SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – There was no sign of a letdown three days after a dramatic double overtime win at Midland for the Concordia University men’s soccer team. The Bulldogs claimed a 5-0 win at Dordt in a contest played in Sioux Center, Iowa, late in the afternoon on Saturday (Oct. 21). Concordia continues to breathe down the neck of eighth-ranked Hastings in the GPAC standings.
Tenth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad continues to grow its program record win total. The Bulldogs have moved to 14-1-1 overall and to 7-1 in conference play. The seven GPAC wins are also a new school standard. They have now clinched a home game in the GPAC quarterfinals set to take place Oct. 31.
“The guys played really well,” Weides said. “We did a really good job of forcing Dordt into not their strongest performance. Credit to the way our guys pressed and played and limited their opportunities. It was a really good performance. I think there was an opportunity to be distracted. Our guys are really trying to vie for some important goals this season. Sometimes you get in these situations and people want to think about tomorrow. We were really trying to focus on today.”
Concordia buried five of its eight shots into the back of the net, courtesy of five different goal scorers. Both Florian Caraballo and Ryan LeTourneau netted their first career goals. LeTourneau knocked the game’s final tally in the 88th minute to add an exclamation mark. Other goals were turned in by Marcelo Hernandez (23’), Matthew Ho (27’) and Micah Lehenbauer (51’). Lehenbauer has pulled even with Lewis Rathbone for the team goal scoring lead with 11 apiece. Rathbone chipped in a pair of assists on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Jack Bennett was not tested with a single shot on goal. Just a few days after racking up seven goals in their win at Mount Marty, the Defenders (8-9, 2-6 GPAC) were completely stifled on the attack by a stellar Concordia team effort. The wide spread on the scoreboard gave Weides a chance to substitute liberally in the second half.
“Top to bottom, we played really well,” Weides said. “No. 1 it was great to see Florian get his first goal of the season. He’s played so well. It was a good finish. We had a lot of quality goals. They were five good goals. We were actually able to play everybody we traveled with, which doesn’t happen that often. Everybody who stepped on the field, whether they played a few minutes or a bunch of minutes, played really, really well.”
Saturday’s kickoff was delayed by about an hour due to lightning that pushed back the start of the women’s game that was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. CT. Concordia ended up winning four of its five GPAC contests played outside of Seward.
The Bulldogs will close the regular season with their most anticipated home game of the campaign. Defending national champion and eighth-ranked Hastings (13-3, 7-0 GPAC) will invade Bulldog Stadium for an 8 p.m. CT kickoff on Wednesday (Oct. 25). The two sides met in the conference tournament championship games in both 2015 and 2016. A win would allow Concordia to clinch at least a share of the GPAC regular-season title for the first time in program history.