GAME NOTES: No. 16 women’s soccer looks to extend GPAC unbeaten streak

SEWARD, Neb. – The No. 16 Concordia women’s soccer team has not dropped at contest with a GPAC foe in 14 games and holds a 9-0-5 record vs conference opponents. The Bulldogs will travel to No. 22 Hastings College Wednesday, Sept. 30 for a 7 p.m. kickoff. Then on Saturday, Oct. 3 the Bulldogs will welcome the Defenders from Dordt College for a 1 p.m. start time at Bulldog Stadium.

No. 16 Concordia University (6-1-1, 0-0-1 GPAC) at No. 22 Hastings College (4-4, 1-0 GPAC)
Wednesday, Sept. 30 | 7 p.m. CT
Site: Lloyd Wilson Field in Hastings, Neb.
Webcast: Stretch Internet 
Live Stats: Stretch Internet 

Dordt College (5-3, 0-1 GPAC) at No. 16 Concordia University (6-1-1, 0-0-1 GPAC)
Saturday, Oct. 3 | 1 p.m.
Site: Bulldog Stadium
Webcast: Concordia Sports Network 

Last time out
The No. 16 Concordia women’s soccer team faced Northwestern College Saturday, Sept. 26 to open GPAC play. In a similar fashion of last season's contest, the match ended in a 0-0 tie. Northwestern edged Concordia in shots, 15-13. Jessica Skerston led the Bulldogs in shots with six, one on goal. The Bulldogs had three total shots on goal coming from Skerston, Ashley Martin and Esther Soenksen.

Bulldogs in the rankings
Concordia University women’s soccer continues to gravitate to new heights. On Tuesday, Sept. 22 the Bulldogs jumped five spots in the national poll to No. 16, a position that again ranks as the highest placement in program history. Head coach Greg Henson led Concordia women’s soccer to its first-ever national ranking (No. 24) last season after the Bulldogs defeated conference regular-season champion Hastings in the GPAC tournament championship game.

Concordia, which owns the best overall record (21-4-5) among GPAC teams since the beginning of 2014, is ranked first among its conference rivals. Preseason league favorite Hastings (3-4) dropped back nine spots from the preseason national poll and now sits at No. 22. Concordia has played two teams that remain nationally ranked: No. 6 Benedictine College and No. 15 Bellevue University. The Bulldogs defeated Bellevue, 2-1, in Seward on Aug. 29.

Skerston grabs GPAC Player of the Week honors
Sophomore Jessica Skerston was named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week announced Tuesday, Sept. 22. Skerston received the award after racking up three goals and two assists over three games last week. The recognition is the sophomore’s second GPAC weekly honor.

GPAC rankings
As a team in the GPAC, Concordia leads in goals per game (3.0), total goals (24), goals allowed per game (0.88), shutouts per game (0.5) and total shutouts (4). The Bulldogs are ranked second in total assists (14) and shots per game (17.38), tied for second in shots on goal per game (9.38) and third in assists per game (1.75).

Megan Brunssen – assists per game, tied for sixth (0.38); total assists, tied for fourth (3)

Chrissy Lind – goals against average, first (0.88)

Jessica Skerston – points per game, tied for sixth (1.63); total points, tied for fifth (13); goals per game, tied for seventh (0.63); total goals, tied for fifth (5); assists per game, tied for sixth (0.38); total assists, tied for fourth (3); shots per game, third (4.38); shots on goal per game, sixth (2.13); total game winning goals, tied for ninth (1)

Esther Soenksen – points per game, tied for first (2.88); total points, tied for first (23); goals per game, first (1.25); total goals, first (10); assists per game, tied for sixth (0.38); total assists, tied for fourth (3); shots per game, fifth (4.25); shots on goal per game, third (2.88); game winning goals per game, tied for fourth (0.25); total game winning goals, tied for second (2)

National rankings
As a team nationally, the bulldogs rank 24th in total shutouts (4), 25th in shutouts per game (0.5), 30th in goals per game (3.0) and 32nd in total goals (24).

Chrissy Lind – goals against per game, 32nd (0.88)

Esther Soenksen – total goals, 11th (10); total points, 14th (23); goals per game, 16th (1.25); points per game, 18th (2.88); shots on goal per game, 30th (2.88); total game inning goals, 39th (2)

Jessica Skerston – shots per game, 44th (4.38)

 “The biggest thing over the last few games is we just need to get a quicker start and be able to settle in a little quicker to play. We have a tough game on Wednesday at Hastings and we need to do that there. They’re looking forward to us showing up this year. There will be a little retribution from last season. We have to have our A game and be ready to play and come out of the game with points as we start conference play.”

-Head coach Greg Henson

Scouting the No. 22 Hastings College Broncos
The Broncos of Hastings College are bringing a 4-4 (1-0 GPAC) record into Wednesday’s match. The Broncos have faced Dordt College for GPAC competition this season and defeated the Defenders, 5-0. Three of the four losses suffered by Hastings have come from ranked opponents, including No. 16 Bellevue University who was defeated by Concordia earlier this season. As a team, the Broncos have outshot its opponents, 115-93 over eight tilts. Of the 15 total goals scored by Hastings College two Broncos have scored five apiece. The Broncos are led by head coach Chris Clements who is in his second season at Hastings College. Clements is assisted by Zoe Kurth and Simon Brown.

Scouting the Dordt College Defenders
The Defenders of Dordt College are currently 5-3 (0-1 GPAC) on the season. Dordt dropped its first conference contest of the season, 0-5, to Hastings College. This season, the Defenders have outscored their opponents, 17-16 and outshot them as well, 130-90. Six different athletes have scored at least one goal for Dordt with two scoring five and six goals. Keeper Deianira Felts has tallied two whutouts on the season. The Defenders are led by head coach Bill Elgersma who has been in a coaching roll at Dordt since the early 90s. Elgersma has previously coached men’s and women’s soccer and hockey before returning to women’s soccer in 2014. Elgersma is assisted by Jeanie Elgersma and Jocelyn Nollmeyer.

Up next on the pitch
The Concordia Bulldogs will continue GPAC play next week as they host Midland University on Wednesday, Oct. 7 for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff. The ‘Dogs will then travel to Morningside College on Saturday, Oct. 10 for a start time of 5:30 p.m.