SEWARD, Neb. – It was one of those frustrating nights in which a series of near misses haunted the Concordia University men’s soccer team. Playing in their final nonconference regular-season game of 2016, the Bulldogs fell in overtime, 1-0, at the hands of visiting Waldorf University (Iowa) on Tuesday evening.
The contest marked the fourth time this season that ninth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad has lost a match decided by just a single goal. Concordia slipped to 7-5-2 overall and to 3-3 when playing inside Bulldog Stadium.
“It was really frustrating. We had a few good chances,” Weides said. “We had a couple off the post. It’s a game of inches sometimes. Unfortunately, we just weren’t at our best in any regard tonight. I think the best word to sum up our performance is lethargic. We just looked tired.”
Some of that sluggishness would have been relieved by simply putting one of its 16 shots in the back of the net. Freshman Carlos Ferrer came within inches of a goal just prior to the 60-minute mark when his strike hit the left post before being corralled by keeper Humberto Figueroa, who saved the ball as it was rolling towards the goal line. Roughly five minutes later, Alex Grocott put a header off cross bar.
The overtime period provided a good synopsis of the game as a whole. The ball lived on the Waldorf attacking end for the first six minutes of the extra session. The Warriors (10-4) ended the contest after 96:22 had elapsed when Jacob Harris’ throw in found leading goal scorer Cristian Alvarez for a header that sailed into the upper right corner of the goal. Shielded by players in the box, goalkeeper Mark Horsburgh (seven saves on the night) had almost no reaction.
Alvarez had been active all night, recording eight of the team’s 24 shots (eight on goal). Yet Horsburgh and a starting backline that included Dillon Hixson, Andrew Mussell, Luke Batters and Florian Caraballo kept Waldorf in check until that 97th minute. On Concordia’s attacking end, Marcelo Hernandez equaled Alvarez with eight shots of his own.
The loss did nothing to change Concordia’s third-place standing in the conference. With three regular-season games left on the GPAC slate, the Bulldogs are positioned to host a GPAC tournament quarterfinal game.
“Every single team that we play will be challenging from here on out,” Weides said. “If you don’t come with your best, you’re going to walk away disappointed. At the end of the day, we need to make sure we outwork every team we step on the field with.”
The Bulldogs will continue their push for a top-three GPAC finish when they return to conference action on Saturday. It will be the final regular-season home game of the season for Concordia, which welcomes Briar Cliff (8-6, 2-4) for an 8 p.m. CT kickoff. The Bulldogs will honor their six seniors as part of Senior Day festivities.