45-23-9 (.643) mark over past four seasons
PELLA — For the second time in three games, the Central College women’s soccer team delivered some last-minute magic, resulting in a 1-0 Iowa Conference season-opening win over Luther College Saturday.
Forward Brittany Hinton (sophomore, Davenport, West HS) took a pass from midfielder Julie Wunder (junior, Muscatine) and knocked home the game’s only score with just 55 seconds remaining to extend Central’s school-record winning streak to six games. It was Hinton’s first goal of the season. A goal with 31 seconds left Tuesday night at Northwestern had lifted the Dutch to a 3-2 win.
“Julie sent a beautiful through ball and then Brittany got us a win,” said coach Mike Kobylinski. “We keep having different players stepping up. That’s a great sign.”
It was just Central’s second win over the perennially powerful Norse in the teams’ 18 meetings.
Central (8-2 overall, 1-0 conference) was outshot 19-14, although the Dutch held a 10-9 advantage in the second half. Luther (4-4-1 overall, 0-1 conference) had a 10-4 edge in the first half.
“Luther took it to us a bit in the first half,” Kobylinski said. “They’re very well coached and they always play tough and hard. We really talked at halftime about matching Luther’s intensity and I thought we did that. The second half leaned towards us.”
Central’s goal came moments after Luther’s Maggie Herrity fired a shot that hit the crossbar.
“Soccer’s a funny game,” Kobylinski said. “But I was very happy with the way our back line played and with (goalkeeper) Steph (Hasken) (senior, Davenport, West HS) getting her fourth shutout. They all played lights out.”
Hasken made six saves.
The Dutch, who have played nine games in 17 days, get a couple days off before traveling to Des Moines Tuesday for a non-conference game at Grand View University starting at 7 p.m. Central surprised the Vikings in last year’s season opener, 2-1, but still trails in the teams’ all-time series, 4-2.
For now, however, the Dutch can savor a 1-0 start in league play.
“It’s massive,” Kobylinski said. “I told the players to enjoy it and I hope they do. I’m going to.”
But he also knows there’s a long road ahead in conference play.
“There’s a lot of parity,” Kobylinski said. “We’re going to see a lot of 1-0 and 2-1-type games. Everybody is pretty even.”