Bulldog men’s soccer finished off a perfect 2-0 weekend in Oskaloosa, Iowa, by shutting out Ottawa (Kan.), 2-0, on Saturday afternoon. Concordia improved to 2-0-0 on the season and recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since mid-September of last year.
“It was a good win for us. We came out right away and got an early goal and just kept on pressing,” head coach Jason Weides said. “Defensively we really constricted their time and space on the ball. It started with our front three and our midfield stepped up.”
The Braves, a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, struggled when faced with the intense pressure defense of the Bulldogs. Concordia kept Ottawa from establishing any offensive rhythm, rarely allowing the Braves more than two or three passes on a possession.
Freshmen outside backs Justin Lawrie and Ben Walker and midfielders Ian Euhler and Gideon Soenksen combined to put the squeeze on the Braves. The pesky Euhler consistently broke up play for Ottawa and helped goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan (four saves) post his second-consecutive shutout one day after a 3-0 victory over William Penn (Iowa).
Sophomore midfielder Kevin Soenksen staked the Bulldogs to a 1-0 lead only 2:07 into the contest when he buried a shot from the near post off a crossing pass delivered by senior forward Aaron Skipworth from the left side. Lawrie added the team’s second goal when his shot glanced off the Brave goalkeeper Drinnan Sante and into the back of the net at the 26:41 mark.
Once again, Concordia’s super-sized freshmen class came through, led by standouts such as Sean Doran, Soenksen and Walker.
“They have done very well. We’ve thrown a lot to the fire right away,” Weides said. “(Friday) night five freshmen started and another five came off the bench and provided some quality minutes, and there’s really no drop off.”
The Bulldogs finished with a 15-9 edge in shots and 12-4 advantage in shots on goal in the win.
Concordia is off until Sept. 1 when it hosts its home opener against William Woods (Mo.) at 7 p.m.