Bench helps lift Bulldogs in Salina

By Jake Knabel on Sep. 8, 2018 in Men's Soccer

SALINA, Kan. – The players that head coach Jason Weides called upon off the bench delivered for the Concordia University men’s soccer team Saturday (Sept. 8) in Salina, Kan. The play of the reserves helped the Bulldogs come from behind in the second half to claim a 3-2 victory over host Kansas Wesleyan University.

The game winner proved to be the 78th-minute goal that came courtesy of the hustle displayed by freshman Daniel Campbell. Weides’ squad is now 2-2 overall this season.

“We got a win against a good Kansas Wesleyan team,” Weides said. “It was a good response from our last game. It wasn’t always perfect, but we did just enough and were able to score some goals to get a win. Kansas Wesleyan has some dangerous players and we defended them well … Suddenly we were down 2-1 and our guys showed some good resilience. We made a few subs and those subs had a really good impact.”

Concordia had already tasted a disappointing defeat on the road at York College. The Bulldogs wanted to make sure they didn’t suffer the same fate this time, though they were in danger when Terrence Gima put the Coyotes up 2-1 in the 68th minute. Kansas Wesleyan (1-2) had effectively erased what had been a 1-0 deficit for the host.

Enter the Bulldog bench mob. An emerging key figure, junior David Carrasco pushed his season team high goal count to three with the equalizer in the 73rd minute by finding the back of the net despite a tight angle. Joao Pedro Verissimo earned credit for the assist. Less than five minutes later, the Bulldogs were celebrating a 3-2 lead after Campbell got on the board for the first time in his collegiate career. Weides described the goal as a “scrappy, hustle play.”

Carrasco assisted on the game winner. The native of Bogota, Colombia, has caught Weides’ attention with his efforts since preseason camp.

“He’s doing quite well,” Weides said. “He’s looked sharp this season. We knew he would have a greater role than in years past, just by the way he was playing in preseason. That’s proved to be accurate. He started against Bellevue but he’s also come off the bench. He’s been a super sub for us. No matter how many minutes he gets, he seems to make an early impact. He did it today as well. Fortunately today we had a lot of guys come off the bench and really helped us.”

The Bulldogs were helped to a 1-0 lead when the Coyote goalkeeper misplayed the ball in the second minute. Konrad Sinu was the beneficiary. His goal gave Concordia an early lead that it held onto until the 21st minute. A second goal in the first half was just out of the Bulldogs’ reach. Roger de la Villa had a shot glance off the post on what particular strike.

At this point, Weides just wants to clean up some of the breakdowns that are allowing opponents to score an average of 2.0 goals per game despite a low number of shots. The Bulldogs held a 17-9 shot advantage over Kansas Wesleyan. Once Concordia regained the lead, it tightened the screws on Saturday.

“I thought we defended well in those last 15 minutes to see the game out,” Weides said. “There were a lot of positives. We’re still conceding way too many goals considering the amount of shots teams get on us. We have a break down here or there. That’s something we’ll clean up throughout the season. Once we do we’ll be a lot more dangerous. It was a good response and a good win for the guys.”

Next up is Wednesday (Sept. 12)’s home matchup with McPherson College (Kan.) (0-2-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium.