ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Compelling battles have ensued in recent seasons when the Concordia University men’s soccer team and Northwestern have gotten together. The latest provided more of the same from a competitive standpoint. Though unable to hold a 1-0 halftime lead, the Bulldogs salvaged a 1-1 double overtime draw and a point in the conference standings in Saturday evening (Sept. 22)’s clash in Orange City, Iowa.
The result means that 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad now owns a four-game unbeaten streak. Concordia moved to 4-2-1 overall and to 0-0-1 in GPAC play.
“I was proud of the team. I thought they played well overall,” Weides said. “We still have yet to see our team hit on all cylinders, but there were some improvements throughout this game. Certainly were more positives to take away than negatives. There’s a lot to keep our head held high about it. In a way it felt like a loss because we had a lead and lost it, and I thought we played really well in overtime.”
Statistically, the Bulldogs dominated the 20 minutes of overtime. They outshot the Red Raiders (5-3-1, 1-0-1 GPAC), 7-2, and forced keeper Matt Scott to make a pair of saves. Carlos Ferrer and Jack Arra both put a shot on frame with a chance to knock in the golden goal.
A win would have been a real feather in the cap for Concordia. Northwestern had recently gone on the road to get a 3-2 victory over then 14th-ranked Marymount California University and then received votes in this week’s NAIA national poll. Assisted by Derek Eitzmann, Roger de la Villa found the back of the net in the 43rd minute for the night’s first goal. Just over 10 minutes later, the Red Raiders found the answer with a goal from Alex Schussman.
While the Bulldogs continue to search for their first clean sheet of 2018, they were able to eliminate some of the gaffes that gifted goals to opponents in previous outings. Concordia had allowed at least two goals in each of its first six games coming into the weekend.
“Northwestern has been scoring a lot of goals lately and been having success on the attack,” Weides said. “For us to limit them to three shots on goal is good. Any time we do that, we’re probably going to be in competition to win a game. I think we’re getting better at the little details. We need to make teams earn it.”
Because the Red Raiders put only three shots on goal, they did not test freshman goalkeeper Callum Goldsmith in a significant way. Goldsmith made his second start in a row in place of senior Jack Bennett, who continues to recover from injury. The Bulldogs won the overall shot count, 21-18. Star Northwestern forward Tyler Limmer, the reigning GPAC Offensive Player of the Week, managed four shots, but none on frame.
Another journey to western Iowa is forthcoming on Wednesday (Sept. 26) when the Bulldogs will take on Morningside (4-3-1, 2-0 GPAC) in Sioux City. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. CT. Last season’s meeting resulted in a 3-0 Concordia win in Seward.