SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Bulldogs got all they could handle on Saturday against a Briar Cliff team still looking for its first GPAC win of the season. In the end, head coach Jason Weides’ club hung on for a 2-1 road victory in Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday to give Concordia two-consecutive league wins, both away from home.
A stellar first-half for the Bulldogs yielded only one goal on nine total shots with the lone scoring strike coming from freshman defender Sean Doran. Another freshman defender, Ben Walker, played a cross to Doran who tapped the ball into the net from about eight yards out to break the scoreless tie in the 42nd minute.
“We created a lot of chances in the first half,” Concordia head coach Jason Weides said. “I felt like we completely dominated play over the first 45 minutes. I thought we deserved a couple more goals.”
The Bulldogs finally did add another tally in the 76th minute. Freshman midfielder Gideon Soenksen headed a corner kick back to freshman Dean Stevens, who booted it past the keeper with his left foot from 12 yards away, making it 2-0 in favor of Concordia.
The final 25 minutes were tense for the Bulldogs, who simply tried to hold on against a feisty Charger club that hoped to snap a seven-game winless streak. Parker Staroscik got Briar Cliff (1-13-2, 0-7-1 GPAC) within one goal when he scored off the assist from Dominic Wetzbarger in the 81st minute.
From there, Concordia (11-5, 4-4 GPAC) fended off a couple more prime opportunities from a suddenly more aggressive opponent on the attack. One such chance came with about five minutes remaining in the game when sophomore Bulldog goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan made a great save to maintain the 2-1 lead.
“I thought we were by far the better team for the first 75 minutes or so,” Weides said. “Suddenly things turned around quickly. Their goal gave them a lifeline. Credit Briar Cliff for not giving up. They got some chances late that made it interesting.
“It was a really big win against a team that is much better than their record.”
According to Weides, the tough road win was made possible in part by some strong efforts off the bench. The quartet of Tom Gass, Carlos Bolanos, Tyler Kohmetscher and Mark Anderson provided quality minutes in reserve on an afternoon that saw a couple key players leave the game with injuries.
For the game, Concordia totaled 14 shots (five on goal) to the Chargers’ 10 (four on goal).
The Bulldogs now enter the home stretch with just two more regular-season games remaining. They will host Doane (4-9-2, 3-4-1 GPAC) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. prior to entertaining Northwestern (10-4-1, 5-2-1 GPAC) at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Bulldog Stadium. The conference tournament will begin Nov. 1. Concordia currently sits seventh in the league with 12 points.