MARK COUCH | SPORTS EDITOR
The past couple weeks have been especially exciting for SNC sports fans. During this time, the men’s hockey team and the men’s and women’s basketball teams all competed in the postseason in their respective sports. Some teams brought trophies back to St. Norbert, while one fell just short. Now, without further ado, let’s get to the update.
On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Green Knights hosted the College of St. Scholastica Saints in the Harris Cup Semifinal game. St. Norbert jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after just nine minutes of play thanks to goals from Ross Pavek and Riley Christensen. Tanner Froese and Sean Campbell chipped in goals to put the Green Knights ahead 4-0 after two periods. Froese leads the team with 13 goals. The Green Knights cruised to victory from there, and advanced to the Harris Cup Final. St. Norbert outshot the Saints 36-14. TJ Black made 14 saves on route to his NCAA Division III-leading sixth shutout of the season.
The Green Knights then traveled to Adrian, Mich. on Saturday to take on conference rival Adrian College in the Harris Cup Final. St. Norbert has played in the Harris Cup Final 15 times in the last 16 seasons, and this was the third consecutive year St. Norbert has traveled to Adrian for the Harris Cup Final.
Ultimately winning the game, and the Cup, with a score of 3-2. This nailbiter of game started strong with a lead of 1-0 in the first period. However, Adrian struck back in the third with two goals within the last seven minutes. However, the Green Knights came back to win in the last seven minutes.
Coach Grzesk’s Green Knights hosted Lake Forest College on Feb. 24 in the MWC Semifinal Round. It was an exciting game with neither team able to hold onto the lead for more than a couple minutes in the second half. St. Norbert led 35-28 with 17:51 remaining before the Foresters made four straight 3-pointers to take a 40-35 lead with 15:14 to play. After the Green Knights tied the game at 42-42, Lake Forest went on a 15-6 run to take a 57-48 lead with just over ten minutes left to play. The Green Knights were able to tie it up again at 66-66, but the Foresters took the lead again, 72-70 with 53 seconds left to go. Lake Forest’s Jim Schick hit a free throw and St. Norbert gained possession with enough time for one shot, down 73-70. Ben Bobinski took a 3-pointer to force overtime, but it was off the mark.
The Foresters were victorious, 73-70 and they advanced to the MWC Championship, where they were defeated 81-72 by Ripon College. The Green Knights ended their season with a 19-5 record.
The St. Norbert women played Cornell College in the MWC Championship game on Feb. 24. The teams went into the fourth quarter tied 40-40. The Green Knights went on a 13-4 run to begin the quarter to take a 53-44 lead with just under three minutes left. Then it was Cornell’s turn to go on a run, outscoring St. Norbert 10-2 over the next two minutes for a score of 55-54 with 42 seconds left. Mallory Nickerson’s layup with nine seconds left put the Green Knights ahead 57-54, and her two free throws with three seconds left put the game away for St. Norbert. The Green Knights won 59-54 to earn their 14 NCAA Division-III Tournament berth.
St. Norbert travelled to St. Louis to face Washington University in the first round on Friday. The Green Knights trailed behind WU for most of the game, with exception of the first quarter, where they led 16-15. In the end, the Green Knights lost the game with a score of 73-54.