CRETE, Neb. – At least on paper, Wednesday night (Oct. 10)’s contest looked like a prime opportunity for the Concordia University men’s soccer team to pick up three points in the conference standings. But rarely have matchups with rival Doane resulted in comfortable victories. In the latest clash, the Bulldogs had to dig out of a 2-0 hole and eventually settled for a 2-2 double overtime draw in Crete.
Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides had reason to expect last week’s 7-0 win over Presentation College was the start of a GPAC win streak. The tie at Doane means Concordia is now 6-4-2 overall and 2-2-2 in conference play.
“It’s been a longstanding rivalry with a lot more close games than games that got out of hand,” Weides said. “Over the last 15 years in particular, we’ve played a lot of competitive games with Doane. Almost all have been decided by one goal or have been ties in overtime games. This year was no different. No one likes to lose to their neighbor and I think that’s why you see this being such a great rivalry. They played well to their credit.”
Even with the rivalry factor, the Bulldogs did not expect this result – and they certainly did not expect to find themselves down 2-0 in the opening half. Concordia had already faced those same circumstances at Morningside and last week against Hastings. Despite their trials, the Bulldogs had pulled even before the 48-minute mark when Carlos Ferrer found the back of the net.
It was a particularly active night for Ferrer, a junior from Chula Vista, Calif., and one of the team’s most dependable players. He put pressure on the Tigers (1-7-2, 1-5-1 GPAC) with five shots, including two on goal.
Said Weides, “(The result) was a shame because we had a couple of guys who really came to play today. Carlos Ferrer was on fire. It was probably the best performance of the year for him. He was a big-time threat that Doane struggled to hold.”
Junior Roger de la Villa got Concordia on the board with the goal it had to have in the 33rd minute. It gave hope for a comeback against a Tiger squad whose only win this season came at Dordt. This was a good effort from Doane, which was narrowly outshot, 15-14, by the Bulldogs. Over the 20 minutes of overtime, both squads managed just one shot apiece.
The Tiger goals were delivered by Rhett Dawson and Jesus Lopez as part of a nightmare start for the visitor. Concordia has scored the first goal in only two of its first six GPAC games. That’s something that will have to change for the Bulldogs to ascend into the territory they expect to be at in the league standings.
“We keep having to be in that response mode,” Weides said. “You can’t continue to concede goals early in matches and get behind by two goals before we really play. Once we can learn not to concede soft goals early in the game is when we can become a team that can compete with anybody. Until we get to that point, anybody can compete with us.”
The Bulldogs will be in Seward on Saturday to play at home for the fourth time in five outings when Dakota Wesleyan (4-7-1, 1-4-1 GPAC) makes its way to town. Kickoff is slated from 3:30 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. In the 2017 meeting that took place in Sioux Falls, S.D., Concordia breezed to a 5-0 victory.