YANKTON, S.D. – Junior Dean Stevens had a hand in three of the Concordia University men’s soccer team’s four goals to lead a 4-2 win at Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., on Saturday afternoon. Despite a slow start, the Bulldogs moved to 2-0-1 over their last three games and opened up conference play by pointing up three points in the league standings.
Seventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ Bulldogs are now 3-3-1 overall.
“It was actually a bit of a frustrating game for us,” Weides said. “We struggled to adapt to the field and the grass surface and the wind. We seemed to struggle with the conditions more than they did. It took a while for us to settle in.”
After the Lancers (1-6, 0-1 GPAC) tightened the game with a goal by Genaro Bustillos that made it 2-1 in the 52nd minute, the Bulldogs finally got some late separation courtesy of Stevens. The native of Scottsdale, Ariz., put away a breakaway goal in the 79th minute and then added his second score in the 81st minute to all but put the contest out of reach.
It was the first career multi-goal effort for Stevens.
“Dean played well,” Weides said. “His goals were really important for us to relieve some pressure. It really helped put the game to bed to some extent and give us some breathing room. He stepped up in pressure moments.”
The Bulldogs built a 2-0 first-half advantage with goals from freshman Sam Toufique (23’) and sophomore Marcos Leon (’32). The goal was the first in the career of Toufique, a native of East Kilbride, Scotland, who has started each of the first seven games.
However, the rest of the game was mostly uncomfortable for Weides and company. The Lancers found life after knocking in their first goal.
“We had opportunities to make it 3-0 and didn’t convert,” Weides said. “2-0 is a dangerous lead in soccer. We kind of gifted them a goal with a mistake in the back. It was a game all of a sudden and it was really tight and tense.”
The Bulldogs finished with 13 shots to Mount Marty’s eight. In goal, senior Brendan Buchanan, the GPAC defensive player of the week, played all 90 minutes and made a pair of saves. Toby Down topped Concordia with four shots.
In addition, Weides noted senior Chris DeFeyter for his solid play in the midfield. He fired a pair of shots, including one on frame.
After five-straight games outside of Seward, the Bulldogs return home to host Waldorf College (Iowa) at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The Warriors are 1-6 overall. In their most recent contest, they dropped a 1-0 home decision to Northwestern.