SEWARD, Neb. – Making its debut home appearance, the Concordia University women’s soccer team routed visiting York College, 6-0, on Wednesday night. As part of the first official game since the installation of new turf inside Bulldog Stadium, the Bulldogs got goals from five different players on the way to their first win of the 2016 season.
The victory pulled fourth-year head coach Greg Henson (38-19-9) even with Bill Schranz (38-53-1) for the most coaching wins in the history of the program, which held its first varsity season in 1996. Concordia is now 1-1-1 this season.
“This time of year it’s about us,” Henson said. “It’s not about the opponent we’re playing. It doesn’t matter who we’re lining up against. We have to go out and focus on the things that we need to improve upon. I thought we did well with that tonight. I thought we maintained the tempo and the style of play that we wanted to have throughout the game. I was happy with that.”
Three players notched their first career goals as Bulldogs on Wednesday. Freshman Sami Birmingham got Concordia on the board with her 19th-minute goal. That opened up the floodgates for the home team, which got a big offensive day from sophomore Maria Deeter. She assisted on a pair of goals and then tallied one of her own on a scramble situation resulting from a Jeannelle Condame corner kick.
Birmingham, a Johnston, Iowa, native, wasn’t done yet. She picked up her second goal of the contest in the 76th minute when Jessica Skerston played her behind the Panther defenders with a perfect ball. Birmingham was joined by transfer Lauren Martin and freshman Rachael Bolin as Bulldogs to record the first goals of their careers.
In the 35th minute, Esther Soenksen found the back of the net for the second-straight outing. A year ago she topped Concordia with 12 goals. Soenksen’s late score over the weekend helped salvage a draw at MidAmerica Nazarene.
On Wednesday it was essential for the Bulldogs to get back in the win column.
“It’s very important just for our overall confidence,” Deeter said. “In Kansas City in the beginning of the year, you’ve got some bumps and bruises and little mistakes. Today we put things together and got a lot of confidence, especially in our younger players.”
The Bulldogs never allowed York to get much of anything moving forward on the attack. The Panthers (0-2) managed just a single shot, which was saved by Concordia goalkeeper Chrissy Lind in the first half. On the other hand, the Bulldogs peppered three different Panther keepers with 35 total shots – 20 on goal. Birmingham was most active, firing seven shots. Off the bench, Bolin took five shots and added an assist in addition to her 43rd-minute score.
The Bulldogs will be back at home on Saturday when it hosts Graceland University (Iowa). Kickoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. from Bulldog Stadium. Graceland kicked off its season on Wednesday with a 0-0 draw at Park University (Mo.).