SEWARD, Neb. – Looking for that elusive win over GPAC rival and national power Hastings, Concordia men’s soccer fell short once again. The sixth-ranked Broncos broke a 1-1 tie midway through the second half and eked out a 3-1 victory in Hastings on Wednesday night. The Bulldogs moved to 9-8 overall and 5-4 in GPAC competition.
After trailing 1-0 heading into halftime, Concordia got the equalizer in the 51st minute on a goal off a rebound from freshman Carlos Acosta. That ended a string of five-consecutive shutouts for the Bronco defense and red hot goalkeeper Alex Guyer.
“I thought our guys had a real belief at halftime that we would win,” Bulldog head coach Jason Weides said. “We needed to come out strong and we did just that. We were able to equalize. Unfortunately Hastings was able to get a goal with about 20 minutes left.”
Roughly 14 minutes after Acosta’s score, the Broncos went back in front on a strike from Thomas Boss, who knocked in his team high 10th goal of the season. That proved to be the game winner as the Broncos’ stingy defense (only 12 goals allowed in 16 games entering play) took it from there. Hastings would add a goal in the final few seconds to seal the win as Concordia focused numbers into the attack.
“The last 20 minutes we worked hard to create chances,” Weides said. “We had some opportunities. We put a lot of pressure on Hastings. In the last few seconds they were able to clear it and get behind everybody.”
Dru Kobs had given the Broncos an early advantage with his score in the ninth minute. Hastings held a 1-0 edge until Acosta found the back of the net.
“It was a tight game all the way through,” Weides said. “We didn’t play great in the first half but credit our guys – they came out and individually and collectively played better in the second half.”
Hastings, which earlier this season held the No. 1 ranking, outshot Concordia by better than a 2-to-1 margin (23-11) on the night. The Broncos held Bulldog senior striker Nathan Douglas without a goal in three shots on frame.
Junior goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan, who has started all but one game this season, played the first 43 minutes and made two saves. Freshman Mark Horsburgh relieved Buchanan the rest of the way and collected three saves.
Weides’ club also played closely with then No. 23 Hastings in a 2-1 overtime loss last season in Seward. The Bulldogs led 1-0 after 78 minutes of play in that contest. Weides is still searching for his first win over the Broncos.
The Bulldogs close the regular season on Saturday when they travel to Mitchell, S.D., to take on Dakota Wesleyan (9-6-2, 4-4-1 GPAC) at 3:30 p.m. Concordia will be either the No. 5 or 6 seed when the GPAC Tournament begins on Nov. 5. The Bulldogs can clinch the five seed with a win or tie against the Tigers, who Concordia defeated 6-0 in Seward last year.