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No. 1 Concordia falls to Hastings 2-1 in Second Round of the NAIA Women's Soccer National ChampionshipsSalem-News.com Sports
(DECATUR, Ala.) - After squaring the match midway through the second half, a goal with just under five minutes remaining doomed the top-seeded Cavaliers as unseeded Hastings (Neb.) defeated Concordia University 2-1 in the Second Round of the NAIA Women's Soccer National Championships.
The loss was the lone blemish on Concordia's season as the Cavs ended the year with a 19-1-2 record. Hastings (16-4-2) will advance to the quarterfinals and will face either No. 9 William Carey (Miss.) or unseeded Houghton (N.Y.) on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
Hastings, the Great Plains Athletic Conference champion, struck first with a goal in the 18th minute by Megan Rerucha, who connected on a shot from 18 yards out the lifted into the upper corner of the net and out of reach of CU keeper Tori Talbutt.
It took until the game started to feel like another contest at Delta Park for the Cavs to strike in the second half. With a heavy dose of rain hitting the complex after the halftime break, the CU offense applied consistent pressure on the Bronco defense, eventually outshooting Hastings 13-to-3 in the second half. The Cavaliers would finally break through in the 73rd minute as Tahlia O’Loughlin finished on a scramble in front of the net, tapping the ball from 5 yards out which was sent just inside the right post.
After several attempts to claim the lead, including seven corner kicks in the final 45 minutes, Concordia’s comeback hopes were stalled by a Hastings score with less than five minutes remaining. Countering a CU assault, Amanda Buttner dished the ball to Sara Wenzl from right to left, setting up a Wenzl blast from 20 yards out which was perfectly placed into the upper left corner of the goal.
Overall, Concordia outshot the Broncos 21-to-9 and finished with a 9-to-1 edge in corner kicks. The foul count ended relatively even with 10 whistles against Hastings and nine charged against the Cavaliers. Talbutt finished with five saves, including a leaping tip over the crossbar in the first and a diving save on a rocket shot in the second half. Megan Kreifels collected seven saves to earn the win for the Broncos.
Not only was the loss the first of the season for the Cavs, it was the first time in 21 matches the team had allowed more than one goal. The exit from the tournament represented the first time in eight seasons the Cavaliers will not reach the quarterfinals. The Cavaliers fell in the first round of play in 2001, the first appearance by a CU team at the NAIA National Championship Tournament.
Source: Concordia University
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