Unbeaten record falls by wayside in OT battle

By Concordia University, Nebraska on Sep. 25, 2019 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – A couple of lengthy streaks came to an end on Wednesday (Sept. 25) night when visiting Kansas Wesleyan University walked away from Bulldog Stadium with a 2-1 overtime victory. Just over a minute into the extra period, Jose Escobedo took advantage of a one-on-one with Concordia’s keeper and sent the Coyotes home happy.

Twelfth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad has tasted defeat for the first time in 2019. The Bulldogs are now 7-1 overall.

“We knew we were going to face a good opponent,” Weides said. “Their record is not indicative of how good of a team they are. I’d argue they have one of the top five most challenging nonconference schedules this year. It was going to prepare them well to succeed at some point … they really strung together a great performance tonight. Unfortunately, they showed early on that they really wanted the game more than us.”

Kansas Wesleyan (1-5) took the fight to Concordia from the opening kickoff. At one point in the first half, the Coyotes had outshot the Bulldogs 8-1. In some ways, Concordia felt fortunate to be down only 1-0 after 45 minutes of play. The Coyotes had a header go off the left post and keeper Eduardo Alba made a nifty save around the 35-minute mark.

Those were the kinds of breaks that made it feel as though it’s Concordia’s year in 2019. The Bulldogs had momentum in the 80th minute when Daniel Campbell got on the board for the first time this season. He played a touch with his left foot and lofted a shot from the right corner of the 18 and tucked it inside the left post. Tie ballgame.

Suddenly Concordia had put itself in position to win a game it had been outplayed in for the large majority of the night. They could also pull confidence from the fact that the program had gone nine overtime games in a row without suffering a defeat.

But it was not to be. Kansas Wesleyan capitalized on a turnover that came via a free kick. The goal came in lightning fast fashion with the key touch being a header from Yader Rodriguez that played Escobedo in behind the Bulldog center backs. Escobedo slotted the ball to the left of a drawn out Alba for the winner.

The Bulldogs had hoped to again come through while showcasing their depth. Senior all-conference performer Carlos Ferrer sat out again and senior center back Evan Hayden was hobbled. Leading goal scorer Moises Jacobo was also forced out of the game before returning in the second half.

None of those are excuses in Weides’ mind. His team got outplayed (18-13 in shots and 6-2 in corners) and has work to do in order to accomplish its lofty goals of competing at the top of the GPAC.

“You have to approach every game as the most important game on your schedule,” Weides said. “At the beginning tonight I’m not sure we had the right mentality. Hopefully that’s the lesson we can take away. Every team will be gunning for us.”

The Bulldogs will get back to conference action on Saturday when they take on Dordt (3-3-2, 1-1-1 GPAC) in Sioux Center, Iowa. Kickoff is set for 3:15 p.m. CT. Concordia has gone 3-0-1 in the previous four meetings with the last Defender victory in the series occurring in 2014.