/seasons/2012/contrib/20121124prjzn5

Elmhurst Falls to St. Thomas 24-17

More news about: Elmhurst

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Elmhurst football team's outstanding 2012 season came to a close after dropping a 24-17 decision to fourth-ranked University of St. Thomas in the second round of the NCAA Playoffs.

Elmhurst came storming out of the gate, scoring the game's first 14 points, but St. Thomas (12-0) used a pair of big plays to close the first half on a 21-0 run and open up a 21-14 lead at the break.

"There are certain games that come down to one play here or there," said Elmhurst head coach Tim Lester. "Today's game fit that description. I give St. Thomas a lot of credit, they made the big plays when they needed to and got the job done.

St. Thomas took the opening kickoff down to the Elmhurst 18-yard line, but Paul Gaupner's 42-yard field goal was blocked by the Bluejays. Elmhurst went to work immediately, driving 73 yards and taking a 7-0 lead on a six-yard touchdown run from Scottie Williams. The drive was keyed by a 46-yard completion from Joe Furco to Vince Gabrys.

"We were able to take advantage of some shots down the field a few times today," said Lester. "We know St. Thomas has a great defense, but we took advantage of a few match-ups and found some openings."

Elmhurst's defense forced a turnover on St. Thomas' next possession. Dan Vicari ripped the ball away from Brenton Braddock and recovered the loose ball at the Tommies' 30-yard line. Seven plays later, the Bluejays capitalized on the turnover as Furco scored on an 11-yard run around the right side to put Elmhurst on top 14-0.

St. Thomas answered back at the end of the first quarter. The Tommies drove 74 yards in just seven plays Braddock capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge to cut the Elmhurst lead in half.

After an Elmhurst punt, the Tommies knotted the score on just one play. Matt O'Connell connected on an 88-yard strike down the middle to Matt Misiewicz to pull the Tommies even at 14-14. Elmhurst appeared to be on the verge of going back on top as the Bluejays drove down inside the Tommies' 10-yard line. On a first-and-goal from the St. Thomas six-yard line, a botched pitch on an option play was recovered by the Tommies' Ayo Idowu. Idowu rumbled 86 yards to the end zone to put the Tommies on top 21-14.

"The St. Thomas cornerback made a great play," said Lester. "He was able to get in to the backfield and hit Scottie before the pitch got to him. We were close to recovering the fumble, but it just bounced back to St. Thomas. Sometimes the bounces go your way and sometimes they don't."

Trailing 21-14 to open the second half, the Bluejays received the opening kick in the third quarter and promptly cut into the Tommies' lead. Aided by a roughing the kicker penalty on St. Thomas, the Bluejays drove down to the Tommies' 10-yard and settled for a 27-yard field goal from David Tomis to make the score 21-17.

St. Thomas answered back with a 17-play scoring drive. The Tommies kept the drive alive by converting on third down on three occasions, including twice on third-and-long. St. Thomas drove to the Elmhurst 11-yard line and went up 24-17 on a 28-yard field goal from Gaupner.

Elmhurst had several chances to even the score in the fourth quarter, but the Bluejays were turned away by the Tommies' defense three times. After Gaupner's field goal, the Bluejays drove to the St. Thomas 30-yard line before turning the ball over on downs after failing to convert and a fourth-and-10. Elmhurst's defense held St. Thomas to a three-and-out and Elmhurst drove the ball down to the Tommies' 16-yard line before coming up short on a fourth-and-six pass play.

Elmhurst's defense forced St. Thomas to punt on fourth down allowing the Bluejays one final drive. Elmhurst took over at their own 20-yard line with 1:17 left on the clock and no timeouts left. St. Thomas stopped the Bluejays' on a fourth-and-seven attempt from the Elmhurst 23-yard line and then ran out the clock to preserve the win.

"Our defense has always played well with our backs to the wall," said Elmhurst cornerback Jamall Lane. "We made some key stops when we needed to, but it just wasn't enough today."

Elmhurst finished the contest with 368 yards of offense and 20 first downs, running 70 plays at St. Thomas. The Bluejays proved they could run against the Tommmies' defense, rushing 41 times for 174 yards. Williams rushed 25 times for 105 yards to close out his career with over 2,000 yards on the season and over 5,100 in his career.

"This was a special season for us," said Williams. "I told people four years ago when we were freshman that Elmhurst was going to win a league championship and we did that. My offensive line was amazing this year and I wouldn't trade a single one of them."

Furco finished 14-of-29 through the air for 194 yards. Corey Thonn caught three passes for 44 yards while Gabys hauled in two passes for 82 yards.

St. Thomas totaled 387 yards of offense, rushing for 186 and passing for 201. O'Connell finished 11-of-14 for 201 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 90 yards. Braddock totaled 91 yards on the ground on 18 carries for the Tommies. Dan Ferrazzo caught six passes for 70 yards to lead the Tommies' receivers.

Lester is proud of all that the Bluejays accomplished in 2012. Elmhurst finished the season with a 10-2 overall record and won a share of their first league championship since the 1980 season while also becoming the first team in school history to participate in the NCAA Playoffs and win an NCAA playoff game. The Bluejays also earned their first-ever national rankings, climbing to 17th in the final regular season D3football.com poll.

"At the beginning of the season, I told them that this was the 93rd season of Elmhurst football and that every year is remembered differently," Lester said. "We accomplished so much this season, that I don't think people are going to forger number 93 any time soon. We may have lost today, but I told our team in the locker room after the game was over to not hang their heads. They played their hearts out this whole season and should be proud of they accomplished."

Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
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Oct. 21: All times Eastern
3rd - 07:11
14 Westfield State
29 Framingham State
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Start of 4th
10 Moravian
10 Juniata
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4th - 12:41
7 Endicott
28 Salve Regina
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3rd - 02:52
7 St. Vincent
56 Thomas More
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Halftime
3 Hobart
7 Union
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2nd - 01:28
17 Colby
20 Hamilton
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1:00 PM
William Paterson at Christopher Newport
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HALFTIME
10 St. John Fisher
7 Ithaca
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1:00 PM
Kenyon at Allegheny
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End of 2nd
7 SUNY-Maritime
7 Mount Ida
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End of 2nd
27 Middlebury
7 Bates
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2nd - 00:21
7 Catholic
48 Springfield
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1:00 PM
Wesleyan at Amherst
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2nd - 03:27
7 Bowdoin
43 Trinity (Conn.)
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2nd - 00:58
14 Husson
7 Gallaudet
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2nd - 15:00
7 Wabash
14 Oberlin
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2nd 5:14
6 Buffalo State
13 Utica
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Start of 3rd
0 Ohio Northern
6 Muskingum
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2nd - 15:00
0 Montclair State
24 Frostburg State
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1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
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2nd - 02:19
10 Albright
5 Stevenson
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2nd - 01:44
31 Wittenberg
3 DePauw
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2nd - 00:57
14 Alma
14 Albion
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2nd - 03:11
13 Shenandoah
21 Guilford
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End of 2nd
20 Plymouth State
0 Massachusetts Maritime
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2nd - 06:35
30 Wooster
12 Hiram
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Halftime
28 Washington and Lee
0 Hampden-Sydney
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2nd - 00:20
7 Alfred State
16 Anna Maria
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End of 2nd
25 Bridgewater
10 Emory and Henry
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1:00 PM
Wilkes at FDU-Florham
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Halftime
10 Lebanon Valley
0 Misericordia
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7 Rochester
27 St. Lawrence
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1:00 PM
RPI at Alfred
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2nd - 02:47
7 Nichols
18 Curry
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End of 2nd
0 Southern Virginia
28 Salisbury
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2nd - 10:53
10 Ferrum
14 Brevard
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1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Apprentice
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End of 2nd
0 Ursinus
7 Susquehanna
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2nd - 00:13
17 Cortland
13 Morrisville State
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2nd - 01:13
14 Hope
30 Trine
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17 Trinity (Texas)
0 Sewanee
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Halftime
7 Wartburg
7 Luther
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1:30 PM
Dickinson at Franklin and Marshall
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2nd - 13:47
0 Tufts
0 Williams
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2nd - 13:20
28 Mount Union
0 Wilmington
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1st - 02:55
7 MIT
0 Coast Guard
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2nd - 13:08
7 Maine Maritime
14 Norwich
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14:44, 2nd quarter
7 Heidelberg
14 Marietta
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Start of 2nd
14 Franklin
3 Rose-Hulman
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3:00 (1st)
14 John Carroll
0 Capital
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7 Bluffton
14 Manchester
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1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Anderson
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1:35 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-River Falls
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2:00 PM
Kean at TCNJ
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1st - 11:11
0 Greensboro
7 LaGrange
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1st - 11:53
0 Mass-Dartmouth
0 Worcester State
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1st - 12:02
0 Muhlenberg
0 McDaniel
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1st - 12:09
7 Western New England
0 Becker
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1st - 10:35
0 Methodist
7 Maryville (Tenn.)
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1st - 11:03
0 Adrian
0 Kalamazoo
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2:00 PM
Denison at Ohio Wesleyan
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2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
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2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
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1st - 13:25
0 Olivet
0 Benedictine
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1st - 11:32
7 Birmingham-Southern
0 Austin
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2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
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2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at UW-Stout
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2:00 PM
Eureka at MacMurray
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2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
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1st - 10:58
7 Nebraska Wesleyan
0 Buena Vista
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1st - 10:58
7 Lakeland
0 Wisconsin Lutheran
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Start of 1st
0 Rockford
0 Aurora
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1st - 10:50
0 Concordia (Wis.)
7 Concordia-Chicago
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2:00 PM
Carleton at St. Olaf
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13:08 1st
0 Gustavus Adolphus
7 St. John's
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1st - 10:57
7 Augsburg
0 Concordia-Moorhead
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2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
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Start of 1st
0 Westminster (Mo.)
0 Greenville
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2:00 PM
Coe at Loras
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2:00 PM
Monmouth at Cornell
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2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at North Park
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2:00 PM
Northwestern (Minn.) at Martin Luther
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2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
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2:00 PM
Grinnell at Lake Forest
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2:00 PM
Carroll at Millikin
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2:00 PM
Ripon at Macalester
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2:00 PM
Lawrence at St. Norbert
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2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Crown
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2:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at Iowa Wesleyan
2:10 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
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2:30 PM
Merchant Marine at WPI
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2:30 PM
Rhodes at Centre
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2:30 PM
Hanover at Earlham
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2:30 PM
Beloit at Chicago
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3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
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3:00 PM
Simpson at Dubuque
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3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
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3:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
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4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
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4:00 PM
Western Connecticut at Bridgewater State
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4:00 PM
Chapman at La Verne
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4:00 PM
Pacific at Lewis and Clark
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4:00 PM
Pacific Lutheran at Willamette
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4:00 PM
Puget Sound at Whitworth
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4:00 PM
Redlands at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
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4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
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5:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Howard Payne
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6:00 PM
Dean at Castleton
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6:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Averett
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7:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Otterbein
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7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
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7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Thiel
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7:00 PM
Knox at Illinois College
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10:00 PM
Whittier at Cal Lutheran
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Cancelled
Occidental at Pomona-Pitzer
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Johns Hopkins 52, Gettysburg 0
Video Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 21: All times Eastern
1:00 PM
Rowan at Wesley
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2nd - 15:00
0 Montclair State
24 Frostburg State
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2nd - 02:40
24 Wittenberg
3 DePauw
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2nd - 00:21
6 Catholic
48 Springfield
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Halftime
7 Wartburg
7 Luther
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2nd - 13:20
28 Mount Union
0 Wilmington
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14:44, 2nd quarter
7 Heidelberg
14 Marietta
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2:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at Washington and Jefferson
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2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Texas Lutheran
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2:00 PM
Belhaven at Mary Hardin-Baylor
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2:00 PM
St. Thomas at Hamline
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13:08 1st
0 Gustavus Adolphus
7 St. John's
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2:00 PM
Carthage at Illinois Wesleyan
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1st - 11:02
7 Augsburg
0 Concordia-Moorhead
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2:00 PM
Berry at Millsaps
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2:10 PM
UW-Platteville at UW-Eau Claire
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3:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-La Crosse
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3:00 PM
Augustana at North Central (Ill.)
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4:00 PM
Hartwick at Brockport
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4:30 PM
George Fox at Linfield
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7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
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