SJU golf rallies to win

ALEXUS JUNGLES • [email protected] • Senior Sam Olson reads the green carefully as he leads the pack during the round.

By Brandon Spratt
[email protected]

SJU golf rallied from 10 shots back on day two to win their home meet, the St. John’s Fall Invitational.

The Johnnies were led on day one by senior Sam Olson who shot a two over par round of 74.

“After the first round, we basically looked at it and said we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot too badly,” Olson said.

The opening round on Saturday was at Blackberry Ridge Golf Club in Sartell. The Johnnies practice on this course nearly every day during the season.

“I think after that first round sometimes frankly it’s hard to play at your home course,” SJU Head Coach Bob Alpers said.

Alpers believes that his golfers may have put extra pressure on themselves to perform given their familiarity with the course.
Sophomore Matt Lutz was four over par after Saturday’s round.

“At Saturday’s course the last five holes can really get to you,” Lutz said.

The mood around the team was optimistic as darkness approached on Saturday evening.

“We’re gonna play great tomorrow, I know we are because we’ve been so very, very close,” Alpers said after Saturday’s round.

And play well they did. The Johnnies stormed back at Greystone Golf Club in Sauk Centre on Sunday.

After the opening nine holes, SJU had closed the gap to just a few shots behind the University of Manitoba.

“If you take care of beating the other three guys in your group…we can’t lose,” Olson said.

Heading into the final hole, SJU had surpassed UW-Eau Claire, the team they trailed by nine shots heading into the day.

However, Olson who had a bogey on the final hole to finish the tournament, tied for first with Manitoba. Manitoba is not an NCAA school because they are from Canada. Therefore, the Johnnies won in the eyes of the NCAA.

Lutz recorded a two under par round of 70 on Sunday, which included four birdies. His two over par total for the tournament tied him for second overall amongst 99 golfers.

Lutz was both SJU Athlete of the Week and MIAC Men’s Golf Athlete of the Week for his performance.

SJU golf will play in the three-day Twin Cities Classic starting on Saturday.

“We don’t look too far in advance, we definitely don’t look behind us.” Olson said. “You celebrate the win the night of and at that point you wake up the next morning [to focus on the next tournament].”

The tournament starts at Elk River Country Club on Saturday before moving to The Links at Northfork in Ramsey on Sunday. The tournament will conclude at the Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan on Monday.

“I actually really like Elk River Country Club…it’s a really short golf course, so I can take advantage of my length and kind of just overpower it,” Olson said.

“It’s a weird tournament because the host school (Gustavus) isn’t going to be there,” Alpers said.

Regardless of the host school, SJU will be aiming to build momentum toward the MIAC Championships at the end of September. They already took a big step toward that with their win last weekend.

A new home – CSB soccer fights on fresh turf

PHOTO COURTESY OF CSB ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS • Senior Jenna Kleason (center) handles the ball against a UW- River Falls defender in their 1-0 nonconference win.

By Megan Toninato

[email protected]

The CSB soccer team is off to a hot start with an overall record of 5-1-1.

Last week, they were ranked No. 22 overall in the NCAA Division III Coaches’ Poll because of their big wins against nonconference teams Loras College and UW-Eau Claire. Both Loras and Eau Claire fell to CSB 3-2.

“Finding out that we were ranked in the top 25 was exciting news and gave us some momentum going forward.” first-year forward Megan Thompson said. “We also realized that we had to live up to the title, work hard and prove that we deserve to be ranked,”

 

After receiving these honors, CSB was coming into a tough part of their MIAC schedule against Concordia and St.Thomas. In Moorhead, CSB came away with a thrilling 1-0 win with the lone goal scored by Thompson.

CSB then returned home for the last game to be played at the old field on the south side of the CSB campus. Here, CSB found themselves on the pitch against rival St.Thomas. The Tommies took a lead only 10 minutes into the game. Later in the game, the Tommies added two more to hold on for a 3-0 win, giving CSB their first MIAC loss of the year.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CLAIRE BOATMAN • [email protected] • Fans enjoy a sunny day in St. Joseph as CSB takes on Augsburg for a heated MIAC matchup on the new turf.

After the tough loss, CSB needed to bounce back the very next day against UW-River Falls. This day was extra special, as the CSB soccer team found a new place to call home. Over the years, CSB soccer has claimed many different fields as their own. Between the old field at St. Ben’s and sharing with Johnnie soccer at SJU, CSB proved they could bring their game any time and any place. But, on Sept. 17th, their dream of having a state-of-the-art facility to call home was finally realized. The new stadium with a fully operational artificial turf field opened its doors to fans and players to enjoy an intense soccer game on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Here, CSB was in a grudge match against UW-River Falls in its final nonconference matchup. Both teams were scoreless at halftime, but in the 65th minute Thompson scored her sixth goal of the season, and the first goal ever scored on the new field. CSB held on for the win, improving their record to 5-1 overall.

“Obviously, no one on our team was happy with the loss on Saturday.” Thompson said “The seniors told us to hold on to our anger and use it as energy for our next game against River Falls, and that’s exactly what we did.”

CSB is now approaching the heart of their MIAC schedule, which is no easy task. This past Wednesday, CSB hosted Augsburg for a head-to-head match-up. After trailing 2-0, CSB fought their way back and tied the game 2-2 with just under a minute remaining, scored on a corner kick by junior Jane Koch. The game headed to overtime, but neither team found the back of the net. With a tie, CSB now holds a MIAC record of 1-1-1.

“After a tough weekend, our team was looking to recover and get our legs back underneath us,” Thompson said, “We know if we play our game and play for one another, we will be satisfied with this coming week’s results.”

CSB heads to St. Olaf Sept. 23 looking to get their 6th win of the season.

Target Field ticket debacle

Target Field ticket debacle

PHOTO COURTESY OF MINNESOTA TWINS •  The Johnnies and Tommies are set to play at Target Field. The ticket sales left many students frustrated and confused.

By Brett Zallek
[email protected]

St. John’s and St. Thomas are set to shatter the Division III football attendance record on Saturday, Sept. 23 when their rivalry will be the first football game ever played at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Twins reported on Sept. 20 that 33,000 tickets had already been sold. The current DIII record stands at 17,535.

While tickets for the game went on sale for the general public last December, both St. Thomas and St. John’s were given a set number of tickets to reserve for their current students. Both schools then were responsible for the sales and distribution of the student section tickets on campus. SJU was given 2,297 student tickets which were all sold out as of Sept. 19.

But not all students are
happy about how things went.
Johnnie/Tommie games always come with huge anticipation, and this year’s new venue and likely record-breaking attendance created even more hype; with a bigger venue comes bigger problems.

On Sept. 6, all CSB/SJU students received an email detailing when and how they would be able to purchase their tickets. The email included the line, “One CSB/SJU student can purchase as many tickets at one time to make sure all of his/her friends sit together for the assigned seating.” The assigned seating was a requirement of Target Field.

On Sept. 7, seniors Molly Cashman, Andrea Loftus and Tommy Stanton decided to take matters into their own hands. They talked to other seniors to see if students would be interested in buying tickets all at once to form one big section of seniors. They quickly found that their peers were supportive of the idea.

The trio proceeded to create a Facebook group detailing their plan: everyone interested in being part of the large section and not having to wait in line to pick up their own ticket would pay Stanton via Venmo. Loftus would then arrange everyone into their respective groups and seats in an Excel file. The three said their intent was to have a section of seniors together for their last Johnnie/Tommie game as students. They were not going to make any profit off of other students’ payments.

“We just wanted everyone to be friends and be together for our last game,” Loftus said.

The three debated on whether or not to inform the institution of their plan prior to purchasing the tickets, but ended up deciding to.

“We thought, ‘let’s be transparent, let’s not have something backfire for either [side],’” Cashman said. They called Nicci Malecha, SJU Athletic Department Coordinator.

“[Malecha] confirmed that we could do it,” Stanton said.

After approval from the Athletic Department, the trio’s Facebook group exploded. By Monday, Sept. 11 they had over 400 students on board with the plan and Stanton had $4,000 in his Venmo account.

They met again with the administration on Tuesday, Sept. 12 and were informed the rules were changing; their plan was being shut down. On Tuesday afternoon, another email was sent to the student body with an amendment: each student would only be able to purchase up to 10 tickets.

The decision had been made collaboratively between the Athletic Department and administration. The three seniors quickly had to backtrack, posting updates to their Facebook group and apologizing for the confusion and refunding the money via Venmo.

Malecha declined to comment on the situation with the three seniors. She did talk about the ticket distribution as a whole.

“It’s not like it was just thrown together—there was months’ worth of planning when it came down to this,” Malecha said. “We came together to determine the best way to get tickets out to students.”

She also noted that SJU does not have an online ticketing system and “pretty poor” internet to handle such a huge amount of information at once. Throughout the ticketing process, student workers handwrote thousands of names, ID numbers and seat assignments to later be transferred to an Excel file.

Two days prior to tickets going on sale, Vice President for Student Development Fr. Doug Mullin sent an email to the student body to put rumors to bed. He also assured “There will be enough tickets for all CSB/SJU students who wish to attend the game.”

Stanton said that the Athletic Department changed the rules for them several times, including when they got to the box office after waiting in line since 4 a.m.

“They basically changed the rules at the last minute,” Stanton said. “I’d say they changed the rules at least six or seven times—it was ridiculous.”

After dozens of hours organizing and meeting with people, the trio had nothing to show for their work and were noticeably upset.

“I just think it was embarrassing for the school to handle it the way they did,” Stanton said. “They disrespected us on multiple occasions, and we were just trying to do something good and they literally would try to spite us in any way possible that they could find.”

But the rule change didn’t just affect them; it affected hundreds of students who were on board.

“I just felt so bad for the senior class,” Cashman said. “They had been counting on us to get their tickets and we reassured them we contacted the school. I just really felt bad and didn’t want to let people down.”

As for future matchups, St. John’s will not be looking off-site.

“We won’t be taking any of our games off campus,” Malecha said. “We really enjoy having all of our home athletic events here.”

She went on to say she would not be surprised if St. Thomas looks to play off-site again in the future.

“They want to get people to their games as well—they don’t want to turn people away,” Malecha said.

Malecha said that all 2,297 student tickets for CSB and SJU students were sold out from the three days of sales, Sept. 17-19.
SJU will kick off against the Tommies at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 23 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

SJU football preps for UST

SJU football preps for UST

By Kevin Dudley

[email protected]

 

The Johnnie football team is rolling heading into a huge matchup against archrival St. Thomas. They have started the season 3-0 with each victory coming in convincing fashion.

The season started on Sept. 2, at home with a 98-0 victory over St. Scholastica. The Johnnies shined on both sides of the ball in the game, outgaining the Saints 560-52 in yards and scoring a pair of defensive touchdowns.

The Johnnies got going quickly after the Saints mishandled the punt following their first drive. The mistake led to a 43-yard touchdown strike between sophomore quarterback Jackson Erdmann and sophomore running back Kai Barber. The 98 points scored was a record for a game played between two Division III teams.

The Johnnies faced NAIA Presentation (S.D.) on Sept. 9 at home the following week. Senior wide receiver Evan Clark set the tone for the Johnnies with a 69-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game. Senior running back Dusty Krueger also played a large role rushing for 144 yards in the Johnnies 49-14 win.

The Johnnies opened MIAC play on Sept.16 at St. Olaf with a 56-7 victory. They struck early again scoring on the second offensive play from scrimmage when Erdmann found junior wide receiver Joey Eckhoff for a 26-yard touchdown. Erdmann was strong for the Johnnies throwing for 194 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.

The Johnnies have now shifted their attention to week four where a crucial MIAC matchup against St. Thomas awaits them in Minneapolis at Target Field. The Johnnies head to the game ranked No.6 in Division III and The Tommies are ranked No.11. The Tommies will be the home team Saturday, electing to play the game at Target Field due to space limitations at their own O’Shaughnessy Stadium.

The game expects to draw more than 30,000 fans, which would break the Division III attendance record that was set Oct. 8, 2016 at UW-Whitewater with 17,535 fans.

Erdmann is ready to take in the experience at Target Field, but is not quite sure what to expect.“I can’t comprehend it yet, but it will be exciting,” Erdmann said.

Junior wide receiver Will Gillach is also looking forward to taking part in the special game. “It’s a great stage to represent both a school and football program I am proud of,” Gillach said.

While everyone locally and nationally is focusing on the location, the Johnnies are focused on their opponent.

The Tommies figure to be a tough test as always, however SJU is confident they will find the right formula to win.

The Tommies have used an aggressive style against the Johnnies in the past, often stacking the box with eight or nine defenders. This takes away the run, but may give the Johnnies opportunities in the vertical passing game.

Both Erdmann and Gillach stressed the importance of Johnnie receivers winning one-on-one battles against the aggressive Tommie cornerbacks.

“In order to win this game we need to win some one-on-one battles,” Gillach said.

Erdmann echoed Gillach’s statement.

“They do a lot of one-on-ones, and we need to take advantage of that,” Erdmann said.

Kickoff will be at 1:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 from Target Field in Minneapolis.

History Column: Johnnie/Tommie: over a century of rivalry

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SJU ARCHIVES

By Stephanie Haeg
[email protected]

Any time spent in the CSB/SJU Archives can tell you one thing very quickly: sports are a major part of our institutional history.

And at this time of year, when our emails and Facebook feeds are inundated with only one topic, you know there’s one particular event that always plays an important role in the hearts and minds of the students here: the Johnnie/Tommie rivalry.

The Johnnie/Tommie rivalry starts the 20th century with the first game happening on Thanksgiving Day, 1901. The records I have found indicate that 2017 is the 87th overall match between the football teams and the 66th straight year of this reoccurring face-off.

The rivalry is intense and real. Often good-natured, it also can occasionally get vicious. It spans well over a century, and is deeply tied to the history of both institutions.

Articles I’ve uncovered from Tommie alumni magazines echo the phrases I’ve heard in classrooms on our campuses. Every fall, t-shirts with slogans of all sorts are sold on both campuses. The memorabilia runs on their side too; I discovered a photo of a button that Johnnies wore, featuring a Johnnie smashing a club into a Tommie player’s face.

Even the slogans have history. “Go back to the woods” vs “go back to the city” was clearly a slogan which spanned decades. The games aired on national TV regularly, and in 2015, ESPN did a segment on the rivalry airing “SportsCenter on the Road” from Collegeville. The teams have faced off everywhere from the Metrodome to Clemens Stadium, and they’re about to become the first football game to ever be held at Target Field.

But why is the rivalry so intense?

Many people tie it to the similar nature of the institutions. They are located less than two hours apart, both Catholic institutions. St. Thomas is the younger of the two, being founded in 1885 to SJU’s 1857. It also offers Masters degrees; theirs are in Education and Business instead of Theology. While CSB and SJU have their historic ties mainly in the German-American community, St.Thomas’s lineage leaned more towards Irish-Americans.

Unlike some rivalries, there’s no blood feud, no stolen mascots hidden in the history (that I can find, at least) to explain why exactly students hiss and boo when they find out someone has attended St. Thomas, or why Tommie alums whose children go to CSB/SJU shake their heads and claim the grades weren’t high enough to get into St. Thomas. Instead, all we have is a relationship that spans a century, and as many similarities as we have differences.

Of course, that being said: Go Johnnies!