SEWARD, Neb. – A three-game winning streak came to an end for Midland University’s men’s soccer team on Wednesday night as the team played to its second tie of the season at Concordia University.
The Warriors (7-3-2 overall, 3-1-1 GPAC) finished in a 1-1 draw with the Bulldogs (9-1-1 overall, 4-0-1 GPAC) to end Concordia’s unbeaten start to conference play.
“We are disappointed to not walk away with three points, but Concordia is a quality side that is well-coached,” said Midland head coach Raphael Martinez. “We didn’t play our best, but we feel we created enough chances to win the game, we just didn’t finish them.”
Lack of focus on the defensive end has been an Achilles heel at times this season for the Warriors, but that was not the case on Wednesday. They allowed just eight total shots with only two being on goal.
The only goal Midland allowed was an impressive strike from Concordia’s Garrett Perry that left the Warriors with nothing to do except tip their caps to the Bulldogs midfielder.
“Defensively we were very solid,” Martinez said. “(Keeper Matthew Ricci) didn’t really have to make any important saves in the game, and their goal was simply an unstoppable strike from distance. Overall, the effort from our guys was fantastic.”
Perry’s goal came in the game’s 54th minute and gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Shortly after, sophomore midfielder Thomas Crawford scored the equalizer for the Warriors in the 58th minute for his third goal of the season.
In the two 10-minute overtime periods, Midland managed to hold the Bulldogs to zero shots and fired off three of their own, but never found the net as the two teams were forced to settle for a draw.
It’s the second-consecutive game between the two sides that results in a tie. Last season in the quarterfinal round of the GPAC Tournament, the Bulldogs and Warriors played to a 1-1 tie before Concordia advanced to the semifinals by way of a 4-3 shootout win. It was Midland’s only tie in 2018.
On Wednesday, Midland was precise with its shot attempts as 10 of its 19 looks were on goal. Concordia keeper Eduardo Alba made nine saves in the game, while Ricci only had to make one save early in the first half for Midland.
The Warriors have now gone five straight games without a loss since they dropped the conference opener to Briar Cliff on September 21. A great defensive effort against a solid Concordia team may be an indicator that the Warriors don’t plan to end this run any time soon.
Midland is back home at Heedum Field this Saturday, October 12, for a 3:30 p.m. game versus the Doane University Tigers.