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Falcon Roundup: 3 named All-Region football

Three named All-Region football

Three UW-River Falls football players have been named to 2017 D3football.com's All-West Region teams.

Senior defensive lineman Nick Jacobsen of Prescott was named to the first team while sophomore linebacker Max Praschak of Somerset was named to the second team and senior running back Michael Diggins of Andover, Minn. was named to the third team.

Jacobsen, the WIAC Defensive Player of the Year, anchored a Falcon defensive unit that led the WIAC in rushing defense, allowing opponents just 79.8 rushing yards per game. He finished the season with 28 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and one pass break up.

Jacobsen served as team captain and was a first team All-WIAC selection in 2016, second team honoree in 2015 and was honorable mention as a freshman in 2014. He was also named the Falcon's Co-Defensive MVP this season.

Praschak, in his first season with the Falcons after spending his freshman year with the University of Wisconsin Badgers, finished with a league-high 91 tackles on his way to earning first team All-WIAC honors. He was also second in the league with 14.5 tackles for loss and fifth in sacks with 5.5. He was named the team's Newcomer of the Year and shared Co-Defensive MVP honors with Jacobsen.

Diggins secured All-WIAC second team recognition this season after earning honorable mention accolades in 2015 and 2016. He led the conference in rushing with 1,298 yards and become the program's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2011. His 17 touchdowns and 102 points tied the school single-season records. Diggins was a team captain the past two years and is a three-time recipient of the team's Offensive MVP award. He received the team's Falcon Award in 2o16 and 2017 and was named team MVP in 2017.

Women's hoops posts weekend sweep

The UW-River Falls women's basketball team won a pair of games at Page Arena over the weekend, beating Luther College, 68-47, Friday, Dec. 9 and Concordia College (Minn.), 70-60, Saturday, Dec. 10.

The Falcons jumped on Luther early Friday night and led by 20 points or more the entire second half in a 21-point win.

Brynn Liljander led UWRF with 17 points and Crystal Pearson came off the bench to score 15 while Taylor Karge contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and five steals.

Saturday against Concordia, the Falcons trailed 39-31 at the break before opening the second half with a 9-0 run to take a one-point lead. UWRF trailed by one, 47-46, at the end of the third quarter before Anna Rollag opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer to give the Falcons the lead for good.

Lilljander led the way with 21 points while Karge finished with 18 points, five rebounds and five assists.

The Falcons, now 6-2 on the season, will travel to St. Paul to play St. Catherine University Saturday, Dec. 16, before heading to Whittier, Ca., to face Dickinson College and Emmanuel College Dec. 29-30 at the Whittier Holiday Tournament.

Men's hockey splits with Lawrence

The Falcon men's hockey team outshot Lawrence college 89-38 over the weekend but could only manage a split in a pair of nonconference games at Hunt Arena.

UWRF dropped a 3-2 decision to the Royals Friday, Dec. 8, despite holding a 46-18 advantage in shots on goal. The Falcons made the best of their opportunities in a 4-1 win Saturday, Dec. 9.

All three of Lawrence's goals came in the second period Friday night, including one on a power play.

Joe Druplak gave UWRF a 1-0 lead 20 seconds into the second period before the Royals scored the next three goals. Thomas Clayton scored with 48 seconds remaining in the period to make it a 3-2 game, and the Falcons outshot Lawrence 19-1 in the third but came up empty. Zach Quinn finished with 15 saves in the loss.

Saturday Lawrence got a shorthanded goal late in the first period to tie the score, 1-1, but UWRF scored two goals in the second period and another in the third to post a 4-1 win.

David Landau scored the first goal of the game for UWRF. Jessie Brown scored the game-winner 10 minutes into the second period and Eddie Matsushima netted a power play goal with 32 seconds left in the second before Cayden Cahill made the final 4-1 6:21 into the third.

UWRF freshman goalie Michael Hughes made 19 saves in his first start of the season as the Falcons outshot the Royals, 43-20.

UWRF, now 4-8-1 on the season, 0-2-0 in WIAC play, will host St. Scholastica Friday, Dec. 15 at 7:05 p.m. in their final game before the holiday break.

Women skaters swept by Gustavus

The fifth-ranked Falcon women's hockey team was swept by No. 6 Gustavus Adolphus in a home-and-home series last week, falling to the Gusties 4-3 Wednesday, Dec. 6 in St. Peter, Minn. before losing 2-1 Saturday, Dec. 9 in River Falls.

Gustavus got a power play goal with 1 minute, 55 seconds remaining Wednesday night to steal a 4-3 victory.

Carly Moran scored a pair of second period goals, the second on a power play, to tie the score 2-2 before Gustavus got a shorthanded goal 6:42 into the third period. Hailey Nielsen tied it again with 8:30 remaining before the Gusties got the game-winner on the power play.

Falcon goalie Tatyana Delaittre finished with 12 saves as UWRF outshot Gustavus, 33-16.

Saturday at Hunt Arena, the Falcons made a first period goal by Callie Hoff stand up until Gustavus scored a pair of power play goals in the third to earn a 2-1 victory. Angie Hall finished with 21 saves as the Falcons outshot the Gusties, 27-23.

The Falcons, now 6-4-1 overall, will visit eighth-ranked St. Thomas Wednesday, Dec. 13.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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