Penalty kicks help Ravens claim victory over Bulldogs

By Chase Benton on Sep. 9, 2023 in Women's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia had a week off to prepare before the high shooting Benedictine College (Kan.) came to town on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 9). The Ravens were gifted two penalty kicks in the second half and took advantage, putting distance between them and the Bulldogs for a 3-0 win in favor of the visitors. The home team couldn't keep possession as Benedictine controlled the ball for the majority of the first half. Play evened out in the second giving them confidence moving forward.

Concordia dropped to 3-2 on the season against a talented Raven squad that averaged almost 19 shots a game coming into the matchup. Head coach Nick Smith spoke on the tale of two halves in the contest against Benedictine.

“When we met at halftime, we were happy with our effort but wanted to tweak a couple of things on the field. We made those tweaks really well. We made the second half an even game and two penalties made the win more flattering than what it should have been, but I was pleased with the performance in the second half.

With limited minutes for sophomore Kierstynn Garner, the Bulldogs were off to a rough start in the first half, getting outshot 6-1 in the first 25 minutes and 12-1 through 45. Many chances for the Ravens ended up sailing high off the feet of their potent offense. Benedictine’s leading goal-scorer finally gets through the stout Concordia defense giving them the 1-0 lead in the 27th minute. The two teams would remain scoreless for the rest of the first 45 minutes.

The even-keeled Bulldogs came out of the locker room with a plan to slow down the Ravens attack and tried to find the equalizer, down only one score.

A penalty by CUNE on a Benedictine attacker gave Emily Shepherd a penalty kick in the 53rd-minute. She was able to get it past goalkeeper Bradi Ore for her first goal of the season.

After 23 minutes passed, the Ravens were given another penalty kick in what seemed to be a questionable penalty call on Grace Soenksen. Nevertheless, Shepherd scored her second goal putting the game out of reach for Concordia.

The second half ended with only a two shot (4-2) and one corner (3-2) advantage for the visitors. Ore had four saves on the day. Playing as a unit, the Bulldogs head coach Smith was asked about what you can take from a game like this for the future.

“The big thing we haven’t had this year is the mental tests that test our resolve. Today, I liked our responses to the penalties, but we had a group that never quit. We played through the full 90 minutes and for that, we can be proud.”

Concordia (3-2) will travel for their final nonconference match, stepping on the field against Nebraska Wesleyan University (1-4) on Thursday (Sept. 14). The contest is set to start at 7 p.m. CT at Abel Stadium. The Prairie Wolves lead the series with a 4-3-2 record over the Bulldogs since 2006.