SEWARD, Neb. – Working with a 20-mile-per-hour wind at its back, the Concordia attack struck for three goals in the first 30 minutes of play en route to a 3-0 victory over visiting Dordt on a blustery and cold Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs jumped back above .500 in conference play with the win and now sit at 6-4-1 overall and 2-1 in the GPAC.
“Both teams had to deal with some blistery wind conditions so I think that had a little bit to do with how the game went,” Concordia head coach Greg Henson said. “In the first half we were able to get the ball and keep good possession of it and create a lot of opportunities. We scored two goals off of corner kicks or set pieces, which is something we haven’t done a lot this year.”
Concordia got on the board quickly with a beautifully executed corner kick from sophomore Sarah Winningham that resulted in junior Rachel Mussell heading in her team-leading eighth goal of the season. That made it 1-0 less than 13 minutes into action.
Mussell also had a hand in the next two goals as she recorded a pair of assists. She found junior Melisssa Stine, who headed the ball into the back of the net, in the 22nd minute to make it 2-0. Then at the 30-minute mark, freshman Jordan McCoy received a cross from Mussell and scooted the ball past the diving goalkeeper for a 3-0 lead.
McCoy, a native of Arvada, Colo., has emerged as a nice compliment to Mussell and junior Ashlie Sklenicka on the attacking end.
“It was just a really good cross from Rachel Mussell and it was pretty easy to finish it in the back of the net,” McCoy said. “It was mostly all her.”
Using an aggressive offensive attack, Concordia controlled possession and piled up 17 shots (nine on goal). The majority of those shots came during a great first-half performance from the Bulldogs.
Mussell, a native of Buffalo, Minn., entered play tied for third in the conference in goals. She narrowly missed additional tallies in the first half, having one shot hit off the crossbar and one hit the right post.
Junior Emmalyn Rodriguez also just missed on her second goal of the season when her attempt from more than 40 yards out went wide left with the goalkeeper out of the box.
Freshman goalkeeper Chrissy Lind earned the shutout but saw little action as Dordt failed to get off a single shot. The shutout was the second of the season for the Bulldog defensive unit keyed by senior midfielders Jordan Donohoue and Emily Fleming.
“We’re working really well as a team and staying positive,” McCoy said. “There’s not really anyone we can’t beat if we’re at our best.”
Saturday’s win gave Henson’s squad its sixth of the season – equaling the season total from 2012 when Concordia went 6-9-1.
The Bulldogs have seven regular-season games remaining, starting with a road contest at Doane (2-7, 1-3 GPAC) on Wednesday at 5 p.m. Last season the Tigers got the best of Concordia in both meetings, including a 2-1 decision in the first round of the GPAC Tournament.
“I think the players, coming off last year’s results, are pretty hungry to get out there and get a good result against Doane,” Henson said. “There’s not an easy game in the GPAC.”