PAPILLION, Neb. – This was another in a series of close calls for the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team. A 73rd-minute goal proved the difference on Wednesday (Sept. 15) night as 10th-ranked Bellevue University held off the Bulldogs, 2-1, at Papillion Landing. Concordia went toe-to-toe with the highly regarded Bruins in a contest that was tied, 1-1, for nearly 60 minutes of action.
Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has played four-straight competitive contests without putting a tally under the W column, but the Bulldogs (2-3-1) remain confident in the direction they’re headed.
“It was a game from box-to-box without a lot of great chances for either side,” Weides said. “Both teams defended well. We’re certainly frustrated to not walk away with a result, but I think our guys did what we asked of them. We were right there with a top 10 team in the nation. It’s the smallest of margins when you have two good teams. I think our guys had a great mentality from start to finish. Our guys stood up to the test pretty well – we just fell a little short.”
Several area Concordia alums were in attendance in Papillion, where the Bruins wound up with an advantage of 21-13 in the total shot count. Very few of those were placed on frame by either team (6-3 Bellevue edge in shots on goal). The Bruins (6-1-1) got the benefit of a perfect carom off a Concordia defender’s deflection for one of their two goals. Oumar Sissoko earned credit for the game winner in the 73rd minute.
The Bulldogs did a commendable job in limiting a direct Bellevue attack that has piled up six or more goals in three separate outings already this season. The Bruins have also been tough to crack on in their defensive third. Concordia answered an early Bellevue goal when it was awarded a penalty kick in the 15th minute. With his parents on hand, Cali, Colombia, native David Moreno perfectly executed the PK for his second career goal as a Bulldog.
Federico Simonetti again started in goal for Concordia and made four saves. Yessine Bessaïes was the team’s most active attacker with three shots fired (one on goal).
In the month of September, the Bulldogs have been a bit snakebit, but there has been enough high-level play showcased against quality opponents to make Weides believe positive results are right around the corner.
Said Weides, “This is a team that I know is really close to taking that next step. We definitely have the capability to beat top 10 teams in the nation. We will put it together. I was really impressed by our team’s mentality, the energy on the sideline and the engagement of our team, no matter the moment.”
No harm has been done to Concordia’s chances to compete for a lofty placement within the conference. The Bulldogs will open GPAC action on Saturday when they host Mount Marty (3-1-1, 1-0 GPAC) at 3:30 p.m. CT. The Lancers have improved considerably over the past two years. They got the conference season started on Wednesday with a 3-1 win over Doane.