OMAHA, Neb. – Continuing its early-season run of proficiency on the attack, the Concordia University women’s soccer team rolled up a 6-0 blowout win over Grace University (1-3) at Tranquility Park in Omaha, Neb., on Friday. Two days after getting goals from three different players in a loss at Bellevue, five more Bulldogs found the back of the net to beat the Royal keeper.
Concordia now sits at 2-1 overall with wins over AIB (Iowa) and Grace.
“It was a good opportunity to go deep into the bench and get a lot of players some action in a varsity contest,” second-year head coach Greg Henson said. “We were able to get just about everybody on the field today. We did a nice job early on controlling the tempo of the game, controlling the ball and controlling possession. We limited their attack and kept them without a shot on goal.”
After a scoreless first 16 minutes, the floodgates opened up in the 17th minute when senior Melissa Stine notched her first goal of the season on the first of two assists from freshman Esther Soenksen. Less than 12 minutes later, the Bulldogs bulged their lead to 4-0 thanks to Soenksen’s first career goal (26’) and two more goals from freshman Jessica Skerston (23’ and 29’).
Named GPAC offensive player of the week on Wednesday, Skerston has scored at least one goal in each of the first three games of her career. Her four goals lead a Concordia squad that has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 10-4 this season.
“She got two more goals tonight so we’re proud to see that,” Henson said of Skerston. “The big story for me was that we scored six goals and it came from five different players. We’re going to be looking as the games get tougher for players who can score goals for us and she’s doing that right now.”
Henson’s club poured it on with a 57th minute goal from freshman Jeannelle Condame (first career) and a 66th minute score from senior Rachel Mussell. The final tally came off of Meredith Hein’s corner kick, which Mussell headed into the back of the net. The goal was the 26th career score for the native of Buffalo, Minn.
With the game well in hand by halftime, Henson used 27 different players in the dominant victory. They combined to put up 26 shots compared to Grace’s one. Goalkeepers Elyse Muhle and Taylor Wolf split the 90 minutes evenly as Concordia recorded its second shutout of the season.
In addition, Madison Hawkins, Meredith Hein and Ashlie Sklenicka all added one assist apiece on the evening.
Grace is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association. The Royal women’s soccer program is in its second season of existence. Grace entered Friday’s contest coming off a 3-1 win over Manhattan Christian College (Kan.) on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs will play their third game in four days when they hit the road on Saturday to take on Bethel College in Newton, Kan. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. Bethel is 2-0 with wins over St. Gregory’s University (Okla.) and York College.
“We played Bethel last year to open the season (4-1 win) and they do a good job and will be a bigger challenge than we faced tonight,” Henson said. “At this time of the year we’re still really focusing on ourselves and the things we need to do to be successful. We want to make sure we’re organized, in good shape defensively and getting the ball forward into the attack.”