SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University women’s soccer team took care of business in the opening week of conference play. The defending GPAC regular-season champions continued their unbeaten streak in conference play by blowing out College of Saint Mary, 6-0, at home before going on the road to knock off Northwestern, 3-1. Head coach Greg Henson’s squad enters the week at 5-1-2 overall and at 2-0 in conference play.
Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Morningside (3-3-1, 2-0), 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29 vs. Dordt (4-4, 2-0), 1 p.m.
The Bulldogs have not dropped a GPAC regular-season game since a 3-1 home loss to Midland on Oct. 12, 2016. Concordia then went on to win its final five conference regular-season games of 2016 (and won the GPAC tournament) before going 9-0-1 during the 2017 GPAC regular-season title run. Throw in two victories to start conference play this fall and the Bulldogs are now 16-0-1 over their last 17 GPAC regular-season games. The lone tie in that stretch was a 0-0 draw at Northwestern last season.
Orange City, Iowa, has typically been a difficult place for Concordia to play. In fact, the Bulldogs had never won there in the GPAC era – until last week. Junior Brynn Suddeth, a transfer from Allen Community College, emerged as the big story of last week for the Bulldogs. A hat trick in the win over College of Saint Mary pushed Suddeth into the starting lineup at Northwestern. She seized the opportunity by scoring the game’s first goal. Also up top, junior Becky Freeman has notched one goal in three games in a row and in five of the last six.
With an average of 3.13 goals per game, Concordia ranks as the second most prolific goal scoring team in the GPAC (37th best nationally). The offensive attack has gotten a big boost from senior Lauren Martin, who leads all NAIA players with 11 assists. She added three to her total in the win over College of Saint Mary. Defensively, the Bulldogs have tightened up their play of late. They have conceded only one goal over the past three games.
Both of this week’s opponents also emerged from the weekend with 2-0 GPAC records. Rated fifth in the official GPAC poll released on Monday (Sept. 24), Morningside has opened up conference play with wins by scores of 4-0 over Presentation and 6-0 over Mount Marty. Meanwhile, Dordt has defeated Presentation, 5-2, and Doane, 3-0. The Mustangs have been solid defensively, allowing an average of 1.0 goal per game. Merle Bublitz tops Morningside with seven goals. The Defenders possess a nice offensive threat of their own in Kenzie Bousema (28 career goals).
A highly anticipated clash looms next week when No. 19 Hastings visits Bulldog Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The Bulldogs will conclude next week by hosting Presentation, a new GPAC member (soccer only), on Saturday, Oct. 6.