Concordia snags nonconference road victory
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Concordia men’s soccer team began a three-game road swing on Tuesday afternoon and picked up a victory over AIB in Des Moines, Iowa. The Bulldogs (1-1) rode first-half goals by junior Donal Landrum and senior Nathan Douglas along with a stingy defensive effort to win for the first time this season in two tries.
“It was a hard-fought win against a good AIB team,” Concordia head coach Jason Weides said. “They put us under a lot of pressure. They put a lot of balls in the box and challenged us in the air. We stood up well to those challenges. It was one of those grind-it-out victories.”
The Bulldogs got on the board early with a score from Landrum, a junior college transfer from Arizona Western Community College. Landrum received a well-executed pass from sophomore Gideon Soensken behind the AIB defense. He then played a couple of touches before depositing the ball into the net in the 15th minute for his first career goal as a Bulldog.
“He can be pretty dynamic,” Weides said. “He’s dangerous and can score some goals. It was good to see him get on the scoresheet.”
Douglas, the Bulldogs’ most prolific goal scorer over the past few seasons, inched closer to the school’s all-time goals record. Douglas tallied his first goal of the season on Tuesday off an assist from sophomore Jake Sells in the 31st minute. That gave Douglas his 30th career goal, one off Aaron Skipworth’s program record.
Defensively, sophomore Will Gabbert made his first career start and served as a key cog in the stellar defensive effort. Gabbert, commended by Weides after Tuesday’s match, made a big impact at center back and aided in junior goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan’s first shutout of the season and third of his career. Buchanan came up with a career high 17 saves on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs won despite a 29-5 disadvantage in shots and a 17-5 disadvantage in shots on goal.
The Eagles (2-2), a member of the NAIA’s Midwest Collegiate Conference, have wins this season over Baker (Kan.) and Waldorf (Iowa). They entered play with five goals scored in their first three matches.
The Bulldogs will be back on the road this weekend for games at Siloam, Ark., on both Friday and Saturday. They will take on John Brown University (Ark.) (2-1) on Friday at 4 p.m. and Oklahoma City University (1-1) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
With a challenging weekend slate ahead, Tuesday’s game had added significance.
“It was an important game,” Weides said. “It wasn’t a must-win game, but it was important. We had a tough game on Friday and we needed to bounce back. It wasn’t a beautiful game for us today, but we did what we needed to. It’s nice going into a tough weekend. We’ve expended a lot of energy the past two games.”
3 September 2013