SEWARD, Neb. – Tuesday’s rivalry renewal versus Doane, featuring two of the top goal scorers in the GPAC, went the way of the Tigers in a decisive manner. Even with prolific junior forward Courtney Richards (tied for second in the GPAC with 12 goals entering Tuesday) out with an injury, Doane peppered the back of the net on the way to a 5-0 victory at Bulldog Stadium.
Freshman sensation Sara Cushing, tied with Richards for second in the GPAC in goals prior to Tuesday, leaped in front of Concordia’s Rachel Mussell for the GPAC goals lead with a hat trick on Tuesday. Cushing knocked in goals in the 30th, 76th and 85th minutes, the last capping the Tigers’ five-goal outburst.
Senior Ally Tamerius also helped picked up the slack for the injured Richards with a goal each in the 24th and 62nd minutes. Tamerius, who came in ranked fifth on the Tigers (10-5, 6-3 GPAC) with three goals on the season, was an unlikely star in a game filled with top-flight strikers.
“Their second goal was the one where the wheels fell off the wagon a bit,” Bulldog head coach Lisa White said. “It looked like we thought it was offsides so we stopped. We were standing around like what happened. You could just see that we weren’t connecting well with each other tonight.”
Concordia junior forward Jordan Donohoue had one of the few prime scoring chances for the Bulldogs with a shot on frame midway through the first half. However, her strike that scooted across the ground was saved by goalkeeper Kelsey Stark who dropped to her right to make the stop.
For the game Concordia (6-7-1, 4-4-1 GPAC) mustered just five shots, with only two on goal. Doane fired 11 total shots and made the most of its five attempts on goal. Cushing was the epitome of efficiency as she scored on all three of her attempts. Cushing has been a big reason why Doane began play leading the GPAC with 2.93 goals per game.
Meanwhile, Mussell, who started the day leading the league with 13 goals, was held to only two shots, neither on goal as the offensive attacked sputtered.
White believes her team will rebound quickly for the stretch run with her team currently sitting in seventh place in the GPAC. The team she saw Tuesday was not the same squad she expects to see the rest of the season.
“We need to move on,” White said. “We know this is not who we are. I’m really excited about how Marcie (Sindt) played tonight. She had a fantastic role back there, stepping into the midfield and really helping us try to keep possession. Her fight was awesome tonight.
“You take the good things and forget the bad things and move on. It’s too quick of a season to dwell on it.”
Tuesday’s blanking marked only the second time this season Concordia has been shutout.
The Bulldogs will play their final regular-season game of the season on Saturday when Northwestern (7-6-2, 4-3-1 GPAC) visits Seward for Senior Day. With a muddled middle of the GPAC standings, Concordia is still uncertain about where it will be headed for the GPAC Championships, which begin Oct. 30.