HASTINGS, Neb. – For the third-straight game, the Concordia University men’s soccer team came up agonizingly short. In a neutral match in Hastings, Neb., on Saturday, the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) rode an early goal to a 1-0 victory.
The Bulldogs, 1-3 overall, have suffered three losses by just a single goal since topping Bethany College in their season opener. A pair of red cards at about the 60-minute mark on Saturday forced Concordia to play down two men the rest of the way. That’s when head coach Jason Weides’ group actually played its best.
“We played well from that moment on,” Weides said. “The guys that were out there really played with heart. We were better in possession in that last 30 minutes and held the ball well. We worked really hard. I was really proud of how they handled that.”
The game’s only goal came in the second minute when the Bulldogs failed to mark a Cougar attacker, who headed a cross into the net from roughly eight yards out. Concordia goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan had little chance to react.
The rest of the way, Buchanan did well to give the Bulldogs a chance. Despite a shot count that significantly favored Saint Francis, Concordia stayed with its opponent from the Crossroads League. Weides commended Buchanan for one save in particular when he denied a Cougar shot in a one-versus-one situation.
Concordia had a great opportunity late to equalize when one of its shots hit the post.
Despite a pair of losses over the weekend, Weides sees a Bulldog team that does not have far to go to turn close defeats into victories moving forward.
“We learned that we are close,” Weides said. “It’s not like we’re a mile away from being a good team. We have to do the little things that separate teams. We need to tighten things up a bit. We’ve had moments in all three of our losses where we could have taken the game. We just didn’t capitalize. We’re better than our record shows right now. We feel like we’re still progressing as a team.”
The Bulldogs have three more road games coming up before returning home on Sept. 23. Next up is a date at Sterling College (Kan.) on at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12. The Warriors own a record of 0-3.