Down leads offensive flurry in blowout at York

By on Sep. 1, 2015 in Men's Soccer

Down leads offensive flurry in blowout at York

YORK, Neb. – Toby Down completed a first-half hat trick by drilling a shot into the upper right corner of the goal from about 30 yards out. Less than 25 minutes into action, the Concordia University men’s soccer team had already mounted a 6-0 lead over a shell-shocked York College opponent. The Bulldogs rode the first-half explosion to a 7-2 road victory over the Panthers in a game played at Cornerstone Soccer Complex on Tuesday afternoon.

Eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad has won each of this season’s first three games, outscoring its opponents by a combined total of 12-2. Weides could have hardly asked for more in his team’s latest outing. York entered the contest with a 2-0 record of its own.

“We know we have goals in us,” Weides said. “We’ve been talking all week about playing at the standard we’re trying to set. Ultimately I think the guys did a great job of doing that today. I think there were some challenges today in it being the first road game of the year. That makes things interesting. And it was our first time playing on grass. I was really pleased with the way we came out and didn’t waste much time.”

The bulk of Concordia’s offensive surge came in the game’s opening 16:35, during which the Bulldogs pounced on every York misstep. Sophomore Micah Lehenbauer initiated the surge with a third-minute goal assisted by Julian Amaya, who found the back of the net himself roughly four minutes later.

Then came the onslaught from Down. The sophomore from Hong Kong began his splurge by outmuscling a defender for the ball and then slotting it past goalkeeper Ighor Tavares. Down mixed in another goal before pelting the back of the net with his most impressive goal to date.

“You have to take a chance sometimes and shoot from distance, otherwise you’re not going to get goals,” Down said. “Just had a go and it went into the top corner luckily. Otherwise the team would have been shouting at me.”

Down combined with Lehenbauer for five of the team’s seven goals. Lehenbauer got his second in the 16th minute, just 63 seconds before Down notched his second of the afternoon. Down is the team’s early season leader with four goals while Lehenbauer has three. Six different Bulldogs have scored at least once this season.

Down is the first player Bulldog to rack up three goals in a game since Nathan Douglas (program’s all-time leading goal scorer) did so in a 3-2 win at Doane on Oct. 9, 2013.

“It’s nice to get goals early,” Weides said. “It just helps build confidence for guys. You don’t want to go six, seven games without getting that first goal because you start to doubt yourself a little bit. It’s a really challenging position to be in not to score. These guys are creating lots of chances.”

Concordia finally allowed a goal for the first time this season when Tyler Wilt chipped in a shot from 20 yards out in the 48th minute. The Panthers’ Guilherme Camargo added a penalty kick goal in the 65th minute. Concordia starting keeper Mark Horsburgh sat out the second half and has yet to allow a goal this season in two-and-a-half games.

The final tally came in the 72nd minute when Concordia senior Sean Doran rebounded his own penalty kick that was saved by the York keeper. Doran calmly found the back of the net.

Weides’ squad finished with a 17-11 advantage in shots and a 13-5 edge in shots on goal. In addition to his three goals, Down assisted two others. Senior Gideon Soenksen also recorded an assist.

The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday when they head east to take on Saint Ambrose University (0-1) in Davenport, Iowa. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.