Run of home success halted by No. 23 Benedictine

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 9, 2021 in Women's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – Visiting and 23rd-ranked Benedictine College (Kan.) showed why it’s a top 25 team in its trip to Bulldog Stadium on Wednesday (Sept. 8). The Ravens were the clear aggressor in a 3-0 victory that saw them outshoot the Concordia University Women’s Soccer team, 22-5. The Bulldogs fell by a 3-0 final for the second outing in a row.

Head Coach Thomas Goines’ squad learned something about the areas where improvement is needed. Concordia slipped to 1-2 overall. It had gone 3-0-1 over its previous four home games.

“I think it’s a similar story to the Grand View Match,” Goines said. “It’s a very talented team. They’re well-coached and they’re athletic at every position on the field. They challenged us in all three areas of the field. There wasn’t an inch that we didn’t have to earn. It took 45 minutes for us to grow into that. Our first half mentality wasn’t as strong as we wanted it to be. Second half – we challenged the girls to play with a little more desire to be involved in a high-end game.”

The statistics didn’t necessarily show it, but the Bulldogs competed more closely in the second half. The attacking efforts of Benedictine were on full display in the middle of the first half. Concordia managed to survive many of them, with the exception of the corner kick from Madeline Stewart in the 29th minute. In a mass of bodies in the box, Kerry Devine emerged with a header goal. The Ravens never looked back.

On the other end, Concordia generated precious few dangerous chances. Mikeila Martinez put two shots on frame, but it was mostly an uneventful affair for Benedictine keeper Olivia Berry. She made three saves on the way to a shutout.

Things were much different for Bulldog keeper Kalie Ward, who made eight saves while playing the full 90 minutes. A total of 19 players saw action for Concordia. The newcomers have not yet broken into the starting lineup, but several of them are logging significant minutes. Up top, Anisa Lewis has the potential to be a reliable goal scorer.

Said Goines, “We have two more matches on the nonconference schedule against good teams. It’s all about making sure where we’re at when conference play starts. We want to be hitting on all cylinders and have the rotations and the lineup that’s going to find the success we’re hoping for. I don’t think we’re that far off.”

The Ravens also got a goal apiece from Stewart and Madalynn Gill. Since a 1-0 loss to John Brown University (Ark.) to open its season, Benedictine (4-1) has won four consecutive games by a combined score of 16-1.

In a nonconference slate very similar to the 2020-21 season, the Bulldogs will play another repeat opponent. They will head to Winfield, Kan., on Saturday to take on Southwestern College (2-0-1) at 2 p.m. CT. The Moundbuilders defeated Concordia, 1-0, in double overtime back in the spring.