Here’s what you need to know about sports this week
By Ella Roberts and Sebastian Studier
The Bethel University football team is headed to the NCAA Division III Championships quarterfinals after defeating previously unbeaten No. 5 Linfield University Saturday. The Royals will meet up with defending national champions the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Kickoff is scheduled for noon local time in Belton, Texas
A pair of interceptions by Anthony Hockett in the end zone backed by a career-high three-touchdown day from Joey Kidder lifted the No. 13 Bethel University football team to a 30-13 victory.
The Royals outgained the Wildcats 373-261 in a truly balanced attack with 159 rushing yards and 214 passing. Bethel’s defense pitched a second-half shutout for the third time this year where both the interceptions came. Bethel’s defense brought consistent pressure sacking the Linfield QB six times for a total loss of 39 yards.
Jaran Roste’s three-touchdown performance made him the Royals’ all-time passing TD leader with 67 and surpassing Scott Kirchoff.
At the start of the game, Linfield marched down into the red zone on its opening drive but was held to a 34-yard field goal by the Bethel defense. The Royals responded with their longest drive of the year at 16 plays over an 8:22 span while covering 70 yards. It finished with a nice over-the-shoulder grab by Joey Kidder after Jaran Roste floated on into the back line of the endzone. After the Wildcats were held to another field goal, a 54-yard kickoff return by Nic Jones set up Bethel for another touchdown. Linfield cut it to 14-13 with 7:52 to go on an 11-yard touchdown reception. On third-and-10 for the Wildcats, Judson Williams picked up the strip sack which was recovered by Thomas Wurdemann at the 20-yard line. The Royals turned that into points as Hugo Cifuentes nailed a 24-yard field goal. A sack by David Brandt finished off the first half that saw BU lead 17-13 at the break.
The Royals turned it over on downs on their first drive of the second half while Linfield had to punt it away on the ensuing drive after Wurdermann got a huge sack on third down. Roste became the Royals’ all-time passing touchdown leader connecting with Kidder again in the endzone with Kidder making the 11-yard grab just inside the left pylon. Lindfield found itself on the four-yard line when Hockett jumped in front of the receiver at the back of the end zone for an interception. The Royals added to their lead as Kidder caught the ball at the Royals’ 43-yard line before breaking into the open field for a 65-yard TD reception. With both teams punting on their next possessions, Linfield got it back with 5:33 left in need of a touchdown to get back in it. A pass up the middle was tipped in the back of the end zone as a diving Hockett got his hands underneath it for his second pick of the game. The Royals chewed up the next 3:14 while the defense got one more sack on Linfield’s final drive.
The Bethel Men’s hockey team had reason to celebrate over the holiday weekend with two impressive away victories over Lake Forest College by scores of 7-1 and 3-0 Nov. 25 and 26.
The Royals traveled to Lake Forest, Illinois at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse and started out the doubleheader on Nov. 25 somewhat slowly as Lake Forest got on the board early with a 1-0 lead in the first period. The Foresters’ lead would not last very long however, as sophomore forward Adam Bricker answered for the Royals and tied the score at 9:11 into the first period. The Royals would go on to run away with the game, getting goals from Jake Herter, Jarrett Cammarata, Jack Bayless, Tyler Braccini, and two from Dylan Giorgio.
Bethel had a penalty-heavy game, giving Lake Forest 5 five power plays, none of which the Foresters could capitalize on. Netminder Travis Allen held down the fort on the back end, saving 23 of 24 shots he faced. Bethel outshot Lake Forest by a margin of 37 to 24 on the night.
On the second night of the double header on Nov. 26, the Royals jumped out to a quick start when freshman forward Jack Brown got the Royals on the board at 1:13 into the first period. Jack Bayless would add another goal for Bethel at 17:53 into the first period to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. The Foresters would go on to pull their goaltender in a comeback effort when Dylan Giorgio iced the game with an empty net goal with 45 seconds left in the game.
Bethel was outshot in the second matchup by a margin of 51 to 40. Freshman goaltender Austin Ryman had quite the performance in net, posting a 51 save shutout, his second shutout in a row. This was a very physical and feisty game with Lakes Forests’ Justin Ross receiving a game misconduct penalty in the first period and Brendan Coughlin also receiving a game misconduct in the second period, putting the Foresters’ down two players for the remainder of the game.
With the wins, the Royals are off to an impressive start with a 7-2-1 overall and 2-1-1 conference record. Bethel will now turn its sights to two MIAC matchups against St. Johns Dec. 1 and 2.
The Bethel Women’s hockey team was off for the Thanksgiving weekend, providing a much needed team reset after dropping two tough games to the No. 2 team in the nation, Gustavus Adolphus on Nov. 18 and 19.
The Royals started the weekend doubleheader with a home matchup at the National Sports Center Nov. 18. The Royals put the Gusties on their heels early in the game when junior forward McKayla Machlitt capitalized on a rebound 12:37 into the first period and got the Royals out to a promising start against the high flying opponent. The Gusties would come back firing in the second period, notching three goals in the period and taking control of the game before adding another insurance goal in the third to make it 4-1, with the final two goals both coming from Gustavus’ Lily Mortenson.
Gustavus heavily outshot Bethel on the night by a margin of 42 to 13. Sophomore goaltender Anna Hanson did her best to keep the Royals in the game saving 38 of 42 shots. Bethel had opportunities in the game to score, but could not seem to capitalize, going 0/4 in the powerplay on the frustrating night.
The Royals had an early turnaround when they had to travel to Lund Arena in St. Peter to finish off the weekend series with an away matchup on the afternoon of Nov. 19. The Royals had a nightmarish start in the second matchup when Gustavus scored five goals in the first period and put Bethel in an early and deep hole. Sophomore forward Brynn Swenson got the Royals on the board at 6:56 into the second period, but it turned out to be much too little, too late as the Gusties would end up cruising to a comfortable 7-1 win. The Royals were outshot heavily again to the Gusties by a margin of 34 to 16.
After the two losses, Bethel holds a 1-5 overall and 0-4 conference record on the season. The Royals will take the holiday weekend to rest up before they jump back into their schedule with a double header against the College of Saint Benedict on the weekend of Dec. 2 and 3.
The Bethel University men’s basketball team will host Concordia College Dec. 3 for its matchup at 1 pm. in the Robertson Center Gym. Freshman Payton Thomsen hit a career record, scoring 29 points in Bethel’s last game against Hamline. Bethel couldn’t quite match Hamline – the Royals had 21 turnovers and lost the game 77-90. BU hopes to defeat the Cobbers Saturday and work towards evening out the current 1-5 record. In last year’s matchup, Bethel was able to outscore Concordia, snagging a 82-63 victory.
The women’s basketball had a tough shooting night Nov. 30, ending in a loss against Hamline. With a final score of 48-54, the Royals couldn’t quite match the undefeated Pipers. Despite a low shooting percentage, BU dominated in offensive boards, with a 13-4 advantage. Now, the team looks forward to hosting Concordia College in the Robertson Center gym Saturday at 3 p.m. At the last matchup, the Royals defeated the Cobbers 72-56.
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