ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The sixth seeded Concordia men’s soccer team upset third seeded Northwestern College, 1-0 in the opening round of the GPAC Tournament Tuesday night. Senior Sean Doran headed the free kick from Lewis Rathbone in the second half to seal the win.
The Bulldogs, now 10-6-2, will play in the semifinals for the second straight year. CUNE will face second seeded Midland University on the Warriors’ turf on Saturday, Nov. 7 with a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Head coach Jason Weides said, “I’m really proud of our entire team, the guys that played, the guys that didn’t play and the guys who didn’t even travel. In general I’m just really pleased with the team and the direction we’re moving. It’s great to come here against a great team and get a win. Northwestern is a tough place to play…it’s a hostile environment to play in.”
With just under 17 minutes left in the match, Julian Amaya was fouled leading to a free kick. Rathbone took the kick and fed it into Doran who headed in the ball for his second goal of the season. The usual strong defensive presence of the Bulldogs helped keep the shutout alive for keeper Mark Horsburgh.
On Horsburgh Weides noted, “Our keeper Sparky (Horsburgh) came up with a huge save early in the second half. I thought he played really well tonight. He was commanding in the box, won everything in the air, played well off his line and was called upon to make one really critical save. They got behind us and were able to beat us and Sparky came up huge to keep the game 0-0.”
Horsburgh grabbed six saves in the tilt. Northwestern keeper, Matt Scott recorded four saves.
Concordia had the advantage in shots, 12-11 while the Raiders edged the Bulldogs in shots on goal, 6-5. Nine different Bulldogs took at least one shot with three taking two.
“We’re excited to get another shot at them,” Weides said on upcoming opponent Midland. “It will be a great game and an exciting one to watch. We have to try and get on the front foot in the game. They were able to get on the front foot the last time we played so that will be important. In the event we don’t, it’ll be important that we show the resiliency that we’ve been seeing in the team lately.”
The last meeting between the Bulldogs and Warriors took place on Oct. 7 in Seward. Midland prevailed, 3-1 in the competition.
Weides said, “I’m really pleased to see the passion that our team showed together as a team. It wasn’t a performance of beauty or perfection but it was one of great work, belief, sacrifice and confidence. They’re just willing to work for one another.”