SEWARD, Neb. – Visiting Bellevue University did not allow much time for the Concordia University women’s soccer team to revel in its first goal of the 2019 season. A couple of touches after the following kickoff and the Bruins had equalized. Then in overtime, arch villain Emily Weyant struck for the golden goal to keep the Bulldogs winless in nonconference play. Bellevue celebrated a 2-1 victory on Wednesday (Sept. 11) night.
Head coach Chris Luther’s squad has slipped to 0-6 with the two most recent defeats both decided by one-goal margins.
“Especially in the first half, we moved the ball well,” Luther said. “We were generating a lot of the attack that we’ve been wanting to see. We were moving the ball a little better through the midfield, which is something we’ve been looking for. Also in our backfield we’re looking to switch the point of attack through our four backs and through the midfield. I think we accomplished that tonight.”
Dating back to last season’s GPAC tournament championship game, Concordia had gone six full matches without finding the back of the net. That dry spell finally ended in the 53rd minute when Madeline Haugen played a ball over the top of the defenders to freshman Allee Downing, who headed the ball into an empty net. Mark up goal No. 1 in the career of the Sioux City, Iowa, native.
The moment of joy was fleeting. Thirteen seconds later Weyant knotted the game up. A long volley put Weyant on the run and allowed her to get in behind the back line and head the ball past the drawn out keeper. The Bruins (4-4) had only six shots for the night, but they made them count. Bellevue has now defeated four GPAC squads this season.
The Bulldogs have not had the same lineup in back-to-back games yet this season. Luther made another tweak on Wednesday by starting Jessica Knedler at goalkeeper. Concordia also got first team all-conference performer Tori Cera back into the starting lineup after she had missed the previous three games due to injury.
Things truly are better than what the record shows. The Bulldogs outshot Bellevue, 14-6, while letting another opportunity slip through their fingers. This is still the same program that has reached the GPAC tournament final five years running.
“Psychologically it can start to play with you,” Luther said. “We just keep reinforcing the fact that these are all learning moments. We have a big number of freshmen and new players. There are a lot of transitions that we’re trying to work through. We have to keep moving forward.”
Conference play will open up on Saturday when the Bulldogs head to Aberdeen, S.D., for a matchup with Presentation (1-4, 0-2 GPAC), which joined the GPAC as a soccer only member last season. The Saints have already dropped conference contests against Mount Marty and Dordt. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT on Saturday.