SEWARD, Neb. – Playing its first home game in 25 days, the Concordia University women’s soccer team saw a two-goal lead slip away in the second half of a 4-2 nonconference loss to College of Saint Mary on Wednesday night, under the lights at Bulldog Stadium. The visiting Flames scored the game’s final four goals to completely turn the game upside down.
The loss snapped the Bulldogs’ five-game winning streak. Second-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad is now 6-2 overall and 1-1 at home.
“For about 60 minutes we were the better team, but it takes 90 minutes,” Henson said. “This was a similar result as our other loss (at Bellevue). We have to be able to close out leads. They got the PK and then we have to be able to regroup quickly. We’re in a position where if we play to our ability, we can beat anyone on our schedule.”
The momentum-building penalty kick referenced by Henson occurred in the 53rd minute when Abby Zach delivered a well-placed ball into the back of the net. Suddenly down just 2-1, College of Saint Mary (4-2) had life. Over the next 24 minutes, the Flames got a game-tying score from Zach (63’) and then goals from Sarah McGuire (69’) and Jordan Copple (78’) to doom the Bulldogs.
The scoring binge by the visitors put a damper on what had been a well-played first half and then some for a Bulldog squad that had tied the school record for the best seven-game start to a season.
“We started off well,” Henson said. “We had a good first half and moved the ball the way we wanted. We started the second half by doing what we wanted and got the two goals. We ended up getting caught on a counter then and the PK changed the momentum. We weren’t able to regroup and recover after that.”
Freshman Jessica Skerston put Concordia on top with her 10th goal of the season, coming in the 47th minute. In a crowded box, Skerston whiffed on her first try and then calmly drove the ball into the back of the net to extend her goal-scoring streak to eight-straight games to begin her college career.
The Bulldogs appeared headed for their sixth-consecutive win when freshman Jeannelle Condame launched a missile from well-beyond the box on a free kick that beat CSM goalkeeper Courtney Smith. Seemingly in control, Concordia led 2-0 in the 51st minute.
Indicative of superior first-half play, the Bulldogs outshot the Flames 6-0 in the first half. Concordia held a 13-6 advantage in shots and a 7-3 corner kick edge for the game.
The Bulldogs are back at home on Saturday to host Morningside (2-6-1, 0-1 GPAC) at 11 a.m. The Mustangs fell 3-1 to Hastings in their conference opener on Sept. 20. Last season Morningside topped Concordia, 1-0, in a game played in Sioux City, Iowa.