CRETE, Neb. – Senior Nathan Douglas continued his scoring spree on Wednesday night, fueling Concordia’s first victory over rival Doane since 2007. Douglas came through with his 10th career multi-goal game to provide all of the Bulldog scoring in a 3-2 win in Crete, Neb. Concordia improved to 7-5 overall and 3-1 in the GPAC by cutting the conference-leading Tigers (5-5, 4-1 GPAC).
After Concordia relinquished a two-goal lead in the second half, Douglas played hero by drilling a free kick goal from 25 yards out to make it 3-2 with just 2:37 remaining in the contest. The game-winning score gave the Winnipeg, Canada, native his second career hat trick and first since his freshman year.
“I thought our guys showed great mental resolve,” Bulldog head coach Jason Weides said. “It was a complete team effort. You could tell our team had that belief. Even when we lost the lead, we didn’t waver. You could just see that faith and belief in themselves.”
Douglas put Concordia on the board first with an easy chance at goal after a Doane defender whiffed on an attempt to clear the ball out. Douglas tapped the ball into the net in the 33rd minute to initiate his big night.
He then notched his second goal in the 55th minute to provide a seemingly comfortable 2-0 lead. However, the host Tigers would not quit.
They got a 60th-minute goal from Connor Williams and then a 70th-minute tally from Luis Castenada to knot the score and inject all the momentum into the home team.
“It was a gutsy win,” Weides said. “It was definitely a frantic ending for both sides. I give our guys a lot of credit.”
Following Douglas’ third goal, Doane got a similar free kick opportunity in the final two minutes but sailed a shot high over the crossbar. The Tigers also had a prime late opportunity with two attackers working in transition, but it was thwarted when Concordia goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan drifted to the edge of the box to disrupt the scoring chance.
Buchanan and company used a great collective effort to contain a Doane team coming off a 10-goal performance in a victory over Mount Marty. With center back Sean Doran leaving the game early with an injury, Weides’ entire lineup stepped up its play. Said Weides, “It was a great all-around effort. I could literally name almost every player.”
The fact that Wednesday’s game took only 90 minutes brought about a departure from the lunacy of the recent history between the two squads. Seven of the prior eight meetings had been decided in overtime, including last year’s double overtime contest in which Doane prevailed, 2-1.
Douglas now has seven goals and five assists over his last five contests. He extended his program record goal count to 39. He entered Wednesday’s match ranked second in the conference in points and third in goals.
“He’s got a lot of confidence,” Weides said of Douglas. “He believes in himself and he believes in the team. That free kick was just one of those times where he wanted it. He wants the pressure on him. He’s on a great run.”
Concordia fired 17 shots to Doane’s 14 for the game. Buchanan made four saves while playing all 90 minutes in goal. He got plenty of help from the likes of Mark Anderson, Mark Campbell, Justin Lawrie, Gideon Soenksen and others.
The Bulldogs return home on Saturday to host Nebraska Wesleyan (3-6-1, 1-3 GPAC) as part of homecoming. Concordia men’s soccer will cap off a big day of home events that includes football (1 p.m.) and women’s soccer (5 p.m.). Weides’ squad has won the last three meetings against the Prairie Wolves.