SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. – A trip of nearly 450 miles south landed the Concordia University women’s soccer team in Siloam Springs, Ark., for its first road journey of the 2019 season. The Bulldogs kicked off the John Brown University Classic by playing the host school as a treacherous early season slate continued. The 13th-ranked Golden Eagles protected their own Alumni Field with a 3-0 win on Thursday (Aug. 29) night.
First-year head coach Chris Luther’s squad remains in search of its first goal of 2019. Concordia dropped a 2-0 home decision to Missouri Valley College last week. The Bulldogs have slipped to 0-2 with one more contest left on the trip.
“They’re definitely a skilled team,” Luther said of JBU. “We played well with them. They just moved the ball extremely quickly in the midfield. They’re a very fast team. We’re still trying to work some bugs out with our communication in the midfield.
“At halftime we adjusted our formation and we felt like that really helped us. Again, I felt like the second half was way better than the first. We felt like we played better than we did Saturday against Missouri Valley and we’re continuing to see improvement against quality teams.”
One other positive takeaway – Concordia started this game better than it did versus Missouri Valley when it allowed two goals in the opening eight minutes. John Brown actually went more than 15 minutes without even a single shot. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the floodgates eventually opened. Anne Metz, Kristen Howell and Kylie Kilfoy all got on the board for the home team.
Concordia managed only four shots, including two fired by Madeline Haugen. Jennika Chapman also put a shot on frame while testing JBU keeper Caitlyn Logan. The Golden Eagles (2-0) outshot the Bulldogs, 11-4, and held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Luther made a slight tweak to the starting lineup with Becky Freeman getting the nod on Thursday. Three Concordia freshmen made their collegiate debuts while coming off the bench: Kadyn Lane, Isabel Sloss and Grace Soenksen, the younger sister of former Bulldog Esther Soenksen.
The Bulldogs will remain in Arkansas for another stiff challenge on Saturday when they take on No. 19 University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Kickoff from Siloam Springs is set for 1 p.m. CT. Earlier in Thursday’s action, USAO ran away from Oklahoma Wesleyan University, 4-0.
“I try to talk to them about not looking at the ranking or that number behind their name,” Luther said. “We just have to show up and be who we are. I think we ended up running through six freshmen tonight. We’re still trying to learn and sort things out in the nonconference schedule, which is what the nonconference schedule is about typically. This year it’s just a little bit tougher and we have to keep improving every game.”