SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Once the Concordia University women’s soccer team perforated the seal on the goal line, Wednesday afternoon’s contest broke wide open. The first multi-goal game of freshman Kaitlyn Radebaugh’s career helped continue the Bulldog dominance within the conference. The latest outing ended in a 5-1 victory over host Briar Cliff.
A few different streaks remained intact for fifth-year head coach Greg Henson’s program. Concordia owns active streaks of 12-consecutive wins over GPAC opponents, six games in a row overall without a loss and 12-straight series triumphs over the Chargers (6-5, 0-3 GPAC). On the year, the Bulldogs have moved to 8-2-2 overall and to a perfect 4-0 in conference action.
“We knew it was going to be a wet playing surface. Both teams had to deal with it,” Henson said. “Once we settled into the match, I thought we did a nice job controlling play and controlling possession. Michaela Twito and Tori Cera did a nice job in the middle of the park, winning balls out of the air and taking that aspect of the game away from them. Radebaugh came off the bench and continued to provide a spark. That really changed the tone of the game.”
A game that was scoreless through the first 30 minutes turned into a comfortable win for the Bulldogs. Concordia’s first three goals all came within a span of less than seven minutes. Radebaugh began the splurge with a goal apiece in the 31st and 34th minutes. The native of Roca, Neb., has consistently provided offensive sizzle off the bench. Her seven goals rank second best on the team.
The Bulldogs will be especially dangerous during the stretch run if sophomore Sami Birmingham can ramp up her goal scoring efforts to the level of her freshman season when she found the back of the net 20 times. After Briar Cliff cut a 3-0 lead to 3-1, Birmingham answered with a goal in the 58th minute. And to completely kill the Chargers’ hopes, Birmingham scored again in the 71st minute.
Ranked third in the GPAC in points entering the week, junior Maria Deeter pushed her team leading goal count to nine with her 38th minute goal. The Seward native also assisted on Birmingham’s first goal. Deeter has dished out seven assists.
“It’s huge for Sami to get on the board,” Henson said. “Our team is doing a great job of scoring goals around her. She’s been directly involved in a lot of goals we’ve scored. She’s such a valuable player for us. It’s exciting to see her find the back of the net again today.”
Concordia outshot Briar Cliff, 18-7 (13-3 in shots on goal), in what was another decisive win over the Chargers. The Bulldogs have outscored Briar Cliff by a combined total of 17-2 over the past four meetings.
Lindsey Carley (77 minutes) and Jessica Knedler (13 minutes) again shared time in goal. They were faced with only three shots on goal. A 49th-minute goal by Taylor Beaulieu was the only thing that prevented a fourth-straight shutout win.
A two-game road swing within the conference continues on Saturday when the Bulldogs will journey to Orange City, Iowa, for a tussle with Northwestern (7-2-2, 2-0-1 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. CT. Concordia hopes to earn its first win over the Red Raiders since 2008.