SEWARD, Neb. – Visiting York College threatened to end the Bulldogs’ nine-game home winning streak, playing even through almost 76 minutes of action. But freshman Sean Doran’s goal with just 14:05 remaining in the game broke the tie and allowed Concordia to come away with a 3-1 victory. Wednesday’s triumph bumps Concordia to 6-1 on the season and extended its win streak to 10 games at Bulldog Stadium.
“We really gutted one out today,” Bulldog head coach Jason Weides said. “To be fair to York, they played a really good game. They made it a really tough game for us. We just got better throughout the game and in the second half we picked it up quite a bit and were able to get a couple goals.”
The Bulldogs attempted to employ their familiar formula of getting on top early and then putting the clamps on the opposition defensively. Junior forward Nathan Douglas scored off a great find from Aaron Skipworth only 4:01 into the game to give Concordia the early lead.
However, York (2-7-1) responded with a goal in the 32nd minute when Concordia misplayed the ball near its own net. Panther forward Nick Mueting took advantage by heading it past goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan.
Both teams went scoreless for the next 44:13 until Doran notched his second goal of the season, assisted by Kevin Soenksen. Doran used his size at 6-foot-6, out-leaping everyone else and heading it past York goalkeeper Luis Pulido in the 76th minute for the game-winning score.
Douglas added the exclamation point with 4:25 left in the game on a free kick goal that hit the crossbar and dropped in to provide the final 3-1 margin. The Winnipeg, Can., now has three goals in the last two games. After a slow start due to injury, Douglas has found his groove.
“It’s always a good feeling scoring,” Douglas said. “The first one was real early. We started off real quick, but then we kind of faded a bit and let them back in the game. Second half we just persevered and kept pushing as a team. I’m just thankful to get those balls to finish the game off for us.”
Concordia had several other clean looks in the second half, including open shots from Dean Stevens and Kevin Soenksen that missed the mark. The Bulldogs tallied 23 shots to the Panthers’ eight and 14 shots on goal to York’s one.
Concordia has out-scored its opponents 14-4 in its first seven games with no opponent putting up more than one goal in a single game. Nine different players have scored at least one goal this season for the Bulldogs. Douglas’ three scores lead the team.
With Douglas on a roll, Concordia is an even more dangerous squad.
“We knew he would get on the scoresheet soon and start putting them in the back of the net,” Weides said. “He’s definitely capable of that as one of our leading goal scorers the last couple of years. Once you get that first one, the second, the third and the fourth just come easier. He’s a confident guy around the net and we know he’s not going to shy away from taking on that shot.”
The Bulldogs will play their GPAC opener on Saturday when they travel to Sioux Center, Iowa, to challenge Dordt (4-3).