Ferrer goal, suffocating defense carry Bulldogs

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 10, 2016 in Men's Soccer

HASTINGS, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer team has been nearly impenetrable this season. The trend continued on Saturday evening as the Bulldogs held Georgia Gwinnett College without a single shot on goal as part of a 1-0 victory in a game played on the campus of Hastings College.

Dating back to three clean sheets during its GPAC tournament title run, Concordia has held seven of its last nine opponents without a goal. Ninth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad ran its season record to 3-1-1 with the win over a Grizzlies squad that received votes in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll.

“I wouldn’t have guessed that at this point,” said Weides of the fact that his team has surrendered just a single goal through five games. “I think we made some good adjustments at halftime and our guys played a lot better in the second half. They settled in. It was a really good performance top to bottom. We controlled the play in the second half. It was just a great team effort defending.”

That great defense made for a boring evening for goalkeeper Mark Horsburgh. He was kept clean by 18 other teammates who saw action. Weides used his bench more liberally a day after playing 110 minutes of soggy, scoreless soccer with 24th-ranked Lyon College (Ark.). A completely new-look backline continues to pass every test.

Strong defensive efforts were needed on a weekend in which Concordia went nearly 200 minutes before finding the back of the net. Finally, that goal came in the 85th minute when freshman Carlos Ferrer calmly went upper 90 to the far side after settling a ball played from Micah Lehenbauer.

“Then it was just about game management,” Weides said. “It wasn’t pretty the last five minutes. It was just seeing the game out. Overall I’m really pleased. I thought it was a great team effort, especially with having an overtime game the day before. It was a good weekend for us.”

The final shot count showed 11 apiece on Saturday. Concordia managed three shots on goal, two of which were saved by Lewis Sharpe. Lewis Rathbone led the Bulldogs with three shots.

The Bulldogs now enjoy a break in their schedule before returning to action on Monday, Sept. 19 with a short trek to take on Nebraska Wesleyan in Lincoln for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Prairie Wolves (2-0-1) are in their first season as a member of the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, affiliated with NCAA Division III.