Encouraging week leads into matchups with CSM, Hastings

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 11, 2021 in Women's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Women’s Soccer team competed intensely with top of the GPAC’s top teams last week as part of an encouraging stretch of action. The Bulldogs will attempt to build upon those results (which included a win over Morningside) this week as they host College of Saint Mary on Wednesday and travel to Hastings on Saturday. Only five games remain on the regular season slate for Head Coach Thomas Goines’ squad.

This Week

Wednesday, Oct. 13 vs. College of Saint Mary (6-5-1, 4-2), 7 p.m.
--Live Webcast/Stats

Saturday, Oct. 16 at Hastings (7-4-1, 3-3-1), 5:30 p.m.
--Live Webcast/Stats

Last week’s foes, Jamestown and Morningside, remain ranked first and third, respectively, in the official GPAC poll. In home action on Oct. 6, Concordia celebrated a golden goal scored in the 97th minute by Madeline Haugen. The game winner lifted the Bulldogs to a 2-1 overtime victory over Morningside. It marked the program’s first win over the Mustangs since 2018. Three days later, Concordia was edged, 1-0, at Jamestown in a rematch of this past spring’s GPAC tournament championship match. The Bulldogs were held without a shot the entire second half (outshot 11-4 for the game).

With goals at a premium in many outings this season, Concordia has again taken on an identity as a defensive-minded squad. At keeper, Kalie Ward has risen to the occasion in her first season as a starter. Last week she made a combined seven saves while helping the Bulldogs hang with two of the top teams in the GPAC. Within conference play, Concordia has surrendered a total of just six goals in seven games. The results of late were enough to push the Bulldogs into a tie for fourth in the official GPAC poll posted to the NAIA website on Monday.

Seemingly regardless of opponent, the Bulldogs have been living on the razor’s edge this season. Nine of Concordia’s 12 games have been decided by one-goal margins or with draws. The Bulldogs have played four overtime games and are 2-0-2 in those instances. They also celebrated an overtime win at Bellevue University on Sept. 15 when Lina Kirst put away the game winner. Five of Concordia’s six wins have been by one-goal margins. The only exception was the 7-0 victory over Mount Marty on Sept. 18.

College of Saint Mary endured a rough-go last week in losses by scores of 3-0 to Briar Cliff and 3-1 to Bellevue University. The Bulldogs will need to keep an eye on Abbey Wilson, who has scored 10 goals this season for the Flames. CSM owns GPAC victories over Northwestern, Dordt, Mount Marty and Midland. It is currently situated one point above Concordia in the GPAC standings. In last season’s meeting, the Bulldogs topped the Flames, 1-0, in overtime with the help of Cheyenne Smith’s golden goal.

Historically a powerhouse in the GPAC, Hastings is out of contention in terms of the conference championship race. However, the Broncos remain a solid team that routed Dakota Wesleyan, 7-0, in one of their most eye-popping results. Since then, Hastings has gone 2-3-1 with wins over Presentation and Mount Marty. The top goal scorer for the Broncos has been Dekota Schubert, who has found the back of the net seven times. Hastings will attempt to avenge the 1-0 defeat it was handed in Seward last season.

As part of next week’s slate, Concordia will play at Briar Cliff on Oct. 20 before hosting Presentation on Oct. 23. The contest on Oct. 23 will serve as senior day for the Bulldogs.