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Eric Peterson, Published November 04 2010

Concordia hits its stride with MIAC women's soccer tournament victory

Concordia entered the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament on a two-game losing streak.

However, you wouldn’t have guessed that based on the way the Cobbers played Wednesday at Jake Christiansen Stadium.

Concordia erupted for three goals in the second half to earn a 4-1 victory against St. Thomas in the MIAC women’s soccer semifinals.

“It’s a good confidence booster,” Cobbers coach Dan Weiler said. “We have been to the playoffs so many times, our experience paid off with that.”

No. 2-seeded Concordia

(11-4-3) plays at top-seeded Carleton (14-2-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday in the MIAC final. The Cobbers have played in six of the last seven MIAC final.

The winner of Saturday’s game earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament. However, Carleton and Concordia both likely have strong enough résumés to earn an at-large NCAA bid if either loses in the MIAC finals.

“We want to win because there is no guarantee of a bid and it is Carleton,” said Cobbers senior midfielder Sue Obermiller. “That’s like our biggest rival.”

Obermiller had a strong showing Wednesday versus the Tommies, scoring one goal and adding two assists. She helped set up the Cobbers first goal less than three minutes into the game. She crossed a ball that freshman Gina Weiss punched into the back of the net.

Obermiller also assisted on a Sarah Rounds goal at 55 minutes, 26 seconds for a 2-1 lead early in the second half. Obermiller scored her goal at 61:10 to stake the Cobbers to a 3-1 lead.

“This has been by far her best year since she has been at Concordia,” Weiler said of Obermiller. “Defenders have to really respect her. She can go either direction, and she is very fast. She has been playing at a high level all year.”

Weiss capped Concordia’s strong second half with her second goal of the game at 87:40. The Cobbers had the wind at their back in the second half, which Weiler thought was a key factor with winds gusting to around 30 mph.

“I knew we were going to get more chances to score playing with the wind and playing more aggressively,” Weiler said. “It was just a matter of scoring those key chances, which we did.”

Weiler also thought it was important that his team scored an early goal going into the wind in the first half.

Obermiller agreed.

“It was a huge, huge factor, especially to calm the nerves and let everyone get settled in and play our game,” Obermiller said.

FIRST HALF: 1, CC, Weiss (Obermiller, Johnson) 2:19. 2, ST, Savino (Scherer) 28:24.

SECOND HALF: 3, CC, Rounds (Obermiller, Swagger) 55:26. 4, CC, Obermiller (Johnson, Nelson) 61:10. 5, Weiss (Koehn) 87:40.

SAVES: ST, Byron 2-0–2. CC, Nelson 1-2–3.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com