BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – In its first-ever NAIA Tournament appearance, the (RV) Concordia men’s soccer team was defeated by No. 2 Oklahoma Wesleyan, 0-3. Keeper Mark Horsburgh made four saves in the tilt while Gideon Soenksen led the ‘Dogs in shots with four.
Head coach Jason Weides said, “It’s a tough one to swallow, just trying to bounce back from the pain of a loss and the season coming to a close. Overall I’m just really proud of this group and what they were able to accomplish this year. I’m really proud of the fight they demonstrated today because Oklahoma Wesleyan is a really good team and they played well today. Our guys didn’t back down, we fought really hard whether it was from the opening minute to the 90th minute, no matter the circumstances of the game our guys were giving everything they had.”
In the Concordia Bulldogs finish the season at 11-7-3 while the Oklahoma Wesleyan Eagles improve to 20-1.
Horsburgh grabbed four saves while the team recorded one in the contest. OKWU’s keeper saved two Bulldog shots.
The second half saw all 16 of Concordia’s shots with two on goal. The Eagles registered 17 shots, eight on goal. Oklahoma Wesleyan also held the advantage in corner kicks, five to one.
“One half of the field was pretty wet and sloppy,” noted Weides. “That half was a little bit more difficult for us to defend on in the first half and we knew it would be difficult for them to defend in the second. Also, the wind was going that way, so there were two things going against us in first half beyond us maybe not playing as well as we did in the second half. I thought we started the second half strong.”
In the first half of play, Nemanja Zalad scored the goal for the Eagles, assisted by Jack McGowan and Percia Obradovic. Concordia came out of the break with a different energy and had more opportunities to score. With the wind at their backs, the Bulldogs took 16 shots. Soenksen got ahold of several passes but was unable to find the back of the net. The Eagles scored two more goals in the second to seal the victory.
Reflecting back on the season, Weides said, “It’s hard to summarize in a couple sentences. This is a team that’s been fun to be a part of. They’re a great group of guys. There’s a big senior class and we’re going to sorely miss them. They’ve been such instrumental part of us taking these steps.”