by Garrett Suchanek
Open the record book, turn to a blank page and start writing a new chapter. The Concordia men’s soccer team is treading new waters after upsetting the first-seeded Hastings College Broncos 1-0 on Thursday night to win the GPAC tournament championship and earn its first trip to the NAIA men’s soccer national tournament.
The atmosphere was tense all night as both teams displayed an array of dangerous shots and battled through physical play.
Coach Jason Weides was pleased with how his team handled the physical play.
“I think our guys did a really good job of keeping their head in the game and not giving up silly fouls or useless things,” said Weides.
In the first half, Hastings controlled the ball more, which turned into more shots. The Broncos shot a total of eight times and put three on goal, while Concordia shot four times and twice on goal.
The Bulldogs picked up the intensity and played more aggressively coming out of the second half.
After multiple attempts deep in Hastings territory and a couple of corner kicks, the Bulldogs were finally able to break through.
Concordia’s goalie, junior Mark Horsburgh, saved a Bronco kick and cleared the ball down the field in the direction of Bulldog freshman Tyler Jensen. After Kevin Andrade moved the ball forward, Jensen ran it down and kicked a tear drop shot over the Bronco goalie to send the Bulldog faithful into a frenzy as Concordia took a 1-0 lead at the 65:35 mark.
Immediately following the goal, the Broncos put a lot of pressure on the Bulldog defense and slid a shot over the top of the goal crossbar.
Late in the game, the Broncos’ best chance to tie the game was a shot from inside 10 yards out, but Horsburgh denied Hastings’ attack.
As time wound down, the cheers roared loudly, and when the clock struck triple zeros, Concordia fans stormed the field to celebrate with the soccer team.
Jensen commented on the Bulldog faithful and how their support meant a lot to the team.
“They mean so much when they come out like that, just the energy that flows through is amazing,” said Jensen.
Concordia awaits the announcement of the tournament field, which will be on Monday, Nov. 16. No matter who the Bulldogs play, the opening round games will begin on Saturday, Nov. 21.