SEWARD, Neb. – In the renewal of an annual instate rivalry, the Concordia University women’s soccer team relinquished an early lead while up against a perennially strong Bellevue University program. Maiwut Dar and Reyvin Hernandez combined for all of the Bruins’ goals as they tagged the Bulldogs with a rare home defeat. Bellevue won by a final score of 4-1 underneath the Bulldog Stadium lights on Wednesday night.
Fifth-year head coach Greg Henson’s program has suffered only six home losses since the start of the 2014 season. Concordia, now 3-1-1, has been knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten.
“We wanted to come out and create some problems for them early,” Henson said. “I thought we did that with the long throw in from Morgan Raska, which is a dangerous weapon for us. We were able to capitalize early to get the lead. From there we kind of got on our heels a little bit and struggled to do what we think is going to make us successful. Bellevue is a very athletic and very dynamic team. They really put some pressure on us.”
The Bruins (2-2) entered the night with only two goals scored over their first three games despite outshooting their opponents, 60-32. Bellevue made its own luck on this night, piercing a Bulldog back line that had surrendered a grand total of two goals prior to Wednesday. Dar and Hernandez effectively played the role of villains. On this night, they pounced when given the opportunity to finish in the box. Hernandez scored in the 37th and 61st minutes. Dar got credit for the game winner in the 45th minute before adding another goal in the 57th minute.
Hopes for yet another home victory looked promising after junior Lauren Martin’s 12th-minute goal provided an early advantage. Martin hung close to the goal line while freshman Victoria Cera peppered goalkeeper Laurence Rodier with a series of shots from point blank range. Eventually Martin finished right at the net for her second goal of 2017.
The shots (14-14) and shots on goal (10-10) were even on the night. Concordia goalkeeper Jessica Knedler, making her third start of the year, collected six saves. Her counterpart, Laurence Rodier, turned in nine saves. Rodier and the Bruins held sophomore Sami Birmingham off the scoreboard despite her unleashing three shots on frame.
The second road trip of the season is coming up on Saturday when the Bulldogs will travel to Lamoni, Iowa, to take on Graceland University (3-0-1), a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. The Yellowjackets received votes in this week’s NAIA coaches’ top 25 poll. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. CT. Live stats can be followed HERE.