MLC roundup: MLC women win UMAC crown in cross-country | News, Sports, Jobs

MLC roundup: MLC women win UMAC crown in cross-country | News, Sports, Jobs

Information courtesy of MLC Athletics

Women’s Cross-Country

MLC women take 1st at UMAC Championships

SUPERIOR, Wis. — The Martin Luther College women’s cross country team won the UMAC Cross Country Championships for the second time in program history on Saturday.

The Knights won the event with a total of 44 points, 16 points better than second-place Minnesota Morris. Bethany Lutheran (76 points) finished third.

The win marks the second UMAC championship for MLC, and the first for the program since 1995.

Abigail Buege (24:42.6) paced the Knights and finished in second place overall. Buege was closely followed in fourth place by Maya Habben (24:48.3).

Hannah Kratz (25:09.8) took seventh to give MLC three top-10 finishers, while Leah Nushart (25:58.6) and Claire Tomhave (26:54.6) finished 13th and 18th, respectively.

The win capped a season-long effort by a young group under second-year coach Breanna Olson in which the Knights consistently improved with each meet as they got healthier in preparation for this event. The Knights’ top five at the event featured three sophomores and two first-year runners.

Men’s Cross-Country

MLC men finish 2nd at UMAC Championships

SUPERIOR, Wis. — The Martin Luther College men’s cross country team brought home second place at the UMAC Cross Country Championships on Saturday.

The Knights finished the event with 47 total points, just 11 shy of first-place UW-Superior’s total of 36 points. Minnesota Morris finished third with 69 points.

Five MLC runners finished in the top 13, led by Ryan Maertz (27:45.5) in fourth place.

Camden Sulzle (28:25.8) and Luke Wegner (28:47.1) also finished inside the top 10, with Sulzle coming in eighth place and Wegner taking 10th.

Joshua Zander (28:52.4) and Micah Schibbelhut (28:53.2) rounded out the MLC line-up in 12th and 13th place, respectively.

The Knights’ second-place finish was the program’s best since the 2017 UMAC Championships, when they also finished in second place.

Women’s Volleyball

UNW 3, MLC 0

NEW ULM — The Martin Luther College volleyball team closed the regular season with a 3-0 defeat to University of Northwestern (UNW) by the scores of 25-17, 25-12 and 25-17.

The Eagles’ jumped on the Knights early and never relented, hitting .515 in the opening set and finishing the match with an attack efficiency of .402.

The three MLC seniors each led the team in separate categories in their final career home matches. Kelsey Birschbach recorded a team-best six kills. Kaylie Solomon hit .444 with four kills, while Kate Aswege finished with seven digs.

MLC fell to 10-15 on the season and 9-5 in UMAC play in defeat. The Eagles improved to 26-3 overall and 13-0 in league play with the win.

The Knights finished the regular season as the fourth seed in next week’s UMAC Volleyball Championships tournament. MLC will travel to UNW, which once again will be the tournament’s top seed. That semifinal matchup will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Men’s Soccer

MLC 3, UNW 2, OT

ST. PAUL — The Martin Luther College men’s soccer team capped a four-game winning streak to close the 2021 season with a 3-2 overtime win at University of Northwestern (UNW) on Saturday.

The Knights entered the second half trailing 1-0 after conceding a goal in the 41st minute, but quickly tied the game on a header from Isaias Santos off a cross from Lucas Martin in the 51st minute.

UNW responded quickly, however, and took the lead once again just 25 seconds later on Mitchell Pfeifer’s second goal of the game.

The one-goal deficit remained until the 65th minute, when Martin’s throw-in from deep in UNW’s end was headed into the goal by what appeared to be an Eagle defender, tying the game and sending the two teams into overtime.

With the Eagles playing one man down after a red card in the game’s 70th minute, the Knights had several premium scoring chances, including early in overtime on a Martin cross that Santos deflected just wide. Undeterred, the Knights found the game-winner off the foot of Xander Heiman, who scored from in front of the goal off an assist from Clay Hirsch in the 94th minute.

Heiman’s goal was his eighth of the season, and his third game-winner during the team’s four-game winning streak.

Santos’ goal was his fifth of the season, and capped a performance in which he led all players with five total shots.

Keeper Michael Friesenegger stopped six of the Eagles’ eight shots on goal to earn the win in net.

MLC closed the season with a record of 6-12-0 overall and 5-9-0 in UMAC play with the win.

Women’s Soccer

UNW 1, MLC 0

ST. PAUL — The Martin Luther College women’s soccer team lost its season finale 1-0 at University of Northwestern on Saturday.

The game’s only goal came early, as UNW’s Emily Currie scored on a penalty kick in the seventh minute following a foul in the box.

UNW was credited with 35 total shots in the game, including 15 shots on goal, but MLC keeper Grace Sievert kept the Knights in the game.

Sievert finished with 14 saves on the day, the second-highest total of her collegiate career and the third time this season she recorded at least 13 saves in a game.

While Sievert kept the Knights close, the MLC offense was unable to generate the chance for an equalizer. Morgan Spoehr and Lilianne Zimpelmann finished as the two shots on goal for the Knights.

MLC closed the season 5-12-1 overall and 4-9-1 in UMAC play following the loss.

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