Netting National Goals
The 2009 Cobber women’s soccer team enjoyed a magical run to its first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 appearance while piling up individual and team honors. On their way to a school record 18 wins, the Cobbers captured their third MIAC title in four seasons and earned their third trip to NCAA postseason play. They conquered virtually every goal they set for the season – and then some.
“You look back on the things this team accomplished and you have a real sense of pride,” says head coach Dan Weiler. “It was special in so many different ways.”
Breaking the Concordia all-school record for consecutive wins to start a season, the Cobbers cruised to their first unbeaten MIAC campaign in program history. They won their first two NCAA Tournament games before losing in the Sweet 16.
The Cobbers had their share of star power and none shone more brightly than MIAC Most Valuable Player Sam Johnson ‘11, Fargo, N.D. Johnson led the Cobbers in scoring with 22 goals and three assists for 47 points – the second most in program history. She scored at least one goal in 11 consecutive games.
“Sam was the most dynamic player in the league and was always a threat to score in any game,” says Weiler. “It’s nice to know that we are never out of a game because Sam and the rest of the offense are so explosive.”
Johnson was also recognized for her success in the classroom. She and teammate Erika Swenson ’11, Fargo, earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American honors.
“To achieve all the goals that we did on the field and then to win the academic award is just icing on the cake,” says Johnson. ”All the recognition that our team got during the year, and the awards we won after the season, make it a year that I will never forget.”
Johnson and Swenson, who played a prominent role for the league’s top-ranked defense, are the first players in program history to receive the prestigious award. Swenson has a 3.98 grade point average while majoring in healthcare management and classical studies. Johnson is majoring in math education and carries a 3.64 GPA.
“It’s unbelievable,” says Swenson. “To come to Concordia and play at the level we did is an amazing feeling. It is what all the players dreamed about at the beginning of the season.”
Weiler was named North Region Coach of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and earned MIAC Coach of the Year honors for the third time. “It was one of those seasons you will look back at years from now and realize just how special it was,” says Weiler. “It’s like a great dream you never wanted to wake up from.”
Story: Jim Cella, Photos: Jim Cella