Concordia settles for draw after relinquishing 2-0 lead at Morningside

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 5, 2022 in Men's Soccer

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – In tight situations throughout the season to date, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team has typically found ways to get the job done. On Wednesday (Oct. 5), the Bulldogs let go of a 2-0 lead and settled for a 2-2 draw at Morningside. Concordia had its way over the first 45 minutes before Morningside flipped the script over the final 45.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad hoped to avenge the two losses it was handed by the Mustangs in 2021. The Bulldogs (receiving votes in the NAIA poll released earlier in the day) now stand at 9-2-1 overall and at 4-1-1 in the GPAC.

“I felt like everyone who stepped on the field in the first half contributed and impacted the game,” Weides said. “Our bench had great energy. In the second half, it was a little bit different. We’re incredibly disappointed in the result. It was an opportunity to position ourselves at the top against a good team. On the other hand, it was a hard-earned point against a good team. It was a point that could be very instrumental in the long run. I’m still proud of the guys’ effort. We just felt like we dropped two points.”

Reigning GPAC Offensive Player of the Week Dominic Abdel-Ahad had Concordia off and running with a goal less than three minutes after kickoff. The goal was set up by Ryan Wokutch. Late in the first half, a shot by Daniel Campbell (that may have been deflected) ended up in the back of the net. The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead to the break.

Unfortunately, Morningside’s Robin Thomala struck twice with a goal in the 54th minute and another in the 64th minute. Both teams made effective use of the five shots apiece put on frame. In goal for Concordia, Federico Simonetti made three saves. On the other end, Bjarne Huth collected three saves for Morningside.

It was another instance in which the Bulldogs were unable to pull a full 90-minute performance together. Concordia has lived on the edge at times this season with six wins coming by one-goal margins. The close ones should serve the Bulldogs well down the stretch of the conference slate.

Said Weides, “I thought we were really good in the first half and looked like the far better team. Second half, they were the far better team. I can’t quite put my finger on it. We’ve struggled to defend two-goal leads and either score a third or keep the opponent from scoring. There’s room for growth for us in the second half of games. It really was a tale of two halves. We were kind of hanging on in the second half.”

A perennially strong program within the GPAC, Morningside (3-5-4, 2-1-3 GPAC) ended Concordia’s 2021 season in the GPAC quarterfinals with a 2-1 decision. The Mustangs have had a rash of recent ties and are 0-2-3 over their last five outings. Morningside won the GPAC regular season title as recently as 2020.

Next up, Concordia will welcome Jamestown (3-8-1, 1-4-1 GPAC) to Bulldog Stadium for an 8 p.m. CT kickoff on Saturday. The Bulldogs have gone 2-0-2 in the series since the Jimmies joined the GPAC beginning with the 2018 season. Concordia took the 2021 meeting by a 3-0 decision in North Dakota.