Rivals play to 1-1 draw

LINCOLN, Neb. – Wednesday’s renewal of the Concordia-Nebraska Wesleyan rivalry was every bit the nip-and-tuck affair of last season’s contest when the Bulldogs prevailed 2-1 in double overtime in Seward. The latest meeting in the series produced another double overtime match, this time played to a 1-1 draw in Lincoln, Neb.

“We had loads of chances and opportunities to score more,” Concordia head coach Lisa White said. “There were several times where we were just a bit off, but I have to give credit to (senior) Kelsie Elder and (freshman) Katie Janis for their work in the back. (Junior) Jordan Donohoue also played very well in the middle.”

The Bulldogs (5-6-1, 3-3-1 GPAC) allowed a goal less than five minutes into the game as the Prairie Wolves’ Amber Johnson found the back of the net for the GPAC’s fifth-leading offensive attack in terms of goals per game (1.64). However, the Nebraska Wesleyan strikers, including leading goal scorer Ashlee Slade, were held scoreless the rest of the way in one of Concordia’s best defensive efforts of the season.

The Bulldogs equalized in the 26th minute when sophomore forward Morgan Ihde scored after chasing down Ashlie Sklenicka’s strike off the keeper. For Ihde, it was her third goal of the season and capped all scoring in the contest.

Wednesday’s game marked the first overtime game of 2012 for Concordia, which went 3-1 in overtime bouts in 2011. Sophomore Rachel Mussell, who is tied for the conference lead with 12 goals this season, knocked in the game winner in the second overtime of last year’s victory over the Prairie Wolves.

The Bulldogs had their chances for a similar win this time around, but a couple of great saves by Nebraska Wesleyan keeper Emily Dierks and some other near misses resulted in a tie.

“Nebraska Wesleyan definitely threatened us,” White said. “But we had a leg up in chances (Concordia had 20 shots to the Prairie Wolves’ eight). We had two great chances where their keeper made brilliant saves and there were a few instances where we were wide or high. I think we may have gotten a bit too excited on some of those. But overall, I’m really happy with how we played.”

The tie kept Nebraska Wesleyan (4-8-3, 3-2-2 GPAC) one point ahead of the Bulldogs in the GPAC standings, which are closely bunched with only four points separating second-place Midland and eighth-place Concordia.

The Bulldogs continue GPAC road action on Saturday when they travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to take on Briar Cliff (6-6-3, 4-2-1 GPAC) at 1 p.m. Concordia will then play its final two regular-season contests at Bulldog Stadium on Oct. 23 and 27.