SEWARD, Neb. – After allowing two early goals, Concordia men’s soccer played catch up all evening before coming up short of Bethany College, 3-0, inside Bulldog Stadium on Wednesday. Two goals within the first seven minutes of action by the Swedes’ Lucas Procopio gave Concordia (3-4) almost no margin for error over the final 83 minutes.
“You have to expend a lot of energy trying to get back into a game when you’re down two goals,” Bulldog head coach Jason Weides said. “We just came out flat and didn’t perform well, didn’t defend well and didn’t attack well at all.”
Bethany got on the board in the sixth minute when goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan was taken out in a collision, leaving an empty net for Procopio. Buchanan was replaced in goal by freshman Mark Horsburgh for the next 8:26. Horsburgh was charged with allowing Procopio’s second goal just a couple minutes later. The Bethany junior received a cross from Luis Fernando before depositing the ball into the back of the net.
Buchanan returned with 31:15 left in the first half and helped the Bulldog defense settle in a bit. The Broomfield, Colo., native made a terrific diving save to his right off a free kick smash from Lewis Collins in the 21st minute.
Concordia senior forward Nathan Douglas missed out on a prime scoring opportunity in the 48th minute when a through ball left him one-on-one with the keeper. The Bulldogs’ all-time leading goal scorer shot it right at the Swedes’ Jackson McClure, preserving Bethany’s 2-0 lead at the time.
Concordia continued that pressure on the attack when junior Donnal Landrum’s pass up field found sophomore Dean Stevens with only the keeper to beat. Stevens’ well-stuck shot around the 60-minute mark also ended up in the hands of McClure. Stevens got another good look at the 73-minute mark when his shot off a cross from Matt Meisinger went just left of the goal.
In all it was a disappointing effort for a Bulldog team still looking for an identity in the early season.
“We made the chances happen in the second half for sure,” Stevens said. “I had two or three chances I should have scored on. When it comes down to it, one of us has got to finish. One of us has got to put it in the back of the net.”
Despite getting outplayed for much of the evening, Concordia actually took 13 shots (six on goal) compared to nine (seven on goal) for Bethany. However, the Swedes possessed the ball much better for the balance of the 90 minutes.
Concordia will flush Wednesday’s performance as quickly as possible to refocus for Saturday which brings the GPAC opener.
“Mount Marty’s a much improved team from where they were at last year,” Weides said. “So we should expect a good contest. There are no easy games in the GPAC.
The Bulldogs open up conference play on Saturday when Mount Marty visits Seward for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. Last season Concordia defeated the Lancers 2-0 in Yankton, S.D., in the only meeting between the two squads.