SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team struggled out of the gates before settling in during the second half of action in Wednesday (Sept. 9) night’s dreary and chilly season opener inside Bulldog Stadium. A pair of first-half penalty kick goals proved the difference for visiting Bellevue University. The Bulldogs were unable to recover in what amounted to a 3-1 defeat.
At long last, the 2020 campaign is underway for Head Coach Jason Weides and his team. This marks year No. 13 for Weides leading the program.
“We came out in the second half and were better than the first,” Weides said. “It was a rough first half. Credit to our team. I do think we responded well to it. At the end of the day, you really put yourself in a big hole when you concede two PK’s. We still have to have the mentality that we’re going to go win the game.”
Bellevue’s Toby Millward successfully converted the two PK opportunities. One came at the 15-minute mark and the other occurred with just five seconds before halftime. The second one was a backbreaker. Concordia narrowly missed going to the locker room with a 1-0 deficit despite being outplayed considerably over the first 45 minutes.
An experienced transfer via the University of Northwestern Ohio, senior David Moreno got on the board in the 53rd minute with the help of Iker Casanova’s assist. However, the Bruins (2-0) quickly pushed the margin back to two goals when Alex Cuenca answered in the 55th minute. Bellevue rode out the win four days after it secured a 5-1 victory over William Penn University (Iowa).
The Bruins (2-0) finished with a 14-8 advantage in the shot count. While making the start in goal, Concordia’s Callum Goldsmith collected five saves. Yessine Bessaies (three shots – two on goal) was one of the more active Bulldogs on the attack.
There are still some moving parts, but that’s the case for a lot of college athletic programs these days. The goal is to learn from it and get better next time out.
“Everyone’s dealing with (challenges),” Weides said. “That had no bearing on today’s result. We were outmanned. They performed better than us and deserved to win. They did the simple things well.”
Concordia will hit the road for the first time this season when it plays at MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) on Saturday. Kickoff from Olathe, Kan., is set for 2:30 p.m. CT. It will be the season opener for the Pioneers.