In a battle between the two remaining unbeaten teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, the Western women’s soccer team came away with a 2-1 win over Concordia on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Robert S. Harrington Field.
Western improved to 9-0-1 and now stands alone at the top of the GNAC. Western is on a nine-game winning streak and has won the last 20 games played at Harrington Field.
It was a historic day for senior defender Sierra Shugarts as she scored her first career collegiate goal. Junior midfielder Emily Webster had a free kick from 25 yards out that Shugarts rose up and headed home.
“It was like, ‘I have to score this,’ kinda thing,” Shugarts said. “It was positive reinforcement for me. It was awesome.”
The score remained 1-0 until the 55th minute when senior midfielder Caitlyn Jobanek took a pass from senior forward Elise Alyward to the left side of the box and drove a left-footed kick back across her body and into the far post. Jobanek has now scored three goals in the past week of play.
“I thought we did the best job we’ve done this season on recognizing when the game opens up in each half, and keeping the ball more and creating chances.”
Concordia got on the board in the 78th minute on a blast by senior forward Bobbi Eckler that sailed 25 yards before nicking junior goalie Ashley Homer’s fingertips and going into the back of the net. This was Homer’s first goal allowed in four games.
Concordia turned on the pressure the final 10 minutes but Western’s defense held strong. Head coach Travis Connell said Concordia is athletic and motivated but that his team just had to be patient.
“I thought we did the best job we’ve done this season on recognizing when the game opens up in each half, and keeping the ball more and creating chances,” Connell said.
Western’s next game will be at home against Montana State-Billings at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6.