MEQUON, Wis. – The 2013 calendar year at Concordia University Wisconsin had many memorable team and individual performances. There were convincing victories, comeback wins, upsets and heartbreaks. The Falcons sent numerous teams to postseason play, dozens of student-athletes were honored for their work in the classroom and on the playing field, and coaches and staff will not forget those highlight plays that defined certain games.
CUW's Athletic Communications Department review the 2013 calendar year and put together a few moments of joy.
Highlight Play: Kittel drains buzzer beater as Men's Basketball earns road victory
The Falcons road game against Millikin University on Dec. 14 was already one for the highlight reel, coming back from 17 points in the final six minutes and 23 seconds. Eric Kittel was having a career game, finishing with 20 points, but the highlight of the year came in the closing 3.3 seconds. With the score tied at 81-81 and seconds left on the clock, Big Blue's Deavis Johnson lined up the second of two free throws for the lead, but was off the mark. The miss was rebounded sophomore Dustin Thumann (Marshfield, Wis.) who found Kittel on the wing with an outlet pass. Kittel took two dribbles to half court and let it fly. The shot seemed to take an eternity as it soared through the air before swishing through the net for a CUW victory.
Most Dominate Team Performance: Men's Lacrosse throttles Hanover, Defiance in back-to-back games
The Men's Lacrosse team had one of their best seasons yet during the 2013 campaign. The Falcons set records all season, but the back-to-back days in early April were not a surprise. You could say it was easy, but more so it was a team effort for the Falcons as they shutout Hanover College, 22-0, on Saturday, April 6th before blanking Defiance College, 22-0, on Sunday, April 7th. At the time, seven team records were set that convincing weekend, including most points, goal, assists, ground balls and faceoffs won. Then sophomore Matt Larsen (Gurnee, Ill.) paced the team with a combined 11 goals.
Most Dominate Individual Performance: Greg Sanders wins NACC National Title
CUW's Wrestling team had a very good year, which included with five Northern Wrestling Association titles. However, the year belonged to two individuals as then sophomores Sean Ambrocio (San Antonio, Texas) and Greg Sanders (San Antonio, Texas) qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championship. Sanders became the Falcons headline wrestler, with wins in 33 of his last 34 matches, including a streak of 29 straight. Dominating was an understatement at times to describe his performances as he finished with a 40-4 overall record with 16 victories by fall. The talented 149 pounder became the first national champion in program history on Mar. 16th and was awarded the NWCA's Most Outstanding Wrestling honor to end a unforgettable season.
Memorable Comeback: Women's Basketball overcomes slow start, nets home-opening win over UW-La Crosse
CUW's Women's Basketball team have had one of their best starts going under the direction of head coach Stacey Brunner-Jones with a 3-0 start, but its home opener against UW-La Crosse on Nov. 26th put that unblemished record in jeopardy. Trailing by 17 points midway through the first half could have deflated most teams, but it turned into one of the Falcons finest performances in some time. The Falcons were down 15-0 before finally scoring just over seven minutes into the game. A 16-2 scoring run cut the large deficit to a manageable 27-22 halftime lead by the Eagles. CUW came alive in the second half, with sophomore Jasmine Williams (Chicago, Ill.) scoring a career-high 15 points. The Falcons took the lead with 7:16 left in the game before they earned a 67-63 win.
Strangest Weather Game:
Baseball falls to St. Norbert, second game postponed by fog
Weather can play havoc with spring sports and no sport caught it worse than Baseball, especially in their doubleheader against St. Norbert College on April 18. The two games were originally scheduled for April 10th, but inclement weather caused a rescheduling for April 17th, however, rain postponed the contests to April 18th. Rain and fog are always a given in Wisconsin during spring and that evening at Kapco Park the fog had plans to ruin the fun. The Falcons managed to play the first non-conference game against the Green Knights, before the fog settled in. At one point during the opener, the outfielders and scoreboard were nearly impossible to see. After a 45 minute delay to see if the fog would dissipate the second game of the doubleheader was moved for a fourth time to April 24, which the Falcons won 4-0.
Best Team Performance: Football sets records, advances to NCAA Division III Championship first round
The CUW Football team came into 2013 with high expectations and they delivered. The Falcons won the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference title with an undefeated record and broke several game and season records in the process. As well, numerous individuals set program records throughout the season. The NACC title is the first in program history and first in head coach Greg Etter's tenure. CUW was led by Gagliardi Trophy finalist, Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Private College Player of the Year and NACC Offensive Player of the Year in junior quarterback Austin Damaschke (Bristol, Wis.). On November 9th they secured at least a share of the league title with a 49-41 victory over Aurora University before winning it outright with a convincing 58-31 win at Wisconsin Lutheran College on November 16th. The Falcons magical run came to an end with a heartbreaking 54-20 loss at UW-Platteville in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship.
Strangest Moment: Four jerseys worn in Women's Hockey loss to St. Norbert
Everyone, including the broadcast crew, did a double take when the Women's Hockey team took on St. Norbert College at the Ozaukee Ice Center on December 6th. It had nothing to do with the play on the ice, except for the jerseys. SNC realized it forgot their road uniforms when they stepped off the bus at the Ozaukee Ice Center. After making a few calls, someone back in De Pere stopped at SNC to bring in a rush. However, both teams still needed to decide what to do with the game at hand. A decision was made to allow SNC to wear CUW practice jerseys (with numbers on the back), while CUW would wear its road blue uniforms until the original SNC green jerseys arrived. This arrangement was supposed to last until the end of the first period, except the Green Knights could not wait and began changing into their green uniforms as play was going on three minutes into the game. However, SNC scored a goal while some players had CUW white practice jerseys on and some had SNC green road uniforms. The referees disallowed the goal and a penalty for illegal equipment was assessed.
Individual Record Breaking Performance: Damaschke sets records in Cheese Bowl victory
CUW won the Cheese Bowl with a convincing 45-28 win over rival Lakeland College at Tomasini Stadium on October 26th. Yes, it was a team victory, but the day belonged to junior quarterback Austin Damaschke (Bristol, Wis.) He set game records in passing yards (425) and total yards (536). Damaschke ran for a career-high 111 yards and four touchdowns to show how versatile he is. The win over the Muskies opened the floodgates for Damaschke, as he would set two game records, four season records, four program career records and two Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference career records.
Best Photo: Etter gets the Gatorade dump
There were hundreds of photos uploaded to CUWFalcons.com during the 2013 calendar year, but none were more significant than that take by photographer Jordan Vredeveld on November 9th. CUW's Football program was on the verge of winning its first ever Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference title when senior defensive back Ben Kempen (Malone, Wis.) and senior offensive lineman Derrike Cosby (La Porte, Ind.) doused head coach Greg Etter in a meaningful Gatorade bath.