Nebraska Wesleyan has control of its own destiny in the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) heading into the final weekend of league play in women’s soccer. The Prairie Wolves moved into a tie for first place with a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Concordia University on Tuesday night at Abel Stadium.
The victory coupled with Morningside College’s 3-0 loss at Dordt College on Tuesday puts Nebraska Wesleyan, now 12-3 overall, and Morningside tied at 8-2 in the GPAC standings. The two teams collide in the conference finale for both teams here on Saturday night with the title on the line.
For the first 60 minutes of Tuesday night’s match, it appeared Concordia (9-7-1 overall, 7-3 GPAC) might be the one contending for a share of the league crown. After a scoreless first half, CU’s Brittany Tomsick scored her 10th goal of the year on an assist from Nora Rolf at 56:23 to put the Bulldogs in front 1-0.
Then, at 70:27, NWU sophomore Brooke Woodward beat her defender and launched a shot from 20 yards out that snuck in the back post to tie the match 1-1. Two minutes later, Nebraska Wesleyan senior Sara Wulff threaded a through ball between two Concordia defenders and Megan McCarville nailed the shot past goalkeeper Victoria Reetz, who was charging on the play, to put the Prairie Wolves on top at 72:38.
“I’m glad Concordia scored early because we sped up and that helped our attack,” NWU Head Coach Taylor Haynes said. “We learned something today because our bench came to play. They helped us move the ball around better and helped take the pressure off our starters.”
Nebraska Wesleyan’s Stephanie Anderson added an insurance goal with less than nine minutes remaining with a 30-footer that floated over Reetz’s head and into the very top of the goal. Anderson and McCarville are both juniors from Lincoln Southeast.
“McCarville had her best game of the year and was a spark for us when we were struggling,” Haynes said. “Once our starters saw they had support, that relaxed the whole group. It was an entire team effort.”
In the men’s match, it took more than 82 minutes, but the Nebraska Wesleyan finally found the net in a 2-0 win against Concordia.
Senior Brandon Lyons came up with a ball deflected by sophomore teammate Mitch Memming and hit a shot inside the box at 82:43 to put the Prairie Wolves ahead of the Bulldogs 1-0. Then, less than two minutes later, Lyons returned the favor and delivered a pass to Memming, who put a move on Concordia's keeper and slammed home an insurance goal at 84:27.
The NWU men improved to 7-5-1 overall (6-3-1 GPAC).