Bulldogs top Warriors in defensive battle

By on Oct. 23, 2013 in Women's Soccer

Bulldogs top Warriors in defensive battle

By Taylor Mueller, Sports Information Assistant

SEWARD, Neb. – In a game few offensive opportunities, Concordia women’s soccer notched its seventh victory of the season, defeating visiting Midland, 1-0, inside Bulldog Stadium on Wednesday evening.

“It was huge,” junior Melissa Stine said of the victory. “Every day, (coach Greg Henson) says we need these three points to be able to go on in the conference and guarantee a spot in the playoffs, so tonight’s win was really big for us.”

Concordia (7-7-1, 3-4 GPAC) needed just an early second half corner kick from junior Rachel Mussell to Stine who headed the ball past the goalkeeper from just a few yards away.

“It was a really good corner by Rachel Mussell and we’ve been working on set plays throughout the season and as it’s gone on, we’ve been able to put them in the back of the net. I was right there at the right time,” Stine said.

Midland would come close to evening things up, however, when midway through the second half, they were able to get past the Bulldog defense on a couple of occasions. Freshman goalkeeper Chrissy Lind earned the shutout with five saves, some coming in situations that appeared dicey.

It may not have been the prettiest win of the season, but Henson was happy with his team’s performance on the field.

“I’m really pleased with the effort today,” Henson said. “It’s been a tough stretch for us. We’ve been on a three game losing streak – three games we played well and could have easily have had a different result. I’m really happy that we were able to get out there and get after it and come away with a win. It wasn’t pretty at times but like I told the girls, ugly wins are still wins and we’ll take them whichever way we can get them.”

Scoring opportunities were not easy to come by either, as Concordia was able to get off just six shots, three of which were on goal.

With numerous injuries haunting the Bulldogs and not many substitutions coming off the bench, Stine noted that a focused mind-set was crucial for the team’s success.

“We’ve been practicing every day and making sure we keep our fitness up but along with that we also expect everybody on the bench to be ready at all times to come in and step up when they need to,” said Stine, who is battling the flu.

Seniors Emily Fleming and Jordan Donohoue came up big in the back. After playing in an attacking role and getting off seven shots on Saturday, Donohoue starred in a defensive role on Wednesday.

“We had to make a little bit of a switch,” Henson said. “We got a little bit of an injury match after our last match up at Northwestern. A couple key players weren’t available for us today. We had another couple that were battling injuries but were able to play. We had to switch things up a little bit and move Jordan a little bit further back than I’d like to have her in the game. We had two of our better players in the backfield but they did a great job back there and really held Midland at bay.”

No matter the differences from one game to the next, Henson commented that the grit that his players have was a big role in the outcome of the game.

“Our bench is shorter than I’d like to see it,” Henson said. “I really think it’s a testament to the players to be able to overcome adversity and go out there and battle. We’ve got a lot of players playing 90 minutes, there was kind of a gut check at the end of the match and they came through with flying colors. (I’m) very pleased with them and their performance today.”

The Bulldogs will play their final home game of the season Saturday, Oct. 26 when they host Briar Cliff at 5 p.m. Concordia’s five seniors, including Kayla Asche, Donohoue, Fleming, Louisa Mehl and Jory Schweers, will be honored.