Previewing the weekend in Bulldog athletics

Previewing the weekend in Bulldog athletics

SEWARD, Neb. – A Saturday home tripleheader including football and a pair of soccer games headlines the weekend in Bulldog athletics. It will also be a busy weekend on the road for Concordia volleyball, and cross country returns to action on Saturday at the Mount Marty Invite. Read on for a complete rundown.

NOTE: All of Concordia’s home games on Saturday will be webcast live via the Concordia Sports Network.


Saturday: Doane (3-3, 3-2 GPAC) at No. 16 Concordia (6-1, 4-1 GPAC), 1 p.m., Seward, Neb.

OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs will look to shake off a nailbiting road loss to Northwestern last week and get back in the win column as they enter one of their most anticipated home games of the season. Concordia has never beaten in-state rivals Doane, Hastings Nebraska, Wesleyan and Midland all in the same season. The Bulldogs need a win over the Tigers to complete the sweep, while Doane is looking to continue its run of success in the series. It has won every meeting since 2005 when Concordia came away with a 23-10 victory in Crete.

Both teams feature defenses that rank among the top 10 in the NAIA in terms of scoring. Despite giving up 30 points and 400 yards of offense at Northwestern, the Bulldogs remain No. 1 nationally in scoring defense (11.9) and are third in total defense (264.1). Meanwhile, Doane ranks 10th in scoring defense (18.2) and 21st in total defense (337.5). The star of the Tiger unit is linebacker Jeremy Wallace, who leads the GPAC with eight sacks.

Doane will attempt to get back on track after losing two-straight prior to sitting idle with a bye last week. The Tigers, guided by head coach Matt Franzen, have defeated Northwestern, Hastings and Midland so far this season. They have lost once in overtime and another time by a single point to rival Nebraska Wesleyan. Doane has a powerful running game led by back Kenneth Boggs (484 yards, 5.1 avg.).

Saturday’s game carries significant weight for Concordia’s playoff hopes. Last season only one team with more than two losses advanced to the NAIA Football National Championship Series. With a home game against top-ranked Morningside and a road tilt with Dakota Wesleyan yet to be played, the Bulldogs are in the midst of a challenging stretch. Concordia hopes to successfully navigate it by riding quarterback Von Thomas and its top-notch defense.

Team leaders
Passing: Von Thomas – 1,200 yards, 114/193 comp/att (59.1 %), 7 td, 2 int, 121.2 eff.
Rushing: Bryce Collins – 123 att, 487 yards, 4.0 avg, 7 td
Receiving: Jeff Balz – 18 catches, 170 yards, 9.4 avg, 3 td
Tackles: Darnell Woods – 50 (31 solo, 19 ast)

Passing: Phil Hamburger – 667 yards, 48/94 comp/att (51.1 %), 6 td, 1 int, 129.6 eff.
Rushing: Kenneth Boggs – 95 att, 484 yards, 5.1 avg, 2 td
Receiving: Nolan Kawata – 16 catches, 203 yards, 0 td
Tackles: Kam Lenhart – 47 (29 solo, 18 ast)

Last five meetings
2012: Doane 17-7
2011: Doane 37-13
2010: Doane 42-14
2009: Doane 26-14
2008: Doane 29-13


Saturday: Briar Cliff (9-5-1, 5-2 GPAC) at Concordia (7-7-1, 3-4 GPAC), 5 p.m., Seward, Neb.

OUTLOOK: The Bulldogs will try to make it a perfect week after earning a 1-0 shutout of Midland on Wednesday. Concordia made a single goal from Melissa Stine stand up behind another solid performance from seniors Jordan Donohoue and Emily Fleming in the back. Donohoue showed her versatility over the last week by moving to forward last Saturday before shifting to defender this week. The play of the two standout seniors is a big reason Concordia has competed closely with the top teams in the league despite injuries that have depleted the its depth. The Bulldogs hold a plus-seven goal differential on the season compared to plus-12 for Briar Cliff. The Chargers had won four-straight games until running into first-place Morningside on Tuesday. Briar Cliff goalkeeper Kalynn Sortino leads the conference with 125 saves while holding down every single minute in goal. Concordia, which surpassed its win total from last season with Wednesday’s victory, sits in seventh place in the conference. A win on Saturday could help solidify its spot in the eight-team conference tournament. Saturday will mark the end of the Bulldogs’ regular-season home schedule and has been tabbed senior and parent’s night. The senior class of Kayla Asche, Donohoue, Fleming, Louisa Mehl and Jory Schweers will be honored.

Concordia leaders
Goals: Rachel Mussell – 8
Assists: Sarah Winnigham – 5
Points: Mussell – 19
Goalkeeper: Chrissy Lind – 4-5-1 record, .739 save %, 1.30 GAA, 34 saves, 831 minutes


Saturday: Briar Cliff (5-10, 2-5 GPAC) at Concordia (8-7, 4-3 GPAC), 7:30 p.m., Seward, Neb.

OUTLOOK: Despite two-straight losses, Concordia remains in the hunt for a home game in the GPAC tournament quarterfinals. A victory over visiting Briar Cliff on Saturday would be a good place to start as the Bulldogs need points as well as some help to crack the top four in the final conference standings. Head coach Jason Weides’ squad hopes to bottle up the kind of performances that helped it win four of its first five conference games. Senior Nathan Douglas, who will be playing the final regular-season game of his career at Bulldog Stadium, is always the key to the Concordia offensive attack, which has sputtered in two-consecutive shutout losses. Douglas will want to add to his program record career goal count of 40 on senior day. The Chargers have lost seven of their last 10 overall, but three of those losses have come by a single goal. Concordia’s plus-six goal differential on the season is 24 goals better than Briar Cliff’s minus-16. The Chargers have struggled on the attack with just 16 goals in their 15 games. Concordia hopes to keep it that way whether junior Brendan Buchanan or freshman Mark Horsburgh stands in goal. In addition to Douglas being honored on Saturday, Skylar Lewis, the team’s only other senior, will also be recognized.

Concordia leaders
Goals: Nathan Douglas – 11
Assists: Douglas – 5
Points: Douglas – 27
Goalkeeper: Brendan Buchanan – 8-6 record, .759 save %, 1.51 GAA, 63 saves, 1,191 minutes


Friday: Concordia (15-10, 4-8 GPAC) at Briar Cliff (16-11, 5-7 GPAC), 7:30 p.m., Sioux City, Iowa


Saturday: Concordia (15-10, 4-8 GPAC) at No. 18 Dordt (18-5, 9-3 GPAC), 5 p.m., Sioux Center, Iowa

OUTLOOK: A young Bulldog team has begun to come of age. Concordia played well enough to win on the road on Wednesday, but Nebraska Wesleyan’s play was a notch better in a straight-sets match in which all three games were tight. Freshman Paige Getz has come on big, going for a career high 15 kills. Over the last seven matches, the Paola, Kan., native has elevated her play, averaging 3.58 kills per set (86 total kills). With Getz and fellow freshmen Alayna Kavanaugh and Taylor Workman combining with sophomore Claire White and juniors Mariah Schamp and Carli Smith, the Bulldogs are capable of playing with the top teams in the strong GPAC. Concordia has two opportunities to test its mettle on the road with its trip to western Iowa to face Briar Cliff on Friday night and No. 18 Dordt on Saturday evening. Head coach Scott Mattera’s squad has yet to face either team this season. In 2012, the Bulldogs defeated Briar Cliff in five sets in Seward and fell in straight sets at Dordt. Concordia is close to cementing a spot in the GPAC tournament and now will look to get win No. 16 and guarantee the program’s first above-.500 record since 2007.

Concordia leaders
Kills: Claire White – 285 (3.2 per set)
Assists: Alayna Kavanaugh – 674 (7.8 per set)
Digs: Carli Smith – 404 (4.8 per set)
Blocks: Mariah Schamp – 79 (0.89 per set)
Aces: White – 34


Saturday: Concordia at Mount Marty Invite, Yankton, S.D., 10:30 a.m.

OUTLOOK: Concordia gets back to action on Saturday following a break since last competing at the NAIA Preview Meet in Lawrence, Kan., on Oct. 12. Last season the Bulldogs finished second on the men’s side and third on the women’s side at the Mount Marty Invite. Sarah Kortze won the women’s race by clocking in at 17:53.48. This Saturday’s meet will be the final competition before Concordia hosts the GPAC championship meet on Saturday, Nov. 9. Junior Ben Sievert is off to a terrific start for the 15th-ranked Concordia men’s squad. Sievert has won the last two GPAC Runner of the Week awards in weeks in which the Bulldogs have had a meet. He galloped to a time of 25:28 at the NAIA Preview meet. He and senior Hayden Hohnholt are the men’s frontrunners. On the women’s side, sophomore Kim Wood and freshman Jessy Sweet have paced Concordia so far this season. Sweet had her best effort in the team’s most recent meet, posting a 19:35 on the 6K course at Rim Rock Farms. Head coach Kregg Einspahr has preached the need to reach peak performance in the important month of November. The Bulldogs hope to carry momentum into the stretch run of the season with strong results in Yankton.

25 October 2013

Nathan Douglas

Jordan Donohoue

Trey Barnes (No. 34)