Another Banner Year for the Knights
The Green Knights notched the second-most wins in school history this year, winning nearly 65 percent of their contests and recording a 192-103-9 overall record.
2012-13 saw St. Norbert send five teams to NCAA Division III tournaments. A total of 16 of St. Norbert’s 20 sports finished in the top three of the Midwest Conference and Northern Collegiate Hockey Association standings. No team finished lower than fifth in conference standings.
St. Norbert also claimed the Midwest Conference men’s all-sports trophy for the second time in school history. The Green Knights totaled 85.5 points to nip Grinnell College by one point. St. Norbert won championships in football, basketball and golf, and placed second in indoor track, outdoor track and baseball. St. Norbert’s women’s teams posted 82 points, four points shy of Monmouth College, to finish second in the women’s all-sports trophy race. The Green Knights did not claim a conference title but finished second in volleyball, cross country, soccer and indoor track.
Two teams – women’s ice hockey and men’s golf – advanced to their respective NCAA Division III tournaments for the first time. Women’s ice hockey was sitting with a 5-8-2 record entering play on Jan. 18, but got red-hot down the stretch, winning 13 of their next 14 games. St. Norbert won both games in an NCHA O’Brien Cup Playoffs quarterfinal series against UW-Superior by one goal each, and then tipped the College of St. Scholastica 2-1 in a semifinal game. St. Norbert trailed UW-River Falls 2-0 with two minutes remaining in regulation time before scoring a pair of extra-attacker goals to force overtime. The Green Knights scored on a breakaway goal by Karissa Anderson ’14 in overtime for a thrilling 3-2 win for their first O’Brien Cup championship. St. Norbert then fell to No. 1-ranked Plattsburgh State University 5-2 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Men’s golf also won their first Midwest Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Division III Championship in May in Florida, finishing in a tie for 34th place. St. Norbert also saw its first Midwest Conference individual champion when Nic Vrubley ’15 topped the 45-man field.
Men’s ice hockey totaled a 23-6-1 record and claimed its 11th NCHA Peters Cup Playoffs championship. The Green Knights fell 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament to eventual national champion UW-Eau Claire.
Men’s basketball fashioned a 20-6 record and won the Midwest Conference title for the third time in four years, and also won the MWC Tournament in front of raucous crowds at Schuldes Sports Center. The Green Knights dropped a heartbreaking 59-58 decision to Wheaton College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Football claimed a share of its 14th Midwest Conference title with a 20-10 win over Lake Forest College in the last game of the regular season, and was ousted from the first round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs by the University of St. Thomas.
Overall, St. Norbert has won at least 180 games in six of the last seven years, with a school-record 202 wins in 2009-10.
Photo courtesy Kathy M. Helgeson, University of Wisconsin-River Falls Communications.
July 2, 2013