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Home Sports Women’s soccer sweeps Doane, has impressive individual performances

Photo description: Sophomore forward Kierstynn Garner battles her way past the opposing team

Photo credit: Esther Molina (Photo from previous game)

Cohen Carpenter

Sower Staff


The Bulldogs played their final regular season game against the Doane Tigers Wednesday night in Crete in a late-night matchup where Concordia was victorious with a score of 4-0. The victory moved Nick Smith’s squad to an impressive 12-3-3 record overall and 8-1-3 in conference play, both good for second in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, only trailing Hastings by one game in either category.

As for the Tigers, Doane’s season-long struggles continued Wednesday night. Having not won a game since Sept. 20, the loss against Concordia marks their eighth game in a row either losing to or tying their opponent. The Tigers were also playing for a win in front of their home crowd, a feat the Tigers have not accomplished since the first game of the season on Aug. 26, when Doane opened the season with a 1-0 victory over Saint Mary. The Tigers’ record dropped to 3-8-4 overall and 2-6-3 in the GPAC.

Keeping with recent trends, the Bulldogs, just eight minutes into the action, got on the board first Wednesday night — an occurrence in every one of Concordia’s GPAC wins this season. Also a common occurrence was the goal-scorer sophomore forward Kierstynn Garner being the team’s leader in shots and goals. Setting up the goal was junior defender Taylor Slaymaker, who both stopped Doane’s attack and facilitated the upcoming goal. Corralling and wrestling away the ball from a Tiger forward, Slaymaker put a strong touch on the ball, sending it far behind Doane’s backline. From there, Garner used her speed to create a one-on-one with the keeper. A gentle touch to the left of a sliding goalie guided the ball into the back of the net — Garner’s 18th on the season.

With 24:10 left in the half, the Bulldogs went right back to the honey pot, executing the play that may have given some in attendance deja vu. Just behind midfield, a strong touch was put on the ball, this time by sophomore midfielder Savannah Andrews, that sailed far behind Doane’s deepest defenses. Showcasing her speed once more, Garner was off to the races once she had possession. The Tigers’ keeper, freshman Grayce Southern, took a better angle the second time around, disrupting Garner’s straight path to the goal. Nevertheless, a touch, skip and a jump found Garner staring down an empty net yet again, making the score 2-0 for the Bulldogs.

Refusing to relent, Concordia added to their lead mere minutes later, with 21:10 left in the half. Following a corner kick, Doane was in position to clear the ball and begin an attack of their own — that was, until sophomore forward Sierra Springer drew a foul in the penalty box attacking the ball. Lining up to take the penalty shot was Savannah Andrews, the Bulldog’s second-leading goal scorer. Andrews’ aim was true, and she snuck the ball in the right side without a dive from the keeper. The rout was now in full effect as the score was 3-0 with over an hour of game left to play.

The game went relatively quiet for the rest of the first half, and the 3-0 was taken into halftime. It only took a few dozen minutes for the Bulldog offense to extend the lead once more in the final frame. With 31:01 left in the game, sophomore defender Shelby Rugg found Springer on a beautiful through ball that found its way to the top middle of the penalty box. Once Springer had possession, she promptly outran her defender and outshot the keeper, sending the ball sailing to the middle of the net. Springer’s fifth goal of the season, along with Rugg’s first assist, extended the Concordia lead to 4-0, which proved enough to survive the final half-hour of game time.

On the night, the Bulldogs outplayed the Tigers in every statistical category. Concordia finished with 15 total shots, only two of which were not on goal. Doane, on the other hand, wrapped up with four shots, only one of which was on goal.

Individually, there were multiple Bulldogs with notable performances. Garner boasted a perfect shooting percentage, with both of her shots taken finding the back of the net. As for Garner’s offensive counterparts, Springer and Andrews had very similar games statistically, both finishing with one goal and three shots on goal. Shelby Rugg logged the only assist of the game, along with a season-best outing shooting the ball, shooting twice with both shots being on goal. In the goal, senior keeper Bradi Ore had a quiet but perfect night, saving Doane’s only shot on goal.

The impressive win in Crete Wednesday is the cherry on top of a great regular season for the Concordia Bulldogs. However, their stiffest competition is still ahead of them. Having played their final regular season game, Concordia must await the results of Hastings’ final two games against Dordt on Oct. 25 and Howard-Stowe on Oct. 28, which will ultimately determine playoff seeding. As it currently stands, Concordia could be anywhere from the first to the third seed depending on the final conference games being played this week.

Either way, no matter the regular season outcomes, Concordia is guaranteed to host the first round of the GPAC playoffs, the quarterfinals, on Thursday, Nov. 2.

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