SALEM, Ore. – A day after taking in the forests and beaches of Oregon, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team returned to the home turf of Corban University, host of this week’s Corban Jamboree. The Warriors managed to silence the Bulldogs’ offensive attack and turned away the visitors, 1-0, on Saturday (Aug. 27) afternoon. Concordia may have been limited to three shots (none on frame), but it went toe-to-toe with a team that had beaten No. 25 Northwestern, 3-0, on Thursday.
Fifteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad will return to Nebraska with a 1-1 record. The Bulldogs claimed a 1-0 win over Northwest University (Wash.) on Thursday as part of the two-game swing in Salem, Ore.
“It was a hard-fought game,” said Weides of Saturday’s action. “It was just a battle between two good teams. It was nice to get that type of test early in the season. They were all over us to start. We kind of struggled with our defensive organization. As the half wore on, we got better and better. Credit to Corban, they played pretty well. They are right there with other teams we’ve seen that are top 25 quality. We still have room to grow and be better in possession.”
Corban broke up the 0-0 stalemate in the 27th minute with a goal from Andres Labate. That was all the goal scoring it took on a day when the two sides combined for four shots on goal. The Warriors (2-0) wound up with eight shots total while seeing out a defensive conflict. In goal, Callum Goldsmith collected three saves as Concordia hung tough with a program that has been a frequent national qualifier since 2014.
The stat sheet credited a shot apiece to Bulldogs Carter Hinman, Victor Meneses and Miguel Navarro. They were three of 17 Concordia players to see action against Corban. The early litmus test will give the Bulldogs something to work off of once they return to Nebraska and prepare for another nonconference road clash next Saturday.
“They pressed well and were really sharp in possession,” said Weides of Corban. “We had some moments where we were a little off. I think it was the result of a little fatigue. We were probably a little heavy-legged, but our guys fought until the final whistle. I was proud of our performance and the fight. We just fell a little bit short. We did have a couple chances where it looked like we were going to score and our shots were just narrowly wide. It was a good learning experience for us.”
Results aside, Concordia will remember this adventure for years to come. The players will likely recall the experience for the bonding time they shared on hiking trails and sandy beaches.
Said Weides, “It was a great trip. We were all really glad we came out here. We played two games against quality opponents and were tested. We had a business trip to make and a vacation to make. I think the guys did a good job of delineating that line … It was definitely a trip they’ll never forget.”
A mid-week bye will give the Bulldogs a chance to get their legs back underneath them. Concordia now looks forward to playing at Tabor College (Kan.) next Saturday (Sept. 3) with kickoff set for 8:30 p.m. CT from Hillsboro, Kan. The two sides met last season in Seward with a final result of 4-0 in favor of the Bulldogs.