Second-straight double overtime contest culminates in defeat

By on Sep. 5, 2014 in Men's Soccer

Second-straight double overtime contest culminates in defeat

HASTINGS, Neb. – For the second-straight outing, the Concordia University men’s soccer team dropped a double overtime decision. In their latest contest, the Bulldogs fell 3-2 after being victimized by Odilon Junior’s golden goal in the 108th minute to send Hannibal La-Grange (Mo.) to victory on Friday night.

Seventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ Bulldogs slipped to 1-2 overall on the young season.

“It was a progression forward. Ultimately it was a loss, but I felt it was a step forward for us,” Weides said. “Hannibal La-Grange is a good team. We knew they would test us. I thought our play was really improved. We started to play the type of style we’re striving for.

“The disappointing thing was how poorly we played the first half. It took us about 35 minutes to settle in. Once we did we played well like we’re capable.”

Concordia grabbed a late lead over its foe from the American Midwest Conference when senior midfielder Rajan Kooner deposited the ball into the back of the net right at the start of the 85th minute. Less than 90 seconds later the Trojans responded with Felipe Mendes’ goal to force overtime.

After a scoreless first overtime, Hannibal La-Grange ended the game in the second extra session with 2:15 left on the clock. Nil Lamana played a cross into Junior, who headed in the game winner.

Despite another difficult loss to stomach, Weides liked the overall play he got up and down the group of 16 players that saw action on Friday.

“I thought Rajan Kooner played really well,” Weides said. “He did some nice things in the middle and provided a spark off the bench. We had several guys come off the bench and help us. Jake Sells played in his first game of the season and also gave us a little spark.”

Hannibal La-Grange went to the halftime locker with a 1-0 lead on the strength of Manuel Saez’s 33rd-minute goal. Concordia got the equalizer in the 60th minute when junior Gideon Soenksen dribbled past a defender and drilled the ball into the back of the net.

The evenly-played game was reflected by the equal number of shots, 14, for both teams. The Bulldogs put nine shots on frame, giving Daniel Finkle the opportunity to make seven saves. Meanwhile, senior Brendan Buchanan made a pair of saves for Concordia.

Both Kooner and center back Sean Doran fired off three shots. Three other Bulldogs attempted two shots apiece.

The Bulldogs turn around quickly to play the University of Saint Francis University (Ind.) in Hastings at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Saints are 2-0 with wins over John Brown University (Ark.) and Shawnee State University (Ohio).

“I think it will be tough,” Weides said. “Out of all the teams here in Hastings, we’ve got the shortest turnaround. St. Francis is a good team. We don’t have a chance to rest. Saturday’s game will really test our fitness and our depth. I’m looking forward to seeing how we respond. St. Francis has some good attacking players that will test us defensively.”