Bulldogs set to battle Warriors for top spot in GPAC

By Chase Benton on Sep. 25, 2023 in Women's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia has shut out their last two opponents but will host a talented Midland squad on Wednesday (Sept. 27), then ride up to Dakota Wesleyan for their second match of the week on Saturday (Sept. 30). CUNE crushed their two opponents from last week, starting with a 4-0 home victory over Dordt. The road Dawgs didn’t seem to mind the weather delay, claiming a win in an 8-0 drubbing of the Red Raiders, taking their win streak to four. Concordia moves to 7-2 overall and stays undefeated at 3-0 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC).

This Week

Wednesday, Sept. 27 vs. Midland (6-2-1, 3-0 GPAC), 8 p.m.

--Live Webcast | Live Stats | Location: Bulldog Stadium


Saturday, Sept. 30 vs. Dakota Wesleyan (2-5, 1-2 GPAC), 5:30 p.m.

--Live Webcast | Live Stats | Location: Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex


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By the numbers

·       The Bulldogs came out ready to score in the first half against Dordt on Wednesday night (Sept. 20). The Kearney, Neb., native Kierstynn Garner put her athleticism on display in going out on a lengthy run that ended with her beating the keeper 1v1 for the game’s first score. This goal was the third game in a row Garner scored first for Concordia. She bookended that goal with another one after rebounding her own shot in the 85th minute. Savannah Andrews and Hannah Kile scored the other two goals, as Kile doused in a header for her first score as a Bulldog. The trio (Andrews, Garner and Sierra Springer) combined for 15 shots (10 on goal). The back line has been stable throughout this season starting with Taylor Slaymaker and Kile, with other new faces playing big roles through the first half of the season. Niah Kirchner and Grace Soenksen have developed together to give them a steady presence in the middle of the field. Bradi Ore scored a shutout adding one save. The Bulldogs outshot the Defenders 22-3.

·       Concordia continued their week with an 8-0 victory over Northwestern on Saturday (Sept. 23). It was the most goals scored and the biggest margin of victory since the Dawgs beat Mount Marty (12-0) in 2020. Elena Ruiz led off scoring early in the first half and eventually achieved a hat trick by the 48th minute. Sadie Mares and Kate Smith would have their first goal as a Bulldog in the match. Springer, Garner, and Kile would add a goal apiece to move up to eight goals on the match. Ruiz, Garner, and Springer would take 13 of their 21 shots, completing the massive win. The two primary goalkeepers would combine for a four save shutout with Ore (3) getting the start and Banks (1) coming in late. The back line did its job once again as freshmen Shelby Rugg and Mares seem to fit nicely on the back end, conceding zero goals.

·       Ruiz, out of Omaha, Neb., had only scored one goal in the first match and hadn’t caught the back of the net since, and was limited to five shots in the eight games. Her practice would pay off in the performance vs NWC. In the 14th minute, Ruiz stole the ball from a Northwestern defender inside the Red Raider penalty area, slid the ball to her right foot, and smashed a ball into the far bottom corner for her first strike of the day. Less than one minute later, Savannah Andrews dropped a ball right at the feet of Ruiz and she finished once again for the score. She would have her third goal in the opening minutes of the second half and complete her first hat trick for Concordia. The product of Omaha South High School now has four scores and playing with confidence in front of goal.

·       The offense was looking for a couple more scoring options a couple of weeks ago after two back to back losses. Since then, six women have had their first goal of the season or their career. Springer has had the biggest impact with three goals and four assists and thrust herself into a starting role for the Bulldogs. Kile, a defender out of Lincoln, Neb., has contributed two goals, while also helping the defense only allow one goal in four matches. Hannah Haas has contributed her first goal and stepped up for an assist in the match versus Nebraska Wesleyan University. Kirchner, Smith, and Mares all scored their first goals in dominant wins. Head coach Nick Smith has continued to comment, “We are getting more comfortable as a team in front of the net.” His players are showing it on the scorecard.


The Warriors bring their 6-2-1 overall record and 3-0 undefeated GPAC resume into Bulldog Stadium. Make no mistake, Midland will be the toughest opponent Concordia has seen, as they are on a four game winning streak that started against a then-ranked No. 18 MidAmerica Nazarene, defeating them 2-0. The Warriors are much improved from last season, as a year before, the Pioneers routed the Warriors (8-0) on their home turf. Their goal advantage in the GPAC through three games amounts to 13-2, including a 3-0 win over last year’s regular-season champs, Jamestown. Ranked No. 2 in the GPAC conference rating last week (behind Hastings), the Warriors' offense starts with Hanna Schimmer. Schimmer has eight goals and two assists, which is good enough to place her third in the conference in goals and points behind Garner and Andrews. Ami Lewis and Ashley Atkinson reside behind Schimmer with three and two goals respectively for Midland. The back line is anchored by 2022 Second Team All-GPAC Mikayla Chase and Rosa Schellmann has proved to be a quality defender winning GPAC Player of the Week (for Sept. 11-17). All-GPAC honoree in 2022, Hannah Tillison has garnered 720 minutes in goal with a goals allowed average of 0.63 and a save percentage of .886 landing her second best in the GPAC.

Dakota Wesleyan

The Tigers come into the week with a 2-5 overall record and a 1-2 GPAC record. They defeated Briar Cliff (2-1) in a match last Wednesday (Sept. 20). Dakota Wesleyan fell to then No. 20 Hastings (5-0) and College of Saint Mary (1-0) in their GPAC losses so far. The Tigers will face Dordt on Wednesday before hosting the Bulldogs this weekend. The team averages 13.6 shots per game and a .526 shot on goal average. Their leading point scorer Annika Enevoldsen has two goals and two assists through seven games. Three individuals hold a goal apiece to round out their five goals. Dakota Wesleyan uses two primary goalies, Abigail Colgrove (331 minutes) and Isabella Gregg (246 minutes). Colgrove has a 3.26 goals allowed average and a .727 save percentage, while Gregg has a 2.55 goals allowed average and a .731 save percentage.

Next Week

The Bulldogs will step on the field at home versus Morningside on Wednesday (Oct. 4), then will travel to Jamestown, N.D. on Saturday (Oct. 7) to face off against Jamestown. The matches are listed below and will be hosted at Bulldog Stadium and Jimmy Turf Field.

Wednesday, Oct. 4

8 p.m. – vs. Morningside

Saturday, Oct. 7

7:00 p.m. – vs. Jamestown