SEWARD, Neb. – Unfamiliar foes felt each other out in a scoreless first half before the Bulldogs kicked it into gear in the second stanza. Concordia (8-3, 1-2 GPAC) improved to 7-1 in nonconference play with a 2-0 victory over Central Christian College (Kan.) on Wednesday night at Bulldog Stadium.
After a slow start to the game that included only 10 combined shots in the first half, Concordia awakened offensively over the final 45 minutes. Freshman midfielder Jake Sells became the 11th Bulldog to score a goal this season when sophomore defender Daniel Moore’s strike deflected off of Tiger keeper Alex Akrawi. Sells, who found himself in an opportune place in line with the right post, deposited the ball into the net to break the scoreless tie.
“It definitely illustrates quality depth,” head coach Jason Weides said of his team’s ability to get goals throughout the roster. “It’s not just there’s five guys, there’s 10 guys. We can go beyond that. We can go all the way to our 30th person on our team and we can provide great minutes and get goals. It’s really dangerous for other teams because it’s not just shut down this one guy and you shut down the team.”
Sells, who has played in eight of nine games, made his first start on Wednesday. The Woodland Park, Colo., native made the best of it.
“Danny made an excellent run down the wing,” Sells said. “He had a really good shot, really hard, and I just knew it was coming off. I was in the right spot at the right time, so it worked out good.”
Junior forward Nathan Douglas notched his team-leading sixth goal of the season in the 60th minute, scooting the ball along the turf past Akrawi. Senior midfielder Tom Gass earned the assist on the play after playing the ball on the ground from the right side of the field. Douglas atoned for missing on a one-on-one with the goalkeeper back in the 37th minute.
Central Christian (6-4-1), a member of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference, entered the contest averaging 2.7 goals per game – third best in the MCAC. The Tigers’ Ronnie Rocha misfired to the right on a clean look midway through the first half, but Central Christian was stymied most of the night and finished with just two shots on goal.
“Central Christian had come in and had a great start to the year,” Weides said. “It’s a team that scored a ton of goals last year and has the weapons to score a lot of goals this year. To put a goose egg up on the board is great for us defensively.”
Senior goalkeeper Chris Podlich picked up his first shutout of the season. It was the fifth team shutout in 2012 for the GPAC’s stingiest defense that came into Wednesday allowing only 0.8 goals per game.
With several players seeing more minutes on Wednesday than they typically have this season, the quality of the complete roster was on full display in the win.
“It really just speaks to our collectiveness as a team,” Sells said of the Bulldogs’ depth. “Nobody’s a superstar. We can all play. We can all get in. We can all score. It really helps the camaraderie of the team. We all know we can count on each other day in and day out.”
Concordia gets back to GPAC action on Saturday when it travels to Yankton, S.D., to take on Mount Marty (1-10, 0-4 GPAC).