Bulldogs shut out as Briar Cliff remains unbeaten in GPAC play

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 19, 2022 in Women's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Women’s Soccer team had its hands full on Wednesday (Oct. 19) with one of the nation’s most prolific goal scoring teams. Mady Soumare and the Chargers emerged from Bulldog Stadium with a 3-0 victory while controlling the action. The Bulldogs surrendered a goal in the 14th minute and never recovered in a game that was uncharacteristically one-sided.

Head Coach Thomas Goines’ squad had come off a 1-0 loss to Hastings in which no goals were scored in the run of play. Concordia slipped to 8-5-2 overall and 3-5-2 in GPAC play with two games remaining in the regular season.

“Any time you give a good team a couple goal lead, it makes everything exponentially harder,” Goines said. “Their first couple goals were just really good soccer. They knocked it around. Their second goal came on a really good sequence of play and a really nice finish. Certainly we hoped to defend a little better, but there was some high quality play in the first half. That second half we challenged the girls to respond with energy. The second half was much more representative of who we are as a group.”

In order to pull off the upset, the Bulldogs needed to capitalize on whatever attacking chances they could muster. Those opportunities were extremely limited (four shots and two shots on goal). On the other end, Soumare and her attacking mates showed off some flair in combination play that resulted in two well-executed first half goals. Ariana Rodriguez had the first and Soumare put away the second. The visitors from Sioux City, Iowa, led the shot count, 11-4.

Concordia managed to more adequately mark the Charger strikers over the final 45 minutes. The only goal during that stretch was an own goal that provided Briar Cliff a commanding 3-0 advantage. One of the biggest highlights of the second half for the Bulldogs was a diving save made by Kalie “Rocket” Ward at the 75-minute mark. It was still a two-goal game at the time.

It’s just a matter of time before freshman Kierstynn Garner gets back into the goal scoring column. Still the team’s top goal scorer with seven goals in 2022, Garner put one shot on frame on Wednesday. Garner and Soumare represent two of the league’s most talented freshmen. Soumare has put away 17 goals for the defending GPAC tournament champion Chargers (11-1-2, 9-0-1 GPAC).

Said Goines, “The second half is where we want to play in terms of energy level. We’ve seen it most of the year but maybe had it dip in the first half. It’s playoffs now. We’re in playoff mode. We have to win to continue getting chances to play in the playoffs. That’s where we’re at as a team and where we’re at in the season. The focus has to be on finding results.”

The Bulldogs will take to the road this weekend, bound for Aberdeen, S.D., where they will take on Presentation (6-4-3, 3-4-2 GPAC). Kickoff from Saints Soccer Field is slated for 1 p.m. CT. Concordia has won all four meetings with the Saints since they joined the GPAC beginning with the 2018 season. Last year’s clash ended in a 2-0 victory for the Bulldogs.