Mussell, Bulldogs top Chargers again

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Head coach Lisa White’s squad continued its mastery of Briar Cliff, topping the Chargers 3-1 on Saturday to give Concordia its fourth-straight win in the series. Since falling 3-0 to Midland on Oct. 10, Concordia has gone unbeaten in its last three games.

“We were a little bit hectic those first 15 minutes or so,” White said. “We had to get used to what Briar Cliff was throwing at us. We were so much more composed the rest of the way. In the second half we made some minor adjustments and our players really did what we asked them to do.”

The Bulldogs got on the board first with sophomore forward Rachel Mussell’s GPAC-leading 13th goal of the season in the 27th minute. Mussell received a well-placed ball over the top of the Briar Cliff defense from junior forward Jordan Donohoue and calmly drilled it into the net.

The score remained at 1-0 in favor of Concordia (6-6-1, 4-3-1 GPAC) until Briar Cliff’s Julie Redus equalized with a goal in the 50th minute. But the Bulldogs would respond emphatically with a pair of goals to put the contest out of reach.

Sophomore forward Melissa Stine cashed in on the assist from Ashlie Sklenicka in the 76th minute. Sklenicka’s offering shot past the goal, but Stine made a great play to collect the ball and deposit it into the net for her fourth goal of the season.

Junior midfielder Lindsey Spaits added the exclamation point with her first goal of 2012, assisted by junior defender Emily Fleming (sixth assist of the season) with 6:18 left in the game. The goal put the game out of reach and brings Concordia into a tie with the Chargers at 4-3-1 in GPAC play. Briar Cliff, now 6-7-3 overall, was coming off a 2-0 win over Dordt in its most recent outing.

While the offensive attack enjoyed a solid game, the Bulldog defensive unit also played very well in helping Concordia win the ball in the back. Fleming, Donohoue and junior Louisa Mehl all played a big role in limiting Briar Cliff to a single goal.

“Our back five were phenomenal,” White said. “They were a really fluid unit. They read each other well and Donohoue and Fleming were great in their movements. Those two were fantastic in keeping us in control and keeping the ball in our possession.”

With her goal on Saturday, Mussell has now scored at least once in nine of Concordia’s 13 games and at least once in seven of the last 10 games.

The Bulldogs finish the regular-season schedule next week with home games versus Doane (9-5, 5-3 GPAC) on Tuesday and against Northwestern (7-5-2, 4-2-1 GPAC) on Saturday. Both games are set to kickoff at 5 p.m. from Bulldog Stadium. The GPAC Tournament begins Oct. 30.