Concordia records third shutout in draw with No. 24 Lyon

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 9, 2016 in Men's Soccer

HASTINGS, Neb. – Underneath murky skies, the Concordia University men’s soccer team emerged from soggy Lloyd Wilson Field in Hastings, Neb., with a 0-0 double overtime draw while up against 24th-ranked Lyon College (Ark.) on Friday afternoon. The drawn-out affair even featured two separate lightning delays that combined to span more than an hour in length.

Head coach Jason Weides’ squad has surrendered just a single goal through four games and now sports an overall record of 2-1-1. Friday’s contest marked Concordia’s first appearance in Hastings since defeating the host Broncos in the 2015 GPAC championship game. It was also the last time the Bulldogs took on a ranked team.

“It’s a strong start for us defensively,” Weides said. “We’ve pressed well as a team. Guys are really committing, no matter what position they’re playing, to helping out the team defend. We have guys recovering really quickly and getting behind the ball. It’s more than the keeper. It’s more than just the backline. It’s everybody working as one.

“We’re pleased to see that working so well this early in the season, but we never like to see 0-0 games.”

Only 19 total shots (12-7 Concordia advantage) were taken over 110 minutes of action. Up top junior Marcelo Hernandez tested Scots keeper Gianni Santin the most with three shots on goal. However, many of the five saves made by Santin were of the routine variety. His first save came on a well-struck ball from Hernandez, who again showed off his technical flair.

Lyon (2-2-1) entered the contest having scored eight goals over its first four matches. The Bulldogs’ remade backline was up to the task against a side that went 14-4-1 in 2015. Formerly a forward, Toby Down has been moved to the center back and has complimented stellar keeper Mark Horsburgh nicely.

Horsburgh made two highlight worthy saves in regulation and then saved Lyon’s only shot attempt of the two overtime periods. Horsburgh was satisfied to come away with another clean sheet on Friday.

“We’ve been shuffling and trying different things,” Horsburgh said. “I think our team pressing has been improving. That’s something we highlighted this season that we needed to improve on. We’re seeing results.”

The inclement weather that included torrential downpours and flashes of lightning significantly impacted the flow of the game. The interruptions occurred late in the first half and then right before the first overtime was set to begin. The conditions played a role in the lack of scoring.

“That’s for both teams. It disrupts the rhythm and makes for a less than appealing game sometimes,” Weides said. “I think the thing that makes it tough to score goals on a day like this has less to do with the delays and more to do with the wet ground and the ball skipping on you. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalize and put one in the back of the net.”

Action from Hastings continues on Saturday with another nonconference tilt. Concordia and Georgia Gwinnett College (3-0-1), a NAIA independent, will kick off at 5 p.m. The Grizzlies are coming off a 10-6-3 campaign in 2015.