Seniors to be honored in week of games versus Briar Cliff, Presentation

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 18, 2021 in Women's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – The regular season will end in less than 10 days for the Concordia University Women’s Soccer team. In this week’s action, the Bulldogs will play at Briar Cliff on Wednesday before coming home to host Presentation for senior day on Saturday. Mathematically, Head Coach Thomas Goines’ squad could still place anywhere from third through ninth in the GPAC standings. The top four seeds earn the right to host in the GPAC tournament quarterfinals.

This Week

Wednesday, Oct. 20 at Briar Cliff (11-1, 9-0 GPAC), 1 p.m.
--Live Webcast | Live Stats

Saturday, Oct. 23 vs. Presentation (2-8-1, 1-7 GPAC), 5:30 p.m.
--Live Webcast/Stats

Conference play has been a bit of a roller coaster for Concordia (7-5-2, 4-3-2 GPAC), which currently resides in seventh place in the GPAC standings (but only two points out of third). Over the past six league games, the Bulldogs have alternated wins and losses with each result coming down to the margin of a single goal. Last week, Mikeila Martinez’s 51st minute goal (12th of her career) paved the way for a 1-0 home win over College of Saint Mary. Three days later, Concordia relinquished a goal in the 88th minute and fell at Hastings, 1-0. The Broncos limited the visitors to just one shot for the entire 90 minutes.

It’s clear that the Bulldogs do not have the most explosive offensive attack, but they have remained ultra-competitive due to their consistently gritty defensive efforts. Concordia also dealt with some adversity last week in having starting center back Callie McNary sidelined by injury. The Bulldogs have not conceded more than a single goal in a game since the 2-2 draw at Northwestern on Sept. 25. During the month of October, Concordia has surrendered four goals over five games. Last week, keeper Kalie Ward made a combined nine saves and earned a shutout in the win over College of Saint Mary.

As part of senior day festivities on Saturday, the program will honor seven seniors:

·        #8 Bethany Fuchs (Aurora, Colo.)

·        #9 Madeline Haugen (San Diego, Calif.)

·        #21 Mikeila Martinez (Fairfield, Calif.)

·        #4 Callie McNary (Hastings, Minn.)

·        #00 Kalie Ward (Cheyenne, Wyo.)

·        #6 Sydney Rogers (Overland Park, Kan.)

·        #30 Cheyenne Smith (Alpine, Calif.)

It should be noted that the online roster reflects remaining athletic eligibility (in other words, the academic seniors are listed as juniors). The class of four-year players has helped the program to a combined record of 37-25-11 since the start of the 2018 season. The group helped the Bulldogs win the 2020 GPAC tournament title and advance to the conference championship game in 2018. Martinez earned First Team All-GPAC accolades last season when she led Concordia in goals. In addition, Haugen and Smith were chosen as Honorable Mention All-GPAC award winners in 2020.

Defending GPAC regular season champion Briar Cliff has dominated conference play, outscoring its GPAC opponents by a combined total of 29-5 this season. The lone loss all season for the Chargers came at the hands of then No. 24 Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.), 5-1, on Sept. 3. Taylor Alkire leads the team with 11 goals while star Flor Suarez has chipped in with four goals and a team best seven assists. The Chargers will be out to avenge the 1-0 defeat they endured last season in Seward.

Presentation will need to make a miracle run down the stretch in order to reach the GPAC tournament. The Saints managed to claim a 2-1 victory over Doane on Sept. 23. They also lost by just a single goal, 3-2, to Jamestown. A GPAC member in soccer only beginning in 2018, Presentation has been outscored by a combined total of 39-12 this season. Georgia-May Murphy and Amy Turner have produced two goals apiece to lead the team. The Bulldogs are 3-0 versus the Saints over the past three seasons.

Concordia will close the regular season by playing at Doane on Oct. 27. Dates for the GPAC tournament are Nov. 4 for the quarterfinals, Nov. 9 for the semifinals and Nov. 12 for the championship game.