Regular season wraps up with draw at Doane

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 27, 2021 in Men's Soccer

CRETE, Neb. – For the fourth time in the past nine series matchups, Concordia University Men’s Soccer and Doane played to a stalemate. The latest matchup took place in a pouring rain on Wednesday (Oct. 27) night in Crete, Neb., where the result was a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes of action. The visiting Bulldogs were unable to hold onto a 1-0 advantage that stood for roughly 11 minutes during the first half.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad is now locked into the No. 5 seed in the GPAC tournament. Concordia (7-7-3, 5-4-2 GPAC) has tallied 17 points towards the GPAC standings. The Bulldogs will have to regroup next week after a performance that fell below expectations.

“We spent the first half trying to play out of the back with everything,” Weides said. “Doane certainly had a lot to play for, but we did as well. Credit to Doane – they fought hard and played well. We didn’t do the simple things right and it was just not the championship effort we expect. Second half, I thought our guys had a better mentality.”

The Bulldogs had dominated Doane the past two years (8-1 combined score), but these rivals are no strangers to overtime meetings throughout Weides’ tenure. Needing a win to keep hopes alive of a postseason berth, the Tigers gave a spirited account of themselves. They finished with a 24-20 edge in the shot count and showed no fear in the overtime sessions. There were even moments when Doane came dangerously close to finding the golden goal. The Tigers (2-11-2, 2-6-2 GPAC) missed a shot with a wide-open goal in the first overtime. On the flip side, a Concordia free kick also nearly put an end to the contest.

There was a degree of relief in salvaging a tie considering Concordia played down a man beginning in the 58th minute. At that point, it had been a 1-1 score since Gilberto Rodriguez’s equalizer in the 39th minute. His goal answered a set-piece goal from the Bulldogs’ Renzo Bozzo in the 28th minute (assist credited to Martin Herrera). It marked Bozzo’s first goal of 2021.

Concordia keeper Gabriel Mendoza made seven saves while helping to preserve the tie. Doane keeper Dylan Trindle collected six saves. The most active attacker for the Bulldogs was Yessine Bessaïes (five shots, including three on frame).

This was another in a series of close calls and near misses for Concordia this season. Said Weides, “We just needed someone to have one special moment and we didn’t have that today. You combine that with a poor first half and going down a man, it makes it tough. It was another example of how you can’t overlook anyone in this league. Unfortunately, we missed a chance to go into playoffs really feeling good about ourselves.”

The Bulldogs will have the weekend off while waiting for GPAC tournament pairings to be announced after all conference play has been completed. It’s not yet official, but Concordia will be the No. 5 seed for the GPAC postseason event, which will begin with the quarterfinal round next Wednesday (Nov. 3).  The Bulldogs have appeared in the GPAC tournament final as recently as 2017.