Concordia head men’s soccer coach Jason Weides says his team is still searching for a complete 90-minute performance following a two-game swing in Siloam Springs, Ark. The Bulldogs came back for a 2-1 victory over John Brown University (Ark.) on Friday before completing the trip with a 1-0 loss to Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon.
Concordia (2-2), shut out for the first time this season on Saturday, had opportunities on goal but the attack kept coming up short against a Stars team that is receiving votes in the NAIA’s national rankings.
“We really didn’t play well in the first half,” Weides said. “We weren’t disciplined and just didn’t perform to the level we’re capable of. I thought we got better as the game went on. We went to the half down 1-0 and after that we played with more urgency.”
The game’s only score came in the latter part of the 27th minute when Oklahoma City midfielder Ruy Vaz found the back of the net to beat Bulldog keeper Brendan Buchanan.
The lone goal would stand up for the Stars (2-2) as goalkeeper Joe Shulberg notched his first shutout of 2013. He came up with four saves on the day.
Most of the Bulldogs’ greatest threats to Oklahoma City’s lead came in the second half with Concordia producing nine of its 14 shots over the final 45 minutes.
“We possessed the ball much better in the second half,” Weides said. “We created a lot more opportunities and did a better job winning the ball. We just couldn’t quite get that final pass or put it on frame.
“We faced a good team. There was no slouch competition this weekend. Oklahoma City is the caliber of team you would see at nationals.”
Concordia’s 14 shots equaled the Stars’ respective number. The Bulldogs’ four shots on goal were one more than Oklahoma City’s three.
Concordia senior Nathan Douglas, bidding to break the program record with his 32nd career goal, misfired on four shots with one of those being denied by Shulberg in goal. Juniors Chris DeFeyter and Donal Landrum were also active with three shots apiece.
Buchanan provided another solid match, once again occupying all 90 minutes in goal. He notched two saves.
Following the trip down south that included two games decided by a single goal against quality opponents, Weides believes his team has learned a lot about itself.
“We learned we need to be more disciplined in the game plan,” Weides said. “We were a bit impatient. We would have an idea of what we wanted to do and then abandon it too quickly. We showed more patience in the second half of both (weekend matches) and turned the games in our favor. For us it’s about discipline in the game plan and patience.”
The Bulldogs return to action on Friday, Sept. 13 when Friends University (Kan.) visits Seward for a 2:15 p.m. kickoff. It will be the first of four-straight home games from Sept. 13 – 21.