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The University of Minnesota Duluth

BRIDGE - Fall 2009, Volume 27, #1

UMD Athletics News

Perfect: UMD Wins National Title

UMD Football Team secures the 2008 NCAA Division II Championship Trophy.

The Bulldogs capped off a year for the ages in December 2008 in Florence, Ala. by upending Northwest Missouri State 21-14 to claim the school's first ever NCAA Division II title in any sport.

Perhaps that is the simplest – and most fitting –– way to describe the UMD's historic 2008 football season. Perfect.

The Bulldogs capped off a year for the ages in December 2008 in Florence, Ala. by upending Northwest Missouri State 21-14 to claim the school's first ever NCAA Division II title in any sport. Along the way, UMD rolled up a 15-0 overall mark (becoming only the third NCAA II team to ever do so), trailed only once all season (for just over three minutes in its 19-13 overtime playoff win at perennial NCAA II power Grand Valley State, which is considered by many the most monumental victory in UMD athletic history) and shattered no less than 50 team and individual records. A good chunk of the damage to the Bulldog record books was inflicted by senior quarterback Ted Schlafke, a Harlon Hill Award quarterfinalist as the most outstanding player in NCAA II football and one of nine Bulldogs who earned All-American recognition in 2008.

Head coach Bob Nielson, who returned to the UMD sidelines in Fall 2008 after a four-season absence, helped orchestrate the biggest one-year turnaround in NCAA Division II history. But it was the leadership provided by a talented corps of 12 seniors, 11 of whom were starters, that proved to be the key ingredient to the Bulldogs'’ 2008 success story.
" “We had a great senior class with a number of outstanding leaders," said Nielson following the NCAA II championship game victory. “"It was a fitting way for them to go out."

Sensational Year — UMD Soccer 2009 NSIC Champs

UMD 2009 NSIC Soccer Tournament Champs.

NSIC commissioner Butch Raymond with football captains
Tobias Lemke, Cole Strilzuk, and Brandon Wood, along with head coach Bob Nielson.

UMD SOCCER —– 2009

On the first weekend in November, the Bulldogs knocked off No. 1 seed Winona State University 2-1 earning the title of 2009 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference/U.S. Bank Tournament champions. The Bulldogs claimed their league-leading fifth NSIC Tournament championship (2003, 2001, 1998, 1997).
Senior co-captain Clare Dahmen and junior goalkeeper Hannah Bengtson received some much-deserved recognition for the 2009 soccer squad's record-setting season, both earning spots on the Daktronics All-Central Region First Team.

The honor for Bengtson, a junior, adds to her already established 2009 award collection. The Lino Lakes, Minn. native has already been named the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Defensive Player of the Year, an All-Conference First Teamer, and earned a spot on the NSIC All-Tournament team. The second-year starter registered 12 shutouts this season, the second-highest total any Bulldog netminder has put up.

Dahmen, a senior and native of Hopkins, Minn., capped off her Maroon and Gold career with her best season. She tallied 11 goals and added four assists for 26 points, the highest offensive output by a Bulldog since 2003. Dahmen now ranks among the top ten career leaders in those three categories. The two-year captain has already taken home NSIC All-Conference First Team honors (the second in her collegiate career, the other in 2006), a spot on the NSIC All-Tournament Team, and earned the tournament MVP award, in propelling the Bulldogs to the teams' fifth NSIC Tournament championship.

Fantastic Year — UMD Football 2009 NSIC Champs


UMD is once again playing record-breaking football. In November 2009, they derailed Winona State University in a 41-16 victory to close out the NSIC season with a perfect 10-0 record for a second year.

The win gave the Bulldogs sole possession of the 2009 NSIC championship. UMD has now won the last two league crowns. Most impressive is their 20-game NSIC winning streak.

The Bulldogs had half of their starting lineup land 2009 All-NSIC first team recognition, and they claimed both of the two major conference awards – Offensive Player of the Year and Defensive Player of Year.

Junior running back Isaac Odim, one of nine finalists for the prestigious Harlon Hill Trophy, was chosen the NSIC Offensive Player of the Year. Robbie Aurich, the 2009 NSIC Defensive Player of the Year, ranks first among the 2009 Bulldogs with 79 total tackles, including a team-high 45 solo stops and eight for a loss.

Odim and Aurich were accompanied on the 24-player All-NSIC North Division first team by 10 fellow Bulldogs – senior tight end Jake Coauette, senior outside linebacker Korey Horn, junior inside linebacker Kiel Fechtelkotter, senior center Tobias Lemke, sophomore placekicker David Nadeau, senior defensive end Kevin Pexa, senior cornerback Cole Strilzuk, sophomore D.J. Winfield, who made it as both a wide receiver and return specialist, senior offensive tackle Sam Whitney, and senior corner back Brandon Wood.

As we go to print, the Bulldogs are competing in the NCAA playoffs.




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