SEWARD, Neb. – After letting down in the second half of the season opening victory over York College three days earlier, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team aspired to put together a complete 90 minutes on Saturday (Aug. 28). Four unique goal scorers and a dominant afternoon of possession carried the Bulldogs to a 4-0 win over Tabor College (Kan.). Concordia left no doubt with an 18-4 advantage in the shot count.
All in all, week one of the regular season was quite satisfying for the winningest coach in program history, Jason Weides. The Bulldogs defeated two Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference opponents by a combined tally of 8-2.
“I’m pretty pleased overall, beyond just the score line,” Weides said. “We talked at the beginning of the game and at halftime about consistency, composure and intensity. We really wanted to see those lived out today and I think we saw that despite a really hot day. This was definitely a more complete game than we had in game one. Game one was a tale of two halves, and this was pretty consistent throughout the entire game.”
Six different Concordia players have already found the back of the net through the first two outings. The goals on Saturday were notched by Martin Herrera (8’), Garrett Perry (44’), Ryan Wokutch (67’) and Carlos Orquiz (76’). Half of the goals came via penalty kick as the Bulldogs turned up the heat in the box. Max Bisinger just missed out on a potential goal of his own on a header that hit the crossbar.
The starting keeper in back-to-back games to begin the season, Callum Goldsmith wanted to ensure a clean sheet this time around. Wednesday’s matchup with York became a little too interesting when the Panthers put two second half goals on the board. In the latest contest, Goldsmith made three saves in 80-plus minutes before giving way to Efren Flores Fierro.
“The first thing we spoke about when we got inside at halftime was consistency carrying over to the second half,” Goldsmith said. “The York game we were great in the first half, but the second half – not so much. Today in the second half we carried on the way we started. It was a fantastic response we needed … Defensively we were solid. We really wanted a clean sheet today.”
The immense depth of this Concordia roster makes for a challenge when attempting to find the right combinations and lineups. Of course the blowout nature (and muggy conditions) contributed to the number of subs on Saturday. Twenty-four Bulldogs found their way onto the field. Off the bench, Spencer Kauffman assisted Perry’s goal. Daniel Campbell (three shots on goal) was one of the more active players on the attack.
Said Weides, “We have a lot of options – it’s a great thing to have. The reality is we’ll probably get it right a few times and get it wrong a few times for sure. If someone’s maybe not performing well, the nice thing is we’ve got someone who can come in. We have guys on the bench with great experience … We are going to have a lot of tough decisions. It’s only going to get more challenging because we still had a few guys out today.”
A significant challenge will be presented on Wednesday (Sept. 1) when Concordia travels to Des Moines, Iowa, for a matchup with Grand View University (1-0-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT.