SEWARD, Neb. – In a contest reminiscent of its 6-1 win over McPherson College (Kan.) two weeks earlier, the Concordia University women’s soccer team waited until late in the opening half to finally break through on the attack. The Bulldogs were the aggressor the rest of the way in a lopsided affair. Brynn Suddeth’s hat trick helped boost Concordia to a 6-0 home victory on Wednesday night (Sept. 19).
Although sixth-year head coach Greg Henson likely felt like his team could have put away additional goals earlier in the evening, the Bulldogs (4-1-2, 1-0 GPAC) will take the win and three standings points. They are now 15-0-1 over their last 16 GPAC regular-season games.
“I thought we came out with a lot of energy and started well, something we haven’t done in the past,” Henson said. “Obviously we didn’t get on the scoreboard early. A lot of that is a credit to Saint Mary. They came out to play. In the GPAC you know you’re going to get a dogfight against any opponent. After the halftime break we did a better job of taking quality chances. I’m pleased with the second half performance.”
Henson had to caution his team against taking any opponent for granted, even one coming off an 11-0 loss like the Flames (0-7-1, 0-1-1) had suffered at Bellevue University last week. The first career goal for freshman Callie McNary in the 35th minute settled things in. After missing its first 10 shots, Concordia had relieved the early offensive frustrations, at last.
Eventually it became the coming out party for junior forward Brynn Suddeth, a transfer from Allen Community College. Suddeth had tallied 23 goals over her two seasons at Allen. Her outburst on Wednesday included a goal each in the 56th, 77th and 89th minutes. It marked the second time Suddeth has pulled of the hat trick in a college game.
“Maria Deeter called it,” Suddeth said. “She said I was just going to put one away and then I was going to go off. It feels amazing and I feel like I’m back to myself again.”
Newcomers collected five of the night’s six goals. Freshman Madeline Haugen also got on the board in the 86th minute after making a nifty move to beat a defender and slot the ball past the keeper. Junior Becky Freeman also found the back of the net in the 61st minute after skillfully playing a perfect through ball from Lauren Martin around the keeper.
Let’s talk more about Martin. The senior from Longmont, Colo., has been terrific all season. She entered the night with eight assists this season (one off the national lead) and then assisted on the first, third and fourth goals on Wednesday.
The hope is that the second half can be the start of Concordia finding its groove in conference play. Perhaps “Suds,” as they call her, will continue to make the Bulldogs more dangerous going forward. Said Henson, “If we can get the ball on her foot inside the 18 we expect her to find the back of the net. Overall, the players we expect to step up, stepped up tonight. I’m really pleased with the effort from the offensive end.”
Henson went on to commend several others who contributed to the win. Lauren Martin looked comfortable moving back out wide. Mikelia Martinez recorded two assists and Deeter had one. Meanwhile, Concordia put up its second clean sheet in a row. Goalkeeper Lindsey Carley made three saves, but was rarely challenged significantly.
The Bulldogs will now face their first road challenge of the conference season when they travel to Orange City, Iowa, on Saturday for a clash with Northwestern (1-6, 0-1 GPAC). Concordia went 1-0-1 last season versus the Red Raiders with the win coming at home in the GPAC semifinals.