By Taylor Mueller, Athletic Communications Assistant
SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University women’s soccer team broke out of a bit of an offensive lull on Wednesday night in rolling up a 5-1 win over rival Doane. The Bulldogs moved to 9-2-1, 3-0-1 GPAC and knocked off the Tigers for the first time since 2010.
The Bulldogs were in the nets early, setting the tone in just the third minute when freshman Jessica Skerston found sophomore Jordan McCoy, who struck one in to take a 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later, senior Melissa Stine got her big night started with a goal assisted by fellow senior Ashlie Sklenicka.
The first half goal-scoring frenzy wasn’t all in favor of the Bulldogs, however, as Doane quickly responded in the eighth minute to get on the board and narrow the lead to just 2-1. The score would hold heading into the half.
With a potentially potent Doane team down by just a goal at the half, head coach Greg Henson commented on a couple Bulldog miscues what allowed the Tigers to get back in the game.
“We jumped out to a 2-0 lead in early in the first half and then we had a little bit of a mental lapse and allowed them to get in behind us,” Henson said. “Doane is always able to capitalize on your mistakes. That’s kind of what we talked about before the game and again at halftime is limiting the opportunities we helped to create for them. I think we did a nice job of that coming out and getting that goal in the first few minutes of the second half was huge.”
The halftime talk must have worked, because the Bulldogs were on the board almost immediately, thanks to Stine’s second goal of the game and her fourth of the season.
“We kind of asked her to do something different than maybe she feels comfortable or natural in doing, but she’s a great attacking player and I think she really shined tonight,” Henson said of the 5-foot-4 forward. “Getting two goals for us tonight was huge for her.”
In the 73rd minute, it was senior Meredith Hein getting in on the action with her first goal of the season thanks to an assist from freshman Esther Soenksen. Sealing the deal in the 89th minute was Skerston, who netted her 12th goal of the season.
It was the most goals the Bulldogs have put past a GPAC opponent since their 7-0 thumping of Briar Cliff University back in 2010. The flood of goals was a positive sight for Henson, who commented on the team’s recent struggles to find the back of the net.
“We’ve had a little bit of a five game slump in goal scoring production,” Henson said. “It was something we wanted to focus on in this game. We made a couple of changes in how we were playing system wise and I think the players responded really well to that tonight. It created more opportunities for us to get numbers forward and open up chances to get in there behind their defensive line.”
Despite their dominating performance, Henson says there remain areas that can be improved upon.
“We’ve got room for improvement,” Henson said. “Even tonight we played well and we finished our chances tonight which makes the game a lot easier, but there’s still some areas that we need to improve upon as we go down the home stretch here in conference play.”
Looking ahead, the Bulldogs will get a week to recover as they prepare for a road trip to Lincoln, Neb. to take on Nebraska Wesleyan on Wednesday, Oct. 15.
With their season rounding towards the home stretch and their record sitting near the top of the GPAC standings, the Bulldogs are taking things in stride and remaining poised.
“This was big for us,” senior Marcie Sindt said. “We’ve been struggling to finish opportunities. We just got it done tonight.”