SEWARD, Neb. – It’s typically a good one when the Concordia University men’s soccer team and Midland get together on the pitch. In the most recent meeting, the Bulldogs celebrated a penalty kick shootout triumph over the Warriors in the 2018 GPAC tournament quarterfinals. Wednesday (Oct. 9) produced a similar result, but without the shootout. The two sides played to a 1-1 double overtime draw inside Bulldog Stadium.
The tie means that 12th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad earns one point towards the GPAC standings. Concordia stands at 9-1-1 overall, including a 4-0-1 mark within the conference.
“It’s a hard-earned point with two good teams – two teams that will certainly battle for good position within the league,” Weides said. “We had aims and ambitions to walk away here with a win, but I don’t think there’s any reason to hang our head about a hard-earned point. It was a great college soccer game. For the fans that were here, it was probably a great one to watch.”
Midland (7-3-2, 3-1-1 GPAC) had plenty of reason to enter town with confidence having steamrolled both Morningside and Dakota Wesleyan last week. The Warriors had more opportunities than did the Bulldogs during the sudden death overtime action. Concordia goalkeeper Eduardo Alba made two of his nine saves over the 20 minutes of extra time while ensuring his side kept from suffering its first GPAC loss. Decker Mattimoe also made a noteworthy play in the first half in clearing the ball off the goal line.
The game’s lone goals came within less than four minutes of each other. Junior Garrett Perry continued his goal scoring splurge by drilling a laser into the back of the net in the 54th minute. Perry has now scored at least one goal in three-consecutive games. However, the Bulldogs did not hang onto the 1-0 lead for long. Thomas Crawford knotted the score in the 58th minute.
The contest saw the return of Carlos Ferrer, who had missed the previous four games due to injury. Ferrer came off the bench to attempt to ignite Concordia’s offensive attack. There remains a need for the Bulldogs to create more offensive chances. Midland outshot Concordia, 19-8.
But the effort was there for the Bulldogs. Weides sensed this one felt like a GPAC postseason game. These two sides may see one another down the road.
“Midland’s a good attacking team – I think one of the better teams in our conference in terms of their movement forward,” Weides said. “I thought we did a good job of defending it. I think the guys as a team really defended well. Midland was a team that was really hot and scoring tons of goals.”
The Warriors have put five or more goals on the board four times this season. Their only defeat inside the conference occurred at Briar Cliff on Sept. 21. Midland’s dismantling of Morningside, 6-1, was especially impressive.
Another significant challenge looms on Saturday when the Bulldogs will be at Lloyd Wilson Field for an 8 p.m. CT kickoff with No. 5 Hastings (9-0-1, 5-0 GPAC). Concordia last defeated the perennially powerful Broncos in the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game. The Bulldogs were beaten by Hastings, 3-0, last season in the GPAC semifinals.