SEWARD, Neb. – A stingy Nebraska Wesleyan defense held the Concordia strikers at bay for much of Saturday evening’s homecoming match inside Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs were limited to just six shots as the Prairie Wolves (7-2-3, 4-1-1 GPAC) snagged a 2-0 road victory. Concordia dropped to 6-6-1 overall and 2-3 in GPAC action.
“Unfortunately they jumped out right out of the gate and got a goal on us 30 or 45 seconds into the game,” Bulldog head coach Greg Henson said. “That kind of changed the momentum from what we were wanting to do early.”
Trailing 2-0, Concordia finally cracked the scoreboard in the final minute of the contest when senior Jordan Donohoue headed in a goal off a corner kick from sophomore Sarah Winningham. That came right after Donohoue hit the post with a shot less than a minute earlier as part of a frustrating sequence of shots that narrowly missed landing in the back of the net.
“The game changed a little bit in the second half,” Henson said. “We were able to get a lot more chances. We were able to push more numbers forward to create those chances. I think, if I counted correctly, we hit the crossbar or the post about four times or so.”
Similarly, Bulldog junior forward Ashlie Sklenicka just missed on an equalizer early in the second half when her free kick hit the post with Concordia trailing 1-0. Just a few minutes later, Wesleyan added a second goal as Concordia keeper Chrissy Lind laid on the ground after getting taken out. That allowed Shannon Surber to tap the ball into the net for the 2-0 advantage.
Freshman Kristin Manley came mere inches from knocking in a goal with three minutes to go as the ball hit the cross bar and dropped to the turf outside the goal.
Most of the Bulldogs’ prime chances came in the final minutes as Henson concentrated his team’s efforts on the attacking end. Concordia’s six shots were only one fewer than Wesleyan’s seven. Both teams had three shots on frame.
Donohoue and Sklenicka both got off two shots apiece to lead Concordia. Winningham and Manley both shot once.
Halfway through the conference season, Henson has seen that his team is capable of competing with anyone in the conference – there just isn’t much margin for error.
“The GPAC is a tough conference and we’re starting to get into the meat of the schedule,” Henson said. “Every game is going to be difficult and there are no easy games from here on out for us. It’s a matter of us doing the little things right. The little things sometimes make for the difference in the game.”
The Bulldogs do not play again until next Saturday when they take to the road and play Northwestern (6-6-2, 3-2-1) in Orange City, Iowa, at 3 p.m. The Red Raiders spoiled Concordia’s senior day last season by nabbing a 4-0 victory in Seward. Henson says the break in the schedule will be used in part to get some rest for a lineup that logs heavy minutes.