Five different goal scorers power first GPAC win

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 29, 2018 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – A 20th-minute goal for the visitors served as an early wakeup call for the Concordia University men’s soccer team. An answer came six minutes later and spurred the Bulldogs to a comfortable 5-1 victory over Dordt inside a misty and cool Bulldog Stadium on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 29). Five different Concordia players found the back of the net in the win.

It was the type of response 11th-year head coach Jason Weides had hoped for after a 2-1 loss at Morningside on Wednesday. Concordia has moved to 5-3-1 overall and to 1-1-1 in conference play.

“Dordt played really well those opening minutes and put a lot of pressure on us and forced us into some errors,” Weides said. “Ultimately I think our team needs to be a team that doesn’t respond once a goal happens. We need to respond before the whistle happens. Once we get there we’ll be a pretty good team. I was pleased with the response. We had a lot of guys contribute today.”

Balanced goal scoring has been a theme throughout the first nine games of the 2018 campaign. Garrett Perry (27’), Matthew Ho (29’), Jack Arra (48’), David Carrasco (52’) and Konrad Sinu (79’) all got on the board on Saturday. The tide really turned in the 27th minute when Dordt was whistled for a foul in the box. Suddenly, a 1-0 Defender lead had evaporated when Perry deposited the penalty kick into the back of the net.

That offensive flurry effectively demoralized a Dordt squad that came out of the gate with a lot of energy. During one stretch of just over 11 minutes early in the contest, the Defenders fired off six shots without the Bulldogs taking even one. One of those shots resulted in a goal for Gideon DeGraaf.

The rest of the way, Concordia played like a team determined not to remain winless within the conference.

“It was a good response for the team,” Carrasco said. “At halftime we had a talk about getting things done. We didn’t get the start that we wanted. We had to step up our mentality. We have to show that we want to win the games. I think it’s just a mentality. That’s what helped us coming out of halftime.”

Not only did Perry get the Bulldogs going with a PK goal, he also made one of the day’s highlight reel assists. From near the back right corner of the field, Perry lofted a ball 60 yards in the air that beautifully led Arra in behind the defense. Arra then slotted the ball over the head of a drawn-out keeper for a 3-1 advantage at the time.

For most of this season, goal scoring has not been a problem. What Concordia hopes to do is eliminate the little breakdowns that lead to scoring opportunities for opponents. The Bulldogs were masterful over the final 68 minutes on Saturday. During which, Dordt managed a grand total of four shots (10 for the game). Meanwhile, Concordia took 19 shots, including 11 on frame.

“You’ve seen a progression with Callum (Goldsmith) every game,” Weides said of the freshman goalkeeper. “He’s really growing with every experience of 90 minutes he’s getting. He’s getting better. He’s getting sharper. He’s given us an opportunity to win games.”

Next up is a clash with perennial GPAC powerhouse Hastings (7-2, 4-0 GPAC), winner of the 2016 NAIA national championship. The Bulldogs and Broncos have met each other in each of the last three GPAC tournament championship games. Concordia upset Hastings in the 2015 title game, winning by a 1-0 score.

“We need to come off stronger from the beginning,” Carrasco said. “It’s a big game. It’s one of those you’re always circling on the calendar. You always look forward to it. It’s here now.”