Bulldogs ‘respond’ in season opening win after giving up early goal

By Chase Benton on Aug. 26, 2023 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – With Graceland University (Iowa) down a man in the second half, the Bulldogs capitalized on a penalty kick by the foot of Victor Meneses (59’) kicking in a game winner on Saturday (Aug. 26). Concordia held onto the win in their season opening match (2-1) to start their 2023 campaign. Carter Hinman added his first goal of the season making it the third of his career.

Head coach Jason Weides starts his third consecutive year with a win in the season opener.  Giving their all, the Yellow Jackets looked to improve their record which was just under .500 (6-8-4) from last season.

“We got a W, so I think that is happy news.” said a smiling coach Weides. “You’re never playing a perfect game, and this is definitely one of those cases. Our guys found a way to dig deep and fight through it so this was a hard earned result.”

Meneses picked back up where he left off with his game winning ways as two of his three goals from the 2022 season were game winners. Number 22 (Meneses) also kicked in one of the penalty kicks to seal the GPAC tournament championship against Hastings last Fall. He continued to shine in tough moments adding another one to his total in the first game of this 2023 season.

“It felt great to come out and score on the first game of the regular season”, said Meneses about today’s penalty kick. These guys (pointing to his teammates) deserved it. Everybody worked hard and it was a well deserved win.”

Tyler Dailey (Graceland) led off with a header getting just past the Bulldog keeper with less than three minutes taken off the clock.

Unhappy with the early goal, the team rallied in the 6th minute. Martin Herrera stole the ball and three Bulldogs ran hard for the counter attack. A couple of passes later the ball was at the feet of Ryan Wokutch inside the penalty area. He connects a touch pass to Carter Hinman scoring the tying goal just across the goal line.

Weides responded was asked about his teams' immediate answer with a goal for the Bulldogs. “It was important to respond and not get rattled by it (early goal). It’s kind of a nightmare scenario to give up a goal a few minutes into a match and we were ready to go but we just didn’t defend one set play very well.”

A big game momentum shift happened for the Bulldogs with less than two minutes left before the first half buzzer. Manny Zambrano of Graceland was carded a second yellow card and ejected on a foul after the ball was knocked loose by Lane Kruse.

Similar numbers surrounded both teams as Concordia barely edged Graceland in shots, 10-9, shots on goal,3-2, and fouls, 10-14.

Concordia returns to the greensward on Aug. 30 hosting York University in Bulldog Stadium. Kick off is set to start in Seward at 5:30 p.m. CT. The Bulldogs blanked the Panthers (2-0) in their fourth match of the 2022 season.