DES MOINES, Iowa – In the first meeting between the Concordia University Men’s Soccer and Grand View University (Iowa) programs since 2012, the Bulldogs stumbled for the first time this season, albeit in a strong effort. The Vikings struck for a goal both midway through the first and second halves while securing a 2-0 victory at Crownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday (Sept. 1). The contest was characterized by high level play on both sides.
Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad had hoped to continue its winning streak after it had claimed victories last week over Tabor College (Kan.) and York College. Weides coached Concordia to a 2-1 triumph over then 20th-ranked Grand View nine years ago.
“It was a good college soccer game between two good teams. They happened to be a bit better than us today,” Weides said. “The game kind of had everything – chances for both teams and some good saves. Both teams came up with some key saves at key moments. Our team performance overall was pretty good. We just didn’t get the result. We talked to the guys about that. Certainly, there are areas we can improve.”
Weides felt like the Vikings were the aggressor in the opening 15 minutes. A nifty save by Bulldog starting goalkeeper Callum Goldsmith kept Grand View off the board during that timeframe. Eventually, the Vikings (2-0-1) broke through with a goal from Alessandro Venditti in the 23rd minute. Breathing room came in the 67th minute thanks to Gavin Nevshernal’s goal.
Concordia’s goalkeeper tandem of Goldsmith and Federico Simonetti (both played 45 minutes) were up to the task. Goldsmith made three saves before giving way to Simonetti, who collected four saves. On the opposite end of the field, Felix Shafer denied seven Bulldog shots on frame while preserving a hard-earned shutout.
Said Weides, “We had some good chances when it was 1-0. There was a bit of a scramble in the box and their keeper made a point-blank save. We weren’t able to get that goal and then they got a second one that proved to be the decisive one.
“We talked about three things we wanted to see: competing with composure, responding to adversity and great communication. To be honest, we had all three things. We can improve our communication, but we really responded to some tough moments.”
Weides gave props to David Moreno for his play in the middle of the field. On the attack, Yessine Bessaïes (four shots, three on goal) and Isaiah Shaddick (four shots, two on goal) were most active. Grand View wound up with advantages of 19-14 in shots and 5-2 in corner kicks. The Vikings’ early season run also includes a 1-1 draw with eighth-ranked Bellevue University.
The Bulldogs will be back on the road this weekend for another night game. Kickoff with Kansas Wesleyan University (0-2) is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT in Salina, Kan., on Saturday. This will mark the fifth season in a row that the two programs have met. Concordia has won three of the past four meetings with the Coyotes.