OMAHA, Neb. – Wednesday night’s contest versus Grace University (Neb.) offered Concordia women’s soccer a unique opportunity to play at Creighton University’s Morrison Stadium in Omaha, Neb. For Bulldog junior forward Rachel Mussell, it was business as usual. The Buffalo, Minn., native knocked in three goals to lead a 7-0 rout of the Royals (1-6).
“It was really a matter of well-timed runs,” Concordia head coach Greg Henson said of Mussell’s big night. “She made some good runs and players found her. All of those goals really were team efforts.”
Concordia improved to 5-3 overall after winning its first game of the season played outside of Bulldog Stadium.
Mussell needed just over 13 minutes to pull off her second career hat trick. She scored barely a minute into play, then again at about the three-minute mark and yet again 13 minutes into play. That gave Mussell goal Nos. 5, 6 and 7 on the season and her fifth career multi-goal game.
Plenty of other Bulldogs got in on the fun as seniors Jordan Donohoue and Louisa Mehl, freshman Rachel Brandt and junior Emmalynn Rodriguez each found the back of the net once. Sophomore Sarah Winningham dished out two assists and Donohoue and juniors Meredith Hein and Taylor Johnson recorded one assist apiece.
For all goal scorers not named Mussell, it was their first scores of the 2013 season. For Brandt and Rodriguez, their goals were the first of their collegiate careers.
Concordia dominated play throughout the match, finishing with a 35-2 advantage in shots while firing 19 shots on goal. The goalkeeping duo of freshman Chrissy Lind and sophomore Taylor Wolf were kept clean and did not face a single shot on goal as Concordia dominated possession.
“We played well and did a lot of the things we needed to do,” Henson said. “We had the tempo we wanted. We had a three-goal lead less than 15 minutes into play. We outplayed them deep into the back and did the things we wanted to do.”
Mussell’s first career hat trick came on Aug. 23 of last year in a 5-4 loss to NCAA Division II University of Nebraska-Kearney.
The Bulldogs’ seven goals were the most for the program since defeating Briar Cliff, 7-0, on Oct. 30, 2010. The team’s previous season high for goals came in a 4-1 victory over Bethel College (Kan.) on Aug. 28. The shutout was Concordia’s first of the season and first since a 1-0 victory over York on Sept. 19, 2012.
“Their reaction was great,” Henson said of how the team responded to playing at Morrison Stadium. “They were ready to go. It’s a great facility and Creighton was a great host. Our players were excited and it showed in their play.”
Grace’s women’s soccer program is in the first year of existence for a school that is in the process of transitioning into the NAIA. The Royals lost their most recent contest prior to Wednesday, 7-0, at Waldorf College (Iowa). Grace is led by head coach Tanya Benning.
The Bulldogs return to conference play on Sunday when they travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to challenge Morningside at 5 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for Saturday but was moved due to a conflict. The Mustangs (5-2-2, 1-0 GPAC) received votes in the latest national poll.