SEWARD, Neb. – In an abnormal mid-November regular-season contest, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team got one last chance to play at home in the calendar year 2020. The Bulldogs acquitted themselves well while up against a GPAC title contender and earned a 1-1 draw with Briar Cliff on Saturday (Nov. 14). Daniel Campbell knocked in the equalizer for Concordia.
Thirteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad picked up one point in the standings, but this week as a whole hurt in terms of its chances at locking up a GPAC tournament quarterfinal final game in the spring. The Bulldogs (8-3-2, 6-2-2 GPAC) now reside in fifth place in the league standings.
“I was certainly satisfied with the effort and intensity,” Weides said. “It was one of those games that’s a battle against a good team. They have a lot of good players. They make it tough, but we rose to the challenge. It’s unfortunate that we fell behind because we had some good chances to take the lead in the first half. I thought we showed a nice response to get back in the game when we got behind.”
Weides really wanted these three GPAC points. On the flip side, the Chargers (9-1-1, 7-1-1 GPAC) missed out on an opportunity to keep pace at the top of the conference standings. They got all they could handle from Concordia, which won the shot count, 13-9, and gave Briar Cliff a considerable scare with an attacking situation in the second overtime.
Once again, the Bulldogs have proven they can go toe-to-toe with basically anyone in the GPAC. Hopes of a signature conference win were bolstered in the 75th minute when Campbell emerged with his second goal of the season. Campbell hustled his way into the right place at the right time and was played directly in front of the goal by Ryan Wokutch. Concordia put three additional shots on frame that were denied by keeper Leandro Faria.
Weides went with another different starting 11 that included Decker Mattimoe and Matt Schultz at the center back positions. Caleb Goldsmith also jumped back into the starting lineup in the midfield. After an early run of hot goal scoring, the likes of Moises Jacobo and Garrett Perry have been held in check from an attacking perspective. In goal, Federico Andrea Simonetti made a pair of saves.
With one game left this fall, the Bulldogs are hoping for a win and a little bit of help in order to place inside the top four of the conference. In a normal year, conference tournament play would have been wrapping up about this time.
“Our goal is to be near the top,” Weides said. “We’re going to do everything we can to finish as close as humanly possible and control the things we can control. That’s our effort and trying to get three points every game. I think our guys have done a good job of creating every game as a cup final, or like it’s the GPAC final. Today was indicative of that.”
Briar Cliff got its goal from Marcus Horwood (sixth of the season). The Chargers have been one of the more dangerous attacking teams in the conference having put 31 goals on the board in their previous 10 games.
Concordia will close the fall portion of the schedule next Saturday when it plays at Presentation (0-8 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT from Aberdeen, S.D. The Bulldogs won last year’s meeting, 9-0.