By Taylor Mueller, Athletic Communications Assistant
SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – A slow start combined with struggles on the road against a strong Dordt team made for an unfavorable result as the Concordia University men’s soccer squad dropped its fourth loss of the season, snapping a six-game unbeaten streak. The Defenders prevailed, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon.
Having struggled at Dordt in recent years, the Bulldogs (6-4-1, 2-1 GPAC) quickly found themselves in a slugfest that had them on their heels early.
Dordt opened things up with the first score of the contest in the 14th minute on a missed clearance opportunity by the Bulldogs, allowing for an early 1-0 lead.
“We started out sluggish,” head coach Jason Weides said. “They made a nice shot. I thought we panicked a little bit early and rushed things. We settled in after their first goal and had some good combination plays. We responded well mentally.”
Concordia’s second goal was a sight to behold, as senior Chris DeFeyter answered with a SportsCenter-worthy highlight bicycle kick off an assist from freshman Sam Toufique to knot things up at 1-1 in the 27th minute.
“It was just a really nice goal,” Weides said. “At that point we had settled in and it felt like we had changed the tide.”
The game remained tied heading into the halftime, but once again, Dordt was prepared to play, and scored just two minutes into the second half to take a 2-1 advantage. It wouldn’t be until the 67th minute that the Bulldogs would again answer with another goal from DeFeyter, this time unassisted.
“After they went up 2-1 I thought we responded well again,” Weides said. “We were able to get another goal from Chris. He dribbled in and shot it off his right foot. We felt like we had the momentum in our hands. We missed on some chances to make it 3-2 and they ended up taking the lead late on a bit of a breakdown defensively. We pushed and pushed but we just couldn’t equalize.”
With wins at Dordt having been tough to come by in recent years, Weides admitted that he was unsure as to why the Bulldogs have struggled on the Defenders’ home pitch.
“I don’t know what it is,” Weides said. “They have one of the best grass fields that we play on. In recent years we’ve struggled at Dordt. They’re our kryptonite. Every time we seem to surrender a goal early and have to fight back. We’ve handled them pretty well at home but we have not played well at their place.”
“Dordt is a much better team than last year,” Weides said. “They are better in possession and they’re a team that never quits. They probably created five decent chances today and they scored on three of them. They took their chances well.”
Despite the recent emergence of Defeyter’s goal scoring (three goals in the last two games), the Bulldogs were unable to capitalize, though Weides was pleased with his senior’s effort on the night.
“It was good to see Chris get on the board the other day and then with two more goals today,” Weides said. “We knew it would come for him. We’re just disappointed that individual performance didn’t translate to a better result. Chris would tell you that he would rather not score if it means we win the game. His first goal was a SportsCenter type of highlight. It’s just disappointing not to get the result.”
The Bulldogs will return to their home turf for their next match when they host Doane (1-7-1, 1-2 GPAC) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.