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Fall 2012 sports update

February  27, 2013

Women’s soccer

Entering the season, there were plenty of questions regarding Coach Scott Mejia’s team. The Vikings had graduated nine seniors and were picked fourth in the CCIW pre-season coaches’ poll. But all questions were answered early in the season. Behind first team All-American and CCIW Player of the Year Taylor Moesle ’13, the Vikings compiled a 16-5-0 overall record. With four first-year players in the lineup for most of the year, Augustana captured the program’s second CCIW title with a perfect 7-0-0 league record and qualified for the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in the last eight seasons. Kelly Farell ’16 was the CCIW’s Freshman of the Year after she burst on the scene with a team-leading 13 goals along with 11 assists for a team-high 37 points.

Men’s soccer

Augustana completed the season with an overall record of 6-9-3 and a CCIW mark of 2-4-1, finishing in sixth place. Midfielder Matt Shipon ’14 earned second team All-CCIW recognition, while goalkeeper Tyler Cowherd ’14 was selected as the Vikings’ MVP. Cowherd and Brett Johnson ’15 shared time in goal and put up similar numbers. Cowherd went 3-4-2 with a save percentage of .653. Johnson posted a 3-5-1 record with a .730 save percentage. Jakob Rettke ’16, John McSpadden ’13 and Nick Wolfe ’13 led the team in scoring.

Women’s cross country

Led by two-time team MVP Sarahbeth Jones ’13, Augustana brought home a second-place CCIW finish and a ninth-place finish at this year’s NCAA Division III Midwest Regional. The Vikings, who were ninth in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Midwest Region rankings, also won the College of DuPage and St. Ambrose invitationals, as well as their only dual meet vs. St. Ambrose. Other award winners included Jennifer Prazak ’13, who won her fourth straight Erica Vortman Viking Spirit Award and served as a captain along with fellow seniors Jones, Annie Heifner and Theresa Coverick.

Men’s cross country

This season was highlighted by a 34th-place finish at the national meet by co-captain Jonathan Smith ’13. Smith became the second Viking in three years to earn All-America status and is the 25th Augustana cross country All-American all-time. Coach Paul Olsen’s squad finished third at the CCIW meet and ninth at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional. The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association ranked the Vikings eighth in the region and 31st nationally.

Football

The Vikings won four of their last five games to finish 5-5 overall and 4-3 (fourth place) in the CCIW. Highlights of the team’s four-game winning streak late in the season were a come-from-behind 24-14 Homecoming win over Millikin and a decisive 22-7 road win over an Illinois Wesleyan team that was ranked in the Top 20 in the nation for most of the season. Senior quarterback Nick Welch’s season total of 1,375 passing yards was the ninth-best in school history. He completed 106 of 182 pass attempts for 11 touchdowns. Erik Westerberg ’14 was the CCIW’s leading tackler for the second year in a row and finished the season with 118 total tackles.

Women’s tennis

Behind Kim Sawyer ’14 and Krista Panko ’13, the Vikings had a banner fall season, which included a second-place finish at the CCIW championships. Sawyer and Panko each claimed conference singles titles and won CCIW Player of the Year and CCIW Championship MVP honors, respectively. The Vikings finished with an 8-3 record in dual meets, including 5-1 against CCIW competition. The team’s second-place finish at the CCIW Championships matched that of the 2010-11 squad as the best since the 1997-98 team claimed Augustana’s last CCIW title.

Volleyball

The Vikings posted a 20-11 overall record, earning the program’s most victories since a 23-12 campaign in 2008. Augustana finished 2-5 in CCIW play before pushing Carthage, a 2011 Final Four participant, to five sets in the CCIW tournament play-in round. Outside hitter Emily Leazer ’15 hauled in considerable honors and ranked among the nation’s leaders statistically. She was the Vikings’ MVP and a second team All-CCIW selection. She also was named to the Capital One Academic All-District 7 team. Leazer set a new school record with an average of 0.91 service aces per set, well ahead of the previous record of 0.63 set by Mandy Murray ’03 in 2001.

Women’s golf

Coach Ron Standley’s squad completed the fall portion of its season by moving past North Central in the final round to place third at the CCIW championships. The performance was the Vikings’ best at the conference meet since a second-place finish in 2006. Megan Vandersee ’13 finished ninth individually—the first Top 10 finish for a Viking since Rachel Gahn ’09 took eighth in 2008. Leading the way with four Top 10 finishes during the season, Vandersee averaged a team-high 87.2 strokes over 12 rounds. Morgan Wilkinson ’13 averaged 89.1 strokes over 14 rounds. Jamie Lawrence ’14 was third on the team, averaging 90.5 strokes over 11 rounds.