Your Sound Alternative
On Now:
Loading...
 
 
 
 
Playlist Archive
Join us on: YouTube
 

Sports

CLICK here for
KVSC Sports Stream

SPORTS HOMEPAGE

Subscribe



All-American Aces

Facebook Twitter

11/14/2018 - 7:45 PM

All-American Aces
Miks and Giese each make their return to the weekend rotation in 2019
As St. Cloud State baseball prepared for their 2017 season, two lefthanders were projected to lead the starting rotation.
 
Two-time All-American and reigning NSIC Pitcher of the Year Sheldon Miks was to be counted on as the staff ace in his junior campaign, and redshirt sophomore Cal Giese looked to build upon a stellar first season in which he earned the win in the Huskies’ 2016 NSIC Tournament Championship game.
 
The expectations for the duo to anchor the rotation were dashed just five games into the season, as Miks was pulled from his second start of the year after feeling a pop in his elbow. He wouldn’t throw another pitch in 2017 and underwent Tommy John Surgery in June. Giese took the reigns as the Huskies ace, earning First Team All-NSIC honors and being named Second Team All-Central Region by ABCA/Rawlings.
 
Entering 2018, most pundits were aware that Miks would likely miss most of, if not all the season. However, hopes were high for Giese, as the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) named him a Preseason All-American.
 
Giese didn’t throw a single pitch for the Huskies, as he had been dealing with an elbow issue dating back to his lone 2017 Northwoods League start. He underwent surgery on his elbow in April, effectively ending his season. Miks did make his return to the mound after being cleared for short relief work in late April, but in all it had been a lost season from the two.
 
In 2019 SCSU will finally find their weekend rotation anchored by the two redshirt senior All-Americans, a dream that began all the way back in 2014.
 
Miks and Giese had just wrapped their senior seasons of high school baseball. Miks was a Mr. Minnesota Baseball finalist in his final campaign at Shakopee High School while also earning his second All-State and third All-Section and All-Minneota Conference accolades. Giese had finished a stellar career at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH), picking up All-State and All-Region honors and being named the #22 prospect in the state of Wisconsin by highly-regarded Prep Baseball Report. Each player had an interesting story as they made their commitments to St. Cloud State.
 
Giese remembered throwing to an old ally in his bullpen for the Huskies’ coaching staff.
 
“I think it was junior year. Dolan came and watched a few high school games, and then I think he watched one of my legion games in the summer. He asked me to come visit, I came and visited St. Cloud in the summer with a few other people…We threw a bullpen in front of him, we actually threw to Michael Jurgella at the time when he was here, which was kinda cool because he went to my high school.”
 
Giese received an offer to become another SPASH product to play for the Huskies on that same visit, and later accepted.
 
Miks’ story was a little interesting.
 
“I actually was coming back from my cabin and got a voicemail from a number I didn’t know. I tried to play the voicemail, it was Dolan, and my phone died so I didn’t actually get to hear the rest of it. I ended up getting a new phone and got another call, and I came on a visit.”
 
Like Giese, Miks received an offer on his visit and later accepted.
 
As Opening Day 2015 loomed, it didn’t appear like Giese and Miks would be together for five seasons.
 
Giese was an accounting major, wasn’t bringing in any college credits, and planned on being on campus for five years. Combining his academic plans with the veteran Huskies staff, he redshirted in 2015.
 
Miks was expected to play a role on the Huskies staff as a true freshman, and made a statement attesting to those projections in his collegiate debut.
 
The 6’4 lefthander fired 7.0 innings in his first start on March 1st, 2015 at Harding University, allowing just 2 unearned runs on 4 hits and a walk while striking out 4. Eight days later at the Tucson Invitational, he delivered his first career complete game against Arizona Christian, allowing an earned run on 8 hits with 4 punchouts. Miks quickly ascended to the top of the Huskies’ rotation, joining Reese Gregory, Garrett Harrison, Ryan Diers, and Logan Spitzak as one of the most formidable rotations in the Nation.
 
Miks produced one of the greatest seasons in St. Cloud State history, going 10-2 with a 1.15 ERA, a 2.45 FIP, and a 0.837 WHIP across 86.0 innings. He appeared in 16 games with 12 starts, twirling 7 complete games and 4 shutouts. He struck out 59 and walked just 11, holding opponents to a mind-blowing slash line of .196/.225/.244 for a .469 OPS against. His strikeout rate stood at 18.1%, with a miniscule walk rate of 3.4%. The lefty earned a laundry list of accolades, being named a Daktronics DII All-American, NCBWA All-Central Region, NSIC Freshman of the Year, First Team All-NSIC, and was selected to the NSIC All-Tournament Team.
 
Sheldon credited both his tremendous lineup and his All-American senior catcher, Michael Jurgella, for his success.
 
Regarding Jurgella, Miks praised the backstop’s IQ for the game.
 
“He was always two steps ahead of everything. He always knew what was going to happen, as far as pitch-calling, and we were always on the same page. He put down a number, I nodded my head, and that was pretty much how it went. I already had the grip in my hand, and he made it so simple. I didn’t have to think, and I could just go throw.”
 
His first career postseason start still stands as one of his best collegiate outings, as he struck out 9 Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in a complete game two-hit shutout to send the Huskies to Championship Sunday of the 2015 NSIC Tournament.
 
He faltered in the NCAA Central Region Tournament, taking his first two losses of his career. Both came at the hands of Henderson State University, the first coming in the Tournament opener. Miks allowed 9 runs, just 2 earned, over 7.1 innings. He surrendered 9 hits and walked one while striking out 5. A three-run 5th inning home run by Claude Johnson after a two-out error by Kyle Lieser put the Reddies in front, then an error in the eighth turned into four more unearned runs.
 
The #1 ranked Huskies fought their way back into the Central Region Championship game against Henderson State. SCSU knocked Reddies swingman Luke Tebbetts out of the game in the third, leading 7-2. Henderson brought the game even at 7 in the eighth after receiving a dominant 6.0 inning effort from fireman reliever Jordan Taylor. With the season on the line, St. Cloud State first turned to 13-0 NSIC Pitcher of the Year Reese Gregory for an inning plus, then brought Miks out of the pen for the bottom of the 10th. Miks promptly surrendered a double to A.J. Kruzel, then a walk-off single by Hayden Lessenberry after a sacrifice bunt ended the Huskies season.
 
After the heart-wrenching end to the St. Cloud State season, Miks joined the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League. Facing elite college baseball talent every outing, his legend grew even more with a dominant summer performance.
Miks posted a 5-1 record across 13 appearances, starting 8 games and posting a 2.74 ERA and a 2.84 FIP across 49.1 innings for the Rox. He struck out 49, walked 14, recorded a 1.196 WHIP, and held opponents to an ugly .590 OPS.
 
The experience helped him greatly.
 
“It was eye-opener, more than anything. It’s just such a grind, to go out to the baseball field every single day and try and compete against top-tier talent. That was the biggest thing for me, was I needed to focus every single day, and then have my best stuff every single day, otherwise it was going to be a struggle. You can’t get away with making a few bad pitches in an at-bat with some of those hitters, otherwise they’re going to punish you.”
 
He also made a significant connection with his future pitching coach, then-University of North Dakota weekend starter Brett DeGagne.
 
“He came a little later in the season, probably three weeks in, and we were at Waterloo. He showed up, and everybody was kind of wondering who the new guy was. So I got to talking with him, we hit it off, and from there on out we pretty much worked out and played catch every day for the rest of the summer. That was one guy who really had a big impact on developing a mental side of the game for me.”
 
Following his summer in the Woods’, all eyes were on St. Cloud State entering the 2016 season.
 
The sophomore Miks would serve as the staff “Ace A” to senior Reese Gregory’s “Ace B”, and the Huskies boasted a senior-laden lineup featuring Gregory, Lieser, Brandon Arnold, Karl Sorenson, Zach Hoffmann, and Zak Hoffman. With Spitzak moving into Gregory’s closing role and Harrison graduated, the Huskies had a few questions needing to be answered in their rotation.
 
Cal Giese made his collegiate debut on the big stage at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, striking out 5 and allowing 2 earned runs over 2.0 relief frames against St. Mary’s University. He won his first career start at the Tucson Invitational against Briar Cliff, working 5.0 innings and allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks, punching out 7. He primarily spent his redshirt freshman season as a starter for SCSU, making two more relief outings along the way.
 
Giese chartered a 7-2 record over his 10 appearances and 7 starts, throwing 44.2 innings to the tune of a 4.03 ERA. His FIP stood at stellar 2.83, just behind Gregory as second-best on the staff among starters. He struck out 61 and walked 14, producing strong rates of 28.4% and 6.5% respectively. The strikeout rate tied him with Bolder for the highest among Huskies with at least 3 appearances.
 
Much like his counterpart Miks, Giese’s first collegiate postseason start was a memorable one.
 
The lefthander received the win in the Huskies’ 2016 NSIC Tournament Championship-clinching 6-4 victory over Concordia-St. Paul, dealing 5.0 innings of 5-hit ball and allowing 2 earned while striking out 5.
 
Giese played with his hometown Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the Northwoods League following the 2016 season, going 3-3 with a 3.79 FIP over 12 appearances and 7 starts.
 
Miks’ 2016 wasn’t too shabby either.
 
He made his season debut on February 7th with a complete-game victory over the University of Central Missouri at Minute Maid Park, allowing one run across 9.0 innings on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out a career-high 12, earning NSIC Pitcher of the Week for his efforts. Better feel for his cutter allowed his strikeout numbers to jump in his sophomore campaign.
 
The Huskies’ ace posted another dominant season, going 8-3 with a 1.96 ERA and a 2.96 FIP across 87.1 innings, making 16 appearances and 11 starts. He struck out 79 and walked just 8, finishing with a 1.122 WHIP, a .667 opponent OPS, a 21.8% K rate and an eye-popping 2.2% walk rate. Miks was named an NCBWA Honorable Mention All-American, NCBWA Central Region Pitcher of the Year, NSIC Pitcher of the Year, Consensus NCBWA First Team All-Region, a Tomko Award Top 10 Finalist, a member of the NSIC All-Tournament Team, and First Team All-NSIC.
 
For the second straight season, Miks sent SCSU to Championship Sunday of the NSIC Tournament, setting the stage for Giese in the clincher. Sheldon fired 7.0 scoreless frames of 6-hit ball against Concordia-St. Paul, striking out 9.
In the 2016 NCAA Central Region Tournament, the Huskies lost 1-0 in the opening game, a memorable 11 inning thriller to Minnesota State-Mankato.
 
Miks was handed the ball with the season on the line the next morning against Missouri Western State but was pulled about 50 pitches in after the Huskies took a 6-1 lead after two. SCSU’s next elimination game came versus Emporia State the next day. Up a run in the top of the sixth, the Huskies turned to Miks out of the bullpen. Just a day after throwing around 50 pitches, he fired 125 pitches across 7.0 innings of 3-run ball, taking the season-ending loss in extras.
 
Despite coming up short once again in the NCAA Regional Tournament and graduating nearly their entire lineup, St. Cloud State still had plenty of areas to be excited about entering 2017.
 
Chief among them was Sheldon Miks’ hyped-up junior season.
 
Miks received his first career Opening Day start at U.S. Bank Stadium against Gus Varland and the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears, tossing 4.0 innings of 3-run ball on 7 hits and 4 strikeouts. A mistake changeup to CSP’s Zach Elder turned into a game-deciding 2-run shot to dead center, giving Miks his first loss of the year.
 
On March 6th, the Huskies took on Southwest Minnesota State at the Tucson Invitational. The Huskies led 3-0 going into the bottom of the third. Then came a moment that would dramatically change the course of St. Cloud State’s season.
 
It’s best to let Sheldon Miks tell this part of the story.
 
“I threw a curveball to Metzger. And I threw it about 40 feet. 40, 50 feet. I felt a pop in my elbow. So I’m kind of sitting there on the mound a little bit, and I catch the ball back from Metzger. I kind of walk around the mound, take a second…I get back on the mound, and Metzger noticed something, so from then on he called just fastballs. Eight pitches later I get out of the inning, Metzger comes up to me, and he goes ‘What happened?’ I said, ‘Well, I felt a pop in my elbow and it hurts to throw.’ I sat down on the bench, DeGagne comes up to me and kind of asked the same question, and I said, ‘I’m done. It hurts to even throw a fastball.’”
 
David Kroger and Zach Siggelkow finished off the Huskies’ win, but the team’s concern was on Miks’ left elbow. The ace was shut down and underwent an MRI. He received the diagnosis during the Huskies’ NSIC Regular Season opener on the road at the University of Sioux Falls.
 
He had torn his left Ulnar Collateral Ligament.
 
Tommy John Surgery.
 
“I had the MRI a few weeks later after we got back from Arizona, we were on a road trip at Augie. I was shagging foul balls, and our trainer came up to me and said we need to talk. I kind of knew what it was about. And she goes, ‘Well, it’s torn.’ I said, ‘Okay, well, so what’s the next step?’ There was a lot of things going through my mind at that time, and it was…it was pretty tough, mentally, to know that I was done for the rest of the year and probably the following year…it was a lot of emotion going through my head at that one instance. I still remember that to this day. I just kind of sat out there in the outfield. I was actually behind the fence, shagging home run balls, because Augustana’s fence is short. I just kind of sat there, and just kind of thought for the thirty minutes that we took BP.” Miks remembered.
 
Suddenly, the Huskies no longer had their ace. They needed someone to step up and fill the massive void left in their weekend rotation.
 
And boy, did Cal Giese step up in his redshirt sophomore season.
 
The southpaw went 9-2 with a 1.86 ERA and a 2.01 FIP across 13 starts and 72.2 innings, striking out 19 and holding opponents to a .238/.293/.275 slash line for a .568 opponent OPS. Giese struck out hitters at a 26.2% clip while issuing walks at just a 6.3% rate. He was named NCBWA Honorable Mention All-Central Region, ABCA/Rawlings Second Team All-Central Region, and First Team All-NSIC.
 
One of his many stellar starts was a duel with undefeated 2017 NCBWA Division II Pitcher of the Year Jacob Blank and the Augustana Vikings in game two of the 2017 NSIC Tournament. Giese struck out 8 over 6.0 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks as both he and Blank took no-decisions in the eventual Huskies victory.
 
Giese then carved up Missouri Western State in the Huskies’ first NCAA Central Region Tournament game, firing 6.0 shutout innings of 4-hit baseball, walking none and striking out 7 Griffons as he won his ninth game of the year.
Following SCSU’s Regional exit, Giese rejoined the Rafters in the Northwoods League. After his first start, Giese felt something was amiss.
 
“I had some elbow pain in my first Northwoods start that summer, I think it was June 2nd or June 3rd. I threw 5.0 innings, still threw fine, but I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to get this checked out,’ and I stopped playing baseball for the rest of the summer. I had a couple MRI’s, nothing UCL damage, nothing wrong with it. I went to Dr. Buss in Minneapolis, and he said, ‘Your ulnar nerve is flipping over your bone in your elbow.’”
 
Giese underwent Ulnar Nerve Transposition Surgery on April 3rd.
The NCBWA wasn’t aware of Giese’s injury, naming him a Preseason All-American.
 
St. Cloud State battled through their 2018 season without their two All-American rotation anchors. Despite a pitching staff held together with pins and needles and just 10 healthy position players, the Huskies made yet another NCAA Central Region Tournament appearance, largely due to the emergence of new staff ace and then-junior righthander Dominic Austing.
 
Just before the 2018 NSIC Tournament, Sheldon Miks was cleared for short relief. The Huskies fell behind 7-3 at Bemidji State on April 28th.
326 days removed from Tommy John Surgery, the two-time All-American trotted out of the bullpen for his first appearance since the fateful start against SMSU.
 
He’ll never forget that moment.
 
“Warming up in the bullpen, I remember, we got down kind of early into that game, so I kind of knew I was coming in. Warming up, I felt pretty good, or good enough to where I was confident, and felt that my arm wasn’t going to implode on me. I remember running out to the mound, our parents had a little bleacher right by our dugout, and they gave me a pretty good applause. That was probably one of the coolest things that I’ve had happen to me in my career. Jogging out to the mound, hearing all those parents cheering for me…that was…something that I will remember for a long time.” said Miks.
 
Miks struck out the first batter he faced, swinging. Then, a flyout. He capped off the 1-2-3 inning by striking out Bemidji State great Scott Litchy on three pitches.
 
Huskies closer Nathan Strobel had gone down with an injury earlier in the season, so Miks was inserted as the new SCSU stopper out of the pen’. He picked up a save in the Huskies’ NCAA Central Region Tournament win over Central Oklahoma, allowing a single before striking out the last batter of the game.
 
The lefthander threw 3.0 innings in his 3 appearances of 2018, allowing just 1 hit and striking out 5.
 
Both Miks and Giese have been cleared to return to their roles as starters in their redshirt senior seasons. Miks will be almost two years removed from Tommy John, while Giese’s surgery is relatively low-impact on post-operation production.
 
With the NSIC’s move to three-game weekend series' in 2019, the Huskies are in position to boast arguably the best weekend rotation in the Nation. Dominic Austing will likely be named a Preseason All-American, giving SCSU three All-Americans on their weekend staff. Combining 2018 Division II NJCAA All-American Blake Flint, debatably the NSIC’s best swingman in Kyle Boser; Strobel, Matt Butler, Zach Walz, Zach Iten, Shannon Ahern, Aaron Hammann, DJ Wyman, Matt Osterberg, and Trevor Koenig, the Huskies have the deepest staff they’ve had in years.
 
After years of heartbreaking Regional exits, Miks and Giese think the missing piece has been found.
 
“I think this is the deepest staff of the teams I’ve been on, and I think having a strong bullpen and having options as starters. Yeah it’s great to have three or four locked-in starters, but having options of guys that can throw fifth, sixth, seventh games if needed, having that option and also knowing that games can be shut down with great guys out of the bullpen is one of the most important keys to making deep runs in the playoffs.” said Giese.
 
Miks concurred, “Yeah, this is hands-down the deepest staff I’ve ever been a part of. Even my freshman year, when we went 55-4 or whatever it was, we only had Gregory, Harrison, Spitzak, Diers, if you want to include me. I mean, that’s five guys…we have top to bottom, its 18 guys that can go out there and put up 3.0-4.0 scoreless innings on any given day.”
 
It’s not exactly the dream the St. Cloud State fans had five years ago, but the stars certainly seem to be aligning in 2019 as the program hunts for its first College World Series appearance.

SCSU Football Drops Heartbreaker to MSUM

Facebook Twitter

11/13/2018 - 12:00 PM

SCSU Football Drops Heartbreaker to MSUM
Credit: SCSU Athletics

The St. Cloud State Football Season came to a heartbreaking end, falling in the final game of the season 13-10 to Minnesota State Moorhead.

 

Going into the game, both teams knew a postseason berth the Mineral Water Bowl December 1st was on the line. After a tightly contested battle Saturday, it resulted in the Dragons punching their ticket to a bowl game to finish the season.

 

The game started slow for both teams, with only a 27 yard Adam Stage field goal being the lone scoring of the first half. On a cold day in Moorhead, both defenses dominated all sides of the field while the offense struggled to find their stride in the game. The Huskies missed a pair of chances in the first half as the Dragons fumbled twice in the first half.

 

With a 3-0 and a lot on the line in the game, St. Cloud State knew headed into the 3rd quarter they needed a spark on the road against the Dragons. On the first drive of the 2nd half, junior Dwayne Lawhorn led his offense on a 10 play 75-yard drive to push the Huskies lead to 10-0. It was the game’s first touchdown and the Huskies could not have asked for a better start to the second half.

 

But the Dragons would respond. Immediately on the next drive, the Dragons offense dominated the Huskies defense on their first drive of the third quarter. An 11 play 65-yard touchdown drive sparked the Dragons into a game that felt it had been jolted with new life after only a 3 point first half.

 

While it felt things were about to swing for both offenses, the Huskies went cold. Three consecutive drives the Minnesota State Moorhead defense stood up the Huskies looking to build a lead.

 

As the Huskies struggled, the Dragons came up with two field goals. The second field goal for Minnesota State Moorhead came with just 0:59 left in the 4th quarter, putting the game and season all on the Huskies offense.

Starting on their own 27, the Huskies were able to get it to the Moorhead 34-yard line with just seven seconds left. On the leg of kicker Adam Stage trying to tie the game, a 51-yard field goal sailed wide left as the heartbroken Huskies saw their season end.

 

Despit a game of frustration and missed chances, the Huskies had their best season under current head coach Scott Underwood since a 12-win season in 2013.   

                                                                                   

SCSU Men's Basketball 2018-19 Preview

Facebook Twitter

11/13/2018 - 12:00 PM

SCSU Men's Basketball 2018-19 Preview
Credit: SCSU Athletics

All eyes will be on the St. Cloud State Men’s Basketball team opening their 2018-19 season, as the preseason recognition. Before this season begins, the NSIC announced the Huskies as #1 in the NSIC North Preseason Coach’s Poll.

 

Last season, the Huskies had one of the most historic seasons in school history. Overall, the Huskies finished with a record of 24-9 and an impressive 17-5 NSIC record falling just behind Northern State in the NSIC North Division. It was the best record for the Huskies program since the 2009-10 season.

 

Matt Reimer enters his fifth year as head coach for the Huskies, leading SCSU to a NCAA Central Regional Tournament last year marking the strongest season in his coaching tenure leading St. Cloud State.

 

The Huskies senior forward Gage Davis for the second straight year was named NSIC North Pre-Season Player of the Year. Last season, Davis averaged 19.2 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Huskies. He earned First Team All-NSIC the last three seasons, as well as a 2018 Division 2 Bulletin Honorable Mention All-American Team award.

 

Key returners will be pivotal for the Huskies outside of the outstanding talent of Gage Davis. Senior guard Adam Heede-Anderson will lead the ball on offense after starting 31 of 33 games last year. Talented, big framed Sean Smith caused havoc around the glass last season for SCSU as Smith last season broke the single season record for blocks with 88 and lead the Huskies with 263 rebounds all last season.  Other players such senior Brindley Theisen, senior Jace Kitchen, and junior Trevon Marshall will play crucial roles for the Huskies all looking to meet the preseason expectation as favorites in the NSIC North.

 

St. Cloud State opens the 2018-19 season travelling to Mankato for the MIAA/NSIC Challenge facing Lindenwood University and Missouri Southern State University in a pair of non-conference games to open the season. After a meeting with division three foe Crown College (UMAC), a possible early game of the season candidate will be under the spotlight as the Huskies host Minnesota-State Mankato at Halenbeck Hall on November 16th.  

 

The tilt with Mankato is the first NSIC opponent the Huskies will see this season. After a Thanksgiving tournament trip to California, NSIC opens for the Huskies hosting UMD on December 1st.  

 

All home Huskies Basketball games can be heard LIVE on the KVSC Sports Stream. Visit kvsc.org/sports and follow KVSC Sports on Twitter @KVSCSports to follow Huskies Basketball all season long.

 

Huskies Return Home To Face A Young Denver Team

Facebook Twitter

11/07/2018 - 6:30 PM

Huskies Return Home To Face A Young Denver Team

The top two teams in the NCHC do battle at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center this weekend. The last time the Huskies (7-1-0) played the Denver Pioneers (5-0-1) at home, St. Cloud lifted a Penrose Cup. There won’t be any trophy’s lifted after this game but one of these teams will end the weekend leading the conference.

These two squads have put one game each out of the win category. The Pioneers played Alaska-Fairbanks to a tie. This is the only game that Alaska-Fairbanks hasn’t lost this season. The Huskies have one loss to the No. 15 Northeastern Huskies.

The Pioneers lost their coach Jim Montgomery to the NHL this offseason and in steps David Carle. Carle is 29-years-old and the youngest coach in NCAA Division 1 college hockey.

Montgomery left a hearty recruiting class for Carle to start with and they are lighting it up through their first six games. Leading the way for the strong class is Emilio Pettersen with 3 goals and 8 assists. The Pioneers need a lot from their young players because they have only 7 upperclassmen (3 seniors and 4 juniors). This class is first in the NCAA with 26 combined points.

Pettersen is barely out pacing stand out senior forward, and line mate, Jared Lukosevicius in points but it’s Lukosevicius that has been finishing their plays, as he has 7 goals. The Huskies will need to shut down this line if they want to have success this weekend. That is a tall task as no one else has been able to do it this season but if anyone can, it will be the Huskies.

The defense for the Pioneers holds most of their experience with only one freshman. They are led by sophomore Ian Mitchell who has 7 assists already. Mitchell quarterbacks the power play and leads this team on the back. The Huskies can get Mitchell off of his game by pressuring him and not giving him any passing lanes to run their offense.

In net is sophomore Devin Cooley who has look fantastic after learning under Tanner Jaillet for a season. Cooley sports 1.64 GAA and a .930 save-percentage on the season. He has yet to lose a game in his collegiate career.

The Huskies offense has been electric to start this season and they can strike from anywhere and everywhere. The scoring rolls up and down the lineup. Senior Patrick Newell leads the team with 6 goals and 11 points. 14 Huskies have potted a goal and all but two skaters have made a tally on the score sheet. Even senior goaltender Jeff Smith has an assist.

The D-core is running on all cylinders as well with senior Jimmy Schuldt on a 5 game point streak after finally netting one against Northern Michigan three weeks ago. Junior Jack Ahcan leads the team in assists with 10 and is a constant figure on special teams. Freshman Nick Perbix got on campus as an offensive defenseman and he is living up to that standard so far with 4 assists.

In net sophomore David Hrenak stands tall. Smith was getting minutes prior to the conference schedule but Hrenak looks to hold the net on his own from here on. He comes in with a 1.40 GAA and a .940 save percentage. Hrenak already has 2 shutouts this season.

This game could breakout either way, with goals going high or very low. The Huskies score at a 4.25 clip per game and only allow 1.50 goals per game. That ranks eighth and third respectively in the NCAA. The Pioneers score 4.33 goals per game and allow 1.67 goals per game. This is good for tied for second and a tie for fourth respectively in the NCAA.

This will be a very close series as these two teams have been power houses in the NCHC since its beginning. Denver carries a younger roster and the Huskies depth can exploit their lower lines. The key to this weekend is to shut down the top line for Denver and focus on their second and third lines. The way Coach Brett Larson matches his players up will be huge for how SCSU will fair.

The Pioneers opponents so far have combined record of 7-26-1 and that cumulative win total will double once the game starts Friday. The Pioneers have had a relatively easy start to their season and are walking into a strong Huskies team who hasn’t lost at home in the regular season since Jan. 20.

I expect this Denver team to be good come March but I think the Huskies will sweep this series in similar fashion to last Nov. when they swept the UMD Bulldogs, the eventual national champions.

The first game of the weekend will be Nov. 9 with a 7:07 p.m. puck drop. Saturday’s game will be Nov. 10 with a 6:07 puck drop. Both games will be broadcast live on KVSC. The pre-game show will start about 15 minutes before the hour both nights.

NOTES:

Hrenak gets the nod for both games last weekend. Could that be due to Smith earning the team’s first loss or that was the plan the whole time once NCHC play began.

The Huskies have only lost two regular season games at home since the start of last season.

Larson will get to face off against another rookie head coach.

SCSU Women's Basketball Season Preview 2018-19

Facebook Twitter

11/07/2018 - 11:30 AM

SCSU Women's Basketball Season Preview 2018-19
Credit: SCSU Athletics

With winter starting up here in Minnesota, it also means the start up for St. Cloud State Basketball. The Women’s basketball team will officially begin the basketball season today as they take on the University of Minnesota Morris on Wednesday at 7:00 pm, and open up the regular season on Saturday, November 10th, against Valley City State University.  

 

The Huskies are looking to have a strong outcome this year, after finishing 17-10 last year, and 14-8 in a competitive NSIC, along with playing outstanding at home with a record of 11-3.

 

The team is returning eleven players from last year, after graduating four seniors. Some players to look for this year are, NSIC Player to watch, Madelin Dammann, Sophomore Tori Wortz, and Mallie Doucette.

 

Dammann, a Junior Guard is looking to elevate her game this year, and help out the team with her deadly shooting from the guard position. Last year, Dammann shot 46% from the field and from beyond the arc. She also scored a career high, 21 points last season verses Minnesota Crookston.

 

Another weapon to make the Huskies front court more dangerous is Sophomore Tori Wortz. Wortz, mid-way through the season, made the starting rotation as a freshman, and made a big impact right away. The crafty guard averaged over ten points per game, as well as shooting 42% from the field. Coach Fish says that she has been working on her perimeter shooting during the offseason which has her excited, and says she will be more dangerous player on the court.

 

“Tori played outstanding during her freshman year,” said Head Basketball Coach, Lori Fish. “She really put in the work during the offseason to improve on her perimeter shooting, and it’s going to make it tough for defenders to guard her.” Fish also praised Wortz, with her play on the defensive side as well.

 

Mallie Doucette, is entering her senior year, and is one of the many leaders on this Huskies team to help her team this year. Last year, Doucette was an impact player that helped sparked the Huskies when she came off the bench, with hitting a clutch shot to start an offensive run, or getting a key defensive stop.

 

Along with having eleven returning athletes, the team also added seven new faces to the team this year, with five new freshman, and two JUCO transfers.

 

Tip off for Wednesday’s game will start up at 7:00 pm, and you can hear the game on the KVSC Sports Stream, with Husky Den Pre-game show starting at 6:45 pm.

Huskies Football Rallies to Win Thriller over Minot State

Facebook Twitter

11/06/2018 - 12:00 PM

Huskies Football Rallies to Win Thriller over Minot State
Credit: SCSU Athletics

The St. Cloud State Football team earned their fourth win on the road this season, knocking off Minot State 30-23.

 

On what was a snowy and windy day in Minot, the Huskies did not allow the current weather conditions impact what ended in positive results on the field.

 

Adam Stage opened the game knocking through a pair of field goals, but the Beavers would respond after a field in the second quarter. A 56 yard passing play turned into a 10-6 lead for the Beavers at home in the second quarter.

 

Moments after the third made field goal of the half for Adam Stage,  interceptions continued to haunt Huskies quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn as Minot State’s defense would return a interception for a touchdown with 2:49 left in the quarter to take a 16-9 lead into the halftime break.

 

The Beavers took full control of the momentum headed into the 3rd quarter, as a St. Cloud State fumble led to a Beavers touchdown pushing the score to 23-9.

 

With everything against the Huskies, it seemed possibly out of reach for the Huskies to get a major road win late in the season. But they had other plans.

 

After MSU pushed their lead to 23-9, the Huskies offense came out firing as Dwayne Lawhorn found an open John Solberg for a 41 yard touchdown pass to make it 23-16. The touchdown gave the Huskies life headed into the fourth quarter.

 

It took a full team effort for a huge fourth quarter comeback for the Huskies. A 12 play 89 yard drive to open the quarter for St. Cloud State was rewarded with a Greg Lewis 15 yard touchdown run, knotting the game at 23.

 

It was not much longer until the Beavers gave the Huskies a chance to take the lead, and SCSU made them pay. A Minot State football on their own 24 gave the Huskies a prime opportunity to take the lead. From the MSU 24, the Huskies put together just four plays to take a 30-23 in dramatic fashion capped off by a Dwayne Lawhorn touchdown run.

 

The drama in this thriller did not stop there. Minot State would get the ball back, as St. Cloud State coughed up another fumble with 2:40 left in the fourth quarter while trying to run the clock out to a win. On the ensuing possession with a chance to tie or take the lead for Minot, Jake Bruner for St. Cloud state picked off a Kylar Sharp pass that would seal the game for St. Cloud State.

 

The Huskies move to a record of 7-3 on the 2018 season with the win over Minot and will round out the 2018 season battling Minnesota - State Moorhead this Saturday at 1pm in Moorhead.

 

Comeback Kids In Colorado

Facebook Twitter

11/05/2018 - 4:20 PM

Comeback Kids In Colorado

The Men’s hockey team needed the full 60 minutes in both games against the Colorado College Tigers on Nov. 2 and 3. Third period comebacks highlighted a tough test to start the Huskies conference schedule.

The Huskies were coming off their first loss of the year to Northeastern on Oct 27 in a close 3-2 battle of ranked Huskies.

The Tigers were 8-12-4 in the NCHC last season, good for a three way tie at 5 in the conference and they looked much improved taking on the number 2 ranked Huskies.

CC struck first on Friday night mid-way through the first period when Trevor Gooch grabbed a puck behind the net and sauced it out to the high slot where Tanner Ockey was in between the Huskies defensemen to bury it. CC claimed the two goal lead on an end of period power play when Nick Halloran put in a wide open rebound on the back door.

That woke up the sleep walking Huskies who took over the second period where they put 18 shots on Alex LeClerc to the Tigers single shot on sophomore David Hrenak. 11 minutes into the second Freshman Nolan Walker drifted around the net to find a wide open patch to LeClerc’s blocker leading both Tiger Defensemen to side over for the shot block. Walker put a pass right through the legs to a wide open Ryan Poehling to break the shutout.

The Huskies only needed two goals in the third period, so they went out and got four. The Huskies struck first on a power play when junior Jack Ahcan faked a shot from the point and passed it over to LeClerc’s left, where a wide open Patrick Newell helped it in. Just 32 seconds later the Tigers went back up when Cole McCaskill tipped a point shot over Hrenak’s shoulder.

The Huskies would take advantage of a tiger falling over and another power play. Senior Robby Jackson took a pass and stepped toward the net and a tiger fumbling to regain his feet. That is where he found sophomore Easton Brodzinski’s stick on the back side for an easy tip in and a tie game. Newell would pick up the go ahead goal on a loose puck in traffic that he barely got off with 3:26 on the clock.

The Huskies would seal the victory when Ryan threw the puck down ice from this own blue line, finding an empty net. The final score was 5-3 Huskies.

Saturday night saw the goal scoring toned down quite a bit but the Huskies still needed another third period comeback.

The first goal wasn’t scored until over half way through the second and it was put in by Tigers senior Westin Michaud on a backdoor rebound for a PP goal and the 1-0 lead. The tigers carried that lead seven minutes into the third period before the Huskies answered.

Junior Nick Poehling was beamed by a shot from the point and the puck dropped out by the left side face-off dot. That’s where twin Jack Poehling corralled it and spun around and put it right up in top shelf before LeCrerc knew where it was.

After netting 2-3 power plays the night before, it’s fitting that the Huskies would win the game on one Saturday. Brodzinski took a pass off of the side wall and cut in at the top of the cirlces where he surveyed the situation and put it right over LeClerc’s glove to put the Huskies up 3-2 with 2:45 left in the third.

The Huskies come out of the weekend at second in the NCHC and the country. They are dominating the special teams ranking at number one for penalty killing at .919 and number eight for power play percentage at .276. The Huskies have only allowed 3 PP goals this season.

Achan is still tied for the first in the country in assists. He now has 10 of them.

The Huskies return to the Herb after three weeks away for a top 10 matchup against the Denver Pioneers. The games are on Nov. 9 at 7:07 p.m. and Nov. 10 at 6:07. Both games will be broadcast live on KVSC.

The Next Great St. Cloud State Catcher

Facebook Twitter

11/05/2018 - 10:45 AM

The Next Great St. Cloud State Catcher
Toran Shahidi

In head coach Pat Dolan’s tenure at St. Cloud State University, elite catchers setting up shop in the Huskies’ lineup has been the norm.

 
Dolan’s top-rate catcher tradition began with the Nate Hammes era, spanning from 2008 to 2010. Hammes posted three straight seasons with an OPS of .888 or better, while driving in 40+ runs in 2009 and 2010. The former Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bear also gunned down runners at a 25.9% clip over his SCSU career. His backup in 2009, Jeremy Ische, was recently named head coach at Upper Iowa.
 
After Hammes’ graduation, Travis Enger took over as SCSU’s backstop in 2011, slashing .339/.397/.441 while posting a 32.6% caught stealing rate in his redshirt-freshman season and finishing his career with back-to-back seasons with a caught stealing rate better than 40.0%. In the following season, redshirt-freshman Michael Jurgella joined the fray, sharing time with the defensive-minded Enger from 2012 to 2014. In his four seasons at SCSU, Jurgella’s OPS never dipped below .870, and had an OPS of 1.000+ in his redshirt-junior and senior years. His senior campaign was a monster one, slashing .399/.482/.690 for a 1.172 OPS, 16 doubles, 2 triples, 14 bombs, and 64 RBI.
 
The Zach Metzger era began in 2016, as the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi transfer caught 42 games for the Huskies in his junior season. “Metz” gunned down baserunners at a 37.0% clip and posted an OPS of .774 while handling a pitching staff that contained two All-Americans in Reese Gregory and Sheldon Miks. Metzger’s 2017 senior season started splendidly, but an injury to his knee cut his year short, opening the door for junior Bemidji State transfer and St. Cloud Cathedral grad Bo Schmitz to take the reigns behind the dish. Despite the injury, Metzger clubbed 10 doubles and drove in 26 runs in 28 games, posting an OPS of .898 and leading the NSIC with a 50.0% caught stealing rate. Schmitz led SCSU with 58 runs scored, slashed .328/.414/.419 and belted 9 doubles, 1 triple, and 2 home runs while stealing 10 bags. As a senior in 2018, Bo capped off his Huskies career by slashing .359/.422/.558 and led the team with 8 home runs to go with 44 RBI.
 
As the Huskies’ 2018 campaign wrapped up at the NCAA Central Region Tournament in May, SCSU graduated four seniors: starting centerfielder Jackson Goplen, starting designated hitter Isaac Matchinsky, reliever Logan Sandgren, and Schmitz. Dolan and his staff had essentially wrapped up their recruiting by this time, with a talented class of prep stars and JUCO transfers coming in to fill the Huskies’ opening roles. However, one position remained unfilled.
 
The Huskies needed a veteran, high-impact catcher, and they had none on roster.
 
Enter Toran Shahidi.
 
The 5’6, 180-pound backstop spent five seasons as the starting catcher at Ames High School in Ames, Iowa, graduating in 2014. Entering his senior season, he had no idea if he would have the opportunity to play college baseball.
 
“Going into my senior season of high school, I didn’t know (if) I was going to play college baseball. I was 5-foot-6, 145 pounds…I had no chest on me, I had no arms, I couldn’t really squat that much, I couldn’t bench. I was weak. I was physically inferior to my competition at the higher levels. But…I outplayed my tools with heart, being smarter than everyone else. I did my best every single day, I worked my butt off. It was a goal of mine to get a college scholarship at the college level, I just didn’t know what level. Kirkwood came and saw me at a tournament, I did good, and they offered me a scholarship.” Shahidi said.
 
Kirkwood Community College lies in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, home of the Cedar Rapids Kernels, the Minnesota Twins Low-A affiliate. Shahidi’s intangibles, along with his talent, caught the eye of Eagles head coach Todd Rima.
 
Rima recounted, “The thing that stood out for us right away was two things. The way that Toran played the game. Tremendous energy, hard worker, loved the game, and then Toran just had an infectious personality. He was a guy that people wanted to be around, he was a leader, and we wanted that to be part of our program. That was a big piece of why we went after him, and he delivered that when he got here. He was exactly the kid that we thought we were getting, and we loved having him be a Kirkwood Eagle.”
 
Shahidi burst onto the scene as a freshman at Kirkwood, playing in 29 games and slashing .342/.473/.411 for an .883 OPS. The righthanded-hitting catcher walked at a 14.3% clip, clubbed 5 doubles, and drove in 9. His stellar arm flashed plus for the Eagles, nabbing 6 of 12 opposing baserunners. He spent the summer of 2015 in the Prospect League with the Quincy Gems of Quincy, Illinois, gaining experience with a wood bat. He struggled at the plate, largely due to a .191 BABiP.
 
Then, as he was preparing for his sophomore season in the fall of 2015, a nagging injury from the winter prior began to increase in severity.
 
Shahidi remembered, “In the winter of my freshman year at Kirkwood, there were me and a couple other guys that liked to play around with some hang cleans and power cleans after we got done with our team lift. I’m in there one day, doing some good amount of weight, I catch a clean and my right shoulder sinks down. I’m like ‘Ah, that’s nothing, I’ll be fine.’ About a week later, I start to notice bruises around my elbow, which is just blood pooling. I called my grandpa, he’s a physical therapist, and he says, ‘You probably tore something up in your shoulder, minor, you should be fine.’ Playing through the year, I couldn’t catch three or four games a week. I could catch two. I could catch two really good ones and I’d have nothing left. So I’m like, ‘Something’s up here. Maybe I’m tired, I’m not strong enough body-wise.’ I played the year, had a good year, then I went to summer ball and couldn’t throw anybody out. I’d get nothing on a throw to second…I go back to Kirkwood for my second year, and I’m feeling really good…I go in on my pro day. In high school I threw about 77-78 to second base. On my pro day I threw like 71.”
 
Soon thereafter, Shahidi went in to his strength coach for testing, and was told that he likely had a torn labrum. 
 
“I was like, ‘No, this is fake, this isn’t real, I’m probably fine, just needed rehab.’ I played the next day in our scrimmage as our DH, and I’m like eh, I feel fine. I was trying to beg my coaches to let me play, they wouldn’t do it because they knew I was hurt, so I call my dad to say something’s up here. One of my good high school friends, his dad runs all physical therapy out of Ames, Iowa…One of his good friends is the head surgeon for Iowa State. And he’s like, ‘Hey, we’ve got a catcher here, one of Sam’s friends, you need to help him out.’ So I’m set up for an appointment the next day on September 5th. I go in there for my appointment, and he says, ‘Yeah, you look really weak here. We need to get this checked. I want to set you up for an MRI here in an hour. I’m sitting here for a process that usually takes a couple weeks, and I’m getting it done in a day. They go in, they do the MRI, said they’d call me with the results on Monday. I wait till Monday, I’m sitting in class, get the call, walk into the hall, and he says, ‘Toran, you have a significant tear of your labrum. You’re going to need surgery.” And I’m just…I’m just sitting there in class, and I’m about ready to cry, because I know everything I’ve worked this hard for is right at my fingertips, and it’s going to be taken from me. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew the recovery, I knew the return rate was very, very low, it’s like 20% recovery return to anything like what they were. I call my dad, we go back in to talk about setting up surgeries and when we’re going to do it, and he (the surgeon) says, ‘I can’t tell you that you’re ever going to catch again. You could probably play first base.’ Look at me. I’m 5’6 and 155 pounds at this time. I’m not going to play first base. I don’t hit for power, I don’t run, so it’s not going to work out. They did the surgery on October 5th. I had some dark times prior to it, just…depression, kind of worrying about it and not knowing if I’m ever going to get back to it. Have surgery on October 5th, and ever since then I’ve known who I was. That’s the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, and I’ve grown as a man doing it.”
 
Because of the injury, Shahidi was forced to redshirt in 2016. Rima remembers seeing his catcher’s tremendous character shining through during the trying year.
 
Said Rima, “You know, I think that’s tough on anybody. Toran loves the game, he loves to play, I think it was tough at first for him…The thing I really admired throughout it, Toran became a leader in not playing. And he brought energy to games and practices even when he couldn’t compete, the guys rallied around him a little bit, and that I really, really respected. You learn a lot about a kid when times get tough. And the way he handled it, I don’t if I’ve had a kid handle it as well as he did. And just to see that he had an impact on our team, even when he knew every day that he couldn’t play, I thought that was pretty special. I’ll always remember that about Toran.”
 
After a long and arduous recovery time, Shahidi made his return to competitive baseball with the Wisconsin Woodchucks of the Northwoods League late in the summer of 2016. Despite going from facing zero college pitching for nearly a year to matching up against some of the best arms in the country, Shahidi hit .235 with a .316 on-base percentage in 9 games for the Chucks’. 
 
Something seemed off for Toran as he readied for his 2017 redshirt-sophomore campaign, discovering that he needed contacts right before Kirkwood’s season began.
 
Shahidi posted a .252/.404/.364 slash line at Kirkwood in 2017, cumulating in a .769 OPS with 9 doubles, 1 home run, and 19 RBI. He again impressed defensively at catcher, but he was quick to point out that he didn’t produce as well as he thought he should.
 
“I could have been better. I could’ve been a better teammate. I could’ve been better at the plate. I had so many opportunities to help my team win games, and I just couldn’t come through. I was trying to do things offensively that just didn’t work, I was really choppy through the zone, I was trying to hit way too many nukes, I was not myself…I wasn’t me. Defensively, I was really good, offensively, I was just disappointed with myself that I couldn’t help my team.”
 
After a tremendous showing at a showcase, shining defensively and going 3-4, Shahidi received a call from the University of South Carolina-Upstate Spartans, a Division I NCAA program in the Atlantic Sun Conference. He went on a visit, and quickly committed.
 
At USC-Upstate, Shahidi served as the everyday DH while backing up Charlie Carpenter, selected by Atlanta in the 26th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, at catcher. Shahidi burst out of the gate early, his average holding steady between .280-.310, but then a cold spell dragged his production down. He struggled mightily for roughly half a month, his average dipping to .230 on April 8th after the Spartans’ road series at the University of North Florida. Then, in Upstate’s midweek road tilt with UNC-Asheville on Tuesday, April 10th, Shahidi figured it out.
 
“I’m taking BP, and my first round is hit-and-run, and I hit a ball over the third base dugout, I hooked it so bad. I’m sitting there thinking, ‘What is going on? Alright, we’re going to make a few changes here. Just going to make a few simple adjustments.”
 
And boy, did those adjustments work. Shahidi went 3-5, falling a triple shy of the cycle while belting his first NCAA DI home run. Over his final 17 games, including the springboard start against Asheville, Toran slashed .338/.417/.473 for an .890 OPS to go with 5 doubles, one triple, and the lone home run and 11 runs driven in. All in all, Shahidi posted a .280/.405/.379 slash line at Upstate with 11 doubles, the triple and home run, and 19 RBI across 43 games and 41 starts. He started 12 games behind the dish, with the remaining 29 starts coming at DH. While at catcher, Shahidi gunned down 28.6% of opposing baserunners, didn’t allow a single passed ball, and produced a .990 fielding percentage.
 
Four years removed from high school, Shahidi decided he wanted to finish off his collegiate career closer to home. He mutually parted ways with USC-Upstate and began his search for the “perfect fit” for his fifth-year senior campaign. 
 
Enter the Huskies.
 
St. Cloud State had spent the 2017-18 recruiting period recruiting Toran’s younger brother, Tavan, to fill their hole at catcher in 2019. Tavan committed to the University of Maryland in June, and while the Shahidi family was celebrating Tavan’s commitment at dinner, the newly-signed Terrapin pitched his older brother an idea.
 
“We’re sitting at dinner, for him, and he says, ‘You know where you’re going yet?’ I say, ‘I have no idea.’ He says, ‘Why don’t you go to Cloud?’ I say alright, I’ll check it out, and he shoots Dolan a text at dinner. He says, ‘Hey, my brother’s a DI kickback looking for a school for his fifth year. No more than five minutes later am I on the phone with Dolan, and this guy keeps talking about ‘Slam dunks,’ and ‘Oh, it’s gonna be a slam dunk for us if you come here!’ And I’m like, who is this guy? This guy’s way too nice to be a baseball coach here.”
 
Three days later, Toran made the trip to the Granite City to visit St. Cloud State. Of course, he brought Tavan along with him. He was blown away by his experience.
 
“I’m walking around campus, and Doc is showing me all these things and talking about it, and I am so impressed by the campus here. The people, everyone I met was top-notch, it was truly great. I’m walking around and I’m like, ‘I could see myself just going to school here.’ It didn’t hurt that he explained that they had 15 seniors coming back.”
 
About two weeks after his visit, Toran called Dolan with the news that he was going to be a Huskie.
 
With fall ball recently completed, SCSU associate head coach Doc Swendra raved about what the Huskies had seen out of their new starting catcher.
One trait caught his eye immediately.
 
“Great leadership. That’s what we expect out of our fifth-year seniors, that leadership, but he has it. It looks like, even the younger guys look up to him. You know, when you bring in a guy for one year like that sometimes you kind of wonder if they’re going to be able to fit in with the group of guys that are already there. He had no problem getting involved and getting to be friends with our guys. It didn’t take that long at all. First thing that comes to my mind is that leadership, he comes in with that mentality that ‘This is what we’re going to do to get the job done,’ and everybody respects that. As far as his game, you know, he’s a solid hitter. He can certainly hit the ball. When you’re playing big-time Division I and you can hit .280, .290; 11, 12 doubles, you know he can certainly produce at the Division II level. And that’s great for us. Defensively, he’s a great defensive blocking catcher. Strong arm, all the way around we know we got ourselves a pretty good ballplayer.” said Swendra.
 
Locked in and ready to help lead the St. Cloud State Huskies into a 2019 season full of promise and expectations, Toran Shahidi knows exactly what he’s here to do.
 
“We’re not here to get participation trophies and all that. We’re here to win a National Title. That takes grown men doing grown men things. On a field. With a ball. And a bat. And throwing it by people. And hitting it over the wall. We’re going to win games here, and I believe that this is the best team I’ve been a part of in a while, with a great group of guys that truly love each other. I’m so excited to be a part of this, that these guys have accepted me, and Coach Dolan has given me this chance to come in and finish off my college career like this. It’s a dream come true.”
 
Podcast

#2 Huskies Hockey Opens NCHC Play at Colorado College

Facebook Twitter

11/01/2018 - 12:00 PM

#2 Huskies Hockey Opens NCHC Play at Colorado College
Photo - SCSU Athletics

The St. Cloud Men’s Hockey team looks to defend the Penrose Cup, taking on Colorado College this weekend to open NCHC play. CC leads SCSU all time at 50-46-7. Friday night, puck drop is set for 8:37pm and Saturday at 7:07pm at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

 

Last season, the Huskies had no trouble with the young Tigers, posting a weekend sweep at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center behind 6-1 and 5-1 wins over CC. The Tigers do bring a four-game unbeaten streak into the opening weekend of NCHC play, battling to a 4-3 win and 3-3 tie against New Hampshire last weekend. Since January 14th of 2012, the Huskies have only suffered three losses and one tie against Colorado College.

 

Colorado College will pose as a young threat to teams this year in the NCH. The Tigers tied  for 5th in the conference last season, collecting 8 wins in conference play. Offensively, the Tigers are led by key returners Junior Nick Halloran, Senior Mason Bergh and Senior Trey Bradley. Junior forward Alex Berardinelli currently leads CC with 5 goals, along with five other  players also joining Berardinelli with 6 points total this season.

 

Mike Haviland experienced some struggles early on in charge of the Tigers, but finally last season saw continual offensive production from the Tigers for their best finish under the head coach in his fifth season. Colorado College has not made the NCAA tournament since the 2010-2011 season, but with a strong returning group of seniors and experience in net, the Tigers will love the early challenge from one of the NCHC’s finest.

 

Brett Larson enters into the new NCHC slate of games as the first-year head coach of the Huskies. With the job comes plenty of returning talent that St. Cloud State saw help propel the Huskies to a big season last year. Finishing first in the NCHC regular season standings, but a heart break in the NCAA first round tournament, the drive and hunger is in full force from the Huskies headed into the new conference slate of games. Larson is not shy to the NCHC, serving as an Assistant Coach for UMD in last seasons National Championship run for the Bulldogs.

 

St. Cloud State showed a strong open to the 2018-19 season, winning their first 5 of 6 games in non-conference play. With dominant showings over Alaska Fairbanks, Northern Michigan and Boston College, the Huskies are ready to showcase their talent, young and experienced players.

Junior defender Jack Ahcan leads the Huskies earning 10 points so far this season, with 9 assists and one lone goal. Senior Patrick Newell has found the back of the net 4 times along with 5 assists for 9 points to begin the season. Ahcan and Newell look to stay hot this weekend, as both players will open NCHC play riding 6 game point streaks. In national rankings, Ahcan is second with nine assists while also ranking third in defenseman around the country with 10 points this season.

 

David Hrenak showed very good play this past week versus Boston College, with his fourth career shutout in the 7-0 win over Boston College. Hrenak had 32 saves in the win over the Eagles.

 

In the opening weeks of the season, youth proved to be productive for the Huskies headlined by a hat trick for freshman Sam Hentges in last week’s 7-0 win over Boston College. Spencer Meier from Sartell, Minnesota tagged his first collegiate points with three assists also against Boston College.

 

Stay updated on all things SCSU Men’s Hockey and Huskies sports Sports by following KVSC Sports on Twitter @KVSCSports and at KVSC.org/sports.

 

SCSU Football Suffers 37-24 Loss to Bemidji State

Facebook Twitter

10/29/2018 - 12:40 PM

SCSU Football Suffers 37-24 Loss to Bemidji State
Photo - SCSU Athletics

With the possibility of a postseason berth on the line Saturday afternoon, the St. Cloud State football team could not get by Bemidji State University falling 37-24 at Husky Stadium.

 

Just one week after a dominating homecoming win over Upper Iowa, turnovers drowned the Huskies on Saturday afternoon versus Bemidji State.

 

Along with turnovers, the Beavers opened the game with a 23-3 lead moving into the later moments of the 2nd quarter, and the Huskies would not find a response. Three first-half interceptions thrown by junior quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn slowed any offensive momentum for the Huskies, and Bemidji State responded strong opening the game with a whole collection of unanswered points.

 

Bemidji State came right back out into the 3rd quarter with a blazing four play – 78-yard touchdown drive to take a 30-3 lead over SCSU. Dwayne Lawhorn collected his first touchdown pass of the day with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Sam Hartman.

 

After the lone touchdown of the 3rd quarter for the Huskies, Bemidji State responded with a touchdown on another quick three-play drive to make it 37-10 late in the 3rd quarter.

 

In the 4th, the Huskies would put together a pair of touchdowns with a 1-yard touchdown run by Paris Howell, and Sam Hartman’s 2nd touchdown catch of the game as the pair of scores made it 37-24. The lead was too much for the Huskies, and St. Cloud State would suffer their 3rd loss of the season to Bemidji State 37-24.

 

Junior quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn finished the game with two touchdowns but could not shake off four interceptions along with 27 completions and 277 yards. St Cloud State as a team finished with more yards and plays than Bemidji State, but the Beavers only gave up one turnover. BSU was also not keen on 3rd down conversions going 5 for 14 in third-down conversion opportunities. The Huskies gave up strong field position failing twice on fourth down conversions of their own.

 

St. Cloud State football closes out the 2018 regular season on the road, traveling this Saturday to Minot State and wrapping up the season against Minnesota State Moorhead on November 10th.  

 

Huskies Soccer Earn Pair of Home Shutouts

Facebook Twitter

10/22/2018 - 12:30 PM

Huskies Soccer Earn Pair of Home Shutouts
Credit: SCSU Athletics

Going into the final two weekends of the season, the Huskies were looking at a schedule featuring their last 3 of 4 games of the season at home at Husky Stadium, where the Huskies are unbeaten in 2018 season.

 

On a weekend celebrating homecoming and the senior class of the program, the Huskies soccer team did not disappoint.

 

Friday afternoon the Huskies dominated Sioux Falls by a 2-0 final to earn their 5th NSIC win of the season. First half scoring continued to be the strength for the Huskies, as Mallory Mollenhauer found the back of the net off a header from a Brooke Bares corner for the opening goal.

 

Later in the first half against the Cougars, senior Maria Witte laced home a penalty kick to make it 2-0 Huskies, but not effort an outstanding effort in the box from Brooke Bares drew the penalty kick. USF would have no response, as the Huskies would walk away with a  2-0 win over the Cougars. SCSU ended the match out shooting USF 20-8. Freshman goalkeeper Zoe Welsh earned her 4th shutout of the season with 3 saves in the win.

 

The dominance at Husky Stadium would lead right into Sunday, as six seniors were honored before the match began. Kelli Santo Paulo, Alexa Starr, Maria Kass, Maria Witte, Kelsey Christian and Sara Magno were recognized for their outstanding efforts in one of the strongest senior classes SCSU has ever seen.

 

In the match against SMSU,  it again did not take long for the Huskies to get on the board, as the Huskies would earn their second penalty kick of the weekend. Again, senior stepped up and fired home the penalty kick goal setting a program record for number of penalty kick goals in a season, as the goal was Witte’s fifth. A minute and a half in, SCSU opened yet another home match with a 1-0 lead.

 

SMSU continued its tough play throughout the end of the first half and into the second, but again the Huskies were lighting up the stats sheet with a multitude of shots against SMSU keeper Jenna Meyer.

 

Late in the second half, the Huskies would again find one of the biggest goals of the season, as Maria Witte would put away a loose ball from a corner kick and an assist by Maria Kass for her sixth goal of the season.  This would put the Huskies up 2-0, and that would be the final score for SCSU earning their 7th conference win of the season.

 

With 24 NSIC points heading into the final record and a record of 7-3-3, St. Cloud State currently sits 4th in the NSIC table which would earn them a home playoff game on October 31st. With still work to be done, the Huskies host Minot State this coming Friday at Husky Stadium who sit right under the Huskies at 5th in the conference with 23 conference points.

 

The Huskies will wrap up the season versus U-Mary, who also have playoff implications sitting 7th looking to stay alive with three teams underneath them at 19 conference points.

 

Tune into the Huskies soccer match on Friday vs. Minot State on the KVSC Sports Stream, as Hans Bristol will have the call from Husky Stadium for a critical match against MSU. Kickoff is set for 1pm, pre-game beginning at 12:45 with Hans Bristol on the KVSC Sports Stream.

 

Huskies Football Dominates for Homecoming Victory

Facebook Twitter

10/22/2018 - 12:00 PM

Huskies Football Dominates for Homecoming Victory
Credit: SCSU Athletics

As a part of a historic day for St. Cloud State University, the Huskies football team certainly knew all eyes were on them on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Husky Stadium. As a response, the Huskies did not disappoint.

 

SCSU football moved to an impressive 6-2 record on the 2018 season after a 34-14 win over Upper Iowa Saturday afternoon.

 

Things started rocky for the Huskies, as on the first drive junior quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn that appeared to give Upper Iowa the early spark they needed on the road.  In a massive moment in the first quarter, the Huskies defense stopped Upper Iowa on a 4th and goal chance on the SCSU 2 yard line that shut down any scoring chance for Upper Iowa.

 

After the defensive stop, the Huskies offense put together a incredible 6 play 98 yard drive for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead for the Huskies, topped off by a John Solberg touchdown catch.

 

Early in the 2nd quarter, the Upper Iowa Peacocks offense kicked into a up tempo type of play, which led them to tie the game after a 13 play 80 yard drive. UIU’s Alex Stevens caught a 3 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brent Lammers tying the game up at 7.

 

The game felt as if Upper Iowa had some momentum, and on their home field with the biggest crowd of the season, the Huskies knew they needed a response before the half. On the next drive for the Huskies offense after the Upper Iowa touchdown drive, the Lawhorn to Solberg show was back on full screen as a 8 play 67 yard drive was finished by John Solberg catching his second touchdown catch of the game.

 

It was a 14-7 lead headed into halftime. The Huskies felt all the momentum not only with a 7 point lead, but twice the SCSU defense stopping UIU’s offense twice inside of the SCSU five yard line missing huge scoring chances.

 

As for the second half, Upper Iowa would not see many more chances to score.

 

SCSU would open up the 3rd quarter stifling on defense, and scoring touchdowns on offense. Three straight touchdown drives finished off by touchdown catches by Sam Hartman and John Solberg along with a Greg Lewis touchdown run elevated the Huskies to a 34-7 lead with 3:10 left in the 3rd quarter.

 

Upper Iowa would add on one more touchdown late in the third, but had no scoring responses in the fourth quarter as St. Cloud State earned its 6th NSIC win of the season knocking off Upper Iowa 34-14 in front of a large crowd on homecoming.

 

Dwayne Lawhorn was a star for the second straight week for the Huskies, finishing the game with 15 completions and 4 touchdowns over a total of 269 yards. John Solberg was unstoppable, finishing with 102 yards on just 6 catches and a key for the Huskies in the red zone with 3 touchdown catches.  Greg Lewis stayed hot with a impressive 167 yards on the ground and one touchdown in the win.

 

The defense as a team had three guys above 10 tackles to finish the game, but crucial stops inside their own 5 yard line to stifle Upper Iowa was the highlight of the day for the Huskies defense.

 

St. Cloud State football hosts Bemidji State this Saturday at Husky Stadium looking to keep their three-game win streak alive. Kickoff is at 1pm, you can hear all of the action LIVE on KVSC 88.1fm with pre-game beginning around 12:30pm.

 

Shoulders, Elbows, Mavericks and Larks: The NSIC’s Unheralded Elite Reliever

Facebook Twitter

10/15/2018 - 10:00 AM

Shoulders, Elbows, Mavericks and Larks: The NSIC’s Unheralded Elite Reliever
Matt Butler delivers a pitch in the 2018 NSIC Tournament

It hasn’t been an easy path to success for St. Cloud State’s Matt Butler.

In the summer of 2017, the idea of success was practically unimaginable.

Butler had just completed his redshirt sophomore season, one that saw him make just three appearances out of a loaded Huskies bullpen. After debuting with a scoreless outing in the Tucson Invitational against #7 Azusa Pacific, allowing one hit and a walk while retiring one, Butler gave up one run on 2 hits and a walk against Oklahoma Panhandle State. Fourteen days later, he had the worst outing of his career at Wayne State College. Five runs, all earned, on 3 hits and 2 walks. Butler retired just one man before being pulled. He didn’t make another appearance for the rest of the spring.

Now, the 2017 St. Cloud State bullpen certainly wasn’t an easy one for a sophomore to find a role in. Not since 2011 had Head Coach Pat Dolan wielded such a deep stable of arms. Much like that year’s foursome of closer Ryne Schwenke and setup men Austen Bosch, Chris Kubitz, and David Koenig; 2017’s pen’ boasted the dominance of Miles Nablo’s 2.37 ERA and 7 saves, Kevin Bolder’s 3.38 ERA, David Kroger’s 4.42 FIP, and Kyle Boser’s 3.57 ERA and .516 OPS against. Mixing in plenty of relief outings for Aaron Hammann, Shannon Ahern, and Zach Siggelkow, innings were very difficult to come by for a righthander that had struggled with injuries and consistency.

When Matt Butler committed to SCSU during his senior year of high school in Naperville, Illinois, he was certainly anything but “unheralded.” An All-Conference outfielder and pitcher, Butler threw for a 9-2 record with a 1.75 ERA and 90 strikeouts in 80.0 innings during his national summer schedule with the Naperville Renegades. Then, in his high school playoffs during his senior year, disaster struck. Although he isn’t exactly certain when the injury occurred, Butler remembers throwing a warmup pitch halfway up the backstop during one of his postseason outings. He went in to get his arm checked out over the summer, and was diagnosed with a SLAP tear of the labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder.

A SLAP tear, or a Superior Labrum Anterior to Posterior, is a front-to-back tear of the upper labrum.

Labrum injuries are known as one of the most career-threatening injuries for Major League pitchers. Imagine a just-graduated high school senior receiving the diagnosis. Jay Jaffe of Baseball Prospectus did an in-depth study of labrum injuries to professional pitchers in 2012 and discovered some jarring realities. Of the 67 pitchers he identified, 20 didn’t return to the Major Leagues, and 58% pitched in 50.0 or fewer innings following the surgery.

Butler underwent surgery seven days before stepping on campus.

“It was very disappointing. I wasn’t…in a very good place mentally. I was very upset because of how everything happened, but it worked out for the best.” said Butler.

So, instead of coming on campus as a true freshman, ready to get to work in fall ball with one of the top teams in the country, Butler came to St. Cloud in a sling. He ended up being far from the only redshirt in that 2015 class. Mat Meyer, Mitch Mallek, Judd Davis, Ryan Wesley, Cal Giese, Boser, and Sigglekow joined Butler as redshirts, although none joining him as a med-red. Sheldon Miks and Bolder were the only members of the class to play as true freshmen. Butler became extremely close with his teammates, finding positivity throughout his rehab in his bond with them.

He finally was cleared to throw off a mound near the end of the 2015 season, firing a few bullpens before heading back to Naperville after the Huskies’ loss in the NCAA Regional Tournament. Butler’s brother is a catcher, which provided an easy opportunity for him to continue throwing throughout the summer.

Healthy and hungry for an opportunity to show what he could do, Butler entered fall ball in 2015-16 as a redshirt-freshman just off a labrum injury. Although he felt he threw well that fall, he struggled to find innings on a staff that included two All-Americans in Reese Gregory and Miks, along with a deep bullpen anchored by Logan Spitzak, Nablo, and Kroger. Butler made just five appearances in his 2016 season, striking out 4 and walking 1 over 4.1 frames.

Despite an unsightly 8.31 ERA, his stellar 2.64 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, .235 opponent batting average and .594 opponent OPS gave the first hints of Butler’s potential.
Butler began his summer of 2016 with the Joliet Admirals, a summer collegiate baseball club. Two years after his shoulder failed him, this time his elbow began to bark. Lingering soreness kept him from consistency and effectiveness, as he walked 17.6% of the batters he faced in 4 appearances and a start with Joliet, posting a 6.75 ERA. He made the decision to shut himself down in hopes that the elbow would heal and to prepare for his redshirt-sophomore season.

Butler wasn’t quite 100% healthy for the start of fall ball in 2016-17, his elbow still nagging with pain. He entered the 2017 season without a defined role, and after posting a 32.40 ERA in his three outings, the elbow wasn’t the only thing bothering him as he returned to Naperville after the Huskies’ exit in the Regional.

In the summer of 2017, Matt Butler weighed a major life decision: did he want to continue playing college baseball?

“I was sitting at home, I didn’t know if I was going to come back. I was going to come back for school, but I didn’t know if I was going to play baseball. I was still pretty upset from that season…I would say I was pretty close (to retiring), I had talked to my parents about it and they were supportive about it…I was pretty close to it, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I didn’t want to give up on it. Everything I’ve said before about how close my class is, I wanted to finish it out with them.”

Butler returned to campus in the fall of 2017. Finally, everything seemed to come together for the redshirt-junior. One afternoon at practice that fall, then-SCSU Pitching Coach Brett DeGagne had a man-to-man conversation with his righthander. The message was simple: If you want it, go get it. Butler found himself with a revitalized focus on baseball. A full three years removed from his labrum surgery, and his elbow as quiet as could be, Butler raised eyebrows in the fall. His velocity was up. DeGagne moved Butler across the rubber, and worked on repeating his delivery in hopes of unlocking the talent hidden in his pitcher’s right arm.

Finally, in his fourth year on campus, Butler had a role in the St. Cloud State bullpen. He made his debut with a scoreless frame on Opening Day at Missouri Western State, working around a pair of walks. Then, on March 2nd in the Tucson Invitational, he had an outing that could have derailed him in the past.


3.0 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned, one walk, and just 2 strikeouts against Ottawa University.

However, despite the ugly numbers, there were immensely promising signs for Butler.

Facing a team in its first season as a program, scouting reports were scarce. Ottawa’s lineup was tooled to utilize their speed to beat out infield hits and force errors, and the Huskies infield defense was far from mid-season form. Butler worked at a mind-blowing 85.7% ground ball rate and a 64.3% soft contact rate in the outing, surrendering a miniscule 7.1% hard hit rate. Bleeders, rollers, and would-be outs did Butler in, not hard hit balls and nonexistent command.

DeGagne’s confidence didn’t waver in his righthander, but high-leverage outings were still out of reach for the middle reliever. He threw three consecutive scoreless outings to open NSIC play, punching out 2 and allowing just one hit over 2.0 frames. A low-leverage outing in an 8 run game at Minnesota-Crookston capped off that stretch.

Then, on a cold night in Bemidji, Butler got his chance to enter the ring with the Mavericks.

After the Huskies’ starter exited early and their first relief option struggled to record the third out in the fourth inning, St. Cloud State trailed archrival Minnesota State-Mankato 6-2. The Huskies were nearly out of relievers in the finale of the four-game series. They needed someone to step up and save the pen, and after a walk loaded the bases, Pat Dolan handed the ball to Butler. After walking Kato shortstop Luke Waldek on a 3-2 count, Butler bore down and struck out All-NSIC senior Dylan Dresel to leave the bases loaded. He went on to have the best outing of his career, going the final 5.1 innings and allowing one unearned run on 5 hits and a walk while striking out a career-high 6 Mavericks. Butler worked at a 53.3% ground ball rate, a 40% soft contact rate, and a 13.6% swinging strike rate. His sinker sawed off batters, and his curveball was sharper than ever.

St. Cloud State went on to lose the game, still earning a crucial series split with Mankato.

In Pat Dolan’s postgame message to the team on the bus ride to St. Cloud, he spoke about opportunities and making the most of them, then praised Butler’s patience in awaiting his, then running with it. Butler quickly ascended the bullpen, joining Zach Iten and the soon-to-be returning Miks as SCSU’s top high-leverage firemen.

Butler’s 2018 showed the promise of an elite reliever in the Northern Sun. Many casual baseball fans will see his 5.17 ERA and allow that to write the story of his season, but a deeper look into his numbers give Huskies fans a whirlwind of excitement for his senior season. An elite 3.04 FIP, a 25.7% strikeout rate, a 53.2% groundball rate, a 10.6% pop-up rate, and a team-leading 51.1% soft contact rate scream late-inning leverage man. He was a bit plagued by walks, with a 10.8% walk rate, but relievers are allowed to have higher base on ball totals, as long as they produce punchouts and ground balls. Butler also posted the second-lowest hard-hit rate on the staff at 19.1%, just behind closer Nathan Strobel.

So, what attributed to the high ERA? If all the above performance-indicating numbers were so elite, why the 5.17 ERA? It’s actually very easy to find the answer: BABiP, or Batting Average on Balls in Play. In the NSIC, which is statistically a very offensive-friendly environment, league average BABiP is roughly in the .330 range, or approximately 20 points higher than the MLB average. What does that tell us? Take a player’s BABiP, then look at their spray rates. Butler excels at using his plus sinker-curve combination at generating a great deal of weak ground balls and pop ups, which are far and away the most reliable out in baseball, and he avoids hard hit line drives and fly balls, which statistically go for the most hits. However, with a look at Butler’s stats, you can very quickly see that he was debatably the unluckiest pitcher in the NSIC a season ago, as his BABiP stood at a whopping .488, attributing to his .355 batting average against. As the “luck pendulum” swings back his way in 2019 (just as it did in Bismarck, which we’ll get to shortly), Butler’s BAA and ERA should both easily fall into much more dominant numbers.

After his 2018 Huskies season, Butler spent a short while back in Naperville with his family, then came back to St. Cloud to play amateur ball with Sauk Rapids. During the Huskies season, Brett DeGagne had been hired as the Pitching Coach for the Northwoods League’s Bismarck Larks, beginning in the 2018 summer season. DeGagne had discussed the possibility of bringing Butler with him to the Larks, and that came to fruition just a few weeks into June. The Larks needed a long reliever, and were headed through St. Cloud on their way to Rochester. Butler signed his contract and met the team at a gas station.

The Northwoods League is a 72-game summer collegiate league, widely recognized among baseball circles as best in the Midwest and second only to the Cape Cod League in terms of talent. With its excellent simulation of a Minor League season, the Northwoods is often a hitters’ haven. Right on que, Butler made his Northwoods debut in one of the friendlier hitting environments in the league, Copeland Park in La Crosse. Brought on in relief against a fearsome Loggers lineup that featured two 40-RBI men in San Diego’s Shane McGuire and Butler University’s Harrison Freed, Butler managed to go 3.0 innings while allowing just one earned on 5 hits, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Butler quickly ascended yet another pitching staff, ending his Northwoods season with a sparkling 2.63 ERA in 12 appearances and 5 starts. He was named Northwoods League Pitcher of the Night after throwing a “no-hitter” on July 29th against Eau Claire, firing 6.0 official innings of no-hit ball while striking out 7 and walking 4 in a 0-0 tie. Butler did allow a hit in the seventh, but the game was called due to rain at the seventh inning stretch, giving him the official no-hitter. Butler’s finest start came against the Mankato MoonDogs on August 4th, receiving a no-decision despite throwing 6.0 innings of 1-run ball on 3 hits and 3 walks while recording 8 punchouts versus one of the league’s most powerful lineups.

Across 37.2 innings with the Larks, Butler posted a 21.5% strikeout rate, a 12.7% walk rate, a 3.31 FIP, a 1.35 WHIP, and an elite .226/.329/.299 opponent slash line for a .628 opponent OPS. Finally, Butler’s luck factors went in his favor, as his BABiP cratered to a .294 mark.

Injuries and past struggles behind him, Matt Butler is prepared to enter the 2019 season as one of the NSIC’s most unheralded elite relievers. He’ll be one of the anchors for a bullpen that has the potential to be the best in Pat Dolan’s time at SCSU, and for Butler, only one thing is on his mind in terms of goals he hopes to accomplish.

“Most importantly, I want this team to go to the World Series. We’ve been close, made a regional every year I was here, we got a huge senior class, lots of senior leadership, I want to make that step and make it to the World Series this year…I’m ready to do whatever they ask of me, whether it’s a spot start, close, long relief, whatever they need, I’m ready to go, I just want to help this team win. And we’re going to win. So, I just want to contribute to it.”

Matt Butler’s path to success hasn’t been an easy one.

Some just might say it’s been the best one.

Podcast

Women's Hockey Swept by #3 Gophers

Facebook Twitter

10/13/2018 - 9:00 PM

Women's Hockey Swept by #3 Gophers
Photo - SCSU Athletics

In the opening WCHA game of the season at Ridder Arena, St. Cloud State looked to respond after a tough loss on Friday night to the #3 ranked Gophers.

 

Just as the night before, the Gophers jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead. Amy Potomak fired it right over the right shoulder over Janine Alder giving Minnesota the early momentum.

 

 

Again on night #2 vs. Minnesota, the Huskies struggled turning over the puck early in the game. In the opening 7 minutes, the play saw Minnesota dominate in shots with a 7-0 advantage. SCSU struggled to create any type of high grade scoring chances.

 

 

The Gophers made them pay as Emily Oden slid the puck past Janine Alder to make it 2-0. Their dominance quickly showed in this game, while the Huskies struggled again against the highly talented Gophers.

 

 

Just under two minutes later, Minnesota would continue to run away from the Huskies in the first period, as Grace Zumwinkle added another loose puck goal to give the Gophers a 3-0 lead.

 

 

With the Huskies desperate for a response, they earned their first chance at a power play with just 4:31 left in the first period, but Julia Tylke earned a penalty during the skater advantage killing all momentum for SCSU.

 

 

The shots numbers would not improve for the Huskies as the first period finished, as SCSU trailed the Gophers not only in goals, but also heavily in the shots category 15-2.

 

 

The first period ends 3-0 with Minnesota in front, and the second period did not open in the Huskies favor.
 


SCSU got called for their second penalty of the game, but were able to kill the penalty not allowing the Gophers an early burst in the second. Penalty minutes continued to pile up as in the middle of second period, Nylund was called for a high stick giving the Gophers another opportunity to build on the lead.

 

 

Back forth play in the 2nd period continued to see the Gophers dominate the Huskies in shots, who seemingly could not find a response in the frame.

 

 

St. Cloud State found a spark, scoring on the power play with freshman Jenniina Nylund finding the back of the net off a rebound. The Huskies would cut the Gophers lead to 3-1 after some sleepy minutes in the 2nd period for both teams.

 

 

With a 3-1 lead headed into the third, the Gophers looked to continue dominating ways and put the game away against the Huskies. An early power play chance for Minnesota was shut down by St. Cloud State, but it was Emily Oden with her second goal of the game to push the Gophers lead to 4-1.

 

 

St Cloud State late in the third earned a power play chance, but it was not enough as the Huskies fell to the #3 ranked Gophers by a final score of 4-1.

 

 

St. Cloud State Women's hockey travels to Minnesota State-Mankato this coming weekend in a pair of WCHA matchups.

 

Huskies Soccer in Full Force Push for Postseason

Facebook Twitter

10/09/2018 - 1:30 AM

Huskies Soccer in Full Force Push for Postseason
Photo - SCSU Athletics

After a weekend home sweep over Minnesota State Moorhead and Northern State, the St. Cloud State Soccer team is no longer a sleeper team looking to make it to this year’s NSIC women’s soccer tournament, they are in a position to be one of the top seeds.

 

Junior forward Hannah Marion’s consistent scoring and three shutouts from freshman goalkeeper Zoe Welsh have been just two of the critical impacts SCSU has needed to be in the position they are today. That is, sitting a top one of the best four teams in the NSIC with 17 conference points. Not to mention the back line combination that St. Cloud State has to offer has shut down opposing attacks all season long.

 

With three weeks remaining in the regular season, consistent play for the Huskies will keep them in contention of a heavily coveted playoff spot. Three of the last six games of the season are at home, where SCSU has not lost all season. Points on the road will be critical, where the Huskies only have two wins and one draw.

 

Under Gretta Arvesen in her fifth year as head coach of the Huskies, SCSU has made it to the playoffs three times, but have never earned a postseason win.

 

St. Cloud State travels on the road this weekend, facing the bottom of the table Upper Iowa, and then traveling for a tough road game against Winona State. The Warriors certainly are a hungry team also in desperation pushing for a playoff spot.

 

Stay locked to KVSC Sports at kvsc.org/sports for the latest on all things SCSU Huskies Athletics.

 

SCSU Volleyball Upsets #10 SMSU in Four

Facebook Twitter

10/06/2018 - 7:45 PM

SCSU Volleyball Upsets #10 SMSU in Four
Rachel terminated a career-high 21 kills in the upset

The St. Cloud State Volleyball program hadn't defeated a ranked program on the road in nearly 20 years.

That streak came to an end on Saturday afternoon, as the Huskies (11-6, 7-4) took down #10 Southwest Minnesota State (13-6, 8-3) in four sets, 25-19, 25-20, 19-25, and 25-22.

The Huskies started off strong in the first set, holding the potent SMSU offense to hit a meager .184 on a 12-5-38 line. SCSU opened and closed the set on 4-0 runs, and never trailed by more than 2 points as they took the set 25-19. In the second set, the Mustangs found their offensive rhythm after moving to a 6-2, hitting .317, but St. Cloud State's passers continued their excellent play in keeping the Huskies in system throughout the set. Scoring runs again defined SCSU's dominance, as they picked up two 4-0 runs and one 3-0 stretch to give them a 25-20 victory. Southwest's defense tightened up and the Huskies struggled to get into system in the third set, as SMSU earned their only set win, 25-19.

The fourth set couldn't have opened any worse for SCSU, as they watched the Mustangs jump out to a 5-0 lead. The Huskies clawed back, again relying on their outstanding serve receive to side out on all but two SMSU serves after the 5-0 start. Micah Nier helped drive the Huskies' match-closing 4-1 run, racking up three consecutive kills before a ball handling error gave SCSU the 25-22 victory.

St. Cloud State's offense fired on all cylinders against an elite SMSU defense, beginning with Linsey Rachel's career-high 21 kills on .327 hitting to go with 11 digs. Sophomore setter Maddy Torve recorded a career-high 55 assists, 9 digs, an ace and a block. She did a tremendous job of involving multiple attackers and avoiding double blocks, and it really shined with the Huskies' middle hitter success. Nier terminated a season-high 11 kills on .435 hitting to go with 5 digs, 3 blocks, and an ace; while Marshall native Marah Mulso hit .368 with 8 kills, 3 digs, and 2 blocks. The two posted a combined attacking line of 19-2-42. Abby Templin added 9 kills and 4 blocks, serving as one of the key players on the Huskies' defense.

Junior libero Clara Krenz became third all-time in career digs at St. Cloud State while racking up 24 digs, 5 assists, 2 aces and a kill. Taylor Olstad added 14 digs, and Rachel Houle picked up a career-high 11 digs.

On the SMSU side, reigning National Player of the Year Taylor Reiss went 20-3-53 for a .321 hitting percentage along with 17 digs and 2 blocks. Meg Schmidt added 16 kills on .303 hitting, and Angela Young had 10 kills while hitting .345. Libero Kaylee Burmeister led the Mustangs defense with 22 digs.

St. Cloud State returns to action on Tuesday to wrap up their three match road swing at the University of Minnesota-Duluth at 6:00 p.m. As always, the match can be heard on the KVSC Sports Stream with Thomas Breach on the call, with Husky Den Pregame kicking off at 5:45 p.m.

Box Score

KVSC Sports Talks with Morgan Emmans, Bradi Yost, and Kate Kopeck

Facebook Twitter

10/05/2018 - 11:30 AM

KVSC Sports Talks with Morgan Emmans, Bradi Yost, and Kate Kopeck
Softball names seniors as captains

It was announced two weeks ago that Morgan Emmans, Bradi Yost, and Kate Kopeck would be the captaincy trio for SCSU Softball during the 2018-19 season. KVSC Sports had the pleasure of sitting down with all three to discuss about being named the captains, the team, as well as preview the season ahead.

 

LISTEN HERE

 

St. Cloud State Women's Hockey Season Preview

Facebook Twitter

09/27/2018 - 6:00 PM

St. Cloud State Women's Hockey Season Preview

The Women’s hockey team comes into the 2018-2019 season after finishing 8-20-5 overall with a 6-14-4 conference record last season. Eric Rud’s Club graduated four players last season, Forward Alyssa Erickson, Defensemen Brittney Anderson and Emma Turbyville and Goaltender Taylor Crosby.

The three senior skaters were the three captains for the Huskies last season and were all in the top 8 in scoring. Last season’s team broke a 37 game losing streak against the Minnesota Golden Gopher at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, took the number one team in the country to the wire and played in Hockey Day Minnesota. All of this occurred with the Huskies being .500 after Christmas break, which leads to positive traction coming into this season.

The Women’s team is bringing back a load of talent, from their tantalizing tandem in net to their trio of top scorers from last year. These ladies are looking for only their second winning season in program history, the only other time it has happened was in ’07-08 where they went 18-15-5. This won’t come easy as four teams in the Western Collegiate Hockey Conference are ranked in the USCHO Division 1 Top 10.

The talent that is still in St. Cloud is up and down the lineup. Tops on the team in goals, assist and points are all still in town. Senior Julia Tylke led the team in goals the past two seasons and was second her freshman year. Tylke has been featured on Sportscenter Top 10 for her scoring prowess and it should be on full display in her last season. Sophomore Laura Kluge led the team in assists (17) and points (24) last year. Kluge’s play will go a long way for this team as she is a focal point for the offense both with the man advantage and at equal strength.

These two should pace the Huskies this season, who need to score more than they did last season’s 52 goals. My breakout forward candidate for this season is sophomore Megan Roe who should see time on the third line this season. Roe only saw the ice in 10 games last year and was unable to put up any points but in high school she scored at just under a point-per-game pace her final two years.

The back end is where the Huskies were hurt the most by graduation where they lost their top two defensemen. This season they will be led by junior assistant captain Abby Thiessen. Thiessen transferred from the University Of North Dakota after their women’s hockey team was cut. She had 10 points from the back end last season playing on the top defensive pairing with Britany Anderson.

My breakout defenseman candidate for this season is sophomore Taylor Wemple. Wemple is a force at 6’0 ft. tall and right handed from the point but she was undisciplined last season earning a penalty about every three games, which was the worst percentage on the team. She should lock down a solid role on the second and third pairings as long as she cleans up the penalties.

The Huskies are stacked in net with two clear starting college goalies. Junior Janine Alder and Sophomore Emma Polusny were unbelievable last year, leading to a handful of Huskies team records going down in flames. They claimed the number one save percentage for a season in team history at .929; while the second was all the way back at .919. Alder was at 9.35 and number one in team history with 33 GA and 473 saves. She also set the team record for saves in a game stone walling 59 shots against Wisconsin. Polusny was right behind at number two in save percentage with .934, 43 GA and 605 Saves.

The tandem is also number one in team history for goals against average in a season at .2.27; while the second is at 2.55. This time Polusny is number one on the record board at 2.20 GAA, second is at 2.32 GAA and Alder was right there with a 2.42 GAA. Polusny got significant run in the second half of last season but I expect them to split time in net for most of the season if they are both still playing at such a high level like last season.

The fresh talent on the team should find the ice from day one, especially on the back end. Freshman Olivia Hanson is expected be the left handed shot that fills Anderson’s old spot on the top pairing. Hanson is from Minot, North Dakota but she played in Canada for the Notre Dame Hounds the past four years. Hanson had four goals and 18 assists for 22 points in 25 games last season. She added three assists to that total during eight playoff games. Hanson did have 30 penalty minutes last season, which could work against her this year. Hanson will wear the 44 jersey this season.

Freshman Taytum Geier is the second defenseman brought in this year. She is from Verona, Wisconsin. She played for the Madison Capitals the past three years. She is more of a defensive defenseman who isn’t afraid to throw her body around to block shots. Geier shouldn’t wear down this year as she is used to a brutal schedule that includes 67 games a year on average. Geier will wear the 16 jersey this year.

In net, freshman Karlie Ries comes in from New Ulm High School. She brings in the pedigree being the daughter of former Husky Bill Ries, who played and coached here in the 1980’s. Ries probably won’t see the ice this season barring injury but the future in net looks bright. Ries will wear the 30 jersey this year.

On the offensive side the Huskies brought in freshman Jenniina Nylund, Allie Cornelius and Sophomore McKenna Wesloh, who will redshirt this season as a transfer from Ohio State. Nylund appears to be the one who will have the biggest impact on the Huskies this season having found a possible spot in the top 6. Nylund can flat out put the puck in the back of the net. Last season for Team Kuortane she scored 23 goals in 30 games, adding in 16 assists in there. In international competition playing for the Finland U18 team the year before she scored eight goals in 16 games. Nylund will wear the 81 jersey this year.

Cornelius is the home town girl having played high school hockey for the St. Cloud Icebreakers. She had an amazing four years with the Icebreakers amassing a program record for points (162) and goals (102) while being a mere second in assists (60). She will most likely not see much ice time this season with her skill set leaning toward offense the top 6 being pretty crowded but look for her to use that elite offensive skill in the near future for Rud’s squad. Cornelius will wear the 6 jersey this year.

The top games you won’t want to miss at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center are as follows:

Oct. 12 vs. Minnesota Gophers

Oct 26 and 27th vs. UMD Bulldogs

Nov. 17 vs. Minnesota Gophers

Dec. 7 and 8 vs. Wisconsin Badgers

Feb. 1 and 2 vs Ohio State Buckeyes

The Huskies begin regular season play this weekend Sept. 28 and 29 when they fly out to Storrs, Connecticut to take on the University of Connecticut. The games will be at 6 p.m. on Friday and at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Neither of the games will be broadcast.

NOTES:

• This will be a good gage on where the Huskies are at with Connecticut earning two votes for the USCHO rankings.

• These teams tied 0-0 with Connecticut wining in OT on Friday and St. Cloud won 3-2 in comeback fashion on Saturday to start last season.

Local connection: Connecticut has one Minnesota native on their team in sophomore Natalie Snodgrass, who is from Eagan.

• Connecticut lost their exhibition game 4-2, while SCSU won theirs 9-0.

Softball Fall Preview with Paula U'Ren

Facebook Twitter

09/20/2018 - 1:20 AM

Softball Fall Preview with Paula U'Ren
Softball Head Coach Paula U'Ren

The SCSU Softball team announced today their captains for the upcoming 2018-2019 season. Seniors Kate Kopeck, Bradi Yost, and Morgan Emmans were informed by Head Coach Paula U’Ren on Wednesday of the voting results and will be the trio of captains that will lead the Huskies into their promising season ahead.

 

The captaincies were voted upon by the team and coaching staff and it seemed that after counting the votes that everyone agreed that the veteran experience on the team translated over to the be the best options for team leadership.

 

“It was great to see that the team had the same idea that our seniors are the leaders on our team…they take a lot of ownership in the program and they know how to play the Husky softball way” U’Ren told KVSC.

 

SCSU has already gotten their exhibition season in the fall under way and will continue to do so with a game against the University of Minnesota later this month on Sep. 28th, followed up with their Alumni game on Sep. 29th and then concluded by a game facing the Minnesota Moose on Sep. 30th.

 

KVSC Sports Director AJ Fredrickson had a chance to sit down with Head Coach Paula U’Ren to discuss her thoughts on what she’s seen so far and to preview the rest of the fall for the Huskies.

 

LISTEN HERE

 

 

SCSU Soccer Earn First Road Victory of Season

Facebook Twitter

09/17/2018 - 9:00 PM

SCSU Soccer Earn First Road Victory of Season
Junior Emma Von Donselaar - (Photo Credit SCSU Athletics)

The St. Cloud State University, Women's soccer team, went on the road for their first road trip in the 2018 season, falling on Friday, September 14th in Bemidji 3-2 but bouncing back Sunday, September 16th with a 1-0 win over Crookston.

Friday, the Huskies traveled to battle #14 Bemidji State, who is a firm favorite in NSIC play this year.

 

Rachel Norton for Bemidji State opened the scoring with a brace of goals, scoring in the 12th and 49th minute of action giving the Beavers a 2-0 lead. Early in the 2nd half, BSU would extend their lead to 3 with a goal from Dani Nelson.

 

The Huskies would response, finding two more goals before the game would end. Maria Witte would knock in a pair of penalty kicks to pull the Huskies within one, but that would not be enough for St. Cloud State. The Beavers would win the match 3-2. St. Cloud State would fall to 1-1 in NSIC on the 2018 season.

 

It only took one goal for the Huskies on Sunday to knock off NSIC foe Minnesota Crookston. In the 52nd minute, freshman forward Claire Shea found the back of the net on a pass from Sara Magno, and the Huskies would hold onto that lead for a 1-0 win and three points on the road. Freshman Goalkeeper Zoe Welsh earned her first shutout of the season.

 

The Huskies are back home in St. Cloud this week for a pair of NSIC matches, hosting Concordia-St. Paul on Friday at 1pm, then #17 Minnesota-State Mankato on Sunday.

 

Follow KVSC Sports on twitter @KVSCSports and tune in to this weekend's matches on the KVSC Sports Stream.

 

KVSC Sports is your home for complete SCSU athletics coverage all season long!

 

Sports Schedule

  • Men's Hockey vs Bemidji State
    Nov 16, 2018 - 7:07
  • Women's Hockey vs University of Minnesota (Sports Stream)
    Nov 17, 2018 - 2:07
  • Men's Basketball vs MSU-Mankato (Sports Stream)
    Nov 17, 2018 - 4:00

Submit your local sports event here.