By Sam Firminhac, Concordia Athletic Communications
PAPILLION, Neb. – The Concordia University Women's Soccer team finished up nonconference play with a double overtime thriller Wednesday night (Sept 15) in Papillion, Neb. After more than 101 minutes of a deadlock, Lina Kirst was able to find the back of the net and lift the Bulldogs to a 2-1 victory. The matchup between the two teams has been intense over the past few years with three-straight meetings resulting in overtime. Bellevue had won the previous two get-togethers.
Concordia improved to 3-2 overall. The result on Wednesday marked the third all-time series victory for the Bulldogs over the Bruins.
Said Head Coach Thomas Goines, “Last year we had a great battle with them and this year was nothing different. They’re a fantastic team and well-coached with a bunch of skillful players. It was a good sendoff to the conference season with a very challenging conference run ahead of us. We couldn’t ask for much more in terms of a competitive game. It was back-and-forth between both teams.”
Bethany Fuchs was a key player in the match scoring an early goal. This was her first goal scored since her game-winning strike in last year's GPAC championship game. Fuchs also had the assist on Kirst's game-winning goal.
“Bethany really showed well today,” Goines said. “That first goal, she took on two or three defenders, got across the middle and just put the ball home. Then in overtime, it was probably the best team goal I've seen in my two years. It was of four or five good passes and Bethany was on the end of it with a well-slotted ball across the ground. Lina was there to tap it home. It was beautiful to see."
Wednesday night was also notable to one Bulldog in particular for other reasons. Michaela Twito appeared in her 84th career game wearing the navy and white. She now shares the program record for most games played with Jeannelle Condame and Esther Soenksen.
Concordia ended up putting nine shots on goal, while Bellevue (3-5) managed six. Both teams put up 17 total shots. The Bulldogs goalkeeper Kalie Ward ended the contest with a total of five saves and Bellevue’s Sabrina Staufenbiel made seven saves. The Bruins are now 1-5 against GPAC competition this season.
The Bulldogs look to use the momentum from this game as they head into conference play. Goines believes the back-to-back wins will provide a boost to his squad. “It’s always good to get some confidence. It gives you some validation that the process is working and we’re finding results on the field. We have to continue to grow. While that was a good game, we want to grow beyond this as we move forward."
Concordia will be at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday to take on Mount Marty (1-4, 0-1 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT.