SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Coaches and players for Concordia University Men’s Soccer never saw this one coming, especially considering the team had allowed a grand total of one goal over the previous four outings. In a wild one, host Dordt got the best of the Bulldogs, 4-3, underneath the lights in Sioux Center, Iowa, on Wednesday (Sept. 21) evening. Concordia squandered leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the defeat.
The result snapped a five-game winning streak for Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad. The Bulldogs (6-2, 1-1 GPAC) will have to quickly flush this performance.
“It’s a tough one,” Weides said. “I felt like we had the right mentality and had energy and effort but collectively, we made a lot of mistakes. When we played simple and executed, we looked like a really good team. Unfortunately, we made a ton of errors and some of them were punished with goals. It was abnormal for us. Early on, I thought we played well and were on top of them. Then we had a 15-minute stretch where we really struggled. There were some bright moments, but too many where we made mistakes.”
Not since the 2016 season had Concordia surrendered four goals to an opponent. Perhaps fittingly on this particular night, it was a mistake by the back line that led to the game-winning goal for the Defenders. Blake Hansen stole the ball, had his initial shot rejected by Federico Simonetti and then chased down the rebound and slotted it into the back of the net. Hansen’s goal occurred in the 84th minute and represented the final shot taken by either team.
For as many goals as were scored on Wednesday, the shot counts were actually fairly low – 10-9 in favor of the Bulldogs. Both teams capitalized on their offensive chances. The goals for Concordia came from Martin Herrera (4’), Carlos Orquiz (32’) and Dominic Abdel-Ahad (64’). An assist apiece was credited to Isaiah Shaddick and Herrera. The goal by Abdel-Ahad had brought the Bulldogs back into a tie (3-3) after Dordt had held a one-goal lead for roughly 18 minutes. A Concordia shot off the post nearly gave the visitors a 4-3 advantage.
A year ago, the Bulldogs defeated Dordt, 1-0, though possession was decidedly one-sided (20-4 Concordia shot advantage). This was a significant win for the Defenders (3-2-3, 1-0-1 GPAC), who finished last season at 2-9 in the GPAC.
“So many unusual things,” Weides said. “We don’t usually concede that many goals. We don’t usually lose leads. I think we were uncharacteristically sloppy in possession. They did a good job of punishing us for our mistakes. There’s a razor thin margin sometimes. We’ll find a way to learn and grow from this and do everything we can not to have this feeling going forward.”
On a positive note, João Pedro Veríssimo returned to the lineup after missing this past weekend’s 2-1 win at Mount Marty. It was feared he may miss a much lengthier portion of the season when he went down with an injury in the victory over Bethany on Sept. 13.
The Bulldogs will be back in Seward on Saturday to host Northwestern (2-3-3, 1-0-1 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. Concordia will attempt to avenge the 1-0 defeat it suffered last season in Orange City, Iowa. The Red Raiders shared the 2022 GPAC regular season title.