HASTINGS, Neb. – A gritty Concordia defensive performance held host Hastings scoreless for more than 100 minutes until finally cracking in double overtime. Amanda Olson knocked home the golden goal in the first minute of the second overtime to allow the host Broncos (12-4-1, 8-1 GPAC) to escape with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday evening.
The tough loss dropped the Bulldogs to 8-8-1 overall and 4-5 in GPAC play, ending the team’s hopes of hosting in the quarterfinals of the GPAC tournament.
“It’s a heartbreaking loss,” Concordia head coach Greg Henson said. “We played a team who should be nationally ranked into double overtime and we had opportunities to win. We’re definitely coming along. We’re playing good soccer at the right time.”
Bulldog juniors Rachel Mussell and Melissa Stine both had shots on goal in the first overtime that were thwarted by Bronco keeper Brittany Toth. Concordia threatened to end the game during several tense moments in the first overtime.
“We played our best soccer in the first overtime,” Henson said. “We had some legitimate opportunities to win it. It was a situation where they had the bulk of the possession throughout the game. We were able to contain and counter. We just weren’t able to finish.”
Henson commended freshman Chrissy Lind on her stellar effort that held the conference’s most prolific scoring team off the board until the game winner. Lind ended up with nine saves, including several impressive ones that kept the Bulldogs knotted.
“Chrissy played the best game of her college career,” Henson said. “It was unfortunate how it came to an end, but hats off to her for keeping us in the game. She played near flawless.”
While Hastings ended up with a significant 23-9 shots advantage (10-4 in shots on goal), Concordia solidly executed its plan of countering Hastings’ aggressive attack. Senior Jordan Donohoue organized the team’s defense from the center back position for the third-straight game. During that time, the Bulldogs have allowed only two goals overall with just one coming in regulation.
The game got off to an especially slow offensive start as Hastings took only two shots in the first 20-plus minutes while holding Concordia without a shot during the same stretch. The Bulldogs fired their first shot with 19:17 left in the first half when Stine missed wide.
Concordia last defeated Hastings in October 2009 when it upset the then No. 20 Broncos, 2-0. Hastings has won the last five meetings since then. Wednesday’s game marked the Bulldogs’ first overtime contest of the season. Their 2-2 tie at College of Saint Mary on Oct. 2 ended after 90 minutes due to darkness.
The Bulldogs play for the final time in the regular season when they take the field against Dakota Wesleyan (4-11-2, 1-7-1 GPAC) at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Depending on this weekend’s outcomes, Concordia could be seeded anywhere from No. 5 to No. 7 entering the GPAC tournament, which begins Nov. 7. Last season the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers 3-1 in Seward on Sept. 29.
“I told the girls that Saturday’s game is like a playoff game,” said Henson, who now hopes his team can clinch the No. 5 seed in the GPAC tournament.