SEWARD, Neb. – Visiting Midland responded to a Bulldog equalizing goal with the final two tallies of Wednesday night’s clash inside Bulldog Stadium. The Warriors (9-3, 4-0 GPAC) used three different goal scorers and held Concordia off the board for the final 58 minutes in earning a 3-1 road victory.
Despite putting an end to its scoring drought, eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad continues to seek its first conference victory. The Bulldogs dropped to 5-4-1 overall, 0-2-1 GPAC.
“It’s tough because we still feel we’re one of the better teams in the conference,” Weides said. “We feel like we can compete with anyone in our conference, but we aren’t getting results. That’s really challenging. At the end of the day, you have to get points. What we tell the team right now is that we need to stay the course.”
With Concordia having gone scoreless over its first two GPAC games, the free kick goal from Augustin Escobar in the 60th minute provided a significant 3-1 advantage for the Warriors. It was the second-straight Midland goal that essentially left keeper Mark Horsburgh with little a prayer.
The Bulldogs appeared to have gained momentum when Kevin Andrade’s third goal of the season squirted into the back of the net after keeper Cesar Valverde got a hand on the ball. Andrade was set up beautifully behind the Warrior defense with Lewis Rathbone’s assist that traveled 30 yards in the air before Andrade played a touch from 13 yards out, directly into the net.
Just after Andrade’s equalizer, the Warriors turned in a highlight-reel goal on a sharp-angled cross from Nick Saunders (two assists on the night) to Ben Hutton, who headed the ball into the goal from his point-blank position in the box. Somehow Concordia trailed 2-1 at the half despite a solid first 45 minutes of play.
The Bulldogs ultimately created 17 shots to Midland’s 10.
“I thought for large chunks we really controlled the play and had more chances,” Weides said. “It was really tough to walk away after the first half being down 2-1, because we played pretty sharp. I thought we dominated most facets of the game.”
An offsides negated a Gideon Soenksen set-piece goal midway through the first half. A few moments later Concordia narrowly missed on another chance when a streaking Jake Sells surfaced behind the defense after a well-struck free kick into the box. The ball bounded out of bounds.
Eight different Bulldogs took at least one shot. Julian Amaya topped the team with four shots (three on goal). Defensively, Concordia played solid in the back even though it was without two key defenders, Mark Campbell and Sean Doran, on Wednesday.
Ali Sodal, who notched the game’s first goal, now has nine tallies this season for the Warriors, who remain undefeated in conference play.
Up next for the Bulldogs is a trip to Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday when they will challenge Morningside (6-3-1, 1-1-1 GPAC). Kickoff is slotted for 7:30 p.m. In last season’s matchup, Concordia topped the Mustangs, 2-1, on the strength of goals from Julian Amaya and Toby Down.