SEWARD, Neb. – A pair of goals in each half fueled visiting 17th-ranked Benedictine College (Kan.) on Friday evening inside Bulldog Stadium. The Ravens controlled most of the action on the way to a 4-1 victory, although Concordia (0-1) made them sweat until late in the second half.
“It was a great test in playing Benedictine, a perennial top-25 team,” Weides said. “We knew we were going to face a great opponent today and we were going to get a chance to see where we’re at today. Unfortunately we fell short of our goal of getting a result, but we know where we stand today. We know the growth that needs to happen within our team.”
On a humid night with the game-time temperature above 90 degrees, Benedictine jumped out to the lead with a goal by Kenneth Clarizio in the eighth minute.
Already a difficult contest against a nationally-ranked opponent, the match got even more challenging when a 15th-minute red card forced Concordia to play a man down the rest of the way. But that didn’t mean the Bulldogs would back down.
Concordia quickly answered Jacob Fischer’s 38th-minute goal with a patented Sean Doran header off the assist from junior Chris DeFeyter to cut the Bulldog deficit to 2-1 late in the first half. Doran simply picked up where he left off last season when he tallied an impressive five goals as a second team all-conference center back.
The score remained 2-1 until Jade Mesias and Guillherme Gomes added a goal apiece in the game’s final minutes to balloon the Raven advantage to three scores. The formidable foe from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference wore Concordia down and fired 17 shots, 12 on goal, in dictating play for much of the night.
Weides hopes Friday’s match will provide a base to work off of moving forward. The team now has a greater understanding of what it will take to be successful this season.
“I think discipline,” Weides responded when asked what he hoped his squad learned in the season opener. “Obviously going down a man early in the game hurt. Going down a man against a really good team – your odds are very small for even getting a tie and even smaller for getting a win.
“We’re going to face obstacles throughout the season and you never know what those obstacles are going to be, but we’ve got to get up and respond and still get results.”
The Bulldogs’ only other shot was denied by Raven keeper Taylor Vinnage.
Concordia junior keeper Brendan Buchanan finished with eight saves, including a couple of highlight reel efforts. He made a terrific full-extension diving deflection moving to his right in the 15th minute and then a few minutes later somehow staved off a Benedictine attack off a corner kick that left Buchanan with little time to react.
The Bulldogs will hit the road on Tuesday to take on AIB (Iowa) in Des Moines, Iowa. Game time is set for 2 p.m. The contest will be the first of three-straight away from Bulldog Stadium.