SEWARD, Neb. – Through four outings, the Concordia University Women’s Soccer team still has yet to allow a single goal during regulation. The Bulldogs stifled the attack of visiting Northwestern on Saturday (Sept. 26) and got a goal apiece from Grace Soenksen and Kadyn Lane on the way to a 2-0 victory. Formerly a perennial thorn in the program’s side, Concordia has now won four-straight meetings with the Red Raiders.
In his first season leading the Bulldogs, Head Coach Thomas Goines has the squad out to a 3-0 start in conference play (3-1 overall). Concordia may have more offensive potential to unlock, but there’s satisfaction in holding Northwestern without a shot the entire second half.
“We’ve been very happy with (the team defensive performance),” Goines said. “When you’re anchored by an all-conference goalkeeper like Lindsey (Carley) it provides the entire team a little bit of confidence. They can play loose and free. We’ve had to put together a new back line and move some players around and they’ve responded really well. We’ve been challenged by some quality strikers and today was no different.”
In one of the only real offensive threats the Red Raiders mounted, Carley made a nifty save to keep the match scoreless roughly midway through the first half. To credit Northwestern (0-3-1, 0-3 GPAC), the Bulldogs were also snuffed out most of the day from an attacking perspective. A corner kick in the 55th minute finally opened up the game’s scoring. Mikeila Martinez volleyed the corner perfectly to Soenksen, who headed in the second goal of her collegiate career.
A Lincoln Lutheran product, Soenksen couldn’t have asked for a much better day, considering her role in the back line and how she capitalized on a rare attacking opportunity.
Said Soenksen, “When we first started in preseason that was the first thing we worked on. We’ve been pushing defense, defense, defense because we had a lot of trouble with that last year. We’ve been working on keeping everyone where they need to be and making sure we have people back when they need to be.”
Lane got on the board with the first goal of her career. Lane was set up by the hustle of Bethany Fuchs, who sprinted the left wing, controlled the ball and made the pass across the middle of the field. Lane’s ensuing shot went off the hands of the Red Raider keeper and into the goal.
Carley was called upon to make just the one save while picking up the clean sheet. This marked the second-straight year that Carley and the Bulldogs earned a home shutout of the Red Raiders. Abby Noonan had Northwestern’s only shot on goal on Saturday.
“This year has been one of those score-by-committee concepts,” Goines said of his team’s offensive approach. “It’s about ball movement and player movement that creates finishing space. They’ve done that really well … I was really happy with the patience they showed. We kept applying pressure and eventually were able to breakthrough.”
Eleven different Bulldogs have notched at least one goal this season. No single player has more than two this fall for a balanced team. Concordia has now outscored its foes by a combined total of 15-1 on the year.
Next on the schedule is Wednesday (Sept. 30)’s trip to Omaha for a 4 p.m. CT kickoff at College of Saint Mary (1-1-1, 1-1-1 GPAC). The matchup replaces the originally slated contest at Midland. The Bulldogs will wait until Nov. 4 to take on the Warriors.