2015 Women's Soccer schedule/results

14-5-2 overall | 7-3-1 GPAC | Season stats

*Note: Due to the use of an ineligible player, Briar Cliff forfeited the game played on Oct. 17.

2015 Women's Soccer Roster

Head Coach - Greg Henson

Assistant Coach - Jordan Donohoue

Graduate Assistant Coach - Kim Elmore

SEASON PREVIEW: 2015 women’s soccer

By Jake Knabel, Director of Athletic Communications

Head coach: Greg Henson (24-12-6, two years)
2014 Record: 15-3-4 overall; 6-0-4 GPAC (2nd); GPAC tournament champs
Key Returners: D Jeannelle Condame; MF Madison Hawkins; GK Chrissy Lind; D Katrina Muther; F Jessica Skerston; MF Esther Soenksen
Key Newcomers: MF Kaylee Brown; MF Maria Deeter; D Ashley Martin; D Michaela Stevens
Key Losses: F Meredith Hein, D Rachel Mussell; D Marcie Sindt; MF Ashlie Sklenicka; MF Melissa Stine
2014 GPAC All-Conference: Rachel Mussell (first team); Melissa Stine (first team); Jessica Skerston (first team); Marcie Sindt (second team); Madison Hawkins (honorable mention); Chrissy Lind (honorable mention); Katrina Muther (honorable mention); Ashlie Sklenicka (honorable mention)

Outlook
The 2015 Concordia women’s soccer squad is faced with the unenviable task of following up the 2014 Concordia women’s soccer team. Last year’s Bulldogs accomplished several program firsts – first to win the GPAC tournament, first to go unbeaten against GPAC opponents, first to achieve a national ranking and first to reach the national tournament. They also set single-season school records for wins (15), shutouts (12) and fewest goals allowed (19).

Third-year head coach Greg Henson now must retool his lineup after the graduation of first team all-conference performers Rachel Mussell and Melissa Stine and second team all-conference choice Marcie Sindt. They were part of a talented seven-member senior class, but the holdovers are teeming with confidence after the high of last fall. Henson has put 2014 in the rearview mirror.

Said Henson, “That’s what makes college athletics so much fun. Every year you have to turn the page and start the new chapter. We say goodbye to seven great seniors who were very impactful in our program. We spent the offseason learning how to play without them and getting along without them and getting ready for this fall. I don’t know if the offseason is ever that much different. Obviously we felt a little bit better. As soon as we got back onto the field it’s back to work and you’ve got to get the job done.”

Henson will lean upon senior captains in holding midfielder Madison Hawkins and outside back Katrina Muther for leadership. The two have played in a combined 88 career games and possess the most experience on the squad. Hawkins, although not flashy, has been an important figure in the middle of the field. Muther returns for her fifth year of a career that has been limited at times by injury. Concordia went 9-1-4 last season with the Rockford, Ill., native in the lineup.

A follow up to that kind of success will be difficult to come by, but Hawkins believes strongly in the new-look 2015 edition.

“There are seniors gone, but having actually gone to nationals now completely changes what you really expect,” Hawkins said. “You might say every single year that we want to go to nationals and win the GPAC conference. You’re not that disappointed if it doesn’t happen. This year we’re going in wanting and expecting to go to nationals.”

That optimism can be traced in part to the goal-scoring talents and goalkeeping ability on board the roster, namely sophomore Jessica Skerston and junior Chrissy Lind. A native of Colorado Springs, Colo., Lind just began playing soccer as a junior in high school but has rapidly improved her game. She already holds program records for shutouts in a single season (10) and career (13). She posted an impressive .710 goals against average in 2014.

Although Mussell and Sindt, former center back stalwarts, have departed, Lind’s work ethic suggests her best is yet to come.

“She’s still relatively new to the game and how far she’s come in such a short period of time is a testament to her work ethic,” Henson said. “We’re not worried about setting records and all-conference awards and things of that nature. She does a great job back there for us to put us in positions to win games. That’s the unique thing with the goalkeeping position is she can never win a game for us. She can only put us in a position to win a game and she does that game-in and game-out.”

On the attacking end of the field, Skerston supplies plenty of firepower. Last season she totaled 17 goals (third in the GPAC). Her eight game-winning goals represented a program record and was the third-highest figure among all NAIA soccer players. After scoring 32 goals as a senior at Lutheran High School in St. Charles, Mo., Skerston quickly adapted to the college level.

Opposing coaches may have been unfamiliar with No. 12 early on last season, but that has changed.

“Now she has to come out and continue to improve,” Henson said. “She’s not going to surprise anybody anymore. Everyone knows who she is in the conference. She’s got to continue to work and progress and follow this up with a solid sophomore season. There’s no pressure there either. Soccer is a team sport. Every year somebody has to step up.”

Skerston was the headliner for what proved to be a productive freshman class in 2014. Fellow sophomore Esther Soenksen started all 22 games in the midfield and chipped in four goals and three assists. Another key member of the class, outside back Jeannelle Condame tallied three goals and three assists while playing in every game (19 starts).

This year’s group of freshmen includes Seward native Maria Deeter, a first team all-state performer at Lincoln Lutheran High School. Others such as midfielder Kaylee Brown (Fort Collins, Colo.) and defenders Ashley Martin (Longmont, Colo.) and Michaela Stevens (Mesa, Ariz.) also bring the potential to make an immediate impact.

“We have a class of 11 players coming in,” Henson said. “It’s a good class all the way through. We’re looking for several of them to step in and make an impact right away. Maria Deeter was great as a high school player and at the select level with OFC up in Omaha. When you have a player of that level that’s in your backyard, you can’t allow them to get away without at least throwing the recruiting pitch at them. We’re really happy to have her here.”

The arrival of Deeter and company coupled with the return of several key components means Concordia’s talent level will not suffer in 2015. The question centers upon whether this bunch of Bulldogs can bottle up that extra special something that the 2014 team had. Says Hawkins, “I want us to have fun and find out who we are as a team without last year’s seniors and, with the incoming freshmen, take our team to a whole new level. We want to become our own team.”

The 2015 Bulldogs again aspire to use the defensive-minded approach that produced unprecedented results for a program that enters its 20th year of existence. Despite key losses in the back four, Henson says that team goals remain unchanged.

“The expectations haven’t really changed,” Henson said. “When I took the position in 2013, our goal was to get to the national tournament. We fell short of that in my first year and last year obviously we achieved that goal. I think now it’s just continuing to take the steps necessary to get back there and reach those goals.”

Concordia begins its GPAC tournament title defending season on Aug. 26 when Bethel College (Kan.) visits Bulldog Stadium for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff. After going 2-0 against Hastings last season, the Bulldogs put their series win streak with the Broncos on the line on Sept. 30 when the two sides meet in Hastings.

Highest-ever national ranking greets women’s soccer in preseason

NAIA national poll | Season preview

SEWARD, Neb. – For the second time in program history, the Concordia University women’s soccer team finds itself ranked among the NAIA’s top 25 teams. In the NAIA Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll released on Tuesday, the Bulldogs appeared at No. 21, marking the highest-ever national ranking for the program. Bulldog women’s soccer achieved its only other top 25 placement (No. 24) last season after claiming the GPAC tournament title.

Also announced on Tuesday, head coach Greg Henson’s squad has been pegged by league coaches to finish second in the GPAC behind defending regular-season champion Hastings. In 2014 Concordia won its only two meetings against the Broncos, who were ranked 16th and 20th, respectively, at the time of those matchups.

Last season Concordia exceeded its preseason slotting of fifth in the conference poll by placing runner up during the regular season. The Bulldogs went 9-0-4 against GPAC opponents and broke program single-season records for wins (15), shutouts (12) and fewest goals allowed (19).

According to GPAC preseason rankings that date back to 2006 (see below), Concordia’s placement of No. 2 is the highest for the program in at least 10 years. The Bulldog women’s soccer program played its first varsity contests in 1996, making 2015 the 20th season in school history.

Concordia preseason GPAC rankings
2015: 2nd
2014: T-5th
2013: 7th
2012: T-4th
2011: 6th
2010: 7th
2009: 11th
2008: 10th
2007: 6th
2006: 5th

No. 21 Concordia women’s soccer blast Bethel College, 5-0 in season opener

SEWARD, Neb. – The No. 21 Concordia women’s soccer team won its season opener against Bethel College in a 5-0 shutout Wednesday night. Sophomore Esther Soenksen led the Bulldogs with two goals and one assist to Jordan McCoy. The offensive win for Concordia gave the back line and keeper, Chrissy Lind a break from high amounts of action. Chrissy Lind recorded just two saves on Bethels’ five shots.

The first goal of the game came from Soenksen 8:42 into the match. The goal came from a rebound off the left post and was tapped in by the sophomore from one yard out. Jessica Skerston carried her success from last season into Wednesday night’s match. The sophomore scored the second goal of the game 40:41 into the first stanza on a pass from Leigha McConnell. The last goal of the half came from freshman Seward native Maria Deeter.

In the second half, Soenksen scored her second goal of the tilt 2:17 into the half. Soenksen then fed the ball to McCoy for her first goal of the season 4:42 into the half.

The Bulldogs outshot the Threshers 22-5 in the competition. Bulldog keeper Lind marked two saves in 90 minutes of play. Thresher goalie Kim McLaughlin guarded the net for the majority of the time and recorded four saves while Twila Smedley saved one goal.

Head coach Greg Henson said, “We were ready to go. Preseason has been a little bit over a week now and we ready to get started. There’s excitement and there is always going to be a little bit of nerves. That might have been what took us a little bit longer than what we would’ve liked to get on the board to start the game but we worked through that pretty quickly.”

The Concordia Bulldogs are now 1-0 on the season while the Bethel Threshers fall to 0-1. The No. 21 lady Bulldogs will return to action Saturday, Aug. 29 at 5:30 at Bulldog Stadium as they take on No. 16 Bellevue College.

No. 21 Bulldogs defeat No. 16 Bellevue in first-ever double ranking match

SEWARD, Neb. – For the first time ever, two ranked women’s soccer teams dueled inside Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs were on the winning end of the contest, defeating No. 16 Bellevue, 2-1. The win Saturday night marks Concordia’s 11th triumph in the last 16 games and the second time coming out on top over Bellevue in program history.

The Bruins of Bellevue were the first to strike, scoring just over eight minutes into the tilt. The goal came from Michelle Dolder who was eight yards out. Kaylee Brown found the back of the net after making her first start for the Bulldogs. After Bruins keeper, Bailey Petzoldt could not hold on to a potential save, Brown tapped in the ball to tie the game at the 18th minute. In the second half, Esther Soenksen scored her third goal of the season from 12 yards out, assisted by Jessica Skerston. The goal put the CUNE ahead at the 76th minute and sealed the win for the Bulldogs.

Goalkeepers Chrissy Lind and Petzoldt both tallied four saves and played all 90 minutes. The Bruins outshot the Bulldogs 13-11 while corner kicks were even at four apiece.

Said head coach Greg Henson on the win, “It was a real great win for us tonight. I’m very happy with the result. Obviously, Bellevue came in as the 16th team in the nation. I think we earned our national ranking tonight. It’s been a few years since we’ve defeated Bellevue so I was really happy with the effort of the entire team.”

The No. 21 Bulldogs improve to 2-0 on the season while the No. 16 Bruins fall to 0-2. The Concordia women’s soccer team will travel to York College for its next match on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 5:30 p.m.

Soenksen finds the net four times in road rout of York

YORK, Neb. – Up against a York College team bullish on defending its own goal, sophomore Esther Soenksen continued her prolific run of early-season goal scoring for the 21st-ranked Concordia University women’s soccer team. Behind four goals from Soenksen, the Bulldogs pummeled the host Panthers, 7-0, at Cornerstone Soccer Complex on Tuesday evening.

Third-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad has racked up 14 goals as part of a hot 3-0 start to the 2015 season. Despite the loss of three first or second team all-conference players from last year’s national tournament squad, the Bulldogs have hardly missed a beat thus far.

“It’s just a matter of setting that (winning) mindset and for us to continue to do the things that have made us successful in the past and will make us successful in the future,” Henson said. “That’s just the work ethic and the team working together on and off the field. It’s just the little things that really put us over the hump.

“The preseason ranking that we received is based off last season’s accolades and last season’s results. We wanted to go out early and prove that we still deserve that honor.”

Now in a forward role after playing in the midfield last season, Soenksen tallied her goals in the 12th, 13th, 51st and 55th minutes to run her season goal count to seven – already three more than her total from 2014. Entering the day, the NAIA national lead for most goals stood at five.

Soenksen is clearly thriving in her new role. No player shined brighter on Tuesday.

“It was really exciting,” Soenksen said. “I’m not usually a goal scorer. I usually don’t play forward. I’ve had more opportunities to score.”

Freshman Maria Deeter also provided scoring punch with her first career multi-goal game. The Seward native received credit for a header off a corner kick from Jeannelle Condame in the 18th minute. Then in the 50th minute Deeter, again assisted by Condame, found an unprotected net after blowing past a defender.

The other tally came courtesy of sophomore Jessica Skerston, who expertly dribbled around a Panther and then fired a shot from inside the box. Last season Skerston topped the Bulldogs with 17 goals.

The scoreboard accurately reflected a game dominated by nationally-ranked Concordia. Henson’s squad held a 27-2 shot advantage. York managed to put only one shot on frame all night. The lopsided score allowed the Bulldogs to use three different keepers – starter Chrissy Lind as well as seniors Elyse Muhle and Taylor Wolf. A total of 26 players saw action for Concordia.

Never afraid to shuffle the deck, Henson moved former leading goal scorer Rachel Mussell to center back last season only to see the move pay off considerably. This season’s tinkering involved shifting Soenksen forward and adjusting fifth-year senior Katrina Muther from outside back to center back.

“We definitely made an effort to move Esther a little bit more forward,” Henson said. “She has the ability to do well up there and score goals for us. She showcased that today.

“It’s always a matter of looking at who are starting 11 is and how we get the most out of that group.”

Soenksen is the first Bulldog to pile up three or more goals in a game since Mussell’s hat trick versus the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Aug. 23, 2012.

The Bulldogs will not play another official game until they host sixth-ranked Benedictine College (Kan.) (3-0) on Sept. 12. This Saturday Concordia will hold an alumni game with kickoff slated for 3 p.m. from Bulldog Stadium.

Flurry of goals leads to GPAC weekly honors for Soenksen

GPAC release

SEWARD, Neb. – Having already topped her season goal total from 2014, sophomore Esther Soenksen has ridden a hot start to 2015 to GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week recognition, as announced by the conference on Tuesday. It’s the first career weekly award for the former Lincoln Lutheran High School standout.

In last week’s only contest, Soenksen fueled the 7-0 blowout victory over York College with four goals, including two in each half. The Lincoln native now has seven goals over the season’s first three games for the 21st-ranked Bulldogs. She ranks third among all NAIA women’s soccer players in goals and fifth in goals per game. Soenksen has been incredibly efficient with seven of her nine shots on goal finding the back of the net.

After playing in the midfield last year as a freshman, Soenksen has thrived in more of an attacking role for head coach Greg Henson’s squad, which is off to a 3-0 start.

“We definitely made an effort to move Esther a little bit more forward,” Henson said after the win over York. “She has the ability to do well up there and score goals for us. She showcased that.”

Soenksen now has 11 career goals in 25 games as a Bulldog. She has started every game since arriving at Concordia last fall.

The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday when they host No. 6 Benedictine College (Kan.) (5-0). Kickoff from Bulldog Stadium is slated for 1 p.m.

Bulldogs fall in battle of unbeatens

SEWARD, Neb. – In a rematch of last year’s national tournament opening round clash, powerfully built and sixth-ranked Benedictine College (Kan.) backed its lofty national ranking with a 4-0 win over the 21st-ranked Concordia University women’s soccer team inside Bulldog Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The previously unbeaten Bulldogs had hoped to secure their second victory of the season over a top 25 opponent.

Third-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad dropped to 3-1 overall. Concordia entered the contest with a mark of 9-1-1 in its last 11 home games.

“The biggest thing is we have to eliminate the mistakes that we make and the opportunities that we give the other team,” Henson said. “When you play a team of this caliber, they’re going to take advantage and they definitely did today.”

Ranked 11th nationally in goals per game, the Ravens (6-0) outshot the Bulldogs, 21-6, and peppered Concordia with 11 shots on goal. Each Benedictine goal came from a different player for a squad that has now outscored its opponents by a combined total of 25-5 through six games.

Benedictine got on the board in the 10th minute when Rosie McShane tracked down a rebound and slotted her fifth goal of the season past keeper Chrissy Lind. Anna Romano created the scoring chance by penetrating the Bulldog back line and rifling a shot that deflected to McShane.

Then in the 45th minute, after Concordia had dodged several bullets, Hannah Trandahl got loose and tapped in her second goal of the campaign for a back breaker just before the half. The Ravens limited the Bulldogs to two total shots through the game’s first 45 minutes.

Concordia’s best chance of the opening half came when Esther Soenksen executed a perfect ball behind the defense to striker Jessica Skerston. A trailing defender bothered Skerston just enough to make the ensuing shot a routine save for Raven goalkeeper Ellen Loughman.

The game’s most impressive save came Bulldog keeper Chrissy Lind who made a diving snare of a header attempt from Ashley Chandler midway through the second half. Just moments later Liz Enna tacked on the Ravens’ third goal on a strike inside the left post, putting the game out of reach.

Just after the 60-minute mark, Maria Deeter laced a shot that Loughman corralled. Loughman finished with three saves, including another on an attempt from freshman Ashley Martin. Benedictine effectively shut down Soenksen, who recorded four goals in her previous game and has seven goals overall this season. Soenksen did not take a single shot on Saturday.

Over its last 18 games, Concordia’s only two losses have come at the hands of Benedictine. The Bulldogs own a record of 12-2-4 over that stretch.

“When we knock the ball and we keep it like we did in stretches, we can play with anybody on our schedule,” Henson said. “That’s the biggest takeaway. You’re looking at a 4-0 defeat, but hopefully we’ll get a chance to be on that stage we were last year against them and be a better team at that point.”

Concordia will meet York College (0-6) for the second time already this season when the Panthers visit Seward on Tuesday. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. from Bulldog Stadium. On Sept. 1, Concordia defeated York, 7-0, behind Soenksen’s highlight-reel game.

No. 21 Bulldogs outshine Panthers on the pitch

SEWARD, Neb. – The No. 21 Concordia Bulldog women’s soccer team defeated the York Panthers, 5-1 at Bulldog Stadium, Tuesday, September 15. The ‘Dogs were able to penetrate York’s defensive attempts by outshooting the Panthers, 34-3. Concordia’s defense stood a firmer ground, allowing just one shot on goal which was the lone goal for the Panthers.

Head coach Greg Henson said on the win, “It’s always difficult to beat the same team twice in a season. And York came out to play…They did a great job tonight, they came in with a game plan and executed and made life difficult for us. Playing them twice in two weeks, we expected them to come out and give us a game. I think they’re much improved over two weeks.”

Madison Hawkins scored on a cross from Megan Brunssen on the right side for her first goal of the season. The goal came from inside the box at the 30:34 mark. York tied the game up with their first goal of the season on a score from Caitlin Nipe. The Bulldogs were determined not to go into the break with an even score and accomplished that goal with Esther Soenksen. The Lincoln native scored her eighth goal of the season with eight seconds left in the first stanza on a pass from Jessica Skerston.

Coming out of the break, up 2-1, Concordia looked for some security goals and found them early six minutes into the second half. Soenksen was on the assisting side of the goal this time, passing the ball in to Kaylee Brown who scored from the close right side of the box. Then, scoring her ninth goal of the season and sixth against York College this year, Soenksen found the back of the net with 24 minutes left in the match, assisted by Maria Deeter. For the final goal of the game, Leah Shohat headed the ball in off a corner from Brunssen to seal the 5-1 victory.

“I was supposed to pick up anything in the back and the ball game over their heads and I headed it in…It’s exciting,” said Shohat on her first goal of the season.

In her first start this season, Keeper Elyse Muhle played all 90 minutes and allowed one goal. The Bulldog back line helped keep the Panthers’ scoring opportunities low allowing just three shots. In at keeper for York was Jenna Shipley who also played all 90 minutes and tallied nine saves.

The win gives No. 21 Concordia an improved record of 4-1 while the York Panthers fall to 0-8 on the season. Concordia will hit the road for a trip to Colorado this upcoming weekend to take on Sterling College and Johnson & Wales University Sept. 19-20. 

Late Sterling goal not enough to top No. 21 Bulldogs

DENVER, Colo. – The No. 21 Concordia women’s soccer team topped Sterling College (Kan.), 2-1 on Saturday, Sept. 15. Esther Soenksen scored her 10th goal of the season for the first goal of the match. Putting the Bulldogs up 2-0 was Jessica Skerston, scoring her third goal of the year.

Said head coach Greg Henson,"It took us a few minutes to settle into the game this afternoon. Once we did I thought we possessed the ball and created several quality goal scoring opportunities. Megan Brunssen had a strong performance off the bench and sent in a nice service for our second goal."

In the first half, the ‘Dogs scored nearly 30 minutes into the match. Soenksen scored on a feed from Jessica Skerston from 15 yards out. Six minutes later, Skerston found the back of the net off one touch from a cross by Megan Brunssen. The lone goal for the Warriors came in the last 10 seconds of the match from Lesly Salazar.

"Skerston and Soenksen combined well up from again today and that culminated in Esther's first half goal off a nice feed from Skerston. We did a nice job of managing the game in the second half could have had a couple of additional goals but hats off to their goal keeper with a strong second half performance" said Henson. 

At keeper for Concordia was Chrissy Lind. She recorded three saves in 90 minutes. Also playing all 90 minutes was Sterling’s keeper, Michaela Moore who made seven saves. The Bulldogs shot the ball 12 times with 10 on goal while the Warriors tallied eight shots, four on goal. 

Five different Bulldogs took at least one shot with Soenksen leading in the category. The Lincoln native shot the ball five times, all on goal and made one goal.

The win marks CUNE’s fifth triumph of the season, improving their record to 5-1 while Sterling College falls to 5-2.

On tomorrow's upcoming competition, Henson said, "Tomorrow will be our first and only experience this season with back to back games and that will test our fitness level and strength of our reserves. Giving up the goal with six seconds left in the match was a disappointment so we have to have the mental toughness to finish off games."

Sunday, Sept. 20, the No. 21 Bulldogs will be back on the pitch in Commerce City, Colo., when they take on Johnson & Wales University at 1 p.m. (CDT) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. 

Skerston scores twice to round out 2-0 Colorado trip

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – A pair of Jessica Skerston goals in the second half helped the 21st-ranked Concordia University women’s soccer team pull away from host Johnson & Wales University (Colo.) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., on Sunday afternoon. With the 3-0 victory, the Bulldogs improved to 6-1 overall and equaled the 2014 GPAC tournament champion squad for the best seven-game start in program history.

A day earlier, third-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad defeated Sterling College, 2-1, in a battle that took place on a neutral field. Concordia is a perfect 3-0 away from home this season.

“Our goal coming into the weekend was to be 6-1 heading into conference play,” Henson said. “It’s good to get away from home and have an opportunity for some team bonding and pick up two quality wins.

“Today it took a little bit to settle in, but once we did it became a bit easier. We did some good things. We managed the game and preserved the shutout, which we weren’t able to do yesterday.”

It took more than 40 minutes for the floodgates to finally open against the winless Wildcats (0-7). In the 43rd minute, freshman Maddie Otten came off the bench and quickly got on the board with her first career goal. She was played through for a breakaway by sophomore Esther Soenksen, who recorded her third assist of the season.

Then in the second half, Skerston got loose for her fourth and fifth goals on the year. Freshman Ashley Martin assisted Skerston in the 55th minute on a score that the St. Charles, Mo., native tucked into the top right corner of the goal.

In the 87th minute, Skerston put the game out of reach by converting on a penalty kick opportunity for her 22nd career collegiate goal. Last season she topped the Bulldogs with 17 tallies.

In goal, Chrissy Lind made a trio of saves on the way to extending her program record career shutout total to 15. As a team, the Bulldogs have posted three shutouts this season.

After creating only five shots in the first half, Concordia fired nine shots (five on goal) over the game’s final 45 minutes. The Bulldogs finished with a 14-9 shot advantage over Johnson & Wales, a NAIA Independent squad.

Skerston and company now set their sights on the opening of conference play. The Bulldogs will travel to Orange City, Iowa, to challenge Northwestern (3-3-1, 0-0 GPAC) on Saturday (Sept. 26) for a 5 p.m. kickoff. Concordia owns a record of 9-0-4 over its last 13 games versus GPAC opponents.

The Bulldogs have stated their case to retain a national ranking. They own a win over No. 16 Bellevue University and have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 24-7. The first NAIA coaches’ poll since the preseason edition (Aug. 18) will be released on Tuesday.

Skerston grabs GPAC Player of the Week honors

SEWARD, Neb. – Sophomore Jessica Skerston was named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week announced Tuesday, Sept. 22. Skerston received the award after racking up three goals and two assists over three games last week. The recognition is the sophomore’s second GPAC weekly honor.

Last week’s three matches were all wins for the Bulldogs with the help of Skerston. The St. Charles, Mo. Native tallied three goals, two assists and eight shots on goal last week. In the tilt vs Johnson & Wales University, Skerston scored two of the squad’s goals to take the match, 3-0.

This season, Skerston has five goals in seven games, which averages to .71 goals per game, ranking her seventh in the GPAC. She is also tied for fifth in total goals and assists per game (.43), tied for fourth in total assists (3), third in shots per game (4.14), fifth in shots on goal per game (2.29) in the GPAC.

Less than two years into her career, Skerston has marked up 22 goals and 63 shots on goal. She is second on the team in shots, shots on goal and in goals on the 2015 season. The sophomore leads the Bulldogs in total assists for the year.

The No. 16 Concordia women’s soccer team (6-1) will return to the pitch Saturday, Sept. 26 as it travels to Orange City, Iowa to take on GPAC foe Northwestern College. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. 

Women’s soccer boosts program best national ranking to 16th

NAIA women’s soccer top 25 poll

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia University women’s soccer continues to gravitate to new heights. On Tuesday the Bulldogs jumped five spots in the national poll to No. 16, a position that again ranks as the highest placement in program history. Head coach Greg Henson led Concordia women’s soccer to its first-ever national ranking (No. 24) last season after the Bulldogs defeated conference regular-season champion Hastings in the GPAC tournament championship game.

Concordia, which owns the best overall record (21-4-4) among GPAC teams since the beginning of 2014, is ranked first among its conference rivals. Preseason league favorite Hastings (3-4) dropped back nine spots from the preseason national poll and now sits at No. 22. Concordia has played two teams that remain nationally ranked: No. 6 Benedictine College and No. 15 Bellevue University. The Bulldogs defeated Bellevue, 2-1, in Seward on Aug. 29.

Concordia’s 6-1 record equals last year’s conference tournament championship team and the 2003 squad for the best seven-game start to a season since the women’s soccer program’s first year of varsity competition in 1996. Only the 2003 team has ever won seven times in the season’s opening eight contests.

Since taking over the program in 2013, Henson owns a record of 30-13-6 (.673) with three victories over top-20 ranked opponents. Concordia enters conference play with a 13-game unbeaten streak (9-0-4) against GPAC opponents. The Bulldogs open up their GPAC slate at Northwestern (3-3-1, 0-0 GPAC) on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Best seven-game starts in program history
6-1, 2015
6-1, 2014
6-1, 2003
5-1-1, 1998
5-2, 2006

Bulldog women end in 0-0 tie to open GPAC play

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The No. 16 Concordia women’s soccer team faced Northwestern College Saturday, Sept. 26 to open GPAC play. In a similar fashion of last season's contest, the match ended in a 0-0 tie.

“It took a little bit to settle into the game,” head coach Greg Henson said. “In the first 10 to 15 minutes they came out flying and outworked us. After we settled in I felt we played well and moved the ball well and create some chances, just not good enough chances. We just didn’t finish throughout the course of the first half.”

Northwestern edged Concordia in shots, 15-13. Jessica Skerston led the Bulldogs in shots with six, one on goal. The Bulldogs had three total shots on goal coming from Skerston, Ashley Martin and Esther Soenksen.

Said Henson, “I felt in the second half we were much more dangerous. Maria Deeter did a good job to put herself in a position to score a goal late in the second half and just missed wide on the chance. And then in over time you want to push for a victory but you also want to come out of the game with points. In the GPAC it’s difficult to go on the road and win games. We’re definitely not satisfied with the result but we’re happy to come out with a point.”

Chrissy Lind played keeper for the 110 minute match. Lind recorded five saves. Tallying three saves was Red Raider keeper, Naomi Schimmel who was also on the field the entire contest.

The tie brings the Bulldogs record to 6-1-1 (0-0-1 GPAC). The Red Raiders are now 3-3-2 (0-0-1 GPAC).

On upcoming GPAC play Henson noted, “The biggest thing over the last few games is we just need to get a quicker start and be able to settle in a little quicker to play. We have a tough game on Wednesday at Hastings and we need to do that there. They’re looking forward to us showing up this year. There will be a little retribution from last season. We have to have our A game and be ready to play and come out of the game with points as we start conference play.”

The No. 16 Concordia women’s soccer team will be back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 26 as they travel to Hastings College for a 7 p.m. kickoff time.

Bulldogs fall in first-ever clash between ranked GPAC women’s soccer squads

SEWARD, Neb. – First-ever meeting between ranked GPAC women’s soccer teams. Check. Rematch of the 2014 conference tournament title game won by the Bulldogs. Check. In a matchup with plenty of sizzle, the 18th-ranked Concordia University women’s soccer team struggled to create offensive chances and fell, 1-0, on the road while up against preseason conference favorite and 21st-ranked Hastings on Wednesday night.

Head coach Greg Henson’s squad won both of last season’s meetings with its perennially powerful league rival, but this time around the Broncos exacted a measure of revenge. Hastings reversed the score of the bone-chillingly cold 2014 conference title game and snapped the Bulldogs’ (6-2-1 overall, 0-1-1 GPAC) 14-game unbeaten streak (9-0-5) against GPAC opponents.

“They’re a quality program and always have been. We expected a tough game,” Henson said. “They did a nice job keeping possession. We really tried to limit the opportunities they had to get in behind us and force them to take shots from distance. A lot of their shots we weren’t as concerned by. Unfortunately on the goal they got behind us and were able to finish.”

The game’s only score came in the 58th minute when Megan Kruse, assisted by Taylor Banark, found room in the box to beat Concordia goalkeeper Chrissy Lind to her right. Dating back to last season’s two meetings, the goal ended a stretch of more than 148-straight scoreless minutes for the Broncos against the Bulldogs.

Kruse equaled Concordia’s entire shot output for the second half with her single strike into the net. The Bulldogs managed only three shots for the evening (one on goal). On the other end of the field, the Broncos peppered Concordia with 19 shots – 10 on goal – with many coming from outside the box.

The game actually bore similarities to last year’s GPAC championship battle when Hastings concluded with a 25-4 shot advantage. Once again, Lind held up her end of the bargain by turning in nine saves, including a diving stop of one of Kruse’s attempts at around the 35-minute mark. Many other Bronco chances were bothered or pushed outside the box by a solid effort from members of the Concordia backline.

Prior to Wednesday night, the Bulldogs had not lost at the hands of a GPAC opponent since Nov. 12, 2013. They went 685 days between losses to conference foes. Concordia went 9-0-4 versus GPAC teams during its 2014 title run. The streak created a culture of win expectancy, no matter the opponent.

“That tells you the difference right there in the program in three years,” Henson said. “Two years ago when we lost to them 1-0 in double overtime it was one of the highlights of the season for us. This year we have a pretty somber locker room.”

Two of Concordia’s shots were taken by junior Jordan McCoy. Its only shot on goal came courtesy of freshman Maria Deeter. The Bulldogs’ best scoring chance came in the 88th minute when Jeannelle Condame hoisted a corner kick that pinballed around just in front of the goal before trickling out of bounds.

The Broncos moved to 5-4, 2-0 GPAC with their third shutout of the season. All four of their losses have come against teams either ranked or receiving votes in the national poll.

In the first 2015 NAIA Modified Ratings Percentage Index (MRPI) released on Wednesday, Concordia checked in at No. 21. Hastings appeared at No. 27.

For the first time since Sept. 15, the Bulldogs will play host when they welcome Dordt (6-3, 1-1 GPAC) to Seward for a 1 p.m. kickoff. In last year’s meeting, Concordia and the Defenders played to a 0-0, double overtime draw.

The No. 18 Bulldogs defeated the Defenders in NAIA Match of the Week

SEWARD, Neb. – The No. 18 Concordia women’s soccer team defeated Dordt College, 1-0 on Saturday, Oct. 3 in the NAIA Match of the Week. The Bulldogs’ goal came from sophomore Jeannelle Condame. Keeper Chrissy Lind put up a wall, tallying 10 saves.

Said head coach Greg Henson on the game, “We knew Dordt was going to be a challenging opponent, they’ve had a good year themselves. It was important for us to come out of the game with three points that was the goal for us, we didn’t care how pretty it was, we just wanted to get the result.”

The lone goal of the match came off a free kick by Condame almost four minutes into the second stanza.

Said Condame on her goal, “Normally teams set up a wall of three or four and they only put up one so it kind of threw me off. I was like, ‘I don’t know if I should shoot this, maybe I’ll just cross it in’ but coach was yelling at me to have a hit so I said okay and I hit it and it went in.”

The Bulldogs were outshot 8-15 by the Defenders and in shots on goal, 10-3. All 10 shots on goal for Dort were saved by Lind who played all 90 minutes. The 10 saves collected by the junior was a season high. Deianira Felts filled the net for the Defenders, recording two saves and also playing all 90 minutes.

“Chrissy does a great job for us,” Henson noted on Lind. “She has the last two years and this year is no different. She deals well with balls and shots taken from a distance. We’re content with giving up shots from outside the box because we know Chrissy is going to make those saves.”

The No. 18 Bulldogs improve to 7-2-1 (1-1-1 GPAC) on the season while the Dordt Defenders fall to 6-4-0 (1-2 GPAC) this year.

The Concordia Bulldogs will be back on the pitch on Wednesday, Oct. 7 as the take on Midland University at Bulldog Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. with live webcast available on the Concordia Sports Network. 

Lind hauls in fourth career GPAC weekly honor

GPAC release

SEWARD, Neb. – After recording yet another shutout, junior Chrissy Lind has reeled in another weekly award from the GPAC. On Tuesday the conference tabbed Lind as the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week. Lind earned the same accolade twice as a sophomore and once as a freshman.

Lind is the third Bulldog women’s soccer player this season to receive GPAC weekly honors, joining Jessica Skerston (Sept. 22) and Esther Soenksen (Sept. 8). Over last week’s action, Lind surrendered just a single goal in 180 minutes at goalkeeper for 18th-ranked Concordia (7-2-1, 1-1-1 GPAC). She made a combined 19 saves to run her season total to 43.

The native of Colorado Springs ranks 30th among all NAIA goalkeepers with a career best .794 goals against average. She has four shutouts this season and a program record 17 for her career. Over 46 career games, Lind has 193 saves in more than 4,100 minutes played.

Lind and the Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday when they host Midland (6-3-1, 2-1 GPAC) at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday Concordia will travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to take on Morningside (6-3-1, 2-1 GPAC) for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff.

McCoy supplies firepower in third GPAC shutout

SEWARD, Neb. – Another stingy defensive effort pushed the 23rd-ranked Concordia University women’s soccer team to a second-straight GPAC home victory. On Wednesday night the Bulldogs used the first career multi-goal game for junior Jordan McCoy in seeing out a 2-0 win over the visiting Warriors.

The win pushed third-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad to 8-2-1 overall and 2-1-1 in conference action (seven GPAC points). The Bulldogs are 12-1-1 over their last 14 home games.

“It’s been a little bit since we’ve been able to put a multi-goal game together,” Henson said. “Through the first three games of conference we scored one goal. That’s not going to get it done.

“At halftime we made some adjustments and really challenged the players to get forward and be more committed to doing what’s necessary to win the game. I thought they responded well.”

McCoy used her game-changing speed to pedal behind the defense for a breakaway score in the 65th minute. Jessica Skerston’s well-executed through ball led a sprinting McCoy to the goal. After covering roughly 80 yards from end to end, McCoy tucked the ball inside the right post as a Midland defender applied pressure on her right side. The hustle goal gave the Bulldogs a commanding 2-0 lead.

The offense provided by the speedy forward from Arvada, Colo., proved enough for the defensive-minded Bulldogs. Even without center back Leah Shohat for much of the game (left in the first half after being taken out on a slide tackle), Concordia smothered the opposition and recorded its third shutout in four GPAC games.

Reigning GPAC defensive player of the week Chrissy Lind, who totaled 19 saves last week, made six more denials on Wednesday. Although Lind was forced to touch the ball on many occasions, a back line that integrated freshman Maria Deeter, typically an attacking midfielder, rarely allowed the Warriors to place themselves in dangerous positions over the game’s final 45 minutes.

Fortunate to play to a 0-0 halftime draw, the Bulldogs asserted themselves better in the second half. The Warriors squandered several opportunities to take a first-half lead. They held a 9-0 shot advantage at the intermission.

Like good teams do, the Bulldogs capitalized. They ended a scoring drought of nearly 90 minutes with McCoy’s first goal (’49).

“It feels pretty good,” McCoy said. “Coach has been looking for people to step up.

“We had a tough first 45 minutes.  We just had to change what we were doing. We changed our formation. I think that worked better.”

Midland finished the contest with a 15-6 advantage in shots. The Bulldogs made the most of their three shots on goal. Sophomore Jeannelle Condame had Concordia’s only other shot on frame. Still Henson’s squad found a way to win.

“Overall defensively we did a nice job,” Henson said. “It’s really a testament to our depth this year. I think we’re a deeper team than the last few years.”

With the win, Concordia is now 11-1-5 over its last 16 games against conference opponents. The only loss during that stretch came last week at No. 21 Hastings.

The Bulldogs will be back on the road on Saturday when they travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to take on Morningside (7-3-1, 3-1 GPAC). Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. In last season’s meeting, Concordia edged the Mustangs, 1-0, behind a goal from McCoy.

No. 23 Concordia upset at Morningside

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A 71st-minute goal was all host Morningside needed to send the 23rd-ranked Concordia University women’s soccer team to an upset defeat. Both teams took eight total shots in a game decided by a 1-0 score.

Third-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad fell to a GPAC opponent for just a second time in its last 18 contests with conference opponents. The Bulldogs are now 8-3-1 overall and 2-2-1 in GPAC action.

“It was the same story we’ve had lately – another slow start,” Henson said. “We were lucky to get into half, 0-0. We got outplayed. If you keep coming out slow, you’re going to get burned. We really didn’t start playing until they scored. You’re not going to be successful doing that.”

Playing without starting center back Leah Shohat (left Midland win with an injury), Henson again filled the void with freshman Maria Deeter, normally an attacking midfielder. Deeter and company held the Mustangs to just two shots over the final 45 minutes. But the dangerous Amy Samuelson (11 goals this season) made her shot count, finding the back of the net off the assist from Merle Bublitz.

The Bulldogs generated the bulk of their chances from that point on. Sophomore Jeannelle Condame just missed an equalizer in the final minutes when she hit the crossbar on a free kick. The ball bounced straight down, but no Bulldogs were in position to capitalize on the rebound.

Concordia leading goal scorers Jessica Skerston and Esther Soenksen both put two shots on frame. Three days after her first career multi-goal game, junior Jordan McCoy was limited to a single shot.

The Bulldogs had won five of the previous six meetings with the Mustangs (8-3-1, 4-1 GPAC), who have suffered only one loss in conference play (1-0 at Briar Cliff). Morningside has now recorded four-consecutive shutout victories.

The Bulldogs return home for a pair of contests inside Bulldog Stadium. Up next Concordia will welcome Nebraska Wesleyan (7-4, 4-1 GPAC) on Wednesday. Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. in Seward.

Concordia women drop match to Nebraska Wesleyan

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia women’s soccer team was defeated by Nebraska Wesleyan in overtime on Wednesday, Oct. 14. The 1-0 final score was set almost six minutes into the first overtime.

Head coach Greg Henson said, “It's tough, losing in overtime is always tough. Soccer can be a cruel sport. I thought we had the bulk of play and I thought we did very well in a lot of different aspects…we had a number of chance and were unable to convert on any of those and it happens, eventually you get the one against and we saw that in overtime…I’m disappointed in the final result but I’m very happy with the level of play that our team presented today.”

The Bulldogs outshot the Prairie Wolves 12-7. In the shots on goal column, NWU edged CUNE, 5-4.

The lone goal of the match came from Hallie Schimenti in overtime, 95:56 into the match. The goal ended the tilt giving Nebraska Wesleyan University its fifth GPAC win of the season.

Chrissy Lind filled keeper duties for Concordia for the full game. Lind recorded four saves in the match. For Nebraska Wesleyan, Madi Francis was the keeper also playing the entire match and marked up four saves.

The Bulldogs are now 8-4-1 (2-3-1 GPAC) on the season. The win improves the Prairie Wolves to 8-4 (5-1).

Henson commented on the upcoming contest against Briar Cliff, “As we move forward we have to look into how to create more chances and finish the ones we get. Defensively we need to continue to play strong and close them out.”

The Bulldogs will be back in action on the pitch Saturday, Oct. 17 at home. Concordia will welcome Briar Cliff University (5-6-1, 2-3-1 GPAC) to Bulldog Stadium for a 1 p.m. kickoff. 

Final-minute goal sends Bulldogs to third-straight defeat

SEWARD, Neb. – For the fifth time in conference play, the Concordia University women’s soccer team failed to find the back of the net. Visiting Briar Cliff dodged several Bulldog bullets and got the game winner from Makenna Taylor with just 32 seconds remaining in regulation, allowing the Chargers to escape town with a 1-0 victory on Saturday afternoon.

All four GPAC losses suffered by Concordia have come by a 1-0 score. Third-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad fell to 8-5-1 overall and 2-4-1 in GPAC.

“I think we did well in certain aspects of the game,” Henson said. “We continue to do well in building an attack out of the back and in the middle third. I felt we did a better job creating attacks in the offensive third. We just weren’t able to finish those attacks we did create.

“We really have to put a focus on capitalizing on our chances to be able to put balls away and put games away. You leave teams in the game and bad things happen at the end. That was the case today.”

The Bulldogs fell despite dominating possession in the second half. In one 45-second sequence, Leigha McConnell drove a point-blank shot off the fingertips of Briar Cliff goalkeeper Libby Havenridge. On the ensuing corner kick from Maria Deeter, Kristin Manley’s header flew just above the crossbar. Concordia also put pressure on the Chargers in the final seconds, but fell short of an equalizing goal.

The Bulldogs had to scramble in the 90th minute after Taylor tucked the ball inside the left post to beat goalkeeper Chrissy Lind, who made a diving effort. It was an impressive run by Taylor, who stole the ball from a Bulldog and then dribbled 20 yards around a pair of defenders and drilled a shot from the top of the 18 and into the net.

It proved to be all Briar Cliff (6-6-1, 3-3-1 GPAC) needed to steal one on the road in the face of a 15-5 disadvantage in shots. Three different Bulldogs nearly equaled Briar Cliff’s team shot output as Ashley Martin, Jordan McCoy and Ashley Martin each notched three shots.

Neither team registered a single shot through the opening 15 minutes until a McCoy attack followed a long Jeannelle Condame free kick into the box in the 16th minute. Briar Cliff finally got off a weak shot easily saved by Lind in the 22nd minute.

Early in the second half, Skerston had a one-on-one with the keeper after getting behind the defense. Her shot sailed high over the crossbar. Roughly 10 minutes later Skerston got loose for another shot in the box but was called offsides.

Right now Concordia is looking for answers to its goal-scoring troubles. The Bulldogs have three goals over the first seven games of conference play.

“We need a player to step up and make a play to put us ahead,” Henson said. “It goes back to goal scoring. We’re competitive with everybody in the conference. I think we’re capable of beating anyone in the conference. Until we put the ball in the back of the net it’s not going to happen.”

The Bulldogs will close out the road portion of their regular-season schedule next week with trips to Doane (4-9, 2-5 GPAC) and Dakota Wesleyan (2-12, 0-7 GPAC). Wednesday’s tilt at Doane is scheduled to get started at 5 p.m. from Crete. Concordia won both meetings with the rival Tigers last season.

Trio of goals in four minute span gives Concordia a win

CRETE, Neb. – The Concordia women’s soccer team scored three goals in four minutes to defeat Doane on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The win snaps the Bulldogs’ three game streak of losses. Esther Soenksen, Ashley Martin and Jeannelle Condame each found the back of the net in the final minutes of the first half.

The Bulldogs are now 9-5-1, 3-4-1 GPAC while the Tigers drop to 4-10, 2-6 GPAC on the season.

Said head coach Greg Henson on the win, “It was a game we definitely needed to come out and play and get some points. Doane was a difficult opponent but we created enough chances to have the opportunity to win. We got fortunate in the first half on a couple dangerous opportunities that they had on set pieces. They were able to get in behind us once and bang one off the post. We did a good job of responding and looking to attack.”

Soenksen scored her 11th goal of the season and first of the night 41:22 into the first half before assisting Martin’s first collegiate goal. The Colorado native scored with two minutes remaining in the half. Condame then scored her second of the season with 45 seconds remaining in the half.

“A definite turning point was about a five minute period late in the first half when we were able to get three goals and put the game away,” Henson noted. “Esther did a nice job with her goal. The second goal was another great play. Ashley has been doing a great job getting forward for us all year out of her outside back position. Esther did a great job of setting it up to her. Jeannelle really stepped up on the free kick and found the back of the net to give us a three nothing margin.”

Chrissy Lind filled the net for the Bulldogs making five huge saves to help keep the shutout secure. Tiger keeper Kayla Wegmen made 13 saves for Doane College.

Said Henson, “Chrissy Lind made some huge saves for us throughout the course of the game. She did a really nice job keeping the shutout.”

Concordia, who has now won the last three meetings of the two teams, led in shots 22-13 and shots on goal 16-5. The Tigers had the edge in corner kicks, 8-2.

“The focus right now is coming out energized and motivated for the match,” Henson said on upcoming GPAC play. “We did a good job of that tonight and we need to keep that focus going into Saturday’s match.”

The Concordia University women’s soccer team will return to the pitch on Saturday, Oct. 24 as it travels to Dakota Wesleyan University (2-12, 0-7 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Skerston scores overtime game winning goal

MITCHELL, S.D. – The Concordia women’s soccer team found a goal in the second overtime to defeat Dakota Wesleyan, 1-0 on Saturday, Oct. 24. Sophomore Jessica Skerston scored with 7:52 left in the last overtime.

The Concordia Bulldogs are now 10-5-1 overall and 4-4-1 in GPAC play. The Tigers fall to 3-13 and 1-8 in the GPAC.

Head coach Greg Henson said, “We got out to a slow start today. I felt like we weren’t ready to play out of the gate. We kind of chased the game a little bit but we got to come out with three points and the win. We made some adjustments at half time. We had much better energy and started to take control of the game.”

Skerston’s goal, her sixth of the year, came 102 minutes into the match. After a corner kick from Jennealle Condame was knocked around, Skerston eventually found the ball and the back of the net. Jordan McCoy was credited with the assist.

“It was unfortunate that we weren’t able to get the game winning goal in regulation,” Henson noted. “Their goal keeper played very well today. Once we got to overtime it was one of those situations where it was just a matter of time. We kept pushing and was finally able to get it in overtime. The goal came off a corner kick sent in by Jeannelle Condame and was bumped around but won by Jordan McCoy and then fell to Jessica Skerston and she was able to put it away.”

Concordia led Dakota Wesleyan in shots, 18-7 and shots on goal, 12-5. Chrissy Lind marked up her sixth shutout of the season and grabbed five saves. Cici Schnedier filled keeper duties for the Tigers and recorded nine saves.

On upcoming GPAC play Henson said, “We need to continue to go out and take care of business on our own. College of Saint Mary is a good team and program and we need to prepare for them.”

The Concordia women’s soccer team will return to action Wednesday, Oct. 28 as they take on the Flames of College of Saint Mary at Bulldog Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Lind grabs second GPAC weekly honor this season

GPAC Release

SEWARD, Neb. – For the second time this season and fifth time in her career, keeper Chrissy Lind has received Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week recognition announced by the GPAC office Tuesday, Oct. 27.

After playing over 192 minutes of soccer, Lind did not allow a single goal in two road wins last week over Doane College and Dakota Wesleyan University. The Colorado native extended her career record shutout total to 20 after the two tilts and 10 combined saves.

The junior ranks 17th in the country and first in the GPAC in goals against per game (0.67) and has recorded 69 saves so far this season. Lind also ranks sixth in the conference for total saves (69) and saves per game (4.6).

This is Lind’s second weekly honor this season and fifth in her three year career. Previously this season, sophomores Esther Soenksen and Jessica Skerston have also been tabbed with the GPAC Player of the Week honors.

The Concordia women’s soccer team (10-5-1, 4-4-1 GPAC) will be back in action Wednesday, Oct. 28 as they take on College of Saint Mary. The match is slated to begin at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.

Bulldogs pick up win, break four year win record

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University women’s soccer team defeated College of Saint Mary, 3-2 on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Goals for the Bulldogs came from Ashley Martin, Jessica Skerston and Jordan McCoy. The win gives the seniors on the team 41 victories, the most in a four year span since the 2003-06 seasons.

Head coach Greg Henson said, “We talked before hand and said this needed to be treated like a playoff game. We needed three points to try to help ourselves get into the playoffs and positioning ourselves once we’re in. We wanted to come out and find a win a game against a good opponent, and I feel we did that.”

The win improves Concordia to 11-5-1, 5-4-1 GPAC while College of Saint Mary drops to 8-6-1, 4-5-1 GPAC this season.

The Flames struck first nearly nine minutes into the game. Jenna Herse scored her fifth goal of the season to give CSM an early lead. Martin answered back 29 minutes later with the assistance of Esther Soenksen. The equalizer was the freshman’s second goal of the year. A minute and a couple seconds later, Skerston picked up her seventh goal this season off a ball from Maria Deeter to put the Bulldogs up by one.

McCoy got her fourth goal of the year three and a half minutes into the second stanza with the help of Leigha McConnell. CSM scored with over 30 minutes left in the match in the form of Lexi Bolamperti to set the final 3-2 score.

“We made it difficult on ourselves early in the match falling behind,” Henson noted. “We showed a lot of resolve in coming back to get two goals before the break and scoring a third one right after the second half started. Saint Mary was able to get one back and it was just a matter of managing off the game. I’m very happy with the play for the most part. I think we’re in a good position now. We need three points now on Saturday and we’ll find out where we sit in the standings.”

GPAC Defensive Player of the Week, Chrissy Lind marked up five saves during the match. The Flames’ keeper, Courtney Smith saved three Bulldog shots.

The Bulldogs took nine shots, six on goal while College of Saint Mary took seven, all on goal. Concordia also had the advantage in corner kicks, 3-2.

“We’ve been in it for the last three games," Henson said. "We’re going to continue on this ride of playoff mode. With some of the results we weren’t able to get earlier in the season we put ourselves in a backs against the wall type of position. We need to make sure we’re ready to play and geared up for the game and then execute.”

The Concordia women’s soccer team will be back on the pitch on Saturday, Oct. 31. The Lancers of Mount Marty College (1-15, 0-10 GPAC) will pay a visit to Bulldog Stadium for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff.

Bulldogs cap regular season with fourth-straight win

By Taylor Mueller, Athletic Communications Student Assistant

SEWARD, Neb. – The women’s soccer squad used a flurry of second half goals to scorch visiting Mount Marty College on senior day at Bulldog Stadium in Seward. Concordia improved to 12-5-1, 6-4-1 GPAC. The match marked the final regular-season contest for the Bulldogs who will prepare for quarterfinal conference tournament action set to begin on Thursday (Nov. 5).

As they were able to maintain pressure on the Mount Marty defense for much of the first half, the Bulldogs went ahead in the 29th minute on a goal by sophomore Jessica Skerston.

Despite a lack of scoring in the first half, the Bulldogs found their groove in the second half.

Sophomore Jeannelle Condame got the momentum rolling with an unassisted goal in the 52nd minute. Just six minutes later, sophomore Esther Soenksen added a goal of her own, giving her a total of 12 on the season. Freshman Maria Deeter assisted Skerston in the 63rd minute, giving Skerston her ninth goal of the season and the Bulldogs a 4-0 advantage. Sophomore Karlee Romine put the finishing touch on the game, icing it with the fifth goal in the 87th minute.

Concordia finished the season in strong fashion, concluding with a four game win-streak. Now with the regular season under wraps, all eyes will turn to the post-season and what the Bulldogs will be able to accomplish a year removed from winning the GPAC title.

The road back to a winning consistency has not always been easy for the Bulldogs who have been through their share of ups and downs over the course of the season, dating particularly back to Oct. 10-17 when they dropped three straight games by scores of 1-0.

“I think it was about two weeks ago that we sat down as a team and refocused ourselves after our three-game losing streak,” head coach Greg Henson said. “We wanted to refocus our energies and our efforts towards the right cause. We wanted to look at (the next) four games as kind of a second season for us and with a playoff mentality. I’m very happy with the effort and the way the players went out and got four wins in a row and built some momentum going into the playoffs.”

Senior Katrina Muther expressed similar thoughts to those of her head coach.

“I think we kind of had to come together as a team and talk about what we wanted for the rest of the season and what we wanted to be as a team,” Muther said. “We kind of fit it together and decided that we weren’t ready to be done with our season.”

With five seniors on the roster, each member of the 2016 class was able to enter the game. Henson shared his thoughts on two seniors in particular in Madison Hawkins and Muther who have had significant impacts on the Bulldog program over the last few years.

“Maddie Hawkins and Katrina Muther have both played really vital roles in our success, not only this year but in the last couple years,” Henson said. “Katrina has been asked to play kind of a different role this year than maybe she would have liked when I first talked to her about it at the beginning of the season. She’s done it without question and without hesitation and has really been a leader for us in the backfield.

“Madison Hawkins is a player that plays in the center of the park for us, she plays at midfielder and might go unnoticed by the casual fan and the casual observer, but the way she plays and what she brings to the table for us has been vital for us over the last couple years for us to be successful and really hats off for her for continuing that.”

With the regular season now in the rear-view mirror, Henson commented on the mentality and thought-process that the Bulldogs maintained as they wrapped up their season as well as the importance of keeping their focus on goals that they have yet to achieve.

“That’s what we wanted to do,” Henson said. “We wanted to sit back and really focus on these last four games as starting the playoffs for us and that was really the case because we were in a backs-against-the-wall situation where we needed points and we needed wins to be able to get into the playoffs first of all. I think with that motivation and the outcome over the last four games and our experience from last year, I think we have a good opportunity to go into the post-season and be successful.”

In what could have been their final home match at Bulldog Stadium in Seward, Hawkins and Muther expressed their feelings about leaving the field one last time.

“It’s obviously sad knowing that it’s the last time I will play here but there are so many good memories here and the girls helped us get a win,” Muther said. “That’s all I could really ask for today.”

“I don’t think any specific moment will stand out for me, but I just think being able to come here and play every day with my teammates and have fun is what I’ll always remember,” Hawkins said.

Though her days Concordia’s turf may be over, Hawkins is determined to keep her career going as long as she can, though she is careful not to get ahead of herself.

“I think for us, we’re just going to take it one game at a time and go as far as we can, hopefully that’s nationals,” Hawkins said.

The fifth-seeded Bulldogs will begin postseason play on Thursday when they head to fourth-seeded Briar Cliff (10-7-1, 6-4-1 GPAC). The Chargers topped Concordia, 1-0, on Oct. 17 in Seward.

Bulldogs recapture tournament magic, advance to GPAC semis

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Sophomore Jessica Skerston provided a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute and the Concordia University women’s soccer team effectively put the stranglehold on host Briar Cliff in the opening game of the 2015 GPAC tournament. The fifth-seeded Bulldogs throttled the fourth-seeded Chargers, 4-0, in Sioux City, Iowa, on Thursday afternoon. Champions of the 2014 league tournament, Concordia has now won four-consecutive GPAC postseason contests.

Third-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad has gotten red hot at the right time. On Thursday the Bulldogs extended their winning streak to five and, at 13-5-1 overall, are just two wins off of last year’s program single-season standard.

Concordia has advanced to the conference semifinals for the third-straight season. The Bulldogs will play either top-seeded Hastings (14-4) or eighth-seeded College of Saint Mary (9-6-1) for a shot at the GPAC title game.

“It was a matter of us wanting to come out and set the tone and set the tempo early in the game,” Henson said. “We wanted to go out and attack them and look to score goals, something we weren’t able to do the first time we played them. We felt like if we got our numbers forward and created opportunities we’d be able to change the momentum of the game.”

On this day, Briar Cliff had no answer for Jeannelle Condame’s ability to drop the ball into a bucket in set piece situations or for Maria Deeter’s dominance in the midfield. Not known as a dangerous team in the air, Concordia scored each of its first three goals on headers.

Both of Maria Deeter’s goals (52’ and 70’) came courtesy of perfectly executed set pieces from Condame. The first resulted from a corner kick and the other via a free kick. The performance marked Deeter’s second multi-goal game of the season.

“Maria Deeter had a great game for us, just dominant in the middle of the park and dominant on winning balls out of the air,” Henson said. “And Jeannelle Condame has continued to do what she’s done throughout her career, serving in dangerous balls into the box. Maria was able to get on the end of two of those and put them away. Both had tremendous games for us.”

With her goal in the opening 20 minutes, Skerston has now scored in each of the first four GPAC tournament games of her career. The St. Charles, Mo., native has 10 goals on the season and 27 for her career. She has earned credit for each of the last four game-winning goals in conference tournament action dating back to last year.

In perhaps its best-played game all season against a conference opponent, Concordia left no doubt when it added an 88th-minute score from freshman outside back Ashley Martin, who was set up by Deeter. The impressive outing saw the Bulldogs outshoot the Chargers, 16-7.

Junior goalkeeper Chrissy Lind made four saves in recording her 21st career shutout. Henson lauded Lind, center backs Kristin Manley and Katrina Muther and the rest of his back line for their work in shutting down Briar Cliff. The Bulldogs have 10 shutouts on the season.

Over its last five games, Concordia is 5-0 and has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 16-2. The current run of dominance followed a streak of three-straight losses by a 1-0 score, including one such defeat at the hands of Briar Cliff.

“For us, the attitude and the mindset really changed about three weeks ago,” Henson said. “We sat down and had a team meeting to discuss what we wanted to accomplish this season. Having done it before (won a GPAC title) and having a number of players that were part of it last year is a strength that you can lean on a little bit.”

The GPAC semifinals will be played on Tuesday (Nov. 10). Game time will be 7 p.m. Concordia would be awarded the chance to host if College of Saint Mary upsets 16th-ranked Hastings on Thursday night (Nov. 5). Otherwise the Bulldogs will hit the road once again.

Deeter's multi-goal effort rakes in GPAC weekly award

SEWARD, Neb. – Freshman Maria Deeter has been named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week, announced Tuesday by the league office. This is the first time the Seward native has been tabbed with the weekly honor.

After scoring two goals and assisting another in a GPAC Quarterfinal match, Deeter was selected as the player of the week. This was her second multi-goal match in her freshman season. In the match, the Bulldogs defeated Briar Cliff, 4-0 to advance to the conference semifinal match on Tuesday.

Deeter has started all 19 of Concordia’s matches. The freshman has scored five goals on the year, the third most on the team and leads the squad in total assists with seven. She also owns a .475 shot on goal percentage.

This is the freshman’s first weekly recognition of her career. Previously this season, three other Bulldogs have picked up at least one weekly award from the GPAC. Keeper Chrissy Lind has been tabbed twice while Esther Soenksen and Jessica Skerston have each received the award once this year.

The Concordia women’s soccer team will play in the GPAC Semifinal match for the third-straight season on Tuesday, Nov. 10 in Hastings. The match will begin at 7 p.m. at Lloyd Wilson Field. 

Bulldogs heading to GPAC finale for second straight season

HASTINGS, Neb. – The Concordia women’s soccer team competed in the GPAC Semifinal match at No. 16 Hastings College on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs and Broncos played to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes and went into a penalty kick shootout. The ‘Dogs will advance to the GPAC Championship after knocking off the first-seeded Broncos by winning the shootout, 5-3.

Said head coach Greg Henson, “We knew it was going to be a tough match. Hastings is the 16th-ranked team in the country for a reason and the top dog in our conference, so we knew we were in for a fight, that’s definitely what we wanted to come out and do…I love the fact that we were able to come back and score a goal right away.”

The Bulldogs are now 10-5-2 on this season while the Broncos move to 15-4-1.

Both the Concordia and Hastings goals came in the second half. The Broncos struck first when Taylor Geis scored off a ball from Heidi Bartsch 69 minutes into the match. Five and half minutes later, Maria Deeter answered back. Jeannelle Condame set up for a free kick that deflected off a Hastings player and found its way to the GPAC Player of the Week’s foot. Deeter sent to the ball across the goal line to tie things up at one apiece.

As the second overtime clock expired, Bulldog fans began to feel a similar tension. Just as the men’s squad had three days prior in their semifinal match, the women lined up for penalty kicks. Jessica Skerston took the first shot and made it while the Bronco’s first attempt was blocked by keeper Chrissy Lind. Condame, Maddison Hawkins, Deeter and Esther Soenksen all went on to make their shots. Hastings was able to sneak three by Lind but it was not enough to seal the shootout victory. The Bulldogs won the shootout, 5-3.

Senior Katrina Muther said, “I’m so proud of this team. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this season. This team knows what to do when push comes to shove. The girls that will push through adversity and play their hearts out, that’s what helped us get this win today.”

Lind added nine saves to her 87 saves this season. The 96 total amount of saves exceeds her previous two seasons as keeper for Concordia. Bronco’s keeper, Anna Stewart put up two saves while allowing one goal in the contest.

“Chrissy has done a great job in her entire career and continues to grow as a goal keeper,” Henson added. “We’re extremely pleased with where she is right now. She had a couple really key saves for us in regulation and in overtime. In a shootout as a goal keeper, we ask you to make one save and we have a chance to win the game and she did that right off the bat. It took the pressure off our other players, all they had to do was score to win.”

The shot advantage was in Hasting’s favor, 16-4 on the night. Hastings also had the edge in corner kicks, 2-1.

Henson said on upcoming opponent, Morningside College, “It’s a quick turnaround…the last time we played them was a tough, one nothing loss at their place. It’s going to be a tough game. Anyone who gets to the tournament championship gets there because they deserve to be there.”

The fifth-seeded Concordia women’s soccer team will face second-seeded Morningside College on Saturday, Nov. 14 for the GPAC Tournament title. The match will take place in Sioux City, Iowa with kickoff slated for 7 p.m.

Henson said, "It goes down in the record books as a tie, but as far as I'm concerned it's a win for us."

Championship bid doomed by last-minute goal

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Jackie Martinez’s last-minute goal dashed the Concordia University women soccer hopes of claiming back-to-back GPAC tournament titles. Thirty-eight seconds after Martinez’s score, second-seeded Morningside celebrated a championship that unfolded inside Elwood Olsen Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa, on Friday night. The Mustangs won, 2-1, in their second conference tournament title match appearance in three seasons.

The loss snapped a six-game unbeaten (5-0-1) streak for third-year head coach Greg Henson’s program. The Bulldogs concluded the 2015 season with an overall record of 13-6-2.

“One game will never define your season,” Henson said. “Neither the loss tonight nor advancing through Hastings defines your season. It’s the body of work. We’ve made great strides as far as growing. There were some growing pains that we had to go through. I’m really proud of the senior class that we’re losing.”

Martinez, who had just a single goal on the season entering the championship clash, burned Concordia twice. The sophomore midfielder gave Morningside an early lead when Marti Hitz assisted Martinez on a long free kick into the box with less than eight minutes gone by. The back breaker in the final minute looked like a replay of the first goal. Goalkeeper Chrissy Lind sat back near the goal line, where she had little time to react.

Martinez and company effectively reversed the momentum that the Bulldogs seemed to take into the halftime break. From seven yards outside the box, sophomore Jeannelle Condame drilled a free kick goal that glanced off the fingertips of Niccole McGuire, who dove to her left. Just before the 18-minute mark, Condame’s fourth goal of the year made it an even game.

The remainder of the first half hardly appeared even. Condame’s goal flipped the Bulldogs into attack mode. Though it did not score again, Concordia possessed an 11-4 advantage in shots after 45 minutes of action. During which the likes of GPAC offensive player of the week Maria Deeter and others put pressure on the Mustang attack.

But Morningside (15-5-1) got the better of play over the final 45 minutes as Concordia struggled to possess the ball. McGuire made a total of eight saves and the host Mustangs overcame a 17-11 shot discrepancy for the contest. The Bulldogs were limited to six shots in the second half.

Sophomore Jessica Skerston had the most chances for Concordia with five shots, including three on goal. Deeter put all three of her shots on frame. Seven different Bulldogs fired at least one shot on the night.

Of the 11 starters Henson employed on Friday, only two were seniors. Four were juniors, three were sophomores and two were freshmen. The 2016 Concordia squad will have a wealth of experience and an established winning culture to lean upon. Henson, now 37-18-8 overall, has presided over the winningest three-year period in program history.

“Overall I’m just really pleased with where we’re at and where the program’s headed,” Henson said. “When I came here three years ago I don’t think losing in the conference final would have been a bad thing or a down night. You definitely see some long faces. It just shows where we’ve matured and grown as a program over the last three years.”

Morningside and Hastings (regular-season champion) will represent the GPAC at the national tournament. Both have earned automatic bids.

Five Bulldogs tabbed with All-GPAC honors

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia women’s soccer team has five student-athletes who have been recognized by the GPAC. Midfielder Maria Deeter, defender Ashley Martin and keeper Chrissy Lind have received All-GPAC Second Team honors. Defender Jeanelle Condame and forward Jessica Skerston were selected to the All-GPAC Honorable Mention Team.

Deeter, a freshman from Seward, was named to the All-GPAC Second Team after starting all 21 matches for the Bulldogs. She scored six goals while assisting seven, which leads the team. Deeter’s shot on goal percentage was .537 (22-41). The freshman also received GPAC Offensive Player of the Week honors on Nov. 10 after scoring two goals in the GPAC Quarterfinal match at Briar Cliff.

Martin, a freshman from Longmont, Colo., was named to the All-GPAC Second Team after starting all 21 games for Concordia. Martin scored three goals and assisted one goal. She was a part of the back line that allowed just 16 goals this season which led the GPAC and was a CUNE program best.

Lind, a junior from Colorado Springs, Colo., was also named to the All-GPAC Second Team. This is the second post-season GPAC honor for the junior. Lind started 20 games and allowed just 15 goals in just under 30 hours of play this season. Lind led the GPAC in goals against average and ranked 23rd in the nation in the category (0.75). She also put up a season high 91 saves while recording a .754 save percentage. The Bulldog keeper received GPAC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season on Oct. 6 and Oct. 27.

Condame, a sophomore from Winter Springs, Fla., was named to the All-GPAC Honorable Mention Team. Condame started and played in 20 games for the Bulldogs. The defender was part of a back line that allowed a program best 16 goals on the season. Taking a majority of Concordia’s free kicks, Condame scored four goals and assisted four more, both season highs. She scored the game winning goal in the contest against Dordt on Oct. 3.

Skerston, a sophomore from St. Charles, Mo., was named to the All-GPAC Honorable Mention Team. This is the second post-season GPAC honor for the sophomore. Skerston appeared in all 21 games for Concordia. The forward led the team in shots (63) and had the second-most goals (10) and game winning goals (4) for the Bulldogs. She also assisted five more goals. Skerston was named GPAC Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 22 this season.

In their second-straight GPAC Championship appearance, the Bulldogs suffered a heartbreaking loss as Morningside scored in the final minutes to take a 2-1 lead.  The Concordia women’s soccer team finished the season 13-6-2, 6-4-1 GPAC. 

Youthful roster leads Bulldogs to the brink of national stage

On paper, the 2015 season looked like somewhat of a rebuilding year for Concordia University women’s soccer following a GPAC tournament championship season in 2014. The Bulldogs had graduated a pair of first team all-conference choices and a second team all-league selection after the program had earned its first-ever national tournament bid.

As third-year head coach Greg Henson admitted, the team’s 2015 preseason national ranking of 21st was based upon the previous year’s successes. Loser of three-straight games by 1-0 scores in mid-October, the Bulldogs arrived at a crossroads, in danger of missing the conference tournament altogether.

“We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores in the starting lineup,” Henson said. “Sometimes it’s just the growing pains that you have to go through. The team really showed at the end of the season what we’re capable of.”

A frustrating October goal-scoring drought ended with a much-needed 3-0 win at Doane, propelling the Bulldogs to another strong finish. Concordia won each of its final four games of the regular season to climb to the No. 5 seed in the GPAC tournament. Though disappointed to be hitting the road for the conference semifinals, Henson’s squad recaptured its tournament magic.

For the second-straight season, the Bulldogs celebrated on the home field of conference regular-season champion Hastings after bouncing the Broncos from GPAC postseason play. Almost exactly a year after polishing off a 1-0 conference championship win at Lloyd Wilson Field, Concordia returned and again surprised Hastings, this time with a dramatic penalty kick shootout win in the GPAC semifinals.

Suddenly, Concordia had become the only team to reach the GPAC championship in each of the last two seasons. Considering its youth and struggles to score goals at times during the regular season, the program’s 2015 conference title game appearance may have seemed more improbable than its 2014 run.

“I think throughout the season and even during the period where we lost three in a row, 1-0, the talent was always there,” Henson said. “The team had the ability to do what we ended up doing at the end of the season. Sometimes it’s just a matter of coming together and re-establishing what our team goals are and what each player needs to do in order for us to achieve those. I think some of the bumps in the road we had throughout the season were the result of being a young team.”

That young team grew up behind one of the league’s best freshman in midfielder Maria Deeter. The second team all-conference selection notched a pair of goals in Concordia’s 4-0 blowout of fourth-seeded Briar Cliff in the GPAC quarterfinals. Deeter then scored the equalizing goal and converted on her penalty kick at Hastings. She was typically joined in the starting lineup by fellow freshman Ashley Martin and a trio of sophomores in Jeannelle Condame, Jessica Skerston and Esther Soenksen.

Only two seniors – Madison Hawkins and Katrina Muther – saw regular time on the field. Their leadership and steady play helped lessen the blow after the Bulldogs lost five players who started in the 2014 GPAC championship game. Concordia had a new roster in 2015, but the attitude never changed.

“When we first got here three years it was about coming in and setting a new mindset and re-establishing a winning culture within the program,” Henson said. “It started with our team motto of being the best team on game day. That really just means at the basic level that we can compete with anybody for 90 minutes and we truly believe that. The results in the last couple years against Hastings prove that.”

The late-season run in 2015 provided a solid encore to what the 2014 edition accomplished. At 13-6-2 overall this past season, Henson has now guided the program to a mark of 28-9-6 over the last two years. It’s easily the best two-year run for Concordia women’s soccer, which dates back to 1996. Furthermore, the Bulldogs have reached at least the conference semifinal round in each of the past three years.

The current group of sophomores and juniors will return in 2016 having experienced the thrill of an unexpected GPAC championship as well as the heartbreak of a conference final defeat. Morningside sent Concordia packing by scoring the game-winning goal with only 38 seconds remaining in the 2015 conference title game. Nine of the 11 Bulldogs who started that game will be back. In other words, Henson and his program also expect to ‘be back.’

“We expect to be a conference contender and get to the national tournament,” Henson said. “We proved that those are legitimate goals for us. We know what it takes to make a run through the conference tournament whether as a high seed hosting games or going on the road three times. We know what it takes to get there. That game (GPAC title loss) will be motivation alone to get back there next year and to find a way to finish the game off.”

The 2016 team just might prove to be the most talented team yet for Henson, who expects several incoming recruits to push for spots in the starting lineup. But newcomers will have to earn roles for a squad that returns each of its five all-conference honorees. That list includes Chrissy Lind, who already owned the program goalkeeper record for career shutouts after her sophomore season. Lind and company collaborated on the GPAC’s stingiest defense in 2015.

Naturally, expectations will remain high as Henson, two victories away from becoming the program’s all-time winningest coach, enters his fourth year at the helm.

“We have a lot of impactful players that will be returning,” Henson said. “As of now we have eight freshmen coming in next year. We’re excited about them and the impact they can make as well. I think we’re going to continue to move in the right direction and get better as a program. We’ll continue to set our sights on national tournament bids and I think that’s achievable.”

Women's soccer tops GPAC with seven scholar-athletes

SEWARD, Neb. – Seven members of the Concordia University women’s soccer program have been named 2015 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, as announced by the NAIA on Friday. Among this year’s honorees, seniors Madison Hawkins, Elyse Muhle and Jaimi Stelk are two-time scholar-athletes. First-year scholar-athletes include senior Katrina Muther and juniors Megan Brunssen, Leah Hoffman and Kristin Manley.

Head coach Greg Henson’s Bulldogs led all NAIA women’s soccer programs in scholar-athletes in 2013. That same squad received the NSCAA Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America by posting a combined team GPA of 3.75 – highest among all women’s soccer programs nationally (NAIA and all NCAA divisions). Concordia has now led all GPAC women’s soccer programs in scholar-athletes each season under Henson, who completed his third year in 2015.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status. A total of 588 women’s soccer student-athletes across the nation were named scholar-athletes by the NAIA.

Concordia University ranks as the NAIA’s all-time leader in number of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes with 1,234 and counting. The 2014-15 season culminated with GPAC-leading totals of 94 Bulldog scholar-athletes and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams. During the 2013-14 academic year, Concordia garnered 101 Scholar-Athlete honorees (most in the NAIA) and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams (tied for fourth nationally).

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Neb., that currently serves over 2,300 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world.

2015 women’s soccer Scholar-Athletes
Megan Brunssen | Jr. | Omaha, Neb.
Madison Hawkins | Sr. | Omaha, Neb.
Leah Hoffman | Jr. | North Aurora, Ill.
Kristin Manley | Jr. | Omaha, Neb.
Elyse Muhle | Sr. | Richland, Neb.
Katrina Muther | Sr. | Rockford, Ill.
Jaimi Stelk | Sr. | Grand Island, Neb.

Deeter tabbed all-region by the NSCAA

SEWARD, Neb. – Named a second team all-conference selection in 2015, freshman Maria Deeter added another honor, receiving recognition from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The NSCAA placed Deeter on the second team on its 2015 NSCAA NAIA All-Plains Region list.

Deeter, a Seward native, put together an impressive freshman campaign in which she tallied six goals and a team high seven assists. The Lincoln Lutheran High School product started all 21 games and was voted by her teammates as the Team MVP. The standout midfielder notched three goals during the GPAC tournament in leading Concordia to a second-straight GPAC title game appearance. Deeter had two multi-goal games in her first collegiate season.

A two-time all-state selection at Lincoln Lutheran, Deeter collected the GPAC offensive player of the week on Nov. 10 following the Bulldogs’ 4-0 GPAC quarterfinal win on Nov. 10. Her father Chris also played soccer at Concordia.

Deeter, Lind, Martin dot all-Nebraska team

Omaha World-Herald story

SEWARD, Neb. – A trio of Bulldogs were named to the NAIA/NCAA Division II all-Nebraska team and another four garnered honorable mention selection, as awarded by the Omaha World-Herald on Thursday. Second team all-conference choices Maria Deeter, Chrissy Lind and Ashley Martin each represented Concordia women’s soccer on the all-Nebraska squad. The four honorable mention picks were Jeannelle Condame, Madison Hawkins, Jessica Skerston and Esther Soenksen.

The 2015 team MVP, Deeter has raked in postseason honors. The standout attacking midfielder was also tabbed a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Plains Region selection. Deeter, a Seward native, started all 21 games and recorded six goals and seven assists for a Bulldog squad that advanced to the GPAC title game for the second-straight year.

In goal, Lind turned in a solid junior season in which she topped the conference in goals against average (0.75) while notching eight shutouts (program record 21 for career). The native of Colorado Springs made 91 saves and had a .754 save percentage.

Martin, a freshman from Longmont, Colo., also started all 21 games and added three goals and an assist from her outside back position. Lind and Martin were key figures for a unit that broke the program record for fewest goals allowed in a single season (16) during a 13-6-2 campaign.

ALL-NEBRASKA DIVISION II/NAIA WOMEN’S SOCCER
F: Sara Cushing, Doane, Sr.
F: Taylor Geis, Hastings, Jr.
F: Betsy Fischenich, Bellevue, Sr.
F: Montanna Hosterman, UNK, Sr.
F: Christina Stasi, Wayne State, Fr.
M: Aubriana Batchelor, Bellevue, Sr.
M: Megan Kruse, Hastings, Jr.
M: Maddy Paskevic, Hastings, Jr.
M: Meghan Voigt, Doane, Sr.
M: Maria Deeter, Concordia, Fr.
M: Kelsey Engstrom, Wayne State, Jr.
D: Sarah Toney, Hastings, So.
D: Kayla Nelson, Hastings, Sr.
D: Ashley Martin, Concordia, Fr.
D: Kate Petersen, Bellevue, Sr.
D: Ciara Kuhlmann, Midland, Sr.
D: Kadie Walaszczyk, UNK, Jr.
D: Josie Brown, Wayne, Sr.
G: Anna Stewart, Hastings, Sr.
G: Chrissy Lind, Concordia, Jr.

Honorary captain: Megan Kruse, Hastings

Honorable mention: Michelle Dolder, Victoria Perez, Bellevue; Liza Martinez, Payton Roby, Erika Yost, College of St. Mary; Jeannelle Condame, Madison Hawkins, Jessica Skerston, Esther Soenksen, Concordia; Kylee Horton, Doane; Sara Goodman, Janine Lahey, Kylie Stephens, Hastings; Cassie Cattabiani, Courtney Tjards, Midland; Katelin Blosser, Nebraska Wesleyan; Carly Brown, Kelsie Ienn, Meaghan Pasbrig, Evie Sintek, UNK; Kylie Comba, Suenly Galvez, Carys Hund, Natalie Poppe, Wayne State; Nadia Rodriguez, York College.