Vikings victorious in close game against ranked Golden Bears

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Augustana women's soccer team (13-3-1) handed Concordia-St. Paul (14-1-2) its first loss of the season on a rainy Sunday afternoon match at Morstad Field.

The Vikings wasted no time and jumped on the Golden Bears quickly. In just the second minute of the game, forward Morgan Keirstead sent a perfectly placed ball with her right foot to the opposite side of Concordia-St. Paul goalkeeper Jordyn Clark to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.

After the Golden Bears tied the game up on a goal by Nikki Anderson, Keirstead decided to break the tie again. This time, the sophomore sent a rocket to the top-right of the net and cashed in on her second goal of the game, her third of the season, and gave Augustana a 2-1 lead.

Keirstead nearly netted her first career hat trick, however, Jordyn Clark made a miraculous save on a Keirstead shot late in the second half.

After the halftime break, it was Concordia-St. Paul's turn to not waste time getting on the scoreboard. This time, Hannah Pedersen tied the game for the Golden Bears in just the second minute of the half.

Just two minutes later, Augustana broke the tie when junior midfielder Bailey Parsons knocked a header off of the crossbar after a scramble in front of the net, before she headed in her own rebound to give the Vikings a 3-2 lead. Parson's first career goal ultimately proved to be the game-winner.

After a flurry of scoring opportunities by both teams, sophomore goalkeeper Claudia Pueschner made, quite possibly, her most impressive save of the season. Katie Anderson sent a high arcing shot to the middle of the net for Concordia-St. Paul and it looked as if the Golden Bears had tied the match. However, Pueschner leapt and tipped the ball just enough to preserve the lead and see the ball ricochet away off the crossbar.

Overall Pueschner faced 21 shots on the day and made nine saves. Augustana shot the ball 15 times and placed nine of its shots on goal.

With the win, Augustana has now clinched a home contest in the first round of the NSIC Tournament that starts on Nov. 13.

Augustana concludes its regular season on Friday against Wayne State at Morstad Field at 3 p.m. The NSIC Tournament bracket will be set after Friday's NSIC matches and the Vikings will find out who they face in the first round.