Skerston stars as run of dominance continues at Doane

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 26, 2016 in Women's Soccer

CRETE, Neb. – Less than 24 minutes old, Wednesday evening’s game had essentially been decided already. The Concordia University women’s soccer team banked four goals during that stretch and blew away host Doane, 5-0, in Crete. The Bulldogs have now won four-straight meetings with the rival Tigers.

Wednesday’s contest was just the latest drubbing handed out by fourth-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad. Concordia has won four-consecutive games, winning them by a combined total of 16-0. The Bulldogs’ dominant run has pushed their records to 11-5-1 overall and to 6-3 in conference play.

“It was another opportunity for us to come out and move up the standings,” Henson said. “We wanted to come out and establish ourselves early and really put the game away. Doane’s one of those teams that can become dangerous if you leave them in the game. We wanted to come out and avoid the miscues we had at the beginning of the game last Saturday. I thought we did a nice job of that tonight.”

Junior Jessica Skerston feasted upon the Tigers (2-11-2, 2-5-2 GPAC) while recording the first hat trick of her career. The game got ugly with the help of two penalty kicks awarded to Concordia. Skerston drilled both of them to the left of the keeper. Her first goal came during the run of play and was assisted by freshman Sami Birmingham in the fourth minute. Birmingham also assisted on Concordia’s third goal of the night, which was produced by fellow rookie Rachael Bolin.

Skerston now has 35 goals in her collegiate career.

“She’s one of those players – a lot of coaches in the conference understand as well – that you give her the ball inside the 18 and most likely it’s going to end up in the back of the net,” Henson said. “She was very composed and had a quality finish on a great ball in from Sami to get her free.”

Birmingham didn’t want to miss out on the goal scoring fun. She surfaced with her team leading 15th goal of the season in the 57th minute to cap the night’s scoring. Birmingham was also responsible for drawing both fouls in the box that led to Skerston PK’s. The B’s of Birmingham and Bolin have stung opponents for a combined 24 goals in 2016.

Clean sheets have become the norm of late for goalkeeper Chrissy Lind, the reigning GPAC defensive player of the week, and the Bulldog backline. Concordia has gone more than 372 minutes since it last allowed a goal. Concordia again thrived as a defensive unit on Wednesday, limiting Doane to just three shots. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs fired 28 shots – 18 on goal.

The Bulldogs will put a bow on the 2016 regular season on Saturday when they travel to play Dakota Wesleyan (1-13-1, 1-6-1 GPAC) in Mitchell, S.D. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT. Concordia escaped Mitchell last season with a 1-0 double overtime win thanks to the game winner delivered by Skerston. Concordia currently sits in a tie for fourth place with 18 points in the GPAC standings. A win on Saturday would give the Bulldogs a strong chance of locking up the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.