2012 Women's Soccer schedule/results

6-9-1 Overall, 4-5-1 GPAC - Season Stats

AUGUST

Aug. 16 College of Saint Mary (scrimmage) Seward, Neb. L, 1-2

Benedictine Tournament: Aug 19-20

Aug. 19 NWA Lightning (scrimmage)  Atchison, Kan. W, 5-4
Aug. 20 Benedictine College  Atchison, Kan. L, 1-9
Aug. 23  University of Nebraska - Kearney  Seward, Neb. L, 4-5

SEPTEMBER

Sept. 5  (21) Bellevue University Omaha, Neb. L, 1-4
Sept. 15  Sterling College  Sterling, Kan. W, 5-2
Sept. 19  York College  Seward, Neb. W, 1-0
Sept. 22 * Dordt College Sioux Center, Iowa W, 3-2
Sept. 26  * Hastings College  Seward, Neb.  L, 1-3
Sept. 29 * Dakota Wesleyan University  Seward, Neb.  L, 1-3

OCTOBER

Oct. 6 * Mount Marty College
Yankton, S.D.  W, 2-1
Oct. 10 * Midland University
Fremont, Neb. L, 0-3
Oct. 13 * Morningside College  (Homecoming)
Seward, Neb. W, 4-1
Oct. 17 * Nebraska Wesleyan University
Lincoln, Neb. T, 1-1 (2 OT)
Oct. 20 * Briar Cliff University  Sioux City, Iowa W, 3-1
Oct. 23 * Doane College 
Seward, Neb. L, 0-5
Oct. 27 * Northwestern College  (Senior Day)
Seward, Neb. L, 0-4
GPAC Tournament:  Oct 30-Nov. 8
Oct. 30 Doane College Crete, Neb. L, 1-2

All Home Games in BOLD  
*Great Plains Athletic Conference Games

2012 Bulldog Women's Soccer

No.

Name

Pos.

Ht.

Yr.

Hometown

Previous School

00

Elyse Muhle

GK

5-9

Fr.

Richland, Neb.

Schuyler Central

1

Taylor Wolf

GK

5-4

Fr.

St. Charles, Mo.

St. Charles

2

Lindsey Spaits

M

5-8 

Jr.

Bloomington, Ill.

University

3

Sarah Winningham

OM

5-5

Fr.

Uniontown, Mo.

Lincoln Northeast

4

Emily Fleming

MF

5-8 

Jr.

Gretna, Neb.

Gretna

5

Kelsie Elder

CM

5-4

Sr.

Denver, Colo.

Legacy

6

Louisa Mehl

5-7 Jr. Concordia, Mo.  St. Paul Lutheran   

7

Marcie Sindt

5-7 So. Scottsbluff, Neb.  Scottsbluff 

8

Meredith Hein

OM

5-3

So.

Lincoln, Neb.

Lincoln Lutheran

9

Jory Schweers

D

5-7 

Jr.

Castle Rock, Colo.

Colorado State University

10

Kayla Asche

D

5-7 

Jr.

Lincoln, Neb.

Lincoln Lutheran

11

Ashlie Sklenicka

CM/F

5-4 

So.

Lincoln, Neb.

Lincoln Northeast

12

Taylor Johnson

OM

5-6 

So.

Wichita, Kan.

Trinity Academy

13

Morgan Ihde

F

5-7

So.

Lincoln, Neb.

Northstar

14

Annalisa Condame

D/M

5-4

So.

Winter Springs, Fla.

Winter Springs 

15

Jaimi Stelk

MF

5-6 

Fr. 

Grand Island, Neb.

Northwest

16

Ally Ellis

MF

5-5

Fr. 

Utah

Fremont

17

Emmalynn Rodriguez

F/MF

5-5

So.

Kansas City, Mo.

Lutheran

19

Jordan Donohoue

F

5-2 

Jr. 

Manhattan, Kan. 

Manhattan

20 

Katrina Muther 

CM 

5-7

So. 

Rockford, Ill.

Rockford Lutheran 

21

Kyleah Bowder

D

5-7

Sr.

Lincoln, Neb.

Lincoln Northeast

22 

Melissa Stine 

5-4 

So.

Omaha, Neb. 

Platteview

23

Katie Janis

D

5-6

Fr.

St. Charles, Mo.

Francis Howell Central

24

Madison Hawkins

OM

5-6

Fr.

Omaha, Neb.

Concordia Lutheran   

29

Rachel Mussell

5-8  So. Buffalo, Minn. Wright County

30 

Jessica Clifford

GK  5-5  Jr.  Spokane, Wash.  Edmonds College 

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Lisa White

Talented youth leads the way for 2012 women's soccer squad

15 AUG 2012

At a glance:
2011 Record: 9-9-1 Overall; 6-4-0 Great Plains Athletic Conference
Head Coach: Lisa White
Record at School: 18-17-2 (two years)
Returning Starters: 6
Key Returners: D Kyleah Bowder, F Jordan Donohoue, D Emily Fleming
Key Losses: F Mallorie Blanck, GK Ariel Harris, MF Molly Humlicek, MF Kelly Ross, F Jamie Sanchez
2011 GPAC All-Conference (*denotes returnee): Mallorie Blanck (Second Team), Rachel Gordon (Honorable Mention), Ariel Harris (Honorable Mention), Molly Humlicek (Honorable Mention), Kelly Ross (Second Team), Jamie Sanchez (Honorable Mention)

Head coach Lisa White believes Concordia women’s soccer is hitting its stride as she enters her third year at the helm in 2012. While the Bulldogs saw seven student-athletes graduate at the end of the 2011-12 academic year, a host of underclassmen that logged heavy minutes in 2011 returns in hopes of boosting the program to new heights under White.

“I think we’re definitely in a spot where we can improve on (last season’s record),” White said. “I don’t have any reservations about us. I would love to hit that 10-win in a season mark. That would be great for our team, which has high expectations again and demands a lot of themselves. For that to happen, we need to continue to implement the learning we did in the offseason and have our freshman class get on the same page very quickly.”

White will look to senior defender Kyleah Bowder (Lincoln, Neb.), junior forward Jordan Donohoue (Manhattan, Kan.) and junior defender Emily Fleming (Gretna, Neb.) to provide the leadership necessary to bring a youthful, but talented roster up to speed. Collectively, the trio missed only one game in 2011 for a squad that finished 9-9-1 overall and 6-4-0 in the GPAC (tied for fourth).

“Ky has been so consistent in the back and she really anchors us back there with having some youth around her,” White said. “Her ability to communicate and direct people around her has increased over her years here. Ky is going to be phenomenal back there for us.”

Bowder brings 41 career starts into her final season. As one of just two seniors on the roster, Bowder understands her role as the team’s most experienced veteran.

“I struggled a bit at first with being vocal on the field,” Bowder said. “But I learned as much as I could from the girls above me. I really care about everyone on the team and they know that. I have high expectations for them and we’re all dedicated to achieving those expectations. I try to lead by example and let things fall into place.”

The hard-working Fleming is not far behind with 34 career starts over the past two seasons (and one of just three players to start all 19 games in 2011). The steady combination of Bowder and Fleming will make life tough on opposing attackers.

On the flip side, Donohoue’s versatility and athleticism gives her the capabilities to play a variety of roles, but she hopes to become an even more feared striker in 2012. With the departures of Mallorie Blanck (nine goals in 2011) and Jamie Sanchez (seven goals in 2011), Donohoue is the team’s leading returning goal scorer after finding the back of the net six times last season.

Among the returning sophomores-to-be who saw significant action as freshmen are midfielders Marcie Sindt (eight starts in 2011) and Rachel Mussell (18 games played in 2011). Sindt started both games during the Bulldogs’ run in the GPAC Tournament and Mussell started the season finale, a 3-1 loss to Hastings.

“The maturity they gained and the experience they gained is going to be huge for our team,” White said. “We graduated seven players last year. That’s a lot of seniority, but I feel like our sophomore class is already playing with the mentality of juniors because of the experience they had last year. I’m excited to see what strides they make this year. And again, there are high expectations for them as well.”

Defender Katie Janis (St. Charles, Mo.) and midfielder Jaimi Stelk (Grand Island, Neb.) headline the group of eight incoming freshmen.

“Both of them come into areas where we’re going to need some development,” White said, “and what’s exciting about having those two coming is we’re going to need some people to fill some roles in the next one to two years. They’re both players that will look to teammates and follow suit with what teammates are asking them to do and really take in what’s going on around them. Katie is probably a little more quiet and a little more shy than Jamie is, but I think they’re both going to be great players for us.”

At the keeper position, junior Jessica Clifford will get first crack with the graduation of Ariel Harris (87 saves, .696 save percentage as a senior), who played nearly every minute in goal in 2011. Clifford first must fend off competition from a pair of newcomers.

While Bulldog fans will see a decidedly youthful team in 2012, Bowder believes they already have developed a great chemistry. About half of the team participated in a mission trip to New Orleans over the summer that helped Bowder and her teammates form a tighter bond that should in turn make them a stronger squad.

“Our biggest strength is our unity and our culture,” Bowder said. “We took a trip to New Orleans this past summer that really impacted us. Being able to serve the Lord together brought us closer. We’ve come to realize that our identity is in Christ. Just having that common ground and faith has been great.”

Bowder and the Bulldogs open their season Thursday at home versus the College of Saint Mary in an exhibition contest. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. The team’s first official game is Aug. 20 at Benedictine (Kan.) at 7 p.m.

Mehl strengthens faith in Tanzania

15 AUG 2012

By Jake Knabel, Sports Information Director

On July 23 Concordia student-athlete Louisa Mehl embarked upon a journey that would profoundly impact the way she sees the world.

“We talked to a lot of people who said, ‘Don’t let anyone kid you that they haven’t had malaria. Everyone here has had malaria,’” said Mehl, who returned to America on Aug. 3. “And they asked us about how we were dealing with it in the States and we said, ‘We don’t even have it.’ They were just shocked.”

Mehl recently answered a call to travel to Tanzania in conjunction with the Lutheran Malaria Initiative (LMI), which seeks to fight malaria in Africa by educating families and providing access to treatment and prevention methods. Along with fellow Concordia Nebraska student Rebecca Monnier and students from Concordia Irvine (Calif.) and Valparaiso, Mehl set out to make a difference in a nation unlike America.

Tanzania, roughly twice the size of the state of California, sits in eastern Africa, south of Kenya and north of Mozambique with the Indian Ocean situated on its eastern border. As a third-world country with a high incidence of disease, Tanzania’s nearly 44 million residents have a life expectancy of only 53 years. Because of the dangers, visitors like Mehl must take precautions before venturing to the African nation.

Mehl, whose parents are also heavily involved in mission work, understood the perils but felt compelled to provide her assistance.

“Once I got the email that I got nominated (for the LMI trip), it was definitely an exciting proposition because I knew I’d get to go to Tanzania,” Mehl said. “I grew up overseas so going places wasn’t as exciting to me as actually doing something about what I would see. I wasn’t exactly sure about all the particulars, but I got the gist that I would be involved in saving lives, but not just saving lives but bringing Christ to the people’s lives you saved.”

The Concordia, Mo., native’s unique exploits in Tanzania were characterized by interactions with the nation’s welcoming locals. Mehl visited several villages, ate local cuisine and took part in malaria-based educational programs inside churches. These events included skits performed by children, dances and Masai Tribe-led prayers held not in a church, but underneath a tree and uttered in the tribe’s native tongue.

Inside houses constructed simply with intertwined sticks, Mehl witnessed the power of LMI. In one particular home, a mother named Esther displayed the bed nets her family had been using for the past year. In that time, no one in her family had been inflicted with malaria.

“I walked out of the house and I was like, ‘Gosh, this really works.’” Mehl said. “And one of the ladies who was traveling with us from the church – her name was Grace. She said, ‘You’re here and this is your first time here and you’re seeing that the work being done is working. Well, we’re always here, and these are our friends. We’re so glad that you’re taking our story back.’”

This occurrence confirmed the trip as a worthwhile mission for Mehl, who seemed to form a greater perspective on life through her experience. In Tanzania, Mehl was released into a world where some must scratch and claw in an effort to put food on the table, while they live in relative isolation with limited transportation.

“The big thing that you notice is what’s important. We talk about first-world and third-world problems,” Mehl said. “Most of these people are thinking about, ‘I have work today so I can come home and feed my family.’ It’s difficult to explain, but it’s just about where your priorities lie.

“They’re thinking about the next meal, or maybe if it’s not the next meal if you’re better off, the next thing you have to do to provide for the next meal. We’re thinking about, ‘oh, I have soccer practice in three hours.’”

Head women’s soccer coach Lisa White realized how special Mehl’s faith was even before her adventures in Africa. White made Mehl a captain on this year’s team, recognizing the positive role model that the junior elementary education major is for the entire squad.

“I’m not sure I have the vocab to articulate the kind of character that kid has. She is definitely team and family first,” White said. “Her faith is so strong to her and you can’t separate her faith and who she is. She has such a heart for the people around her and wants to do so well and wants this program to do so well. She loves that our culture is shifting a bit more to really being up front about centering our performance around Christ.”

In a land distant from the U.S. in both physical measurement and culture, Mehl saw that Christ has no boundaries. She will keep the people of Africa, struck by malaria and other misfortunes, in her thoughts and hopes to make it back to Tanzania again.

“Being a part of that and for them to know that we care about them and we will continue to pray for them, and that we are brothers and sisters in Christ and we’ll see each other someday in Heaven was basically the main gist,” Mehl said.

Now Mehl plans to tour churches and talk about what she observed in Tanzania and the important missionary work that still must be done. Soon after her return from Africa, she began an impactful speech in a church near her hometown by stating that someone in the world would die of malaria by the time she finished speaking. With the combined efforts of Mehl and the LMI, more attention has been focused on the hardships of people across the globe.

Without a doubt, Mehl’s trip to Tanzania opened her eyes.

“These are people who have to decide if they’re going to take their child to the clinic that day or work that day so they can feed their family,” Mehl said. “If I hadn’t seen that first-hand, I would not have the capacity to care enough.”

Mussell's career day not enough

23 AUG 2012

SEWARD, Neb. – Sophomore Rachel Mussell lit up the back of the net early and often Thursday night, but the Buffalo, Minn., native’s three goals were not enough as visiting University of Nebraska-Kearney came away with a 5-4 victory at Bulldog Stadium. Concordia dropped to 0-2-0 with the Lopers spoiling the team’s home opener.

Mussell’s second goal, which came at the 69:24 mark in the game, brought the Bulldogs back to a 3-3 tie after UNK dominated for the better part of the first period. The Lopers held an 18-5 edge in shots in the first stanza and appeared to be the more aggressive team. But Concordia defender Kyleah Bowder, who missed most of the first period with an injury, and company came back strong in the second period.

“That’s the response I expect from everyone in our program,” Bulldog head coach Lisa White said. “I think for our new kids, they’re learning very quickly that we never quit, we never stop. We will grind things out, and that’s something as a coach that I’m ecstatic about. I love seeing that in them. I love seeing the resolve in them.”

UNK’s Delanie Phillips knocked in her first goal of the game with 11:42 remaining in the contest prior to Kirsti Rehler’s back-breaking strike that put the Lopers ahead 5-3 with only 2:50 left.

Mussell completed the hat trick by pushing it past UNK goalkeeper Marissa Niday with just 1:31 to go, but Concordia failed to threaten in the final minute-and-a-half as time ran out.

Mussell’s trifecta of goals surpassed her season total of two goals as a freshman. On Thursday, the 5-foot-8 midfielder stole the show.

“She’s so effective and consistent, and so coachable,” White said. “She’s a phenomenal teammate, and you can’t ask for a kid to do more. She will keep trying and keep trying. I’m glad she’s seeing some rewards for those really hard efforts and sticking to what we’re asking her to do.”

The Lopers, an NCAA Division II school out of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, peppered Concordia keeper Elyse Muhle with 24 shots, including 12 on goal in the affair. Muhle, a freshman from Richland, Neb., made seven saves and looked more comfortable in the second period with the help of a more focused defensive effort.

Sophomore forward Ashtin Pawloski led UNK with a pair of goals, both of which came in the first period. Concordia sophomore Melissa Stine added the other goal for the Bulldogs.

Concordia will return to action Sept. 5 when it plays at Bellevue at 6 p.m.

In-state matchup goes to Bellevue

05 SEP 2012

BELLEVUE, Neb. – The visiting Bulldogs played No. 21 Bellevue to a 0-0 draw for the first 50 minutes of Wednesday night’s in-state, non-conference matchup. However, the host Bruins ignited for three goals between the 52nd and 59th minutes in route to a 4-1 victory.

Concordia (0-3), in action for the first time since a 5-4 home loss to the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Aug. 23, fired off only seven shots compared to Bellevue’s 14. The Bulldogs pushed across a goal at the 73:09 mark as sophomore midfielder Rachel Mussell continued her impressive play in depositing her fourth goal of the season.

“Our offensive possessions were much better (than in the first two games). We were less frantic and more composed on the ball,” Concordia head coach Lisa White said. “Our decision making was better and we played with a purpose.”

The Bruin’s Jenica Bloom finally added a tally to the scoreboard at the 51:33 mark off the assist from Betsy Fischenich. Fischenich followed that effort up with another assist about four minutes later as Paige Wischmann put away the goal. Bloom then recorded her second goal in the 59th minute, aided by the assist from Yaritza Estrada. Fischenich put the game out of reach in the 84th minute with an unassisted goal.

“Our back line got caught watching,” White said. “We didn’t respond very well. They got behind us and got a lot of one versus one on our goalkeepers, and those are tough to stop.”

Freshman Elyse Muhle made her third-straight start in goal for the Bulldogs and played the first 66:40 before giving way to junior Jessica Clifford. Muhle made three saves and was charged with three goals allowed. Clifford, playing for the first time this season, gave up the final goal against a Bruin team that set up several clean looks on goal.

Concordia tried to fight back on the strength of the Mussell goal. Just 51 seconds later, junior defender Emily Fleming misfired on a penalty kick. Melissa Stine and Morgan Ihde both had shots on goal in the final 8:05 but were stymied by Bellevue goalkeeper Caitlin Stier.

Up next for the Bulldogs is a 1 p.m. road contest at Sterling College (Kan.) on Sept. 15. Concordia will return home Sept. 19 to host another in-state rival with York College coming to Seward for a 5 p.m. match.

Ihde, Sklenicka outbursts help Bulldogs net first win

15 SEP 2012

STERLING, Kan. – Sterling College entered play Saturday with a perfect 4-0 record, but finished the day with its first blemish after running into a focused Bulldog squad that carved up the Lady Warrior defense. Concordia (1-3) got its first win of the season by cruising to a 5-2 victory in Sterling, Kan.

Sophomore forward Morgan Ihde enjoyed a breakout game with a pair of goals, including Concordia’s first score that ignited a Bulldog explosion. The goal lifted Concordia out of an offense lull that saw it go scoreless the first 43:10 of the game.

Ihde’s first goal began a run of five unanswered tallies for the Bulldogs. Ihde scored again at the 56:38 mark off the first of three assists from junior forward Jordan Donohoue. Ihde, who scored two goals in her freshman season last year, doubled her career goal total in this single performance.

“We were a lot more composed on goal. We executed some great passes to set up some clinical finishes,” Concordia head coach Lisa White said. “All of our scores really were team effort goals with a lot of people contributing. That was great to see.”

Bulldog sophomore midfielder and Lincoln native Ashlie Sklenicka also knocked in two goals, one in the 66thminute and one in the 70th minute that capped Concordia’s scoring and put the game well out of reach from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference foe. Sophomore forward Melissa Stine added the other Bulldog goal, her second of 2012.

Considering the difficult early season schedule, the Bulldogs’ 0-3 record entering Saturday was hardly indicative of the team’s level of talent. However, their first win was an important reward for a Concordia team determined to put the early losses behind them.

“For our players it’s just affirmation of the direction we are going,” White said. “It was nice to win convincingly. We didn’t just sneak by. Our players have bought in and it’s great for them to get that win.”

The Bulldogs continue non-conference play on Wednesday as York College visits Bulldog Stadium for a 5 p.m. kickoff. The men will immediately follow with a 7:30 p.m. contest.

Mussell's goal leads win over in-state York

19 SEP 2012

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia sophomore midfielder Rachel Mussell wasted little time in putting the Bulldogs in front on Wednesday night. The Buffalo, Minn., native headed in the game’s first goal in the third minute to carry Concordia (2-3) to a 1-0 non-conference victory over in-state York College (2-6-1).

Mussell skillfully played the pass from sophomore forward Melissa Stine over the head of Panthers’ goalkeeper Katy Keefer from about six yards out and into the net at the 2:28 mark of the game. The score gave Mussell her fifth goal of the season, a total that ties her for third in the GPAC. For Stine, it was her second assist and sixth point on the season.

“They did what we asked them to do. From the start, we said score first and we did in two-and-a-half minutes, which was great,” Concordia head coach Lisa White said. “And then we said possess, and we did that. We had loads of chances. I think our team looking back would have liked to have placed more at the corners than at the keeper, but we created more opportunities than we could have asked for.”

The Bulldogs controlled the action throughout much of Wednesday’s contest. York was limited to only one shot the entire first half as the ball lived on Concordia’s attacking half of the field. Junior goalkeeper Jessica Clifford, who earned the shutout by playing all 90 minutes, was not even tested with a shot on goal in the first half. She finished with two saves while playing in her second game of the season.

The biggest threat to Concordia’s tenuous 1-0 lead came in the 54th minute when the Panthers’ Morgan Tackett lined the ball off the cross bar from about 15 yards out. However, that strike was one of the few clean chances York would get all evening. The Panthers tallied only four shots and just two on goal compared to 26 shots and 13 on goal for the Bulldogs.

“We did a really good job this past week-and-a-half or two,” Stine said. “We’ve been working on connecting passes and just holding onto the ball, and we did a really good job of that today. We had a lot of shots and we just played really well as a team.”

The shutout was the first of the year for Concordia, which had not allowed fewer than two goals in a game in 2012. The Bulldogs have now won two straight non-conference games, including their 5-2 victory at Sterling College on Sept. 15.

York fell to 1-3 on the season against GPAC foes, including three-straight 1-0 losses. The Panthers defeated Mount Marty 1-0 on Aug. 28. York also lost 1-0 at the hands of the Bulldogs last season.

Concordia will begin GPAC play on Saturday at 1 p.m. when it travels to Sioux Center, Iowa, to take on Dordt College (1-4-2). The Bulldogs expect a tough test after a 2-0 win over the Defenders a year ago.

“Dordt’s good. They’re always a strong team,” White said. “They look to play a similar style of possessing and keeping the ball. They’re always very strong and they’re usually pretty disciplined. Last year was fun, we got to beat them 2-0 at home. This year we look to have a great match against them.”

Mussell stars as Bulldogs win third straight

22 SEP 2012

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Rachel Mussell continued her remarkable early-season play on Saturday as the Bulldogs opened GPAC action on the road. The sophomore midfielder had a hand in all three Concordia goals, powering head coach Lisa White’s squad to its third-straight victory with a 3-2 decision over Dordt College.

“We had some great performances,” White said. “We possessed the ball very well. We moved it around them. They threatened us very little, particularly in the first half. I’m really happy with how the team moved the ball and worked together. There was a lot of good stuff to take away from today. We’re excited to start the GPAC season with a win.”

Mussell got the Bulldogs (3-3, 1-0 GPAC) on the board early with a goal in the 10th minute off the assist from junior defender Emily Fleming. The score remained at 1-0 in favor of Concordia until the 69th minute when Mussell struck for her second goal, and seventh of the season, by beating the Defender keeper to the corner on a brilliant finish.

Mussell wasn’t done yet. She then assisted sophomore forward Melissa Stine in the 74th minute to give Concordia a seemingly commanding 3-0 lead. Stine used a couple of skillful touches to elude the Dordt (1-5-2, 0-1 GPAC) back line in netting her third goal of 2012.

However, the Defenders would fight back to a 3-2 score in the final 10 minutes with goals from Marissa Le Duc and Katie Heynen to beat Bulldog keeper Jessica Clifford. Clifford and company held on in the closing minutes to seal a second-straight win by a single goal.

Mussell stole the show with her success on the attack, pairing with sophomore midfielder Ashlie Slenicka for a potent offense.

“Rachel was awesome, and Ashlie really did well holding the ball,” White said. “Ashlie was very creative in her distribution and was effective in talking to her teammates so we had a clear understanding of what we were doing. Those two kids were phenomenal.”

Concordia out-shot Dordt 12-5 on the afternoon and had a 5-4 edge in shots on goal.

The Bulldogs continue GPAC play on Wednesday when Hastings visits Seward for a 5 p.m. contest.

Mussell nets GPAC Offensive Player of the Week honors

25 SEP 2012

Concordia sophomore midfielder Rachel Mussell has been named GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week, the conference announced Tuesday.

“Rachel has been outstanding this season,” Concordia women’s soccer head coach Lisa White said. “With the help of her teammates, she has found a way to fill the offensive role that was carried by a few of our graduating players. Her composure on the ball, ability to read the game and desire to be a driven student of the game has allowed her to capitalize on opportunities created by her efforts and those around her.”

The Buffalo, Minn., native played a key role in all four of the Bulldogs’ goals in a pair of triumphs over the past week. Mussell scored the team’s lone goal in a 1-0 win over York on Sept. 19. She then posted two goals and an assist on Sept. 22 as Concordia (3-3, 1-0 GPAC) claimed a 3-2 victory over Dordt in the GPAC season opener.

Mussell now has seven goals and one assist on the season. Her 1.17 goals and 2.5 points per game both rank No. 1 in the GPAC and rate 23rd and 27th nationally, respectively. Her seven goals, tied for the most in the conference, are five more than she tallied her entire freshman season.

First-half struggles doom Bulldogs

26 SEP 2012

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

SEWARD, Neb. - After first half struggles left Concordia in a 1-0 hole, the Hastings Broncos eventually got the best of the Bulldogs, claiming the 3-1 victory.

“In the first half we played really timid,” sophomore Rachel Mussell said. “At half time coach told us ‘you’re playing afraid, don’t play afraid.’ So the second half we came out and we took it to them. Although it ended up not in our favor on the scoreboard, we are excited and are looking forward to possibly playing them again in playoffs.”

Coach Lisa White shared similar insight.

“We’re a little frustrated with how the first half went,” White said. “We were a little timid and afraid. We lacked some belief. They were challenged at half time to correct that. The response in the second half I was happy with; we were a different team in the second half.”

The Bulldogs, (3-4, 1-1) came out with a spark in the second half, but fell short despite Mussell’s GPAC-leading eighth goal of the season in the 83rd minute.

Mussell talked about her scoring and the success on the field she has had this season.

“I may be the one finishing them but it’s a team effort. The way we play, our whole team puts in an effort to score a goal,” Mussell said.

White explained that while she is proud of Mussell’s efforts on the field, her teammates are just as responsible for the goals as Mussell is.

“She’s in the right place at the right time,” White said. “As a team we build up to score those goals. She’s always right there to finish them off, but it starts three or four or even five passes before that. I think she’s enjoying a little bit of the stats that come with finishing those goals, but really has an appreciation for the efforts of her teammates around her to contribute to that.”

Other Bulldogs performing well was junior goalie Jessica Clifford who stayed busy in front of the net, finishing with six saves. Junior Kayla Asche pitched in with two shots on goal, while junior Jordan Donohoue and sophomore Morgan Ihde each contributed one shot on goal apiece.

Asche’s shot on goal in the final minute necessitated a diving stop by Hastings’ Brittany Toth to preserve the two-goal lead for the Broncos, who moved to 2-0 in GPAC play. Mussell had two other shots early within the 18-yard box in the second half that missed the mark.

As for the future, the Bulldogs know they have work to do.

“We can play like we did in the second half for a whole game and to be able to play with the tenacity and as a team and as a family,” Mussell said. “Once we put that into Saturday’s game, it should be in our favor.”

Concordia will look to build on their second half as it squares off against Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday at Bulldog Stadium.

Missed opportunities result in second-straight GPAC loss

29 SEP 2012

SEWARD, Neb. – The GPAC’s second-highest scoring squad often struggled to capitalize on prime opportunities as visiting Dakota Wesleyan (2-4, 2-1 GPAC) came away with a 3-1 victory at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday. Concordia sophomore forward Rachel Mussell’s GPAC-leading ninth goal on the season failed to stop the Bulldogs from falling for the second-straight time in league play.

“Whether it was just a bit of precision we were missing today or miscued on some timing we really weren’t able to capitalize on all of those chances,” head coach Lisa White said. “Not much more you can do than to create those chances and hope the players can really execute what we’re asking them to do.”

Mussell continued her hot streak, striking for Concordia’s only goal of the day in the 38th minute when she maneuvered to the left of the Tiger keeper in a one-on-one situation and tapped the ball into the net. However, the rest of the day would mostly be filled with frustration as clean looks narrowly missed the mark on several occasions.

“I feel like it’s been like that the past few games we’ve had, whether we’ve won or lost,” junior forward Jordan Donohoue said. “We’ve got the right ideas. It’s just that last part getting it into the net that we just can’t seem to do right now. Hopefully that will change soon.”

Dakota Wesleyan got on the board first when Bulldog keeper Jessica Clifford and a teammate collided, knocking both to the ground as the ball settled near the goal. The Tigers’ Thara Ali Said knocked in the easy goal in the 28th minute to make it 1-0. Ali Said, a sophomore forward, added a second goal in the 41st minute to give Dakota Wesleyan the lead for good.

Concordia (3-5, 1-2 GPAC) had several scoring chances midway through the second half. Donohoue’s liner on a free kick drilled the cross bar in the 59th minute prior to her shot on goal in the 61st minute that was turned away by goalkeeper Erika Carpenter. Sophomore midfielder Ashlie Sklenicka then had her attempt at the left post knocked away by a diving Carpenter in the 62nd minute.

The Bulldogs also had a great scoring opportunity in the 33rd minute when Sklenicka got loose for a one-on-one with the keeper but was again turned away. Clifford matched that effort by denying Ali Said on the very next possession.

Mussell has now scored at least one goal in four-consecutive games and at least one in six of eight games this season. Mallorie Blanck led Concordia last season with nine goals for the entire 2011 campaign. While Mussell has broken out as a star, the Bulldogs need another goal scorer to emerge.

“As a team we need to not just kick it to her and imagine it’s going to be a bit of magic,” White said. “It’s because of the team that she’s getting those. To say, just ‘kick to moose and we’ll go’ – no, that’s not how we play. Other people need to clean up their finishes.”

Dakota Wesleyan has won two-straight GPAC contests, while the Bulldogs have lost their past two after going on a three-game win streak.

White’s squad is idle until next Saturday when Concordia will play at Mount Marty (3-6, 0-2 GPAC) at 1 p.m.

 

GPAC's most prolific goal scorer paves way to league win

06 OCT 2012

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

YANKTON, S.D. – Sophomore Rachel Mussell continues to scorch opposing defenses as she buried two more goals to provide the offense in a 2-1 road victory over Mount Marty (4-8, 1-4 GPAC) on Saturday. Mussell pushed her team and GPAC-leading goal total to 11, edging in front of Doane’s Sara Cushing for the league high.

The Bulldogs’ first goal came off a free kick from junior Emily Fleming to Mussell, who staked Concordia (4-5, 2-2 GPAC) to a 1-0 advantage as part of a strong first-half showing.

“I was really impressed with our first half effort,” head coach Lisa White said. “The first half we had some really good stuff going on.”

“Our second half effort was really a lot of missed opportunities,” White said. “We got away from the style that we play, and that caused us some problems, but we were able to clear everything after our second goal to finish out the win.”

Mount Marty knotted things up at one a piece in the second half when the Bulldogs missed several opportunities to clear the ball, and the Lancers were able to capitalize.

With just one minute remaining, however, the Bulldogs found the back of the net off a Mussell follow up after a shot by sophomore Meredith Hein was dropped by the Lancer goalkeeper.

“I’m really happy with our determination to make sure we got the win,” White said. “They pushed each other and pushed hard for the win. I’m happy with their mentality as game went on. It was great to see their desire and how they fought to get the right result. I’m happy with how the team performed.”

Mussell, a Buffalo, Minn., native, has now scored at least one goal in five-straight games and at least one in seven of the team’s nine games this season.

Next up for the Bulldogs is a road trip to Midland (1-8-3, 1-2-2 GPAC) for a 4 p.m. contest on Wednesday. They will then come back to Seward on Oct. 13 for the team’s homecoming game versus Morningside (5-4-4, 1-2-2 GPAC) at 5 p.m.

Bulldogs blanked by Midland

10 OCT 2012

FREMONT, Neb. – After going winless in its first 11 games of the season, Midland picked up its second-straight victory by cruising to a 3-0 home victory over Concordia on Wednesday. The Bulldogs failed to score despite managing 12 shots (eight on goal) to the Warriors’ 11 (six on goal).

“Their first two goals resulted from breakdowns on our part,” Concordia head coach Lisa White said. “We had players diving into tackles that they shouldn’t have. It was a disappointing effort today.”

Sophomore forward Rachel Mussell, who is tied for the GPAC lead with 11 goals, had only one shot (on goal). Mussell had entered play with at least one goal in five-straight games and at least one in seven of nine games this season.

“It was the same thing – she’s in the right spot,” White said. “You can’t do much if you don’t have the ball though.”

The Bulldogs misfired off the crossbar a couple of times on Wednesday, but were not able to capitalize on the chances they created. After one such strike roughly five minutes into the game, Concordia’s offensive attack dried up.

The Warriors took advantage with a goal in the 21stminute by Nicola Hermes and another in the 33rd minute by Lauren Gray. Midland went to halftime leading 2-0 and then tallied one more score in the 52nd minute when Amanda Nutsch found the back of the net off the assist from Gray.

Concordia sophomore Ashlie Sklenicka, a Lincoln, Neb., native had the most opportunities at the net for either squad. Sklenika fired four shots, including three on goal.

The Bulldogs’ last win over Midland came in 2005 when they won 4-0. 2012 Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Jennifer (Davis) Schwartz scored one of her school-record 88 career goals in the victory.

Concordia hopes for a more focused effort on Saturday when it hosts Morningside (6-4-4, 2-2-2 GPAC) for homecoming at 5 p.m. Check back on concordiabulldogs.com on Thursday for a complete preview of Saturday’s homecoming contests.

Four Bulldogs score in homecoming rout

13 OCT 2012

SEWARD, Neb. – A balanced scoring effort made for a victorious homecoming effort as the Bulldogs put together an impressive performance that saw four different Bulldogs find the back of the net.

Concordia took an early lead on sophomore Rachel Mussell’s GPAC-leading 12th goal of the season, assisted by junior Emily Flemming at the 21:20 mark.

The lead didn’t stand for long, however, when Morningside College (6-5-4, 2-3-2 GPAC) tied the game up four minutes later.

Concordia (5-6, 3-3 GPAC) came out a rejuvenated team in the second half, as numerous players got involved in the offense, and the Bulldogs scored three unanswered goals by Flemming in the 49th minute, junior Jordan Donahue in the 72nd minute and the final dagger by senior Kyleah Bowder three minutes later.

Head coach Lisa White noted the stark difference in her team’s effort in the second half.

“They stayed calm and they stayed composed,” White said. “We asked them, ‘What do you want to see in that second half and what kind of team are we going to be?’ Their responses were to score again, to keep the ball and that they will remember (when) they played us. I think our team responded really well to our own standards.”

White also commented on the team aspect of the game, including all the players who got involved in the offense that helped trigger an explosive second half.

“That was awesome,” White said. “It’s what we’ve been waiting for – to see more of a balance. It was really good to see other people pulling the trigger and having hits and feeling confidence. We’ve got lots of people taking chances, and to me, that reflects the confidence we found today to play with and hopefully we’ll carry through with that.”

Bowder shared similar insight on the involvement of numerous players in the second half offensive showcase.

“This game it kind of clicked,” Bowder said. “Everyone knew where they needed to be. We were there to finish and a lot of the goals we had were off of rebounds. We just did what we needed to do to stay composed."

It was an exciting performance for Concordia, who bounced back well after a difficult 3-0 loss earlier in the week at Midland.

“It was a tough loss on Wednesday,” Bowder said. “We weren’t happy with it and we weren’t happy with the way we were playing. It was time we dug deep and found out what we needed to do. Our coaches helped us get there and we worked hard and we earned it; just put the ball in the back of the net.”

“This week, we just worked on realizing we have an opportunity to choose to bounce back and choose how we’re going to respond,” White said. “We really emphasized that in training and put them in situations where they had to respond and it wasn’t an option to just give up and let things happen to us.”

Concordia will look for more of the same effort that it found in the second half when the Bulldogs take on Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln, Neb., on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Rivals play to 1-1 draw

17 OCT 2012

LINCOLN, Neb. – Wednesday’s renewal of the Concordia-Nebraska Wesleyan rivalry was every bit the nip-and-tuck affair of last season’s contest when the Bulldogs prevailed 2-1 in double overtime in Seward. The latest meeting in the series produced another double overtime match, this time played to a 1-1 draw in Lincoln, Neb.

“We had loads of chances and opportunities to score more,” Concordia head coach Lisa White said. “There were several times where we were just a bit off, but I have to give credit to (senior) Kelsie Elder and (freshman) Katie Janis for their work in the back. (Junior) Jordan Donohoue also played very well in the middle.”

The Bulldogs (5-6-1, 3-3-1 GPAC) allowed a goal less than five minutes into the game as the Prairie Wolves’ Amber Johnson found the back of the net for the GPAC’s fifth-leading offensive attack in terms of goals per game (1.64). However, the Nebraska Wesleyan strikers, including leading goal scorer Ashlee Slade, were held scoreless the rest of the way in one of Concordia’s best defensive efforts of the season.

The Bulldogs equalized in the 26th minute when sophomore forward Morgan Ihde scored after chasing down Ashlie Sklenicka’s strike off the keeper. For Ihde, it was her third goal of the season and capped all scoring in the contest.

Wednesday’s game marked the first overtime game of 2012 for Concordia, which went 3-1 in overtime bouts in 2011. Sophomore Rachel Mussell, who is tied for the conference lead with 12 goals this season, knocked in the game winner in the second overtime of last year’s victory over the Prairie Wolves.

The Bulldogs had their chances for a similar win this time around, but a couple of great saves by Nebraska Wesleyan keeper Emily Dierks and some other near misses resulted in a tie.

“Nebraska Wesleyan definitely threatened us,” White said. “But we had a leg up in chances (Concordia had 20 shots to the Prairie Wolves’ eight). We had two great chances where their keeper made brilliant saves and there were a few instances where we were wide or high. I think we may have gotten a bit too excited on some of those. But overall, I’m really happy with how we played.”

The tie kept Nebraska Wesleyan (4-8-3, 3-2-2 GPAC) one point ahead of the Bulldogs in the GPAC standings, which are closely bunched with only four points separating second-place Midland and eighth-place Concordia.

The Bulldogs continue GPAC road action on Saturday when they travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to take on Briar Cliff (6-6-3, 4-2-1 GPAC) at 1 p.m. Concordia will then play its final two regular-season contests at Bulldog Stadium on Oct. 23 and 27.

Mussell, Bulldogs top Chargers again

20 OCT 2012

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Head coach Lisa White’s squad continued its mastery of Briar Cliff, topping the Chargers 3-1 on Saturday to give Concordia its fourth-straight win in the series. Since falling 3-0 to Midland on Oct. 10, Concordia has gone unbeaten in its last three games.

“We were a little bit hectic those first 15 minutes or so,” White said. “We had to get used to what Briar Cliff was throwing at us. We were so much more composed the rest of the way. In the second half we made some minor adjustments and our players really did what we asked them to do.”

The Bulldogs got on the board first with sophomore forward Rachel Mussell’s GPAC-leading 13th goal of the season in the 27th minute. Mussell received a well-placed ball over the top of the Briar Cliff defense from junior forward Jordan Donohoue and calmly drilled it into the net.

The score remained at 1-0 in favor of Concordia (6-6-1, 4-3-1 GPAC) until Briar Cliff’s Julie Redus equalized with a goal in the 50th minute. But the Bulldogs would respond emphatically with a pair of goals to put the contest out of reach.

Sophomore forward Melissa Stine cashed in on the assist from Ashlie Sklenicka in the 76th minute. Sklenicka’s offering shot past the goal, but Stine made a great play to collect the ball and deposit it into the net for her fourth goal of the season.

Junior midfielder Lindsey Spaits added the exclamation point with her first goal of 2012, assisted by junior defender Emily Fleming (sixth assist of the season) with 6:18 left in the game. The goal put the game out of reach and brings Concordia into a tie with the Chargers at 4-3-1 in GPAC play. Briar Cliff, now 6-7-3 overall, was coming off a 2-0 win over Dordt in its most recent outing.

While the offensive attack enjoyed a solid game, the Bulldog defensive unit also played very well in helping Concordia win the ball in the back. Fleming, Donohoue and junior Louisa Mehl all played a big role in limiting Briar Cliff to a single goal.

“Our back five were phenomenal,” White said. “They were a really fluid unit. They read each other well and Donohoue and Fleming were great in their movements. Those two were fantastic in keeping us in control and keeping the ball in our possession.”

With her goal on Saturday, Mussell has now scored at least once in nine of Concordia’s 13 games and at least once in seven of the last 10 games.

The Bulldogs finish the regular-season schedule next week with home games versus Doane (9-5, 5-3 GPAC) on Tuesday and against Northwestern (7-5-2, 4-2-1 GPAC) on Saturday. Both games are set to kickoff at 5 p.m. from Bulldog Stadium. The GPAC Tournament begins Oct. 30.

Tigers roll over Bulldogs

23 OCT 2012

SEWARD, Neb. – Tuesday’s rivalry renewal versus Doane, featuring two of the top goal scorers in the GPAC, went the way of the Tigers in a decisive manner. Even with prolific junior forward Courtney Richards (tied for second in the GPAC with 12 goals entering Tuesday) out with an injury, Doane peppered the back of the net on the way to a 5-0 victory at Bulldog Stadium.

Freshman sensation Sara Cushing, tied with Richards for second in the GPAC in goals prior to Tuesday, leaped in front of Concordia’s Rachel Mussell for the GPAC goals lead with a hat trick on Tuesday. Cushing knocked in goals in the 30th, 76th and 85th minutes, the last capping the Tigers’ five-goal outburst.

Senior Ally Tamerius also helped picked up the slack for the injured Richards with a goal each in the 24th and 62ndminutes. Tamerius, who came in ranked fifth on the Tigers (10-5, 6-3 GPAC) with three goals on the season, was an unlikely star in a game filled with top-flight strikers.

“Their second goal was the one where the wheels fell off the wagon a bit,” Bulldog head coach Lisa White said. “It looked like we thought it was offsides so we stopped. We were standing around like what happened. You could just see that we weren’t connecting well with each other tonight.”

Concordia junior forward Jordan Donohoue had one of the few prime scoring chances for the Bulldogs with a shot on frame midway through the first half. However, her strike that scooted across the ground was saved by goalkeeper Kelsey Stark who dropped to her right to make the stop.

For the game Concordia (6-7-1, 4-4-1 GPAC) mustered just five shots, with only two on goal. Doane fired 11 total shots and made the most of its five attempts on goal. Cushing was the epitome of efficiency as she scored on all three of her attempts. Cushing has been a big reason why Doane began play leading the GPAC with 2.93 goals per game.

Meanwhile, Mussell, who started the day leading the league with 13 goals, was held to only two shots, neither on goal as the offensive attacked sputtered.

White believes her team will rebound quickly for the stretch run with her team currently sitting in seventh place in the GPAC. The team she saw Tuesday was not the same squad she expects to see the rest of the season.

“We need to move on,” White said. “We know this is not who we are. I’m really excited about how Marcie (Sindt) played tonight. She had a fantastic role back there, stepping into the midfield and really helping us try to keep possession. Her fight was awesome tonight.

“You take the good things and forget the bad things and move on. It’s too quick of a season to dwell on it.”

Tuesday’s blanking marked only the second time this season Concordia has been shutout.

The Bulldogs will play their final regular-season game of the season on Saturday when Northwestern (7-6-2, 4-3-1 GPAC) visits Seward for Senior Day. With a muddled middle of the GPAC standings, Concordia is still uncertain about where it will be headed for the GPAC Championships, which begin Oct. 30.

Bowder and the Bulldogs fall on senior day

27 OCT 2012

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

SEWARD, Neb. – Head coach Lisa White’s Bulldog women’s soccer squad ended the regular season with a one-sided loss on senior night, as it fell to Northwestern College, 4-0.

After a solid performance in the first half, the Bulldogs struggled to find any momentum in the second half, with Northwestern (9-6-2, 6-3-1 GPAC) scoring goals in the 49th, 53rd and 55th minutes.

“Our first half was fantastic other than the goal they scored,” White said. “I was really pleased with the effort of the entire team; moving the ball around and keeping possession of the ball.”

In a game that was more competitive than the final score indicated, the Bulldogs’ 13 shots were just one less than that of Northwestern. Concordia (6-8-1, 4-5-1 GPAC) got solid play from the likes of junior forward Jordan Donohoue, junior defender Emily Fleming and junior goalkeeper Jessica Clifford.

Seniors Kyleah Bowder and Kelsie Elder were recognized prior to the game in what was the final game at Bulldog Stadium in their careers. Bowder has been a fixture on the Concordia back line with 64 games played over the last four years.

White commented on the impact that the two seniors had on the program.

“It’s tough to sum it up in a brief sentence, but they have ensured that we keep going in the right direction,” White said. “They came in with a large class as freshmen and are the only two remaining. They’ve had such an impact on our culture and our team environment.”

Bowder commented on what her career as a Bulldog meant to her, now that she has stepped on the Concordia turf for one last game.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Bowder said. “It just stinks that I’m never going to play here again. It’s a special place with special people. (Kelsie and I) just talked about how much we love our team. We went to the hall of fame banquet and everyone talked about how you just remember the memories and we’ll always remember our teammates. I just can’t emphasize enough how much they mean to us and made it all worth it.”

The Bulldogs are now in a win or go home situation, as they begin conference tournament play on Oct. 30. Seventh-seeded Concordia will be at second-seeded Doane for a 5 p.m. opening round game. The Bulldogs hope to avenge a 5-0 home loss to Doane on Oct. 23.

“The rebound ability with them is not something we worry about,” White said. “We had a tough game on Tuesday and we came back and played well tonight regardless of what the results showed.”

"Soccer is a game that can go either way. It’s almost like a clean slate and hopefully we can get some wins,” Bowder said.

FEATURE: Mussell strikes it big

29 OCT 2012

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

It’s hard to miss the glowing smile on her face that lights up the field whenever she’s playing the game she loves. And why not?

She has plenty of room to smile. After all, sophomore Rachel Mussell has had a breakout season this year, complete with a team-leading 13 goals that place her among the conference’s best stikers.

The recent success couldn’t be more impressive for Mussell, who narrowly chose soccer over basketball when she first arrived on campus.

“It wasn’t ultimately up to me,” Mussell said. “I emailed Coach (Lisa) White and Coach (Drew) Olson and said ‘Hey, I’d be interested in playing for either of you guys.’ At first I wanted to play both, but now looking at the schedules, I know that would be crazy impossible. So they ended up deciding between themselves and I ended up playing soccer.

“It’s different than any other game where you play it with your feet,” Mussell explained of her passion for soccer. “I love that it’s a huge team sport – 11 people on the field and everyone has to work together. It’s not just me having to do everything myself.”

Mussell has showed tremendous improvement over the course of just one season. A year ago she finished her freshman year with just two goals. After beginning 2012 as a midfielder, Mussell’s scoring splurge, highlighted by a hat trick in the home opener, convinced White to make Mussell a forward.

“Due to the types of players we graduated last year and the positions they played in, she has moved into a striking role which provides her more opportunities to finish than at outside mid,” head coach Lisa White said.

Mussell shared similar insight regarding the significant amount of success that she experienced this season.

“Last year we had a lot of seniors that put in a lot of goals for us,” Mussell said. “It wasn’t really a role that our team needed, so I think I just filled whatever role I could last year. This year it just started and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. Our team would build it up and I’d just be there to finish. All the sudden I just had a lot of goals. I guess it’s just a role that needed to be filled and I found a way to do it.”

Mussell spent a significant amount of time in the offseason preparing for the upcoming season and sharpening her skills. Explosiveness and attacking moves were among the top priorities that she set out to improve.

“I spent a lot of time with the ball at my feet, bouncing off walls, dribbling around cones and playing with my brother,” Mussell said. “I spent a lot of time in the weight room.”

White acknowledged the time and effort that Mussell put in during the off season to become a better player.  

“I know that she among others on our team diligently follow the summer workout programs that we create for them. She and her teammates have really committed to caring for each other and building a family culture.”

Mussell humbly points out that the success that comes with being a standout soccer player is not in her own doing alone.

“I play soccer because God gave me the ability to play,” Mussell said. “My first thought is all of this glory goes to God. When I’m playing, I ask God to help me be cool, calm and collected, to play up to my ability, to be composed and at peace and to have fun. That’s the most important part.”

The characteristics that Mussell strives to display when she is playing the game she loves are not hard to miss. On and off the field, Mussell’s attitude is what sets her apart.

“Rachel is a humble and determined soul,” White said. “Her team and their efforts have allowed her to accomplish what she has this season. She has the unique ability to remain composed in high pressure situations and executes very well in those environments. She is a product of her family, our family, and her faith.”

Mussell’s passion on the soccer field carries over into her life outside of athletics as well.

While soccer was always a chief priority on her list, academics were what originally drew her to Concordia.

“I decided to come to Concordia first for my education,” said Mussell who has ambitions of becoming a high school physics or chemistry teacher.

When she is not tearing down the soccer field looking for a scoring opportunity or hitting the books in the classroom, Mussell enjoys curling up with a good book, watching movies with her roommate, staying active and participating in various sporting activities.

Mussell enjoys her life off the playing field just as much as the game itself. But with her recent success has come more attention, but Mussell takes it in stride.

“Something I learned in high school is that when you perform well on the athletic field, there tends to be more of a spotlight on you,” Mussell said. “I have God to help me be the best person I can be, to shine his light through me. I don’t feel the pressure because I know he’s given me the abilities.”

Mussell and the Bulldogs hope to make a run in the GPAC Championships, which begin Tuesday when Concordia travels to Doane for a 5 p.m. game.

Season ends in tight loss at Doane

30 OCT 2012

CRETE, Neb. – Tuesday’s GPAC soccer quarterfinal contrasted starkly from the Bulldogs’ previous meeting with Doane on Oct. 23 when the Tigers dominated in a 5-0 victory. With a trip to the GPAC semifinals on the line, seventh-seeded Concordia held the powerful attack of second-seeded Doane in check until a Mia Juarez second half goal sparked a 2-1 Tiger win.

“I think we were much more organized (Tuesday),” Bulldog head coach Lisa White said. “We really only had one practice in between Saturday and tonight, and we kept it very simple. We just encouraged them to stay patient and calm.”

After going scoreless the past two games, Bulldog sophomore forward Rachel Mussell tallied her 14th goal of the season to give Concordia life with 14:10 to play in the game. Mussell skillfully maneuvered around drawn out Tiger keeper Kelsey Stark and tapped into the unprotected net.

Mussell hoped for an opportunity with just over four minutes left in the game when she found herself all alone on the left side of the field just outside the 18-yard box. However, Doane’s defense thwarted a pass directed towards Mussell and prevented any clean looks as the final minutes ticked away.

Doane freshman forward Sara Cushing, who went for a hat trick against Concordia a week ago, failed to score on Tuesday but still played a big role in the Tiger attack. She facilitated the offense beautifully, perfectly executing passes to set up both Doane goals – one by Juarez in the 58th minute and one by Morgan Karloff in the 73rdminute.

While the Tigers (12-5, 7-3 GPAC) held a 27-12 advantage in shots, the Bulldogs (6-9-1, 4-5-1 GPAC) improved drastically compared to the blowout losses they suffered in their previous two games. A key adjustment allowed Concordia to compete with the GPAC’s highest scoring team.

“We beefed up the middle a little by putting Marcie (Sindt) into that central holding role,” White said. “She’s a physical player and she reads the game well. She doesn’t stop. She’ll fight all day for her teammates. That helped us a lot to slow down their attacks and stall them a lot of times.”

Added junior defender Emily Fleming, “A week ago we weren’t finding a rhythm. Everything was right there, we just hadn’t been able to put the ball in the net. This game we changed up our formation to match up with theirs and it flowed a lot better.”

Concordia junior goalkeeper Jessica Clifford also had a big night with a team season high 13 saves, including a difficult one in the second minute that allowed the Bulldogs to narrowly avoid falling behind early.

Concordia had hoped to advance to the semifinals for the second-straight season after topping Dakota Wesleyan 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in a two-overtime contest in last year’s quarterfinal match.

With just two seniors on this season’s roster – defender Kyleah Bowder and midfielder Kelsie Elder – the Bulldogs will return plenty of key components in 2013. Mussell, who finished second in the GPAC in goals, and the likes of Jordan Donohoue, Fleming and others should make for a formidable squad.

“We’re going to have a lot of strong people coming back,” Fleming said. “You can’t replace the girls that are going. We’re really going to miss them. I’m going to miss them a lot, but we’re looking forward to next year too.”

Fleming, Mussell earn CoSIDA Academic All-District honors

02 NOV 2012

Concordia women’s soccer student-athletes Emily Fleming and Rachel Mussell have been named to the Capital One Academic All-District 6 team of the College Division. The College Division of District 6 encompasses the states of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota and includes a total of 12 honorees.

Nearly 4,000 student-athletes across all sports nationally receive All-District honors for their all-around accomplishments in the classroom, in the community and in competition. Student-athletes (sophomores through seniors) who have achieved cumulative grade-point averages above 3.5 and have performed at a high level on the playing field receive greatest consideration for the All-District teams.

Mussell, a sophomore from Buffalo, Minn., burst onto the scene in 2012 with 14 goals, a figure that placed her second in the GPAC. Her 14 goals are the most in a single season by a Concordia women’s soccer player since Gentri Brown totaled 19 in 2006. The secondary education major (emphasis  in chemistry and physics) is also a standout person and exemplary student.

Fleming, junior from Gretna, Neb., started all 16 games this season for the Bulldogs and was a key cog in the Concordia back line. She also made strong contributions offensively with one goal and a team-leading six assists. In addition, the biology and psychology (pre-med) major earns high marks in the classroom.

As Capital One Academic All-District 6 honorees, Mussell and Fleming will now be placed on the CoSIDA Academic All-America® ballot. Academic All-Americans will be announced at a later date.

*NOTE: Each district is separated into College Division, NCAA Division I, II and III teams. 

 

Capital One Academic All-District 6: College Division

     

GK

Kelsey Stark

DOANE COLLEGE

 

Jr.

Gretna, Neb.

MF

Jordan Dolbin

BAKER UNIVERSITY

 

Sr.

La Mirada, Calif.

MF

Kelsie Grgurich

DOANE COLLEGE

 

Sr.

Bellevue, Neb.

MF

Kelsie Schmitz

MIDLAND UNIVERSITY

 

Jr.

Colorado Springs, Colo.

D

Mary Kinney

DOANE COLLEGE

 

Sr.

Norfolk, Neb.

D

Emily Fleming

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY (NE)

 

Jr.

Gretna, Neb.

D

Kinsey Chavez

MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY

 

Sr.

Blue Springs, MO

D

Kara Quinn

MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY

 

Jr.

Morisson, CO

D

Maddie Chapin

SOUTHWESTERN COLLEGE (KS)

 

Jr.

Andover, Kan.

F

Autumn Surage

OTTAWA UNIVERSITY

 

So.

Colorado Springs, Colo.

F

Rachel Mussell

CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY (NE)

 

So.

Buffalo, Minn.

F

Abby Schlater

SAINT MARY (NE), COLLEGE OF

 

Jr.

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Mussell, Fleming receive all-GPAC soccer honors

12 NOV 2012

View complete All-GPAC women’s soccer teams

Concordia sophomore Rachel Mussell and junior Emily Fleming have been named to the women’s soccer GPAC all-conference teams, the league announced Monday.

Mussell, a first team all-conference selection, enjoyed a breakout campaign, ranking near the top of the GPAC goals leaderboard all season before finishing second in the conference with 14 goals. The Buffalo, Minn., native moved to a striker position early in the season and flourished with at least one goal in 10 of the team’s 16 games, including a hat trick in a loss to Nebraska-Kearney. Mussell picks up her first career all-conference honor and becomes the first Concordia women’s soccer first-teamer since Carolyn Chrzan in 2009.

Fleming, a second team all-league choice, also earns her first all-GPAC honor of her career. The midfielder from Gretna, Neb., served as a force while primarily playing in the middle of the field throughout the 2012 season. Fleming tallied six assists (third most in the GPAC) and one assist. She also joined Mussell as one of six Bulldogs to start all 16 games.

Junior Jordan Donohoue received honorable mention all-GPAC honors. She started all 16 games and posted five assists (tied for sixth in the conference) and two goals.

Four Bulldogs earn Scholar-Athlete honors for women's soccer

30 NOV 2012

NAIA Release

With Friday’s release of 2012 men’s and women’s soccer Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, Concordia pushed its Scholar-Athlete total to 19 for the fall of 2012. A foursome of Concordia juniors – Kayla Asche, Jordan Donohoue, Emily Fleming and Louisa Mehl – were named Scholar-Athletes for the sport of women’s soccer by the NAIA on Friday.

A total of 492 NAIA women’s soccer student-athletes nationally received the honor. Graceland (Iowa) led the nation with nine Scholar-Athletes.

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 to qualify for this honor.

Honorees for football and volleyball will be released on the day prior to each sport’s respective national championship.

Mussell, Fleming cited by Omaha World-Herald

26 DEC 2012

Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska soccer teams

Sophomore forward Rachel Mussell claimed another honor on Tuesday as the Omaha World-Herald named her to its All-Nebraska soccer team. The native of Buffalo, Minn., also earned first team all-GPAC and Capital One Academic All-District 6 recognition. Junior midfielder Emily Fleming was awarded honorable mention status by the Omaha World-Herald.

Mussell finished second in the GPAC in 2012 with 14 goals. She broke out in her second season at Concordia with at least one goal in 10 of the team’s 16 games, including a hat trick in a loss to Nebraska-Kearney. Her 14 goals are the most in a single season by a Concordia women’s soccer player since Gentri Brown totaled 19 in 2006.

Fleming, a second team all-league choice, served as a force while primarily playing in the middle of the field throughout the 2012 season. Fleming tallied six assists (third most in the GPAC) and one goal. She also joined Mussell as one of six Bulldogs to start all 16 games.