The Highlights

Vikings score final four goals to pull away from Concordia

Posted on: October 31st, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University hockey team scored the game’s final four goals on Friday night to pull away for a 6-2 Northern Collegiate Hockey Association victory over Concordia University of Wisconsin at the Appleton Family Ice Center.

Mattias Soderqvist stopped 40 shots for Lawrence (1-0-0, 1-0-0 NCHA) and didn’t allow a goal for the final 44:07 of the contest.

Renato Engler had a goal and three assists for Lawrence, and Blake Roubos picked up a goal and two assists for the Vikings.

Concordia (0-1-0, 0-1-0) led 1-0 when freshman Matt Montemurro scored his first career goal for Lawrence, a power-play tally, to tie the game at 1-1 at the 13:12 mark of the first. Roubos scored less than a minute later at 14:09 to give the Vikings a 2-1 edge.

Cody Dixon then tied it at 2-2 when he scored for the Falcons at the 15:53 mark of the first.

Lawrence then got two goals in a span of six seconds to take command in the second. Engler swiped the puck and scored unassisted at the 4:02 mak of the second to put Lawrence up 3-0. The Vikings won the ensuing faceoff and Matt Moore scored at 4:08 for a 4-2 edge.

Lawrence sealed the win when freshman Jake Kruetzer scored on the power play at 10:47 of the third to give the Vikings a 5-2 advantage. Brandon Boelter added a goal with just 1:21 left to close out the scoring.

Lawrence went 2-for-6 on the power play, and Concordia was 1-for-4.

Lawrence hockey looks forward as new season begins

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University hockey team wants to leave the 2013-14 season right where it is — in the past.

Lawrence struggled to a 6-19-2 record a season ago, but the Vikings return a young and talented team for the upcoming campaign. The Vikings open their Northern Collegiate Hockey Association season on Friday night when they host Concordia (Wis.) University at the Appleton Family Ice Center.

“We certainly need to learn from our past experiences, both good and bad,” said Lawrence coach Mike Szkodzinski, entering his ninth season as head coach. “However, each year is a completely different group and a new opportunity. We are focused on getting the best out of this year’s group.”

The Vikings have hung their hat on toughness and defense throughout Szkodzinski’s tenure, but Lawrence allowed 4.1 goals per game last season.

“We have added some depth to our corps of defensemen, bringing in 4 new faces who we feel can contribute from day one to go along with five returners,” Szkodzinski said.

The leader of the defense is junior captain Brandon Boelter, who had one goal and 14 assists a season ago. The Vikings also have seasoned veterans like Kevin Killian, Phil Luongo and Steve Hughes back on defense. Newcomers like Austin Frank, Brad Mueller and Brendan Vetter bring size and skill to the defensemen.

“A key factor to our success will be how quickly our new bodies can adjust to the speed and physicality of college hockey,” Szkodzinski said. “Our goal is to be much stronger in the defensive and neutral zones. That has been a major focus during our first week of practice.”

The Vikings also return all three goaltenders, Mattias Soderqvist, Anton Olsson and Peter Emery. Soderqvist emerged as the starter after joining the team last year at mid-season. Despite just two wins, Soderqvist put together solid numbers with a .904 save percentage and 3.64 goals against average.

“Mattias has earned the opportunity to be our starting goaltender with his play and demeanor,” Szkodzinski said. “He has a presence about him that our players feed off of when he is in net. We are very confident in his abilities and expect him to be our rock in net this year.”

While Lawrence has a solid base and high expectations on defense, the Vikings have more questions on offense. Lawrence does return leading scorer Blake Roubos, who had 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points as a freshman in 2013-14. The offense will start with him, and other teams know that as well.

“Roubos’ first step was to get stronger over the summer because teams will key on him,” Szkodzinski said. “He did that and is hungry to build on last season. His line mates will have to help create space for him to be successful on the score sheet. Again, we will only be successful if everyone contributes.”

Lawrence also returns a host of other forwards, seniors Gustav Lindgren and Patrick Coyne, juniors Renato Engler, Matt Moore and Ryan Rumble, to name a few, but none have had a breakout campaign yet.

“We will definitely have to score by committee this season,” Szkodzinski said. “We have several players who are capable of putting the puck in the net, but they haven’t proven that they can do it consistently. That being the case, we will have to get contributions from all four lines.”

Lawrence reached the NCHA playoffs last year but were eliminated by eventual national champion St. Norbert College, a team the Vikings upset earlier in the season. While the Vikings certainly want to get to the point where they are battling for a NCHA championship, they aren’t looking too far ahead.

“We definitely have some long-term goals within the program, but all the matters right now is getting off to a good start and playing the right way,” Szkodzinski said. “If we play the right way, with grit and tenacity, the results will speak for themselves as the season progresses.”

Inside LU Athletics: Vikings ready to run down some titles

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — No beating around the bush for Lawrence University cross country coach Jason Fast.

“The goals for the men’s and women’s teams are to bring home the conference title,” Fast said.

Lawrence gets the chance to race at the Midwest Conference Championships on Saturday when the Vikings host the league meet at Reid Municipal Golf Course. The men’s 8,000-meter race is at 11 a.m., and the women’s 6,000-meter race is at noon.

“The thing we know is both of our teams are very good,” Fast said. “We have a lot of talent, and at different times during the season we’ve had different people show those flashes of greatness. At the conference meet, we need to have our best race as we have done in years past.”

The Lawrence women made a huge leap in 2013 when they finished third after taking eighth place in 2012. With four returning all-conference runners, the Vikings have firmly established themselves as a title contender.

“We were a little disappointed last year,” Fast said. “Granted, last year we snuck up on everyone. This year we don’t have that luxury. We are one of the favorites and our runners know it. It would be a huge disappointment if we didn’t (win the title).”

The Vikings have returning all-conference performers Clare Bruning, Amy Hutchings, Cora Williams and Liz Landes. The Vikings also have standout freshman Erin Schrobilgen, who has one of the top-five times in the conference this season.

“Coach Fast’s training plan is designed to deliver us to that finish line on Saturday in our fastest times of the season,” said Bruning, a junior from Mondovi who finished sixth at the MWC Championships last season. “On race day we just need to keep that in mind, trust that we are ready and that we have what it takes to make it happen. If we work together like we always do and keep our heads on straight, our bodies should follow.”

Schrobilgen and Bruning have consistently been the Vikings’ top two runners all season, but the team is so deep that any number of other runners could score for Lawrence. That’s a good problem to have so even if one runner has an off-day, someone else is right there to step up.

“The team is aiming to win,” Bruning said. “We haven’t won a conference title in over a decade, and for the first time in a long time, I think we’re in a good position to go for it.”

On the men’s side, Appleton native Max Edwards is leading the charge for the Vikings. He has one of the top-10 times in the league this season and is joined by last year’s fourth- and fifth-place finishers from the league championships, senior Kyle Dockery and junior Jonah Laursen.

“The men are ready to go,” Fast said. “We’ve had little bumps and bruises along the way that have held us back. Everyone is healthy and in good spirits. They are definitely prepared to run their best. When you go through and look up and down our men’s roster and you look at the running resumes those guys have, it’s hard for us not to be a favorite.”

While Edwards, Dockery and Laursen figure to run near the front, it will be the last two point scorers that could prove to be the difference.

“The victory will probably end up going to whatever team has the least time between their third and fifth guys, so we hope to have both a lead runner and a strong pack,” Dockery said.

“As a team the men are looking to have at least four guys run all-conference (the top 20 finishers)and win the conference title. Personally, I hope to improve on my fourth-place finish from last year.”

Lawrence has traditionally run its best race of the season at the conference championships since Fast took over the program in 2009. This season they have the added benefit of running in front of a partisan crowd.

“We are familiar with the course. We know where it’s challenging. We know where we can do the things we want to do. It think it’s an advantage for us to run at home,” Fast said. “Some of our upperclassmen have run on it multiple times so they know what to do on it to be successful.”

Vikings fall to St. Norbert in three sets

Posted on: October 29th, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

DE PERE, Wis. — The St. Norbert College volleyball team enjoyed a superb night on the attack and downed Lawrence University 3-0 in a Midwest Conference match on Wednesday at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights won 25-21, 25-15, 25-13.

Heidi Spies led St. Norbert (14-13, 8-1 MWC) with 14 kills and Breanne Brocker added 12. The Green Knights posted a .316 hitting percentage during the three sets.

Kayla Storm paced Lawrence (9-17, 5-5) with eight kills, and Terese Swords picked up seven.

Box score

Hockey series preview: Lawrence vs. Concordia (Wis.)

Posted on: October 28th, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University hockey team drops the puck on its season on Friday night at the Appleton Family Ice Center. Lawrence opens the season with a two-game Northern Collegiate Hockey Association series against Concordia (Wis.) University. The series opener is in Appleton at 7 p.m., and the series finale is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Ozaukee Ice Center.

Series preview

Lawrence women’s soccer reserve match canceled

Posted on: October 28th, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University vs. Finlandia University women’s reserve soccer match scheduled for Saturday has been canceled. The Lawrence men will play UW-Superior on Whiting Field West at noon in a nonconference match.

Football preview: Lawrence vs. St. Norbert

Posted on: October 28th, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University football team returns  to the Banta Bowl for its final home game of the season when the Vikings face St. Norbert College. The game kicks off at 7 p.m.

Preview

Newsom picks up goal, assist in Lawrence’s win over Cougars

Posted on: October 28th, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

RIVER FOREST, Ill. — Senior forward Oliver Newsom picked up a goal and an assist to lead the Lawrence University men’s soccer team to a 3-1 nonconference win over Concordia University Chicago on Monday.

Newsom got Lawrence (3-11-3) on the board when scored on a penalty kick with just 39 seconds left in the first half.

The Vikings then put the contest away with a pair of goals in a five-minute span in the second half. Freshman Lewis Berger scored on an unassisted goal at the 59:31 mark for a 2-0 edge. Senior forward Cameron Pieper then scored off an assist from Newsom at the 64:13 mark to make it 3-0.

Concordia (6-9-2) tallied its lone goal at 67:51 by DeAndre McLaurin.

Lawrence goalkeeper Joe Krivit made three saves to pick up the win. Jorge Guzman stopped eight shots for the Cougars.

Lawrence had a 19-16 edge in shots, including an 11-4 edge in shots on goal.

Box score

St. Norbert hangs on for 1-0 win over Lawrence

Posted on: October 26th, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

APPLETON, Wis. — The St. Norbert College women’s soccer team survived a second-half push from Lawrence University and posted a 1-0 Midwest Conference victory on Sunday at Whiting Field West.

The Green Knights (7-8-1, 5-2-1 MWC) got a goal at the 17:43 mark from Kaitlin Schmitz for the game’s lone goal. Schmitz’s shot was deflected by Lawrence goalkeeper Dani Glass, but the ball snuck in the net just inside the post.

After St. Norbert played a very strong first half, it was as though the Vikings flipped a switch at halftime. Lawrence (5-11-2, 3-5-2) pressured the Green Knights throughout the second half, and Sarah Platzer was forced to make several key saves to preserve the win.

Lawrence’s Keli Muchowski had the ball in the box, but Platzer made a save at point-blank range at the 66:17 mark. Lawrence then had two quality shots from Anne Leung, the last one coming with 4:25 remaining, that Platzer stopped.

Platzer made five saves for the shutout. Glass made eight saves for the Vikings.

St. Norbert had a 19-8 edge in shots for the match, and Lawrence out-shot the Green Knights 6-5 in the second half.

Box score

Cardinal grabs pair of top finishes to pace Vikings

Posted on: October 26th, 2014 by Joseph Vanden Acker

BROWN DEER, Wis. — Hayley Cardinal posted a pair of top-seven finishes to lead the Lawrence University swim teams at the Wisconsin College Swimming and Diving Showcase at the Schroeder Aquatic Center.

Cardinal grabbed fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:31.88, and she took seventh in the 100 breaststroke in 1:09.12.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Emei Thompson, Eryn Blagg, Paige Witter and Taylor Winter grabbed sixth in 3:53.04. The 200 medley relay team of Cardinal, Emily Flack, Witter and Foley Van Lieshout was seventh in 1:55.54.

On the men’s side, Travis Charlow was the top finisher for the Vikings. He took 24th in 100 freestyle in 52.32 seconds and was 24th in the 100 backstroke in 1:01.59.

No team scores were kept.

Women’s results

Men’s results