SEWARD, Neb. – At one point early in the second half, visiting Bethany College looked as though it had the Concordia University women’s soccer team on its heels. But the Bulldogs rose to the challenge, exploding for three goals in a five-minute span that turned a competitive contest into a 5-1 victory on Saturday evening. Freshman Rachael Bolin got the attack going with two-first half goals as part of the team’s third game of the season with five or more goals scored.
Fourth-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad remains unbeaten this season at Bulldog Stadium (5-0). Concordia has now concluded its nonconference portion of the schedule with an overall mark of 5-2-1.
“They really kind of put the pressure on us (to begin the second half),” Henson said. “Sometimes you have to ride that storm and get through it. I would have liked us to be a little bit cleaner and a little bit more technical during that time of the second half, but we got through it and the score line held. After that we got the ball on the floor and started to play better. I’m definitely happy with the result.”
Four different Bulldogs found the back of the net. The scoring onslaught picked up with Maria Deeter’s 66th-minute score, which came on a rebound after an Esther Soenksen shot had been saved. Less than two minutes later Sami Birmingham followed with her team-leading sixth goal of the season. Then in the 70th minute, Soenksen played a ball from Birmingham in the box, giving the Lincoln native her fourth goal.
It was the first multi-goal game in the career of Bolin, who matches the four-goal season output of both Deeter and Soenksen. Bolin got loose for scores in the third and 27th minutes. Her first goal came after Kristin Manley played Bolin behind the defense. The freshman then finished in a one-on-one situation with the keeper.
Concordia won despite a 17-14 disadvantage in shots. Bulldog goalkeeper Chrissy Lind was called upon to make nine saves during her 80-plus minutes of action. One of those saves required Lind to sprawl out to her left in a highlight-worthy effort. For a team that’s beginning to take more chances on the attack, Lind may see more shots in the back.
“It’s kind of hard when I don’t get the ball as much. I have to control and organize a lot more,” Lind said. “My goalkeeper coach Dan (Ball) usually talks to me after every half. He might say to slow the game down or we need you to get the ball. Sometimes I like games where I get more shots because I feel like I’m doing more.”
With the game well in hand late, Henson used subs liberally. A total of 23 Bulldogs saw action. Bolin was most active on the attack, firing four shots. Sarah Henderson had the lone goal for the Swedes (2-4). She took nine shots, including five on goal.
The Bulldogs now break from action until next Saturday when Northwestern (3-4, 0-0) visits Bulldog Stadium for a 1 p.m. CT kickoff. The two sides played to a scoreless draw in Orange City last season.