The Highlights

Women’s basketball preview: Lawrence vs. Lake Forest, Knox

Posted on: January 26th, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University women’s basketball returns to Alexander Gymnasium this week for a pair of Midwest Conference games. The Vikings take on Lake Forest College at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and then face Knox College at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Preview

Men’s basketball preview: Lawrence vs. Lake Forest, Knox

Posted on: January 26th, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University men’s basketball team returns to the friendly confines of Alexander Gymnasium for a pair of Midwest Conference games this week. Lawrence takes on Lake Forest College on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. before facing Knox College on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Preview

Vikings sweep all five matches at Lawrence Duals

Posted on: January 25th, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University fencing team swept all five matches on Sunday at the Lawrence Duals at the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center.

The Lawrence men topped Wisconsin 21-6, downed Northwestern 16-11 and beat Minnesota 24-3. On the women’s side, the Vikings topped Wisconsin 18-9 and defeated Minnesota 27-0. Northwestern’s women’s team was not in attendance.

Sabre led the way for the Lawrence men by posting a 25-2 record on the day. Joe Davis went 9-0 in sabre, and Graham Jones and Ian Pelton were both 8-1. Men’s foil went 18-9 in the three matches, and epee also posted an 18-9 record.

On the women’s side, Lawrence was perfect in foil with an 18-0 record. Rebecca Albrecht and Katherine Ling both went 6-0 in foil for the Vikings. Women’s sabre posted a 14-4 record for the Vikings, and epee was 13-5. Lawrence’s Shelby Guinn went 6-0 in sabre, and Nicole Mitchell was 5-1 in epee.

In the other men’s matches, Northwestern defeated Minnesota 23-4, the Wildcats beat Wisconsin 17-10 and Wisconsin downed Minnesota 20-7. In the other women’s match, Wisconsin beat Minnesota 16-8.

Lawrence Duals

Men

Lawrence defeated Minnesota 24-3 (Sabre 9-0, Foil 7-2, Epee 8-1)

Lawrence defeated Northwestern 16-11 (Sabre 7-2, Foil 5-4, Epee 4-5)

Lawrence defeated Wisconsin 21-6 (Sabre 9-0, Foil 6-3, Epee 6-3)

Northwestern defeated Minnesota 23-4 (Sabre 9-0, Foil 5-4, Epee 9-0)

Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 20-7 (Sabre 9-0, Foil 3-6, Epee 8-1)

Northwestern defeated Wisconsin 17-10 (Sabre 5-4, Foil 9-0, Epee 3-6)

Women

Lawrence defeated Wisconsin 18-9 (Sabre 5-4, Foil 9-0, Epee 4-5)

Lawrence defeated Minnesota 27-0 (Sabre 9-0, Foil 9-0, Epee 9-0)

Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 16-8 (Sabre 6-0, Foil 5-4, Epee 5-4)

Saints top Lawrence 4-2

Posted on: January 24th, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

DULUTH, Minn. — St. Scholastica used its special teams for nearly all of its offense and went on to a 4-2 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association win over Lawrence University on Saturday at Mars Lakeview Arena.

The Saints (10-7-2, 7-4-1 NCHA) got a pair of power-play goals and a short-hander to secure a series sweep from Lawrence (6-12-1, 5-7-0). St. Scholastica won 6-1 on Friday night.

Lawrence jumped out to a 2-0 lead 12:10 into the first period. The Vikings scored first on Tom Lee’s second goal of the season at the 7:54 mark. Lawrence made it 2-0 when Blake Roubos scored his sixth goal of the season at the 12:10 mark.

A Cory Bastian roughing penalty put the Saints on the power play, and Dylan Nowakowski cashed in at the 13:59 mark to cut the lead to 2-1.

The Vikings were on the power play to start the second period, but Michael Spring’s short-hander 30 seconds into the period tied the game at 2-2.

The Saints were on a two-man advantage after penalties to Patrick Coyne and Kevin Killian, and Derek Hill scored on the power play at the 10:42 mark of the second to put St. Scholastica up 3-2.

St. Scholastica was 2-for-6 on the power play, and the Vikings went 0-for-5.

The score stayed that way until Joel Paiement scored with just 6:29 remaining in the third period to help seal the victory.

Tyler Bruggeman made 24 saves to pick up the win for the Saints. Mattias Soderqvist stopped 42 shots for the Vikings.

Box score

Stephani, Vikings shoot down Knox

Posted on: January 24th, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

GALESBURG, Ill. — The Lawrence University men’s basketball team had one of its best shooting games of the season and rolled to a 76-54 Midwest Conference win over Knox College on Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium.

The Vikings (6-10, 4-7 MWC) shot 55.1 percent from the floor, including 50 percent from beyond the arc.

Freshman Jeremy Stephani scored a game-high 17 points off the bench for the Vikings. Stephani was 6-for-8 from the floor, including 5-for-7 from 3-point range.

Trace Sonnleitner added 14 points for Lawrence, and Mitch Willer added 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the floor. Guard Jamie Nikitas had a career-high eight assists to go with eight points and six rebounds for the Vikings.

Caylab Herrera came off the bench to pace Knox (4-12, 2-9) with 10 points.

Lawrence got off to a fast start, hitting seven of its first nine shots from the floor to build a 20-10 with 12:59 left in the opening half. The Vikings cooled off a bit after that but led 39-27 at the half.

The Vikings then opened the second half on a 19-6 run to stretch the lead to 58-33 with 11:29 remaining. Sonnleitner scored seven points in that stretch as the Vikings knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers.

Lawrence’s largest lead would be 26 points as every Viking got to play in the second half. Twelve of Lawrence’s 14 players scored at least two points.

Box score

Winter wins 800 free to pace Vikings at Lake Forest

Posted on: January 24th, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Taylor Winter picked up an event victory for the Lawrence University swim team, but the Vikings fell in a dual meet at Lake Forest College on Saturday.

The Forester women won 151-70, and the Lake Forest men won 121-42.

Winter won the 800-meter freestyle in 9:42.81, and she grabbed second in the 400 freestyle in 4:44.21. Paige Witter took a pair of second-place finishes for the Vikings. She was second in the 100 butterfly in 1:11.49 and second in the 200 freestyle in 2:18.43.

On the men’s side, Travis Charlow and Stephen Salansky both recorded a pair of second-place finishes. Charlow was second in the 200 freestyle in 2:15.31 and second in the 100 backstroke in 1:07.34. Salansky grabbed second in the 200 individual medley in 2:33.30 and second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:17.37.

Results

Three-pointers lead Knox past Lawrence

Posted on: January 24th, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

GALESBURG, Ill. — The Knox College women’s basketball team hit a school-record 18 3-pointers en route to a 123-71 Midwest Conference victory over Lawrence University on Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium.

The 123 points also set a school record for the Prairie Fire (7-9, 5-6 MWC).

Jessica Howard hit seven 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 28 points for Knox. Jodi Marver added 19 points for Knox and was one of four players scoring in double figures.

Knox hit 18-of-48 from beyond the arc and also went 25-for-34 from the foul line.

Danelle Buck led Lawrence (0-15, 0-11) with 12 points, and she pulled down seven rebounds. Andrea Wilkinson added 11 points and six rebounds, and Patsy Kealey had 10 points and six boards.

Lawrence led 13-12 after Elizabeth Arco’s jumper with 13 minutes left in the first half, but Knox went on a 14-3 run to grab a 26-16 advantage.

Lawrence trimmed the lead back to six and trailed by nine points when Knox finished the final 5:21 of the first half on a 22-8 run. The Prairie Fire led 57-34 at the break.

Knox steadily increased its lead and its biggest advantage was the 52-point final margin.

Box score

Big second period lifts Saints past Lawrence

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

DULUTH, Minn. — St. Scholastica scored four times in the second period Friday and went on to a 6-1 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association win over Lawrence University at Mars Lakeview Arena.

The game was tied 1-1 after the opening period, but the Saints (9-7-2, 6-4-1 NCHA) scored twice in the first 3:39 of the second and then added two more goals in a span of 36 seconds midway through the period.

Dylan Nowakowski and Luke Simpson both scored two goals for the Saints.

Brandon Boelter scored the first goal of the game for the Vikings (6-11-1, 5-6-0) on the power play at 12:47 of the first. Nowakowski’s goal with just 54 seconds left in the first period tied it at 1-1.

Tyler Bruggeman made just 14 saves to pick up the win for St. Scholastica, which had a 45-15 edge in shots. Mattias Soderqvist made 24 saves and allowed five goals for the Vikings before being removed midway through the second period. Peter Emery stopped 15 shots and gave up one goal in relief of Soderqvist.

Box score

Inside LU Athletics: Vikings hope critical win will set tone for rest of season

Posted on: January 22nd, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University hockey team needed this win like a man in the Sahara needs a glass of ice water.

The Vikings beat MSOE 3-2 this past Saturday to earn a critical split of a Northern Collegiate Hockey Association series with the Raiders and keep pace in the conference standings.

“Absolutely essential,” Lawrence coach Mike Szkodzinski said of the win. “We needed some good things to happen to start feeling good about ourselves again. We had played hard but hadn’t earned any bounces over the past several games. It felt good to see our players enjoy their hard work paying off. If you consider the circumstances, time of the year and the tough schedule we just endured, this was a very high-quality win, maybe one of the biggest in the past nine years.”

Lawrence, which snapped a six-game losing streak and won for the first time in 16 chances at MSOE’s Kern Center, is now 5-5-0 in the NCHA (6-10-1 overall) and is tied for fifth place with MSOE. The top four teams in the league earn home ice for the opening round of the playoffs, and Lawrence has three of the four teams ahead of it in the standings remaining on the schedule.

“The win on Saturday was huge for us,” sophomore goaltender Mattias Soderqvist said. “The passion and work ethic we showed this past weekend was really good, and definitely something for us to keep building on.

“However, we need to leave the win against MSOE behind us and refocus. We have two games coming up against a good St Scholastica team this weekend, and we need everything we have to back this past weekend’s effort up.”

Junior forward Renato Engler summed up last weekend’s win in one word, confidence.

“Last weekend’s series against MSOE was huge for our confidence because we proved to ourselves that we have the ability to beat any team in our league if we compete and play within our system,” Engler said.

Engler, who has four goals and six assists this season for 10 points, is part of a system that relies on a balanced offensive attack. The Vikings have 17 players with at least one goal and 10 with at least five points.

“The face that we do not rely on a single player to score our goals perfectly shows what our team is all about,” Engler said. “We need every single guy on the team to buy in if we want to be successful.”

The Vikings, normally a stingy defensive squad, have struggled on the blue line and are allowing 4.12 goals per game. Lawrence seemed to turn a corner after the first period of last Friday’s game. Lawrence allowed just four goals over the final 109:17 of the series.

The Vikings were also much better on the penalty kill, an area where Lawrence has stumbled, over the weekend. Lawrence killed off 11-of-13 chances for MSOE, which translates to an .846 kill percentage. Lawrence entered the series at .708 on the penalty kill.

“We are extremely focused on our overall defensive play,” Szkodzinski said. “We pride ourselves on keeping the puck out of our net, and we are not doing it as consistently as we would like to be.  Strong defense is the foundation of our program. We seem to be doing a better job in the neutral zone as of late limiting odd-man rushes and keeping our opponents off-balance.”

Soderqvist was superb over the final five periods of the series with MSOE. On the season, he has a .905 save percentage and 3.77 goals against average.

“My goal every game is to give my team the opportunity to win, and I feel like I made saves at key times this weekend,” said Soderqvist, a native of Stockholm, Sweden. “I need to work on my rebounds. At least two of the goals this past weekend were scored on my rebounds, and I need to do a better job getting the shots to the corners, or to less-dangerous spots where they can’t score.”

Szkodzinski, an All-America goaltender back in his playing days, was effusive in his praise of his netminder.

“Mattias is our rock,” Szkodzinski said. “He is a highly competitive kid who works as hard as anyone on the ice. His numbers may not show it, but he has played at a very high level in virtually every game this season. It is our job to give him more help at the net front.”

The Vikings have a very young group of defensemen that includes five rookies among the regulars, and Soderqvist likes the potential of the group playing in front of him.

“At this point of the season I don’t see our young defensemen as young anymore,” Soderqvist said. “They have become key players for us and know what NCAA hockey is about now. They have been really good, but I know that they, as well as myself and the rest of the team, have more to give.”

Second-half rally lifts Ripon over Lawrence

Posted on: January 21st, 2015 by Joseph Vanden Acker

RIPON, Wis. — The Ripon College men’s basketball team rallied late in the second half Wednesday and went on to a 72-63 Midwest Conference win over Lawrence University at the Storzer Center.

Justin Leistikow led Ripon with 21 points as he went 8-for-8 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, and Kyle Loughrin added 19 points. Ripon’s Ty Sabin, second in the nation in scoring at 29.3 points per game, was limited to 15 points and hit only 4-of-13 shots from the floor.

Ryan DePouw paced Lawrence (5-10, 3-6) with 16 points, and Pete Winslow added 10 points as he connected on 3-of-4 shots from 3-point range. Mitch Willer had a perfect night as he added eight points on 3-for-3 shooting from the floor and 2-for-2 from the foul line.

Ripon had a 12-point advantage at 24-12 before Lawrence rallied in the first half. Lawrence went on a 15-2 run over the final 7:14 of the first half to take a 27-26 lead at the break. Winslow, Jeremy Stephani and Troy Miller had four points apiece over that stretch for the Vikings.

Lawrence led by as many as four points twice in the second half before Ripon rallied. In a four-minute stretch, the Red Hawks went on a 19-5 run to turn a 49-45 deficit into a 64-54 lead with 4:52 remaining. Loughrin scored seven points during the run for Ripon.

Winslow countered with a 3-pointer, and Vikings picked up a three-point play from Willer and a jumper from DePouw to cut the margin to 67-62 with 2:25 left.

Sabin then scored the game’s next four points, sandwiched around a missed Lawrence 3-pointer, to push the lead back to 71-62 and seal the victory.

Box score