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Eric Peterson, Published January 23 2009

College Plus: Cobbers look to move up

If Concordia wants to hit its goal of being one of the top two women’s hockey teams in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, success this weekend is critical.

The Cobbers host St. Thomas for two games this weekend. Concordia (8-5-2, 5-2-1 MIAC) is tied for third place in the conference with 11 points. St. Thomas (9-3-1, 6-1-1) is second in the MIAC with 13 points.

“The importance is if we win, we take over the No. 2 spot against a very quality opponent,” Cobbers head coach Ace Gregg said. “It’s a big weekend for us.”

Concordia has struggled with consistency, as it hasn’t won back-to-back games since November. The Cobbers are 1-2-2 in their last five games.

“I think a lot of it bears down on our mentality,” Gregg said. “We just need to be mentally tough and we have to expect to win hockey games.”

Senior Mandi Samuelson and junior Kayla Thorson have been two key forwards in a balanced offense, Gregg said. The Cobbers have seven players that have between four and six goals.

“We’re very balanced,” Gregg said. “We have four lines that can play in any situation.”

Dragons off to solid indoor start

Three meets into its indoor track season, Minnesota State Moorhead has three athletes who have hit NCAA Division II national qualifying standards.

Senior Ashley Roemer ranks third in the women’s 800 meters and fourth in the high jump, while senior Jennifer Hensel is No. 3 in the pole vault. Senior Derik Brugger is No. 6 in the men’s pole vault.

“It says that their fall training went very well and I have a very good coaching staff that works hard with these kids,” MSUM coach Keith Barnier said. “They have high goals and it’s nice to see them hitting them.”

The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Indoor Championships are scheduled for Feb. 27-28 at Bemidji State.

“Our conference meet is now one of the toughest meets in NCAA Division II,” Barnier said. “To place high in the conference you almost have to hit and national qualifying standard.”

Other stuff

Valley City State head football coach Dennis McCulloch said this about Vikings senior Chauncey Calhoun being the only NAIA player selected to play in the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game, which features mostly NCAA Division I players. “It says a lot about Chauncey Calhoun. He’s a talented player,” said McCulloch. “We sent a lot of information out on him and some highlight tapes and what he’s done on the field has been impressive. … It just reconfirms that we have talented players that play in NAIA, play in the DAC and play at Valley City State.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513. Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com