STERLING, Kan. – Returning to action for the first time since last weekend, the Concordia University women’s soccer team avenged a 2013 loss with a 1-0 victory at Sterling College (1-3) on Friday afternoon. Freshman Jessica Skerston continued her goal-scoring run and the Bulldogs recorded their fourth shutout already this season.
Second-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad moved to 3-1 on the road and 4-1 overall.
“We really wanted to come down here and play the way we’re capable of and get the result,” Henson said. “We didn’t play our best the first 30 minutes but I thought we regrouped at halftime and really took it to them in the second half. We got the goal late to seal the victory.”
The game remained scoreless until Skerston took advantage of a misplaced pass in the Sterling backfield in the 79th minute. Skerston made a nice move to elude a pair of defenders and then booted the ball past a diving Michaela Moore for her team-leading seventh goal of the season. The native of St. Charles, Mo., has scored at least one goal in all five games to begin her collegiate career. She also has three game-winning scores.
“Jess intercepted a pass deep in the attacking end and beat a couple players on the breakaway,” Henson said. “Their outside back made an errant pass and Jess took possession and split both of their center backs. It was a very nice goal.”
In last year’s 2-0 home loss to Sterling, Concordia was out-shot 11-6. The Bulldogs reversed that statistic on Friday with 18 shots (eight on goal) compared to nine (four on goal) for the Warriors. Skerston was most active on the attack with five shots, including three on frame. Fellow freshman Esther Soenksen fired off four shots.
Bulldog sophomore goalkeeper Chrissy Lind made four saves while posting her third shutout of the season and sixth of her career. A strong team defensive effort made for a fairly routine day in goal for Lind. Concordia now owns shutout victories over AIB (1-0), Grace University (6-0), Bethel College (2-0) and Sterling.
“It’s been a collective group effort,” Henson said of the team’s early-season defensive prowess. “We’re doing the little things well, being organized and getting in good position. We worked hard to limit Chrissy’s action. The key is we’ve been able to insert different players in the back after some injuries and no matter the make up, we’re getting good results.
“Marcie Sindt did a great job protecting the back four with her play in the midfield. It really comes down to all 11 players. It’s been a team defensive effort.”
Haley Smith led the Warriors with four shots – two on goal. Sterling had little in the way of an offensive threat following the first 30 minutes of play. The Warriors, a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, went 8-8-1 in 2013.
The Bulldogs remain in The Sunflower State on Saturday to take on Friends University at 2 p.m. The Falcons are 2-1 with wins over Bacone (Okla.) and Central Christian (Kan.). A live webcast of Saturday’s game will be available HERE.