College Notebook: Kimsey, Concordia primed for another run at NAIA nationals

River grad, Cavs hosting regional match Saturday

By Kurt Zimmer, Columbian Sports Reporter

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Hannah Kimsey just couldn't part with the trophies.

After Concordia University wrapped up another Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament championship with a 3-0 home victory Saturday over Northwest University and the Cavaliers received the hardware for that and their CCC regular season title, both ended up with the senior midfielder and teammate Kellie Skofstad.

"One of the girls and I went to go get ice cream after the championship, and our coach was like, 'You should just take the trophies with you as your dates!' " the Columbia River High School graduate said. "We put them in the back of the car and strapped them all in and took them with us. It was pretty funny."

The trophies were still there, seatbelted snugly in the back seat when Kimsey was getting ready to go back to campus Monday morning.

So of course she took a photo with her cell phone and posted it on social media sites.

"Taking the kids to school," the caption reads.

"I forgot they were there, and I had to take them back to the team room," Kimsey said.

The Cavaliers are aiming for another trophy now.

Concordia (17-1-1), a unanimous No. 1 in the NAIA final regular season poll, will play host to William Jessup University (14-6) at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Tuominen Yard campus field in the opening round of the NAIA national tournament. The winner will advance as one of eight teams at the finals site, Dec. 2-7 in Orange Beach, Ala.

Kimsey, named First Team All-CCC again Tuesday, leads the conference with 13 assists and is second with 25 points -- although she said that coach Grant Landy would probably like her to have more than six goals.

"I love setting people up," she said. "Sometimes Grant even tells me I need to shoot more, but I always end up passing it off. That's probably why I have a lot of assists."

The Cavaliers have been going to nationals longer than the Warriors program has existed.

Concordia is in NAIA's final 16 for the 13th consecutive year, reaching the championship game in 2001 and last year's quarterfinals in Kimsey's first two seasons after transferring from Portland State, and have won their opening-round nationals match each of the last 11 years.

The California school's program is in its ninth season, and is 0-2 all-time at nationals.

"Honestly, being in the national tournament the last few years is really going to help us this weekend," Kimsey said. "We have a lot of returners who have seen higher competition, and in preseason, we played ranked teams. I feel like that really helps us in games like these."

So does playing at Tuominen Yard.

"Home games are really important, especially in the first round of the national tournament," Kimsey said. "I think that having such a high ranking now was really helpful in being able to host. It's always nice to have your family and your fans out there."

The Cavaliers are the No. 4 seed despite their top ranking because seeds are based on a ratings percentage index (RPI) formula and the math hurts them through no fault of their own because the CCC has few ranked teams.

Kimsey said the team doesn't feel slighted by that reality -- and despite rankings appearances, the conference grind has been good preparation for the Cavaliers.

"Almost every team we've played, after the game their coach has said, 'That's the best game they've played all season,'" she said. "We're tested a lot."

Concordia enters nationals on a 13-match winning streak. The Cavaliers have allowed three goals during that string, none in seven matches since Oct. 17.

"I feel like the team is more connected than it has been before," Kimsey said. "Everyone just really wants to win, and we're playing for each other. I think that's the most important thing: the connections we've made on our team. I think that just being consistent is going to be the biggest factor — coming out consistently and having good starts — and playing 90 minutes coming out strong."

Kimsey said the best thing about her Concordia experience is the relationships she has with her teammates. As for her own future, she has another year of school remaining after changing majors when she transferred from Portland State. She hopes that her soccer playing days are not just yet nearing an end, as she plans to pursue playing professionally.

"I've been playing since I was 4, so I might as well take it as far as I can and see how I do against some of the better players," Kimsey said.

Men's soccer: Concordia's Danciu unanimous CCC Player of Year

Concordia University senior forward Septi Danciu was unanimously named Cascade Collegiate Conference Men's Soccer Player of the Year for the second consecutive season.

The Evergreen High School graduate, originally from Romania, led the conference in every major offensive statistical category as the Cavaliers finished 15-5-0, falling 1-0 to Corban in the CCC championship match Saturday.

Danciu fired 78 shots in 19 games, an average of 4.11 a game; scoring 16 goals and adding 13 assists for a total of 45 points. He scored four times on penalty kicks, and half of his 16 goals stood as game-winners.

Volleyball: Aguiar sets PLU record

Pacific Lutheran University libero Amber Aguiar finished her junior season with a single-season school record of 589 digs as the Lutes' season ended in NCAA Division III regional tournament play.

The Skyview High School graduate's average of 6.20 digs a set is also a school record, and ranked among the top five in NCAA Division III.

Aguiar, Northwest Conference Libero of the Year and a First Team All-NWC selection, was named Honorable Mention All-West Region after PLU finished the season 19-6.

Men's soccer: Townsend blanks GCU in first collegiate start

San Diego State University redshirt freshman Keenan Townsend recorded a shutout victory in his first college start.

The Skyview High School graduate made two saves in the Aztecs' 4-0 victory over Grand Canyon University last Tuesday.

Townsend appeared in two games for SDSU (6-11-2), making five saves and allowing two goals.

Women's soccer: Hamline's Behrens First Team All-MIAC

Hamline University sophomore forward Eden Behrens was named a First Team All-Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection.

The Columbia River High School graduate led the Pipers with eight goals, 20 points, 38 shots, 19 shots on goal and eight game-winning goals. She also had four assists, and finished ninth in the NCAA Division III conference in goals and points.

Suggestions for College Notebook? Contact Kurt Zimmer at 360-735-4563 or kurt.zimmer@columbian.com