SEWARD, Neb. – Saturday night’s homecoming loss featured as many lightning delays as Nathan Douglas goals – two – before Concordia finally succumbed, 3-2, to visiting Morningside. The strange contest saw the Bulldogs take a 2-0 lead in the 66th minute, but a typically stingy defense broke down in the final 20 minutes of play.
“I think we panicked a little bit,” Concordia head coach Jason Weides said. “We just didn’t seem to be able to get our foot through the ball. We played around with it a little too much in the back. We were in good positions to clear the ball and win it, we just had poor clearances. It was unusual.”
The Mustangs Zoro Martinez headed in the game-winner in the 86th minute off a corner kick from Chico Hernandez, capping their run of three unanswered goals to complete the comeback against a Concordia (9-5, 2-4 GPAC) defense that came in allowing a GPAC best 0.73 goals per game.
Douglas, a Winnipeg, Canada, native, got the Bulldogs on top early when he chased down his shot that struck the Morningside keeper and bounded in line with the right post. Douglas took advantage of the second chance and rolled the ball past the Mustangs’ Evaristo Hernandez. Douglas then added another in the 66th minute as Concordia appeared to be in control.
Morningside (6-8-1, 4-2-1 GPAC) responded with a Cameron Meter goal, assisted by Saxx Adams and Blake Fostvedt, to put the Mustangs on the board in the 73rd minute. Kyle Larkin then knotted the score at 2-2 when he curled in a corner kick in the 77th minute.
“The two 30-minute breaks didn’t help, but essentially we just came out too flat today,” Douglas said. “We weren’t prepared for this battle tonight. The team that worked harder won. They wanted this win more than we did. It took us 85 minutes to get settled into this game, and by then it was too late.
“We didn’t defend well down the stretch.”
The first weather delay occurred with 19:53 remaining in the first half when lightning strikes in the area forced play to halt with Concordia leading 1-0. Then with 7:54 left in the game, officials stopped the action again with more frequent lightning brightening the sky in the background.
“Certainly it’s unique with two weather delays,” Weides said. “It usually doesn’t happen. Usually to have one is an odd thing to happen, but that’s not an excuse for us. We just didn’t come out and play well enough. Credit to Morningside. They came out and played with a lot of heart and passion.”
Douglas now has seven goals in his last five games and 10 on the season, all since Sept. 15. His 28 career goals are three behind current teammate Aaron Skipworth and former Bulldog Bernie Ochoa for the school record.
The Mustangs finished with 18 shots (11 on goal) to the Concordia’s 10 (six on goal). Morningside dominated the second half with 13 shots compared to the Bulldogs’ five.
Concordia will be back in action on Wednesday at 8 p.m. when it plays at Nebraska Wesleyan (7-5-1, 4-2 GPAC).