Weekend primer

For the first Saturday since Sept. 8, each of Concordia’s fall athletic teams will be on the road. Here’s a look at all Bulldog Friday and Saturday competitions.

Volleyball at Clarke University Tournament in Dubuque, Iowa

Friday: 6 p.m. vs. Cardinal Stritch (Wis.); 8 p.m. vs. Clarke (Iowa)
Saturday: 10 a.m. vs. Purdue North Central (Ind.); 12 p.m. vs. Judson (Ill.)

Outlook: Head coach Scott Mattera and the Bulldogs travel to Dubuque, Iowa, for the weekend as part of the Clarke University Tournament. Concordia will play four opponents outside of the conference in the team’s third and final weekend tournament of the season. The Bulldogs are 2-4 this season against nonconference foes on neutral courts. None of the four opponents this weekend received votes in the latest coaches’ poll, but Cardinal Stritch brings a record of 18-6 into play, while host Clarke is 21-7. Purdue North Central has struggled to 6-21 and Judson is 15-12. Concordia hopes senior outside hitter Amanda Kisker, who eclipsed 1,000 career kills in Tuesday’s loss, and Carli Smith (GPAC digs/set leader with 5.0) have the endurance to lead the Bulldogs through a grueling schedule that includes four matches in less than 24 hours with back-to-back contests on Friday and Saturday.

Cross Country at Mount Marty Invite in Yankton, S.D., Saturday, 10:30 a.m.

Outlook: The 18th-ranked Concordia men and 23rd-ranked women will return to action on Saturday after being idle since the Oct. 6 Briar Cliff Invite in which senior Sarah Kortze and sophomore Ben Sievert shined once again. Both earned GPAC Runner of the Week honors for their performances. At last season’s Mount Marty Invite the Bulldog 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 Kregg Einspahr is looking for similar success this time around.

Football at Nebraska Wesleyan (2-4, 1-4 GPAC), Saturday, 1 p.m.

Live webcast link: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/nwu.portal#
Outlook: The Bulldogs enter Saturday’s rivalry game on a high with four-consecutive wins, including the shocker over Northwestern last week. Concordia brings in the 24th-ranked scoring offense (32.6 ppg) in the NAIA thanks in large part to the playmaking ability of quarterback Von Thomas (227.3 total yards per game) and an excellent special teams unit that features Blessing and the NAIA’s leader in successful field goals in Kenny Zoeller. Nebraska Wesleyan, who has won three of the last four in the series, relies on a defense that holds opponents to 74.3 rushing yards per game (third in the NAIA) and 284.4 total yards per game (16th nationally). The stout Prairie Wolf defense is fueled by linebacker Brett Kaczor, who is 10th nationally with 10.8 tackles per game. Nebraska Wesleyan is coming off a 27-7 win over Dordt last week following an overtime loss to Northwestern two weeks before.

Women’s Soccer at Briar Cliff (6-6-3, 4-2-1 GPAC), Saturday, 1 p.m.

Live webcast link: http://www.bcuchargers.com/f/BC360.php
Outlook: Head coach Lisa White and the Bulldogs hope to continue their recent domination of Briar Cliff on Saturday in Sioux City, Iowa. Concordia has won the last three meetings in the series, including a 4-1 win in 2011, a 7-0 romp in 2010 and a 4-2 victory in 2009. However, with a 4-2-1 record over their last seven games, the Chargers have already equaled their win total from last season despite allowing 2.27 goals per game (sixth in GPAC) on the season compared to just 1.27 goals scored per contest (ninth in GPAC). Julie Redus has drilled eight of Briar Cliff’s 19 goals in 2012. On the other hand, Concordia ranks third in the conference in goals per game with 2.0, thanks in large part to sophomore Rachel Mussell’s 12 goals, which are tied for the GPAC lead. Defensively, the Bulldogs rate ninth in the league with an average of 2.83 goals allowed per game.

Men’s Soccer at Briar Cliff (1-12-2, 0-6-1 GPAC), Saturday, 3:15 p.m.

Live webcast link: http://www.bcuchargers.com/f/BC360.php
Outlook: Briar Cliff is still looking for its first win in GPAC play and its first win overall since defeating Saint Mary (Kan.) 4-2 on Sept. 22. The Chargers have struggled both offensively and defensively, ranking at the bottom of the conference in both goals scored (1.07/game) and goals allowed (3.67/game). Since falling 2-0 to Briar Cliff in 2009, Concordia has won two straight in the series with a 4-1 win in 2011 and a 1-0 triumph in 2010. The Charger’s leading goal scorer, Anthony Benitez, has four goals. On the other hand, Concordia ranks fourth in the league in goals scored (2.0/game) and second in goals allowed (1.0/game). Nathan Douglas, whose 29 career goals are two behind current teammate Aaron Skipworth and former Bulldog Bernie Ochoa for the school’s all-time record, is second in the GPAC with 11 goals. Douglas also ranks second in points per game (1.77) and third in shots on goal per game (1.85).

19 October 2012