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The women's soccer team (6-5-1, 3-1-1 NAC) suffered a disappointing 3-2 loss at the hands of Concordia, Wis., on Tuesday for their first loss in conference play.
The Muskies went down, 1-0, around the 10 minute mark on a Falcons goal that set the tone for the remainder of the game as they peppered Lakeland's back line with 19 total shot attempts, putting senior goalkeeper Alli Weiss to work for 12 saves.
"We let them take the initiative from the start," said head coach Dave Madsen. "We were nervous coming out and we panicked a little once we went down early."
Although the team fought back in the second half with two goals from freshmen Jessica Hopfinger and Sonja Barone, the early deficit proved to be too much to overcome.
"We struggled to adapt, but once we did we were doing fine and were in better control of the game," Madsen said. "They had some good athletes, but I thought we were the better team so it's disappointing."
Hopfinger scored early in the second half on a cross from sophomore Amy Christenson, but Concordia answered back with two goals of their own. Barone scored the final goal of the game in the 79th minute.
"Jessica had a nice goal off a cross that the goalie had no chance of saving, and Sonja took advantage on an opportunistic play for a score," Madsen said.
Now that Lakeland has faced its first NAC loss of the season the squad will look to step up their game to ensure that a chance at the conference title does not slip away, as they have yet to face top contenders Aurora and Dominican.
"It makes the next games that much more important," Madsen said. "We need to come out and play with confidence from the start because when we do, we can hang with any team"
The Muskies will face their next conference opponent, Edgewood College, on Saturday, Oct. 7, in Madison, Wis., in a match-up that could be similar to the Concordia game.
"I think we're pretty evenly-matched with them," Madsen said. "But if we come out firing, we should have a chance to win."
Game time is set for 11 a.m.