Lakeland athletics: Fall 2009 season in review
Athletics - posted on 11/23/2009
As we head into Thanksgiving break and the wintry weather to come, let's take a look back at the Fall 2009 season in Lakeland College athletics.
Collectively, the Muskies amassed a pair of Northern Athletics Conference championships, two NCAA Tournament appearances and a bevy of individual accolades along the way. Four teams finished in the top half of their respective league standings in a successful autumn campaign for Lakeland athletics.
The Lakeland football team (6-5 overall, 6-1 NAC) made its second-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III Playoffs after winning the program's fourth conference title in six years.
Muskie players, coaches, family and friends erupted in celebration at Taylor Field after learning the team would be headed to the NCAAs following a 15-14 loss by Concordia Chicago, which held the tiebreaker to go to the national tournament. Lakeland clinched a share of the conference championship with a 28-0 home victory over Aurora just 20 minutes earlier.
The Muskies were defeated by second-ranked UW-Whitewater on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Playoffs.
Lakeland also captured its second consecutive victory in the Cheese Bowl against Concordia, Wis., 32-16. The Muskies were dominant in the 18th annual rivalry game between the schools, with the offense controlling the ball for nearly 38 minutes and the defense surrendering just 104 yards passing.
Following the regular season, 16 Lakeland players were named All-NAC, highlighted by first-team selections Roberto Flores (WR), Jacob Heinemeyer (WR), Aaron Kraemer (OL) and Keith Woodson (DB). Heinemeyer, a senior captain, was named the league's Co-Offensive Player of the Year and was recently selected to the D-3 Senior Classic, a North vs. South all-star game put on by the Collegiate Development Football League. Third-year coach Kevin Doherty received Co-Coach of the Year honors after winning his second conference title at Lakeland.
Flores, a junior, finished with 1,058 receiving yards, the second-most in one season in school history. In addition, the team's three shutouts were the most by a Lakeland defense since 1997.
The women's volleyball team made its second straight NCAA Tournament appearance after winning its third consecutive NAC Tournament championship in dramatic fashion.
Down two sets at Dominican, the Muskies (23-12, 10-2) won the last three sets and the final five points of the match to stun the Stars, the tournament's No. 1 seed.
Having won eight of its last 10 matches, Lakeland entered the NCAAs with confidence, but was defeated by No. 6 Hope (Mich.), the Great Lakes Region host and an eventual national semifinalist, in three sets.
Seniors Brittanie Paulus and Kim Linger and junior Kristine Raeder represented the Muskies on the All-NAC teams. Paulus (Belgium, Wis.) and Linger (Eldorado, Wis.) earned first-team accolades for the second straight season, while Raeder (Sheboygan Falls, Wis.) garnered honorable mention. Head coach Chad Schreiber, who collected career win No. 300 on Nov. 3, earned Co-Coach of the Year honors, the sixth such honor of his career.
Paulus, an outside hitter and three-year captain, will go down as one of the most decorated players in school history. She collected her second consecutive spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III All-Midwest Region team as well as CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine
Academic All-District 5 women's volleyball third team accolades. A former NAC Player of the Year, Paulus set program records for digs in one season (550) and career digs (1,882), and finished second with 1,357 career kills.
Linger, a three-time all-conference honoree, finished third all-time with 370 career blocks, while senior libero Tonia Strebelinski (Berlin, Wis.) finished just behind Paulus with 1,564 career digs.
The men's soccer team returned to the NAC Tournament for the second year in a row by finishing sixth in the league. The 2009 Muskies (8-10-1, 6-5) finished third in program history for goals and assists in one season and posted an impressive 5-3 mark on the road.
After putting together a three-match winning streak midway through the season, Lakeland lost five of its last seven matches and was eliminated from postseason play with a 3-1 setback at Edgewood on Nov. 1.
Four players from head coach David Madsen's squad were tabbed All-NAC. Sophomore captain Adam Benson (Anoka, Minn.), who led the Muskies with five assists, was named to the second team. Benson also garnered CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine
Academic All-District 5 second team honors. Sophomores Bobby Rublee (Sheboygan, Wis.) and Ben Koepsell (Cedar Grove, Wis.) received honorable mention, while goalkeeper Alex Piekarski (Menasha, Wis.) earned All-Freshmen team recognition. Rublee started all 19 matches for Lakeland, and Koepsell led the team with eight goals for the year.
Senior Ted Cormier leaves the program tied for second in school history with 26 career goals and third with 14 career assists. The Green Bay, Wis., native also holds several game and season records.
In a season marred by low numbers and a string of ill-timed injuries, the women's soccer team struggled to a 4-15 overall record and a 2-10 mark in NAC play.
Sophomores Kristi Borts (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Autumn Gaylor (Ingleside, Ill.) were named honorable mention All-NAC. Borts, a midfielder, started 18 of the team's 19 contests and scored a team-high five goals to go along with two assists. Gaylor was one of the team's strongest players at central defender, appearing in 17 games and scoring one goal.
The team's 137 saves were the third-most in program history.
Senior Nikki Commons (Bonduel, Wis.) became the first player in NAC history to capture all-conference honors four times in her career. At the NAC Championships on Oct. 4-5, Commons tied for fifth, her fourth finish in the top five at the tournament, to lead the Muskies to a sixth-place finish.
Sophomore Gary Petit (Monroe, Wis.) received All-NAC recognition for the second consecutive year after finishing seventh at the NAC Championships on Oct. 12-13. Lakeland placed fifth at the tournament.
The women's tennis team continued to make strides this season, finishing tied for 10th at the NAC Tournament on Oct. 3-4. Freshman Nicole Shavlik finished fourth at No. 1 singles to lead the Muskies.
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