SEWARD, Neb. – While it failed to convert on several prime opportunities throughout regulation, the Concordia University women’s soccer team ultimately celebrated when Maria Deeter’s golden goal in double overtime sailed into the net. Deeter’s heroics allowed the Bulldogs to prevail, 2-1, over Friends University (Kan.), which entered Saturday’s contest with an unblemished 3-0 mark.
Fourth-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad is now 4-1-1 overall and in the midst of a four-game win streak while again protecting the home turf at Bulldog Stadium. Concordia is 26-8-1 in home games under Henson.
“Giving up the goal early set us back a little bit,” Henson said. “We came out a little sluggish out of the gate. Friends is a good team. They’ve really improved over the last couple of years. After we got behind early I thought we really started to play and created a lot of dangerous opportunities.
“It was a back-and-forth affair. It was a little more exciting than we would have liked to have had it, but I’m really happy with our players being able to overcome adversity.”
The game came to an abrupt end with 8:15 showing on the clock in the second overtime session. That’s when Jeannelle Condame, set up on the far right side of the field, lofted a long free kick into the box. That’s where a well-positioned Deeter headed the ball into the net for her third goal of the season.
“All game I had been aiming for Deeter’s head, because she’s the best on our team in the air,” Condame said. “She told me right after she scored, ‘She’s going to be so mad at me if I don’t score this.’ I just aimed for Deeter and she got it in.”
Concordia finally responded to Friends’ seventh-minute goal with an equalizer in the 57th minute. Productive freshman Sami Birmingham found the back of the net for the fifth time already this season with a goal assisted by Lauren Martin.
Friends, a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, had outscored its first three opponents by a combined total of 12-1. On Saturday the Falcons were outshot, 19-12. Esther Soenksen was particularly active, firing eight shots. One of those hit the crossbar.
In goal, Chrissy Lind made five saves while covering all 101 minutes and 45 seconds. Lind and company had shut out their previous three opponents.
A difficult road trip awaits the Bulldogs on Wednesday when they head to Bellevue University (2-2) to take on a Bruin program that has made five appearances all-time at the national tournament. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. Both teams were ranked heading into last season’s meeting in Seward, which went in Concordia’s favor, 2-1.