OMAHA, Neb. – Seeking its first win over Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference power Bellevue University since 2010, the Concordia University women’s soccer team fell just short of an upset win on Wednesday night. The host Bruins got an 80th-minute goal from Lauren Clark to break a 3-3 tie, lifting Bellevue to a 4-3 win in a high-scoring, seesaw battle at Tranquility Park in Omaha.
Despite the loss, the Bulldogs proved productive on the attacking end as three different players found the back of the net. The offensive outburst helped Concordia maintain a 3-2 lead as late as the 75th minute and a 3-3 draw until the final 10 minutes.
Head coach Greg Henson’s squad, now 1-1 overall, had hoped to blemish a Bruin home mark that has jumped to an impressive 26-3-3 since the beginning of the 2010 season.
“Bellevue’s a good team. Hats off to them,” Henson said. “It was a back-and-forth game. Unfortunately we came up a little short. I’m very proud of the effort we gave and I think it will be a good building block moving forward.
“Last year we were content just to be able to hang with them. Tonight we’re disappointed that we didn’t do the things we needed to get the win. That (attitude) is a positive.”
Concordia showed resilience on the road by fighting back from a 2-1 deficit to take the lead. Sophomore Megan Brunssen knotted the score just before halftime on a goal assisted by senior Melissa Stine. Then in the 57th minute, senior Marcie Sindt collected a pass from freshman Jeannelle Condame and beat keeper Bailey Petzoldt for a 3-2 advantage.
Contributions came from a variety of Bulldogs on this night.
“Annalisa (Condame) got her first start and she did a great job,” Henson said. “Brunssen was asked to move to a different role and she passed with flying colors. And Chrissy (Lind) probably made the save of her career in the second half. Across the board, I’m proud of the effort.”
It looked like the Bulldogs might escape Omaha with the win until top Bruin striker Mercy Darkoah equalized with her second goal of the game, this one in the 75th minute. Five minutes later Clark provided the game winner, pushing Bellevue to 2-0.
Named GPAC offensive player of the week earlier in the day, freshman forward Jessica Skerston gave Concordia a 1-0 lead with her goal (assisted by senior Marcie Sindt) in the 25th minute. Five days prior, Skerston headed in the game-winning goal in the 1-0 victory over AIB (Iowa).
The Bulldogs went more than 120 minutes to open the season before relinquishing a goal in the 31st minute of Wednesday’s contest. Bellevue got the equalizer on the first goal of the night for Darkoah, assisted by Madison Lambert. That made it 1-1 in the latter part of the first half.
Concordia’s last win over Bellevue came on Sept. 12, 2010, when the Bulldogs won 2-1 on the road over a Bruin team that finished the season at 15-4-2 overall and 5-1 at home.
The Bulldogs continue a busy week of three games in four days when they return to action on Friday. Henson’s club will remain on the road to take on Grace University (1-2) at 4 p.m. on Friday and Bethel College (Kan.) (1-0) at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The contest at Bethel will have a live webcast HERE.