Soenksen, Haugen highlight All-GPAC honor roll

By Jacob Knabel on Nov. 15, 2021 in Women's Soccer

2021 Women’s Soccer All-GPAC Teams

First Team: Grace Soenksen
Second Team: Madeline Haugen
Honorable Mention: Allee Downing, Mikeila Martinez, Kalie Ward

SEWARD, Neb. – A group of five Bulldogs represented the Concordia University Women’s Soccer program on the list of 2021 all-conference honorees released on Monday (Nov. 15) by the GPAC. In highlighting the award winners, Grace Soenksen garnered first team recognition and Madeline Haugen landed on the second team. Honorable mention accolades went to Allee Downing, Mikeila Martinez and Kalie Ward.

A three-year starter, Soenksen has been named First Team All-GPAC for a second year in a row (tabbed Honorable Mention All-GPAC in 2019). The Lincoln Lutheran High School alum has been a standout at center back and a major reason why the program has excelled defensively in recent seasons. The 2020 GPAC tournament championship team allowed only one goal over 19 games while the 2021 squad surrendered 20 goals during an 18-game slate. Soenksen also chipped in with two goals this fall – one of which was a game winner – while starting all 18 matches.

Haugen moves up to the conference’s second team after garnering Honorable Mention All-GPAC laurels last season. While playing 17 games (14 starts), Haugen led the team with four goals, in addition to two assists. In one of the more memorable moments of the season, Haugen emerged with the golden goal in the 2-1 overtime win over Morningside on Oct. 6. The native of San Diego, Calif., has been a key on-field contributor all four years having played in 71 games. She’s posted nine goals and nine assists as a Bulldog.

Downing has been one of the league’s top outside backs over the past two seasons. The Sioux City, Iowa, native was named Second Team All-GPAC last season. Like Soenksen, Downing has had a big impact on Concordia’s ability to limit the opposing teams’ attacks. Downing started all 18 games in 2021 and all 19 games during the 2020 GPAC tournament championship season. Consistently reliable, Downing has not missed a single game in her three seasons as a Bulldog.

Recently named a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, Martinez has earned all-conference recognition for a second-straight year. The native of Fairfield, Calif., led the 2020 team with seven goals and was named First Team All-GPAC. This past season, Martinez started all 18 games and totaled three goals (two game winners) and four assists. Martinez immediately impacted the program when she arrived and has recorded 12 goals and 12 assists over 72 career games played.

Ward, who hails from Cheyenne, Wyo., stepped into a starting role for the first time while taking over the goalkeeper role in 2021. She responded by making 68 saves and picking up four shutouts in 17 games (17 starts). Ward played in 1,543 minutes and sported a save percentage of .782 and a goals against average of 1.11. Also known as “Rocket,” Ward made a career high eight saves versus Benedictine College (Kan.) on Sept. 8.

Head Coach Thomas Goines’ squad finished the 2021 season at 9-7-2 overall and in sixth place in the GPAC regular season standings. The campaign came to an end in the GPAC quarterfinals.