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It was a fabulous weekend in sports for UMD’s fall athletic teams, led by the men’s hockey team going into South Bend and playing two fantastic games to sweep No. 1 and previously unbeaten Notre Dame 3-2 and 3-1. They were big-time, national championship caliber games, and both teams played very well both nights.
The sweep vaulted the No. 3 Bulldogs to No. 1, with Notre Dame dropping to No. 5. More than just a UMD statement, St. Cloud State from the same NCHC is No. 2, with Providence No. 3, and Minnesota State-Mankato No. 4. Not bad; three of the top four are from the state of Minnesota.
The Bulldogs now have won six consecutive games, which is a nice thing to take into a weekend off. The NCHC gets going in earnest the week after, with Colorado College coming to AMSOIL Arena.
The UMD women’s team didn’t fare quite as well, winning a tough first game 2-1 before dropping the second 3-2.
Elsewhere, the UMD volleyball team went to Northern State and claimed a 5-set triumph, after having knocked Northern out of the nation’s No. 1 rating with a huge victory early in the season. Sarah Kelly had 18 kills and Kate Berg 17 to pace the Bulldogs, who then went to Minnesota State-Moorhead and won in four sets as Berg had 16 more kills for a spectacular weekend. Those two victories put UMD into a three-way tie with Northern State and Concordia, which surprisingly lost twice.
But the weekend’s heartbreak went to the UMD soccer team, which has had a strong season while moving into contention in the tightly-bunched Northern Sun.
Going into the weekend, Bemidji State led at 12-0-1, with MSUT-Mankato second at 11-1-1, Augustana 9-2-2, and St. Cloud State 7-3-3. The Bulldogs were 6-6-1, clustered with Northern State and Winona State with the same 6-6-2 ledgers, and just behind Mary, which was 6-5-2 and in seventh place. The top eight make the Northern Sun playoffs, and that was the Bulldogs objective.
It was windy and nasty as the Bulldogs and the Mary Marauders fought it out at Malosky Stadium, and UMD had its chances, as the game remained scoreless through the tense first half and on into the second. It was a rough game, not necessarily dirty, but players on both sides played “through the ball,” as they say, and the officials pretty well let it go without it getting out of hand.
Lizzy Fontes, a senior from Apple Valley, and Holly Kaboord, two of the more unsung Bulldogs, played very well, working their way through Marauder defenders to advance the ball and arrange for some of the precious few scoring chances. But Madisyn Waltman in goal made saves on the best shots, including one by Kaboord, a sophomore, who got in close and shot high, but not quite high enough to get over Waltman’s reach.
After 86 of the 90 minutes, an innocent looking corner kick for Mary wound up coming down in the chaotic congestion in front of the UMD goal, and Megan Lowery, a senior from Idaho, redirected it into the right side of the goal, just beyond the outstretched fingers of diving goalkeeper Carlye Wright.
The Bulldogs trudged off Malosky Stadium’s turf, knowing the loss might knock them out of eighth place. On Sunday, they played their season finale, at Minot State, and lost again by 1-0. Despite that, it was a heartening season for coach Greg Cane and his Bulldogs.
World Series done too soon, it seems
Doesn’t matter who plays in the World Series, I always hope it goes seven, or at least six, just to give us more high-level entertainment to conclude the season. I was pulling for Houston or Cleveland to represent the American League, and for Milwaukee, or the Chicago Cubs, in the National. Didn’t happen. Justin Verlander ws awesome pitching for Houston, but they had a couple injuries, and couldn’t beat Boston.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were solid, and are the picture of evidence for the new analytical generation taking over baseball. They used Brian Dozier as one of four second basemen in one game!
The Dodgers seemed to have everything going their way, too, but they couldn’t solve the tactic the Red Sox had of doing very little against the Dodger starters, but then erupting to score runs in bunches in the last three innings. So when they thumped the Dodgers in five games, it was really impressive, but it was done too soon.