SEWARD, Neb. – According to this week’s official GPAC ratings, the Concordia University women’s soccer team will play the conference’s first, second and fourth best teams to end the regular season. For the Bulldogs to be the best, they truly will have to beat the best. This week’s action begins with a pivotal matchup at No. 18 Midland on Wednesday in a battle between two squads without a conference defeat.
This week’s schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 18 at No. 18 Midland (10-1-2, 4-0-2), 5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 21 at Dordt (9-5, 4-2), 1 p.m.
Fifth-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad owns an overall unbeaten streak of nine (7-0-2) and an unbeaten streak of 15 (14-0-1) when playing against conference opponents. The Bulldogs will have an opportunity this week to avenge their most recent loss to a GPAC opponent – a 3-1 home defeat suffered at the hands of Midland on Oct. 12, 2016. Concordia got the Warriors back with a 1-0 GPAC semifinal win that came down to an Esther Soenksen golden goal last season.
Sophomore Sami Birmingham became the fourth Bulldog this season to earn a GPAC player of the week award when she was honored on Tuesday (Oct. 17). A big finish from Birmingham would be a big boost to Concordia’s conference championship hopes. The Johnston, Iowa, native has tallied four goals over the past four games. Defensively, the Bulldogs (10-2-3, 6-0-1 GPAC) have surrendered just one goal through seven GPAC games.
The Warriors have also allowed only one goal in conference play. Midland made a splash during nonconference action by knocking off then No. 16 Baker University (Kan.) in a road game on Sept. 9. Concordia and Midland have been similarly dominant this season. While the Bulldogs have outscored opponents by combined total of 49-12, the Warriors own a 41-5 advantage over their foes. Midland’s top goal scorer has been PT Perez, who has found the back of the net 13 times.
Dordt has come a long way from the team that went 1-8-1 in conference play in 2014. The Defenders impressively took care of Northwestern, 4-0, last week and are in the hunt for a top four seed in the GPAC tournament. Dordt’s balanced scoring attack features four players with six or more goals, including eight from Raquelle Mouw. The Defenders pushed Midland in 2-1 defeat over the weekend in Sioux Center.
The regular season will conclude next week when No. 20 Hastings visits Seward for a 5:30 p.m. CT kickoff on Wednesday, Oct. 25.