SEWARD, Neb.—Coming off a double-overtime 0-0 tie with 16-ranked Bellevue University last Saturday, McPherson was back on the road Wednesday, traveling to Seward, Neb., where the Bulldogs fell 3-2, again in overtime, to Concordia University.
This was a third straight tough loss for the Bulldogs who continue to play a challenging non-conference schedule in preparation for KCAC play which begins next week.
McPherson took a 1-0 lead at the 9:50 mark of the opening period as Chris Kelly bent a free kick from just outside the 18 around the wall and into the back of the Concordia net.
Shots were hard to come by for the Bulldogs in the opening period with only one other shot on goal before the McPherson offense came alive to mount a challenge over the final six minutes of the half, but couldn't find the back of the net on three shots, and were able to carry their 1-0 lead into the halftime break.
McPherson had a pair of shots on goal in the opening two minutes of the second half, but it was Concordia that got on the scoreboard as the home team scored on a header at the 48:58 mark to tie the match at 1-1.
Ten minutes later Kelly put McPherson back on top with his second goal of the evening as he took a pass from David Mwinga off a combination from Guido Battistini , and found the back of an empty net for a 2-1 McPherson lead at the 57:24 mark.
Again, Concordia evened the score (2-2), this time netting an assisted goal about four minutes later. Commented McPherson coach Doug Quint following the contest, "Their tying goal was literally one of the best collegiate goals I've ever seen. They crossed a ball deep from the by-line all the way to the backside, where at the top of the 18 their player 1/2-scissor kicked in out of mid-air. The ball was (as we say in soccer) 'on a rope' to the back of the net, an ESPN worthy goal."
The final 28 minutes of regulation found both goalies withstanding all attacks as McPherson finished the half with 11 shots to Concordia's six in the period.
The home team took control during the overtime period as Concordia fired three shots on the McPherson goal, including the match winner 3:21 into the OT period, a shot that was initially saved but which found the back of the goal on the rebound.
On the evening, McPherson outshot Concordia 16 to 13. Concordia had six corner kicks, five in the first half alone, while McPherson had five on the evening. The home team was whistled for a total of nine fouls, five in the first half, while McPherson picked up a total of three cards.
"We had some great moments during the game, but just weren't able to sustain focus for 90 minutes, Quint added. "While we had glimpses of brilliance there were too many lapses. I have to give credit to Concordia for taking advantage of those. We certainly played a better match tonight then we did Saturday and that is why this loss really hurts. Even though this is a tough one to swallow, we can't dwell on it because we certainly have a challenge ahead of us Saturday at MNU."
The Bulldogs will now carry a 0-3-1 record into its final non-conference match of the season when they travel to Olathe, Kans., to take on #19 nationally ranked Mid-America Nazarene on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Bulldogs will then return to McPherson Stadium to open its KCAC season next Wednesday, Sept. 19, against the Bluejays of Tabor College in a 7:30 p.m. match.