SEWARD, Neb. – Up against a team with an unblemished GPAC mark, Concordia fell short on both ends in a 3-0 loss to visiting Midland on Wednesday night. The Warriors (12-1-2, 5-0-2) ran their streak to 14-straight games without a loss. Meanwhile, The Bulldogs were shutout for the second-consecutive contest on the way to dropping to 8-7 overall and 4-3 in conference play.
“If you want to get wins in the GPAC you have to be at your best and we weren’t at our best today,” Concordia head coach Jason Weides said. “I credit our guys for really digging deep and fighting. If we would have fought like we did in the second half in the first, I think the result could have been different.”
In terms of shots, Concordia hung with Midland, which had 11 shots compared to the Bulldogs’ seven. Neither team cracked the scoreboard until the 39th minute. The Warriors’ push at the end of the half provided a 2-0 margin working into the final 45 minutes.
Midland drew first blood when Andy Jones headed the ball just inside the left post off a corner kick. The ball was played in skillfully by Nick Saunders, who earned the assist. Saunders would pick up a second assist on another corner kick that found Harrison Rogers for a goal that ricocheted off a Bulldog defender before reaching the back of the net.
Midland’s execution on set pieces made the difference.
“Unfortunately we gave up two quick goals on set pieces that we think we can do a lot better job on,” Weides said. “Besides that in the first half, Midland didn’t have a whole lot of great opportunities to score. We had a couple let downs on those set-piece situations and they got two quick goals.”
One of Concordia’s best first half chances came at about the 28-minute mark when junior Chris DeFeyter rifled a corner kick from the right side into the middle of the field. Sean Doran, a 6-foot-6 center back, used his size to head the ball on frame, but Midland keeper Lewis Wilcox snagged it for the save.
The Bulldogs had similarly good chances, both in the game’s final 20 minutes, when headers delivered by Doran and Nathan Douglas were denied. Both chances were set up by passes from DeFeyter, who had a nice night facilitating many of Concordia’s best looks at the goal.
Freshman Mark Horsburgh of Edinburgh, Scotland, made his first career start in goal and turned in six saves. He showed he could hold his own in spelling Brendan Buchanan, who may return on Saturday from an injury.
“Mark stepped up and did well,” Weides said. “Brendan got hurt a few days ago and Mark came in and did a good job. I thought Mark dealt well with aerial balls and came out and was a good communicator.”
Leading goal scorer Nathan Douglas, clouded by defenders for most of the night, managed two shots, one on goal.
So far this season, Concordia has had better success on the road, where it is 5-1. It declined to 3-5 inside Bulldog Stadium after Wednesday’s result.
The Bulldogs will play host for the final time during the regular season when they welcome in Briar Cliff (5-10, 2-5 GPAC) at 7:30 p.m. to close a busy day in Concordia athletics. Saturday has been designated “senior day,” meaning seniors Nathan Douglas and Skylar Lewis will be honored for their contributions to the program. The Bulldogs defeated the Chargers 2-1 in last year’s meeting in Sioux City, Iowa.