WICHITA, Kan. – Make that three-straight wins by a margin of a single goal for the Concordia University men’s soccer team. Fresh off an overtime victory over McPherson College (Kan.), the Bulldogs got an 85th-minute goal to break the tie in a 4-3 triumph at Friends University (Kan.) on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 15). The goal output equaled a season high.
Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will now head into conference play at 4-2 overall. Concordia has claimed wins in the state of Kansas on back-to-back Saturdays.
“I’m pleased with the performance,” Weides said. “Though we conceded two goals in the first half, we did a pretty good job defensively shutting them down. I thought we limited a really good attacking team with some really good forwards. To hold them to eight shots is good. Certainly we’d like to be better at limiting the amount of goals we concede, but we responded at every moment.”
The two sides traded blows after Friends got on the board first in the 24th minute. Bulldog leads of 2-1 and 3-2 were erased by the Falcons (2-3), who took their chances well. The game was knotted at 3-3 throughout much of the second half – until Carlos Orquiz found the back of the net with less than six minutes showing on the clock.
Four different players scored goals for Concordia, continuing what has been a theme so far this season. The Bulldogs are a balanced squad featuring an array of players capable of scoring goals. On this particular day, Roger de la Villa, Konrad Sinu, Evan Hayden and Orquiz all got on the board.
“It makes it tough to defend us because there isn’t just one source of goals,” Weides said. “It’s not about shutting down one guy. When one guy maybe isn’t performing his best, someone else steps up. We feel like we have some depth in that area. We have guys who aren’t starting for us who are capable of being big-time players in those attacking positions.”
Weides commended a large portion of the roster after the victory. Garrett Perry made a critical play to save a shot off the line with the game tied in the second half. Beyond scoring his first career goal, Hayden was also instrumental in the team’s defensive efforts, along with teammates such as center back Angel Alvarez.
In goal, freshman Callum Goldsmith made his first career start with Jack Bennett sidelined because of an injury endured at the end of regulation in Wednesday’s win. Goldsmith was in goal for overtime of that victory. Said Weides, “I thought he stepped up and helped us out with some key punches late in the game.”
Concordia outshot Friends, 13-8. The Bulldogs continue to look to tighten up some of the defensive gaffes that have popped up now and then. Concordia has surrendered at least two goals in every game this season. On the plus side, the Bulldogs have scored three or more goals four times already in 2018.
Concordia will now wait a week to open up conference play next Saturday (Sept. 22) at Northwestern (3-3). The Bulldogs and Red Raiders met up twice last season. Concordia avenged a regular-season loss by defeating Northwestern in the GPAC semifinals.