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2012-13 Athletics year in review

2012-13 Athletics year in review

MEQUON, Wis.  It was another exciting year in the Concordia University Wisconsin Athletic Department. We had an All-American, several all-region performers and numerous all-conference honorees. A pair of teams advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship, while others won conference titles and set records along the way. Below are a few notes of importance from the 2012-13 athletic year.

Website traffic – CUW fans were hungry for information during the 2012-13 athletic year, as there were 12,900,209 page hits for The most viewed month was October with 2,017,935, hits. In all, the average hits per month (nine total) was 1,433,356.

Most viewed day – October 13, 2012 had the most views for the 2012-13 athletic year, as 121,898 page hits were registered. On that day, nearly all of the page hits were to see the Football team compete against Concordia University Chicago, but fall in a thrilling 47-44 overtime contest, at Tomasini Stadium. The Men's and Women's Cross Country teams also competed at the Wisconsin State Private College Invite on October 13.

What just happened – Falcon fans want to know what happened and subsequently the 9 p.m. hour was the time when the most people visited In total, 853,628 page hits were accounted for during the 9 p.m., which is generally the hour after the completion of most night contests.

It gets busy around here  CUW athletic teams competed in 434 games, matches and meets throughout the 2012-13 season. Those 434 events took place from August 31, 2012 through May 17, 2013. Between that time period, 167 days had a CUW sporting event going on, while 93 days there were no Falcons contests. On average, there were 2.6 events per game day.

Playing at home – Of the previously mentioned 434 events, 165 were home contests for CUW. The Falcons also competed on the road 191 times, while competing at a neutral site 78 times. During the spring season there were 74 home events. If you look at the 87 combined baseball and softball games, they played just 12 true road games.

Overall record – CUW finished the 2012-13 season with a 184-179-6 record in sports that measure W-L records. Of the 15 sports used for the total record, nine of them finished above the .500 plateau.

Controlling the conference – The Falcons were again impressive during conference play, as they combined to finish 128-72-3 during the 2012-13 athletic year. Men's Tennis was a perfect 9-0, while Wrestling also had a perfect conference mark, winning all three of their dual matches. Of the 15 teams measured in the conference win-loss record, 11 had a winning percentage over .500.

Winning at home – CUW won 93 times at home this season, posting a 93-60-2 mark. Women's Soccer was a big reason for the quality home record as they finished 9-0 at Fitting Field in the fall of 2012. The Falcons were 65-67-4 on the road and 24-52 at neutral site locations.

Experienced leadership – CUW head coaches had 161 years of combined collegiate head coaching experience during the 2012-13 athletic season. Of those 161 combined years, 152 of them came at CUW. Former baseball head coach Val Keiper was the longest tenured coach last year, as he finished his 30th and final season leading the Falcons.

Number of student-athletes – CUW had 521 student-athletes compete in 2012-13. Adding up all of the rosters from this past season produced a total of 581 student-athletes, however the Falcons had 60 who took part in multiple sports. As always, Football had the largest roster with 120 student-athletes at the end of the season.

Wrestling's first All-American – Greg Sanders' 2012-13 season will be remembered for years and years to come, as he became the first All-American and NCAA Division III National Champion in CUW's wrestling history. The 149-pounder set the single season program record for wins (40) and wins by fall (16), and is currently tied for sixth all-time with 77 career victories. On numerous occasions he made winning look easy, but a streak of seven wins by fall over a month span showed how dominating he was.

All-Region honorees – Four student-athletes from the softball and women's soccer programs had outstanding seasons and were named all-region for their efforts. Ashley Apazeller and Lauren Straehler earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Central Region Second and Third Team, respectively, after helping the Falcons to a 15-4-1 record, which tied the program mark for wins in a season. During the spring season, Cara Landherr and Stephanie Kramer were tabbed National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Great Lake Region First and Second Team, respectively, after leading CUW to a 28-17 record, the second most wins in a single season.

All-Conference accolades – It was another impressive athletic year for CUW and for 66 student-athletes they received postseason all-conference accolades from their respective conference. The Falcons had two player of the year winners (Jordan Osowski – Women's Golf and Russell Johnson – Men's Tennis), two freshman of the year honorees (Jordan Osowski – Women's Golf and Brittany Klumpp – Women's Soccer), two coach of the year leaders (Jim Ingman – Women's Golf and Tom Weber – Men's Tennis) and one defensive player of the year (Steve Zielinski – Men's Basketball). The Women's Golf team was the only program to sweep the top awards (POY, FOY and COY). Freshman Tyler White of the Men's Track & Field Team also received conference recognition as he was named the Field Athlete and Co-Freshmen of the Meet at the NAC Indoor Championships.

Going to the 'Big Dance' – A pair of Falcon programs advanced to NCAA Division III Championship, in their respective sport, after winning the Northern Athletic Conference Tournament. The Women's Golf team dominated the NAC Championship with a record-setting 104-stroke victory. They also shot the lowest round (342) recorded at the championship. During the spring, the Men's Tennis team cruised through the regular season and NAC Tournament with an unblemished record to advance to their third-consecutive postseason appearance.

Taking home the hardware – Four CUW athletic programs brought home another conference trophy during the 2012-13 athletic year. The Women's Golf team earned the NAC Championship trophy with an all-freshman squad, set two records and had the NAC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Coach of the Year. The Women's Basketball team won their fifth NAC regular season title after finishing 14-4 during league play, winning by an average of 10.4 points per game. They played their way back to the top for the first time since the 2009-10 season. The Wrestling program won the Northern Wrestling Association Tournament and five individuals took first place. Greg Sanders was named Outstanding Wrestler and Corey VanGroll was NWA Co-Coach of the Year. The Men's Tennis team brought home their sixth NAC regular season trophy after finishing with a 9-0 record. CUW had three 9-0 and two 8-1 wins against league opponents.

Falcon supporters – During the 2012-13 athletic year over 26,000 Falcon fans came to campus to support their favorite student-athlete, coach, manager, athletic trainer or just to watch a quality athletic event. The highest attended sport was football with 5,855 attending five home events. The highest attended event from the athletic year was the Oct. 6 home football contest against Maranatha Baptist Bible College, which was also Homecoming, as 1,733 people saw the Falcons cruise to a 55-8 victory.

National rankings – Just one student-athlete can win a crown as a statistical champion, but six Falcon players came very close to obtaining more hardware. Statistically, Emily Ciesielcyzk was the highest ranked CUW student-athlete in any sport from 2012-13, as she finished third in total assists (17) during the women's soccer season. She had five multi-assist games and twice had three helpers in a victory. As a team, women's basketball was the highest ranked in a statistical category as they finished sixth in turnovers per game (13.4) out of 450 ranked teams. Below is a list of student-athletes and teams who achieved a top-10 ranking nationally in a statistical category:

  • Emily Ciesielcyzk – third in total assists (17)
  • Taylor Buuck – fourth in base on balls (34), fourth in base on balls per game (0.89)
  • Joel Sharon – fifth in triples (7)
  • LaCurt Evans – seventh in kickoff returns (28.67 yards per return)
  • Joe Paul – eighth in punt returns (14.92 yards per return)
  • Cara Landherr – ninth in home runs (9)
  • Cara Landherr – 10th in RBIs per game (1.27)
  • Women's Basketball – sixth in turnovers per game (13.4) [450 ranked teams]
  • Women's Soccer – eighth in scoring offense (3.85 per game) [300 ranked teams]

Mother Nature unkind to spring sports – Coaches, student-athletes and administrative personnel alike gained a few gray hairs because of the record setting rainfall during the month of April. In all, 35 events were either postponed, canceled, had a start time changed or venue changed because of the nearly eight inches of rain that fell. Despite the constant changes to schedule pages, the softball and baseball teams benefited because of their ProGrass Field. Both programs combined to play 17-of-22 conference doubleheaders at home and the baseball team at one point played 17-consecutive home games.

It takes an army – The Athletic Communication Department took strides to improve the quantity, quality and speed to which our information (game recaps, news, box scores, social media. photographs, live video, etc.) is available for Falcon fans of all kinds. Along with two full-time staff members, Steven Schauer and Brian Schipferling, a group of nearly 20 student workers helped make everything behind the scenes work flawlessly and efficiently. Our top priority for the 2013-14 athletic year is to better our live video streaming quality and with new equipment, we hope to make your viewing experience an enjoyable one.