SEWARD, Neb. – Following back-to-back GPAC home victories, the Concordia University women’s soccer team is now faced with consecutive road contests in western Iowa. The Bulldogs have positioned themselves to play meaningful games in October thanks to a 3-0 start to conference play. The run has included wins over Dakota Wesleyan, Mount Marty and College of Saint Mary.
This week’s schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Briar Cliff, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 7 at Northwestern, 5 p.m.
Head coach Greg Henson has built a program that has lived inside the top three spots of the conference standings since 2014. During Henson’s tenure, Concordia has put together two separate unbeaten streaks of more than 10 games against GPAC opponents. Coming off a GPAC tournament title in 2016, the Bulldogs own an active win streak of 11 versus conference opponents (have outscored opponents 42-3 during that stretch). Additionally, the 2014 conference tournament champions went the entire season without suffering a defeat against a GPAC foe.
A bid for another conference championship will be led by junior Maria Deeter, who doubled her season goal count last week by putting up two goals apiece in the two wins. Her eight goals are a career high, surpassing the seven she had as a sophomore. Six other Bulldogs have tallied three or more goals for a team with the 11th most goals among NAIA women’s soccer programs. Deeter also plays a key role in the team’s defensive success. The Bulldogs have recorded three shutouts to begin conference play.
Briar Cliff (6-4, 0-2 GPAC) opened up conference play last week and suffered losses to Dordt and No. 19 Hastings by identical 2-0 scores. Concordia defeated the Chargers twice last season, once during the regular season (3-0) and then again in the GPAC tournament quarterfinals (5-1). Briar Cliff, led by first-year head coach Will Lemke, entered conference play with a four-game win streak. Taylor Makenna paces the Chargers with six goals on the year.
Northwestern (7-2-2, 2-0-1 GPAC) has bounced back since a 1-0 loss to York College on Sept. 16. The Red Raiders own a quality win over Bellevue University (1-0 in overtime) and earned a 0-0 draw with 18th-ranked Midland. Northwestern currently ranks 14th nationally in terms of fewest goals allowed per game (0.45) behind goalkeeper Naomi Schimmel, who has played every minute of the Red Raiders’ first 11 games.
Next week will bring about a return home for Concordia, which is scheduled to host Doane (1-7-2, 0-3 GPAC) on Oct. 11 and then Morningside (5-4, 1-1 GPAC) on Oct. 14.