By Sam Firminhac, Athletic Communications
MITCHELL, S.D. – Isaiah Shaddick and the rest of the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team had a breakout offensive performance against Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday (Oct. 2). The Bulldogs fired on all cylinders in a 5-1 win, marking perhaps their most complete outing of the fall. Concordia also excelled defensively, holding the Tigers to just four shots, compared to the Bulldogs’ 23.
Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad improved to 5-5-1 overall (3-2 GPAC) while shaking off back-to-back conference defeats.
“We haven’t scored many goals the last few games and it’s put us in challenging positions,” Weides said. “It’s not like our guys aren’t trying to score. We just haven’t been good enough in those little details, whether it’s the final touch or the final cross. All those things happened today at a higher level. For us to be successful, we have to put the ball in the back of the net. Our guys responded well and rose to the occasion. I thought they played really well from the opening whistle through the end of the game. The first half was probably one of the best halves we’ve had this season.”
Although the Bulldogs had been in an offensive slump, being shut out in the past two games, they were able to break out with five goals against the Tigers. Shaddick captured his second multi-goal game of the season, with goals coming in the 48th and 77th minutes. Yessine Bessaies got the scoring started in the eighth minute with a penalty kick and picked up two assists in the contest. Carter Hinman (42’) and Garrett Perry (12’) also scored in the game. The collective Bulldog defensive effort made it easy for goalkeeper Federico Simonetti, who had one save.
Said Weides, “Everybody who stepped on the field performed well, whether they started or came off the bench. Our bench had a good mentality and good energy. We know we’re up for a challenge moving forward, but we’re excited about that opportunity.”
In the most recent trip to Mitchell, S.D., the Bulldogs were shut out, 1-0, in November 2019. The natural grass of the Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex hadn't played well for Concordia in the past. "Playing at Dakota Wesleyan had been like a kryptonite for us. We've gotten wins here, but they've never been pretty and they're always by one goal. I don't remember the last time we played well on this field. I'm just really proud of the guys. They responded to some disappointments and challenges that we've had this season. Hopefully they can see that confidence in themselves because we certainly have confidence in them.”
Concordia will be back in action on Wednesday as it faces Morningside (5-4, 2-2 GPAC), currently receiving votes nationally. The Bulldogs will try to pick up their first win against the Mustangs since 2017. The game is set to start at 8 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium.