Concordia misses opportunities in 1-0 home defeat

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 30, 2021 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – As of late, an inability to capitalize on prime attacking chances has left Concordia University Men’s Soccer with little margin for error. A Midland goal in the 57th minute stood up in a 1-0 victory for the visitors from Fremont, Neb., on Wednesday (Sept. 29) evening inside Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs were left frustrated once again after allowing their opponent only four shots on goal.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has played three-straight games that have ended in 1-0 final scores and has been shut out in back-to-back conference games. Concordia fell to 4-5-1 overall (2-2 GPAC).

“We have 90 minutes to put the ball in the back of the net and unfortunately this was the second game in a row that we haven’t been able to do that,” Weides said. “I think we have the right mentality and the guys are working hard and giving full effort. We’re not getting played off the field in any of these games. It’s just the smallest of things preventing us from putting the ball in the back of the net. We’re at a point right now where we need someone to step up and have a big moment.”

Immediately following Jared Money’s goal in the 57th minute, a red card was issued to the Warriors. As a result, Midland played down a man for more than 33 minutes of action. Throughout that time, the ball lived in the Bulldogs’ attacking third. During the second half, Concordia outshot Midland, 8-3, and held a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. Somehow, the Warriors escaped every sticky situation, including a well-struck free kick from Yessine Bessaïes that sailed just left of the goal.

Midland keeper Matthew Ricci made five saves in earning the clean sheet as part of a physical battle. The Warriors (5-4, 2-2 GPAC) effectively bounced back from their 3-2 loss at Dordt last week. On the other hand, the Bulldogs still haven’t hit their stride. Much frustration has come from the fact that each of Concordia’s past four losses have been decided by one-goal margins in games that could have easily swung the other way.

“We’re putting ourselves in situations where our opponent gets one good chance and they convert it,” Weides said. “I think that was the case today. Midland didn’t have many good chances or shots on goal. It’s an example that you have to play every game in the GPAC. It’s a grind – it’s tough. We knew this wasn’t going to be easy.”

Freshman Gabriel Mendoza made his third-straight start in goal and collected three saves. Seventeen Bulldogs appeared in the game. Concordia has recently been playing without captain João Pedro Veríssimo. In terms of offensive activity, David Moreno (four shots, one on goal) and Bessaïes (three shots, one on goal) were most aggressive. Concordia defeated Midland twice last season.

The Bulldogs will hit the road for another Saturday road trip and take on Dakota Wesleyan (2-8, 1-2 GPAC) in Mitchell, S.D. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. CT. Concordia got the best of the Tigers, 2-0, last season in Seward. However, the most recent meeting in Mitchell saw DWU emerge with a 1-0 upset victory.