LAMONI, Iowa – A bit of a slow start failed to stop the Concordia University men’s soccer team from remaining unbeaten in 2017. Goals by Lewis Rathbone and Marcelo Hernandez helped lift the Bulldogs to a 2-1 road victory over Graceland University in an evenly contested game on Saturday afternoon.
Tenth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad now stands at 4-0-1 overall. Concordia has scored exactly two goals in three of its four wins this fall.
“We started to get a little better as the first half went on,” Weides said. “We were able to equalize late in the first half with one of our best attacks in the first half. I think we were fortunate to be 1-1 at the half. Second half we were better. We defended better individually and collectively. We felt fortunate to walk away with a win.”
The Bulldogs got the benefit of a foul call in the box in the 88th minute and the score tied at 1-1. After Luke Batters drew the foul in the box, senior Marcelo Hernandez emerged with the game winning goal via a penalty kick. Despite putting only four shots on frame in 90 minutes, Concordia left town with a win that avenged a 1-0 home loss to Graceland in 2016.
The Bulldogs finished with a slight 12-10 edge in shots. Graceland owned a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal. Goalkeeper Jack Bennett made five saves while again playing all 90 minutes. Hernandez came off the bench and led the team with three shots. Three teammates fired exactly two shots.
Concordia was forced to dig out of a 1-0 hole after Joao Luis Holtskog Aguiar scored in the 23rd minute. The Bulldogs waited until a Lewis Rathbone goal (assist by Matthew Ho) in the 41st minute to equalize. The stats reflected more well-played second half by the Bulldogs, who earned a 9-3 shot advantage over the final 45 minutes of action.
Saturday marked the college debut of Joao Pedro Verissimo, who was one of six substitutes used by Weides.
Another road trip to Iowa is upcoming on Wednesday (Sept. 13). Concordia will arrive in Forest City, Iowa, to take on Waldorf University at 3:30 p.m. CT. The Bulldogs are scheduled to return home next Saturday (Sept. 16) and host Kansas Wesleyan University.