SIOUX CITY, Iowa – As the No. 8 seed in the GPAC tournament last season, Morningside gave the top-seeded Concordia University women’s soccer team all it could handle in the conference quarterfinals. The latest matchup between programs that met in the 2015 and 2016 GPAC tournament title clashes was another classic. A Maria Deeter golden goal in double overtime sent the Bulldogs home from Sioux City, Iowa, with a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night (Sept. 26).
The eighth-game winning goal of Deeter’s career meant that sixth-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad remained perfect in conference play. Concordia is now 6-1-2 overall and 3-0 in the GPAC.
“Every time we play Morningside we know it’s going to be a tough game,” Henson said. “Tonight they were definitely a tough nut to crack. They have a quality program and we knew we were going to be in for a fight. I thought we came out with good energy. The girls showed a lot of resiliency and fought back (from 1-0 deficit). We finally found the winner (in double overtime).”
It was Deeter who won the scramble in the box at a point when it seemed the Bulldogs were about to settle for their third draw of the season. Instead, Deeter found the back of the net for the 30th time in her career. Senior Kaylee Brown was credited with the assist on the goal that allowed the Bulldogs to celebrate a fifth-straight series win over the Mustangs (3-4-1, 2-1 GPAC).
Deeter had also leveled the score in the first half after Morningside had taken an early 1-0 lead via a penalty kick goal. Concordia never faced another deficit. Sophomore Michaela Twito got on the board less than 20 minutes into the second half with a goal assisted by fellow sophomore Tori Cera. Twito’s goal provided a short-lived lead. An impressive strike into the upper left corner of the goal by the Mustangs’ Paytn Harmon equalized just a few minutes later.
A seasoned veteran with 72 collegiate games of experience under her belt, Deeter will never be afraid of any moment. Of course, she has plenty of talent surrounding her within a culture of winning.
“Tonight turned into a typical conference game,” Henson said. “It was a scrappy game. We would much rather put the ball on the floor and keep possession, but it got scrappy. We needed someone to step up in a big moment and win the game for us. Maria Deeter did that for us tonight and she’s done that countless other times. Sometimes it’s just a matter of will.”
After putting up four goals over the opening week of GPAC play, Brynn Suddeth assisted Deeter’s first goal on Wednesday. The Bulldogs wound up with a narrow 13-12 shots advantage. Concordia had a more significant edge in corner kicks (10-2). In goal, sophomore Lindsey Carley made four saves while Mustang keeper Tristan Beaulieu was called upon to make eight saves.
The Bulldogs will return home on Saturday and host Dordt (4-5, 2-1 GPAC) in a 1 p.m. CT contest. The Defenders suffered their first conference loss on Wednesday, dropping a 2-0 decision at Jamestown. Last season Concordia clipped Dordt, 1-0, as part of the stretch run of a GPAC regular-season title push.