Windy environment kills high flying offense in scoreless standoff

By Chase Benton on Oct. 18, 2023 in Women's Soccer

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Bulldogs had less than desirable conditions in their early midweek match, as Concordia and Briar Cliff couldn’t find the back of the net through full time. The 0-0 bout brought offense that was as cloudy as the overhanging sky, leaving the teams knotted at Faber Field. CUNE was able to outshoot the Chargers 7-3 and kept the ball for the majority of the match, scoring an 11-1 corner kick advantage in Sioux City.

The Bulldogs are now 10-3-3 overall and 6-1-3 in the conference, tying their second straight match. Head coach Nick Smith commented on Briar Cliff's defensive shape and the reasons for low opportunites. 

“Briar Cliff made it difficult because they set up in a pretty defensive shape tonight. In the 90 minutes, we weren’t able to create a ton of opportunities and we weren’t playing clinical enough to execute. When you pack the box (as Briar Cliff did), it makes you have limited space consistently. I also think they reached a point where they were happy with a 0-0. There are going to be teams that won’t be able to play us straight out and we are going to see this more in the years to come.”

The two offenses started slowly taking cracks at the goal, as the first shots were by Concordia in the 20th minute. Niah Kirchner and Kierstynn Garner took big swings as both were saved, one by the crossbar and the other by the Briar Cliff keeper.

Garner and company kept trying to build the offense for a goal, but the Chargers piled in the box, making the goal even smaller for the visitors.

In the second half, the Bulldogs came out swinging staying the attacking third for five minutes straight. Savannah Andrews smashed a header early but was unable to get it past the keeper, adding another save to her total.

The Bulldogs would rattle off four shots in the second half, but with a packed box, the match was still locked up at nil. They would stay on the attack with an 8-0 corner kick showing over Briar Cliff in the last 45 minutes. Concordia picked up on the fouls (10) in the second half, hitting double digits (13) before the final whistle.

Trying to find the game winner, the visitors left eight of their 11 starters out on the pitch for the full 90 minutes. The back line continued to stand strong with Grace Soenksen, Taylor Slaymaker, Hannah Kile and Shelby Rugg battling through the whole match to keep the Chargers’ offense at bay.

Another full time starter was goalkeeper Bradi Ore, gathering all three shots on goal, bringing her save count to 41 and complete shutouts to five on the season. The senior has been a bright spot as of late, earning shutouts in three of her last four matches.

Concordia (10-3-3, 6-1-3) comes back home for senior day against Waldorf (0-9-3, 0-6-2 GPAC) on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 21). First kick is set for 4:30 p.m. CT at Bulldog Stadium as the team honors three seniors in Hannah Haas, Kassidy Johnson, and Bradi Ore. The two teams last faced in 2017 with the Dawgs running over the Warriors 7-1 in Forrest City.