SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Up against a Dordt team that it dominated a year earlier, the Concordia University women’s soccer team sought a 3-0 start to the GPAC season. However, the Bulldogs were greeted by an improved Defender squad that played Concordia to a 0-0 double-overtime draw in Sioux Center, Iowa, on Saturday.
With the tie, head coach Greg Henson’s squad now has seven points in the league standings and sits at 8-2-1 overall while remaining unbeaten in GPAC play at 2-0-1.
“We did a much better job in the second half of creating chances,” Henson said. “We were able to get in behind their defense and a hit the crossbar a couple times. The story of the game was missed opportunities.
“In the first overtime we were pushing it forward to try to win the game. In the second overtime you’re just making sure you don’t lose it. On the road you want to come out with points. We felt like we should have won, but we didn’t capitalize.”
The Bulldogs finished with a 14-11 advantage in shots. Their best chance to score came late in the first half when freshman Jessica Skerston’s point-blank shot off a corner kick was cleared off the line. Not surprisingly, Skerston, who has a team-leading 11 goals, was the most active on the attack. She fired off six shots, including two on goal.
By holding Dordt scoreless for 110 minutes, Concordia recorded its third-straight shutout and extended its school record shutout total to seven on the season. The Bulldogs have held their opponents without a goal over their last 302 minutes and 59 seconds of game action.
Henson noted the play of senior midfielder Ashlie Sklenicka, senior center back Rachel Mussell and sophomore goalkeeper Chrissy Lind as key factors in Concordia’s latest blanking. Lind made seven saves for her fifth shutout in 2014.
Dordt is now 5-3-1 overall after going 0-17-1 last season.
“They’re much improved,” Henson said. “They worked really hard today and created a couple chances. They deserved a tie.”
The Bulldogs return home on Wednesday to host Doane (3-6-1, 1-2-1 GPAC) at 5 p.m. Concordia will aim to avenge last season’s 3-1 loss to the Tigers in Crete.