smith and Theo Bartman to 110 yards rushing on 28 carries. Smith and Bartman had averaged a combined 210 yards per game entering the contest.
- With the Oct. 13 victory, the Bulldogs have equaled their season totals from 2011 in overall wins (4) and GPAC wins (3). Concordia, which finished in eighth place in the conference last season, has vaulted into a tie for third in the GPAC thanks to three-consecutive league wins. No. 4 Morningside and No. 17 Hastings are currently tied for first with 5-0 GPAC marks.
- Concordia is looking for its first winning season since the 2001 squad coached by Courtney Meyer went 10-2 and advanced to the NAIA Football Championship Series. Meyer’s 2002, 2003 and 2004 teams each went 5-5.
- Senior kicker Kenny Zoeller, who is 12-for-14 on field goal tries this season, continues to lead the NAIA in field goal makes. His 60 points are the second most among all kickers. Quarterback Von Thomas ranks 25th in the NAIA in total yards of offense per game at 227.3. Thomas has thrown for 1,305 yards and 13 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions. He also has 286 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
- The Bulldogs will head about 30 minutes east on Saturday to take on rival Nebraska Wesleyan (2-4, 1-4 GPAC) in Lincoln, Neb., at 1 p.m. The Prairie Wolves won 10-7 in Seward last year following a 3-0 Concordia win at Nebraska Wesleyan in 2010.
- Sophomore Rachel Mussell and the Bulldogs shook off a tough 3-0 loss to Midland on Oct. 10, rebounding with a 4-1 victory over Morningside in the Oct. 13 homecoming game.
- A balanced scoring effort made keyed the homecoming victory as four different Bulldogs found the back of the net. Mussell, a native of Buffalo, Minn., scored her GPAC-leading 12th goal of the season, getting Concordia on the board in the 22nd minute. The fireworks were just beginning as junior defender Emily Fleming (first goal of 2012), junior forward Jordan Donohoue (second goal of 2012) and senior defender Kyleah Bowder (first goal of 2012) each knocked in a goal apiece.
- “That was awesome,” head coach Lisa White said. “It’s what we’ve been waiting for – to see more of a balance. It was really good to see other people pulling the trigger and having hits and feeling confidence. We’ve got lots of people taking chances, and to me, that reflects the confidence we found today to play with and hopefully we’ll carry through with that.”
- “This game it kind of clicked,” Bowder said. “Everyone knew where they needed to be. We were there to finish and a lot of the goals we had were off of rebounds. We just did what we needed to do to stay composed.”
- With Bowder and Fleming both posting their first goals of the season, the Bulldogs have now had seven different players record at least one goal in 2012. After Mussell’s 12 scores, sophomore Melissa Stine comes in next with three goals.
- Since losing two-straight GPAC games to end September, Concordia has won two of its last three league matches with victories over Mount Marty and Morningside. With a 3-3 conference mark, the Bulldogs sit in seventh place in the GPAC, but are just one point out of fourth place and two points behind third place Midland.
- Mussell has regained sole possession of the GPAC lead in goals with 12, one ahead of both Doane’s Sara Cushing and Courtney Richards. Mussell is also first in goals per game (1.09) and in points per game (2.27), while ranking sixth in shots on goal per game (1.91). Nationally, Mussell is 17th in goals per game and 29th in total goals.
- Mussell has scored at least one goal in six of the team’s last seven games and in eight of 12 games overall. She has multiple goals in three games, including a hat trick on Aug. 23.
- As a team, the Bulldogs rank third in the GPAC in both goals per game (2.09) and assists per game (1.18) and fourth in shots on goal per game (8.27).
- Concordia will be on the road both Wednesday and Saturday as GPAC action continues. The Bulldogs begin the week with Nebraska Wesleyan (4-8-2, 3-2-1) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The Prairie Wolves have won two straight having defeated Dakota Wesleyan 3-2 on Oct. 6 and Mount Marty 3-0 on Oct. 13.
- Concordia will then shift its focus to Briar Cliff (5-6-3, 3-2-1 GPAC) on Saturday for a 1 p.m. contest. The Chargers have been involved in several nailbiters this season, including seven overtime games.
- Senior outside hitter Amanda Kisker and the Bulldogs dropped a pair of matches last week on the heels of a three-match win streak. Despite a strong showing on Oct. 10 at Walz Arena, head coach Scott Mattera’s squad fell in three sets to No. 23 Midland, 26-24, 25-22, 25-22. Concordia traveled to Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday when the Tigers atoned for their Sept. 26 loss in Seward with a four-set home win over the Bulldogs.
- Even in defeat, there were many promising performances against the strong Warrior attack on Oct. 10. In particular, Concordia’s defense made the going tough for Midland, the seventh nationally-ranked opponent of the season.
- “Game one and three we had leads all the way into the 20s, and it just didn’t happen,” Mattera said following the match. “Our girls made a lot of plays tonight, and that’s the way the ball bounces sometimes. I’ve got to be proud of the way they’ve improved over these six weeks since the first time against Midland. I’m excited where we’re headed over the next couple of weeks.”
- Sophomore defensive specialist Carli Smith, named GPAC Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 9, enjoyed another outstanding match with 21 digs. She now has 382 total digs, which ranks second in the GPAC behind Dordt’s Kayla Broekhuis. However, Smith leads the conference in digs per set with 5.0.
- “As libero she is the quarterback of the defense,” Mattera said of Smith. “She is really finding the balance of playing free and loose but staying within and believing in the system. She's been so open to feedback and has really made such a huge effort to improve both physically and mentally, which is really mature and impressive for a player who has had success in the past but is being asked to change. I couldn't be more proud of her.”
- With 15 kills versus Midland and 10 against Dakota Wesleyan, Kisker now has 264 for the season and 997 for her career. The Lincoln, Neb., native posted 205 as a freshman at Dana before transferring to Concordia. She recorded 213 kills as a sophomore and 315 as a junior. She also has 221 digs on the season and 693 in her career.
- Kisker is third in the GPAC in kills per set (3.4), ranking behind only Hastings’ Kendra Schwein (4.4) and Doane’s Susan Rollman (3.5). Kisker is sixth in total kills.
- Sophomore setters Jami Nekoliczak and Kayla James rank 10th and 11th, respectively, in the GPAC in assists. Nekoliczak has 393 assists (5.1 per set), while James has 328 (4.5 per set).
- The Bulldogs have a busy week ahead with five matches, including four as part of the Clarke University weekend tournament in Dubuque, Iowa. Concordia will first play Nebraska Wesleyan (10-10, 4-4 GPAC) inside Walz Arena at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Prairie Wolves are 5-5 in their last 10 matches since losing 25-20, 25-27, 25-15, 26-24 to the Bulldogs on Sept. 18.
- Concordia will play four non-conference matches this weekend in Dubuque, beginning with Graceland (Iowa) (15-5) and Purdue North Central (Ind.) (5-20) on Friday. The Bulldogs turn around to challenge Judson (Ill.) (15-12) and Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) (19-6) on Saturday.
- After three-straight shutout wins in which they combined to outscore their opponents 10-0 between Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, the Bulldogs struggled last week on the way to a 3-1 loss to Midland on Oct. 9 and a 3-2 loss to Morningside in the Oct. 13 homecoming game.
- In the 3-1 loss at Midland, senior forward Aaron Skipworth collected his second goal of the season and 31st for his career, tying Bernie Ochoa for the school career goals scored record. Ochoa donned the Concordia blue from 2000 to 2002.
- Junior forward Nathan Douglas continued his run of goal scoring in the loss to Morningside, putting him within striking distance of Skipworth and Ochoa on the all-time list. Douglas tallied both of the Bulldogs’ goals in the Oct. 13 game, pushing his season total to 10 and his career total to 28.
- Douglas now has seven goals in his last five games and his 10 goals on the season have all come since Sept. 15. The Winnipeg, Canada, native ranks in a tie for second in the GPAC in goals and is also second in goals per game (0.83) and points per game (1.75). Hastings’ Jordan Green leads the conference in all three categories.
- “He’s terrific in front of frame right now,” head coach Jason Weides said of Douglas. “If he gets his chance, he converts it. He’s been clinical in front of the frame. His goal scoring record continues to build. He came up with some real pivotal goals.”
- Until allowing three goals in each of the last two games, the Bulldogs had not given up more than two goals in a single game this season. Concordia also has six team shutouts, but slipped to No. 2 in the conference in fewest goals allowed per game (1.0) after relinquishing six scores last week.
- The Bulldogs are now 12-2 in their last 14 home games after the Oct. 13 loss. Concordia went 8-0 at Bulldog Stadium last season and is 4-2 in 2012 with home losses to Hastings and Morningside.
- Although the Bulldogs currently sit in eighth place in the GPAC, their overall win percentage of .643 is second only to No. 20 Hastings (.714) among league teams.
- The Concordia men, just like the women, will be on the road for a pair of conference games this week. The Bulldogs face Nebraska Wesleyan (7-5-2, 4-2 GPAC) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. The Prairie Wolves own a mark of 2-0-1 in their last three contests with wins over Dakota Wesleyan and Mount Marty.
- Concordia will then travel to Sioux City on Saturday for a 3:15 p.m. game with Briar Cliff (1-11-2, 0-5-1 GPAC). The Chargers are winless in their last eight games against conference opponents.
- Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s nationally-ranked men’s and women’s cross country teams had the weekend off after competing in the Briar Cliff Invitational on Oct. 6.
- Senior Sarah Kortze and sophomore Ben Sievert again paced their respective squads at the Briar Cliff Invitational, and both earned GPAC Runner of the Week honors on Oct. 10 because of those performances.
- Kortze, who also earned NAIA National Women's Cross Country Runner of the Week on Sept. 19, clocked in at 17:48 on the 5K course at the Briar Cliff Invite on Oct. 6 in McCook Lake, S.D. With that time, the Rockford, Ill., native finished second individually among 163 runners and led the Bulldogs to third place among the field of 16 teams.
- “Sarah continues to have a fantastic season,” head cross country coach Kregg Einspahr said. “All her work and patience over the past three years is really coming to fruition in her senior year.”
- Sievert’s time of 25:14 at the Briar Cliff Invite marked his best performance of the season in the 8K. His time placed him third individually among the 174 competitors and fueled Concordia to a third-place finish out of 14 teams. The Frankemuth, Mich., native also earned GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Week honors on Sept. 19 after a stellar race at the Woody Greeno Invite.
- “Ben continues to get better every week,” Einspahr said. “He learns quickly from each race and has become a formidable runner in only his second year of college running.”
- The 20th-ranked men and the 23rd-ranked women continue their seasons on Oct. 20 at the Mount Marty Invite in Yankton, S.D. Last season, the men won the 13-team meet and the women finished second out of 12 squads. Sievert placed first individually on the men’s side, while Kortze recorded a second-place finish for the women.
- Head coach Brett Muller’s men’s and women’s squads have now completed their fall seasons. The women’s final meet came on Oct. 3 when they participated in GPAC Qualifier No. 2 in Lincoln, Neb.
- The men finished the fall season on Oct. 10 with their GPAC Qualifier No. 2. The Bulldogs closed the first two qualifier events in a tie for 10th after shooting a team total of 335 in Sioux City, Iowa. Concordia shot a 338 at GPAC Qualifier No. 2 on Sept. 13 in Orange City, Iowa.
- Shawn Rodehorst continued his fine sophomore campaign by shooting a 78 to lead Concordia. Rodehorst sits in a tie for 30th place individually (82-78–160) with two GPAC qualifiers in the books.
- Following Rodehorst on Oct. 10 were freshmen Garrett Suchanek with an 82, Brock Colclasure’s 86 and Sam Simonson, who posted an 89. Junior Sam DeFreece rounded out the Bulldogs’ group of five with a 90.
- Rodehorst finished the fall season with an 18-hole average of 77.25 in eight rounds of golf. On the women’s side, Makenzie Deutschman topped Concordia with an average of 88.43 in seven rounds.
- The Bulldog golf teams will continue their 2012-13 seasons in the spring when two more GPAC qualifier events will be held.
16 October 2012