ABERDEEN, S.D. – Consistent wind gusts of 20 miles per hour and greater impacted the action that took place Sunday (Nov. 8) afternoon in Aberdeen, S.D. The Concordia University Women’s Soccer team did not seem to mind while scoring four times in the first half on the way to a 5-0 victory over Presentation College in a makeup contest. Sophomore Jaiden Beecher recorded the first multi-goal game of her career in the win.
Head Coach Thomas Goines’ squad ran its unbeaten streak to six (5-0-1 during that stretch) and has not lost since Oct. 7. The Bulldogs (8-3-1, 8-2-1 GPAC) remain in the thick of things near the top of the GPAC standings.
“We played into a headwind in the first half and it was a challenge,” Goines said. “The girls actually played some of their best soccer as far as connecting passes and playing them on the ground because a ball in the air just wasn’t going to be useful. Putting four away in the first half made everything more comfortable in the second half. We really were able to apply the pressure to them most of the game.”
Aberdeen is situated more than a six-hour drive north of Seward. For the first time this season, Concordia played on a grass field. An Omaha native, Beecher adjusted nicely and provided a goal apiece in the eighth and 32nd minutes (her third and fourth goals of the season). Beecher also put two other shots on frame as part of an aggressive attacking approach.
Sophomore Allee Downing (14’) and junior Cheyenne Smith (15’) also found the back of the net as part of the first-half outbreak. An assist apiece was credited to Madeline Haugen, Aliyah Aldama, Grace Soenksen and Smith. An unsuccessful clearance attempt in the 54th minute resulted in the final goal of the contest.
The lightning fast Beecher figures to put more goals away as she continues to get comfortable as a striker. Said Goines, “I think Jaiden’s been looking for this game as far as gaining confidence in her role. She’s done really well at creating shots and opportunities all season and putting goals away builds up a striker’s confidence.”
The physicality picked up in the second half when the Saints (0-11-2, 0-9-2 GPAC) were issued three yellow cards. Presentation was unable to find the back of the net on its senior day. The four shots it put on goal were saved by Concordia goalkeeper Lindsey Carley (264 career saves). Carley played the first 60 minutes before Kalie Ward tended goal for the final 30 minutes.
Carley, Downing, Mikeila Martinez, Michaela Twito and Smith have each started all 12 games this season. They know something about seeing out a clean sheet, which the Bulldogs did for the seventh time in 2020.
“I was very happy with our second half,” Goines said. “We could have certainly played better as a group, but as the game got a lot more physical, the girls didn’t respond or retaliate. They played strong and stayed focused on the result and not the other stuff.”
Concordia is scheduled to finish the regular season next Saturday (Nov. 14) against GPAC leader Briar Cliff (8-0-2, 8-0-1 GPAC). Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. The Chargers will have a challenging final stretch including games at Concordia and Hastings and a home matchup with Morningside.