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Published November 13 2010

Concordia picks up first-round victory at NCAA D-III women's soccer tournament

ST. PAUL – The first time Concordia soccer player Sarah Rounds scored she had her eyes closed. When she scored again – this time with her eyes open – she couldn’t believe what she saw.

Rounds took a shot from an extremely tight angle and, to her surprise, scored her second goal of the night. The result was far from a surprise with Concordia beating Northwestern (Minn.) 2-0 on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Division III women’s soccer championships at Macalester College.

Concordia (12-4-4) advances to the second round, where it plays the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at 3 p.m. Sunday at Macalester College in St. Paul.

“I had my eyes closed on the first one because I headed the ball in,” Rounds said. “It was a perfect cross by Abby (Habein) and she hasn’t been taking many crosses because she’s been injured. She made such a beautiful run that I had to score.”

Rounds’ second goal was all her. Concordia kept pressuring Northwestern (13-9), firing multiple shots, with the first coming from Sam Johnson.

Johnson’s shot was blocked and it bounced back to Rounds, who took what she described as a weak shot.

That’s when she got the ball back and made it count the second time. Rounds hit a curvy, swervy shot that sailed by defenseless Northwestern goalkeeper Tara Hanson into the net for a 2-0 lead.

“It was more of a cross than a shot really,” Rounds said. “It just curved from the back of the net. It went by and I think she let it in because she was thinking it was not going to go in.”

Concordia coach Dan Weiler said Rounds’ second goal was impressive and it was also the byproduct of a strong second half.

The Cobbers lit up the Eagles by outshooting them 12-5 in the first half. Weiler said the shots were coming but something was just off when it came to scoring goals.

That’s when the adjustments were made in the second half with Concordia launching 16 shots, leading to the victory.

“We stayed disciplined offensively, and defensively did not get impatient,” Weiler said. “We were searching for the first goal and when we got that, we searched for the second goal. When we got the second goal, we were pleased with that.”

Concordia is using a number of things in its quest to advance to the second round.

Rounds said the most important thing the Cobbers has is experience playing at Macalester because it is a conference rival.

The second thing the Cobbers have is a familiarity with the Cities with nine players, including Rounds, being from the area.

Finally, the other key to getting to the second round is milkshakes, Rounds said.

“I think with this group,” Weiler said, “you mention the words ‘ice’ and ‘cream’ or anything having to do with it and they can get pretty motivated.”

FIRST PERIOD: NO SCORING

SECOND PERIOD: 1. C, Rounds (Habein), 49:12. 2. C, Rounds (unassisted), 84:04.

SAVES: C, Nelson 4 saves. N, Hansen 12 saves.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548