ATCHISON, Kan. – In its first action since just before Thanksgiving, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team knocked off the rust while taking on Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., on Saturday (March 20). The host Ravens put one goal on the board in both halves in the process of earning a 2-0 victory. There were a combined 13 shots in the entire 90 minutes in a defensive battle.
During the fall, Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad placed fifth in the GPAC regular season standings. The Bulldogs slipped to 9-4-2 overall while beginning to ramp things up for the conference tournament next month.
“The first 20 minutes of the game it was obvious it was our first game and their fifth game this spring,” Weides said. “We really struggled in possession and they were all over us that first part. We eventually settled in and started to play better, especially in the first two-thirds of the field. We looked good going up the right side in the first half and had a couple decent chances but couldn’t convert.”
Benedictine (9-7-1) was playing for the fifth time since Feb. 24. The Ravens got a goal apiece from Kassa Girma and Robert Mike Keon (penalty kick). The first goal came in the 10th minute, meaning Benedictine lead this contest for more than 80 minutes. The Ravens made their five shots (six total shots) on goal count.
Concordia managed seven shots (four on goal) with Yessine Bessaies being the most active attacker. Weides noted that the first-half injury to Caleb Goldsmith was a limiting factor. The Bulldogs have largely the same team they showcased back in the fall. Weides called upon 17 players on Saturday. Both goalkeepers made exactly three saves (Federico Simonetti played all 90 minutes for Concordia).
Said Weides, “The team had good intensity and fight but we just weren’t sharp enough and didn’t create enough chances to overcome the mistakes we made in the game. Today showed we have to quickly make significant strides, but credit to Benedictine who outplayed us.”
The Bulldogs will be on the road again next Saturday (March 27) with a 3:30 p.m. CT matchup scheduled at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. The Vikings are 11-3-1 overall and are ranked fifth in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll.