Concordia Strikes Twice in Second Half; Golden Eagles Fall, 2-1
SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (September 6, 2013) -- Junior forward Ryan Duncan scored in the final seconds of the first half, but the goal proved not enough as Concordia (Neb.) stormed back with a two-goal second half, claiming a 2-1 victory over the Golden Eagles (2-2-0) in day one of the Quality Inn Fall Classic on Friday (Sept. 6) evening.
"Today's result was a tough one to swallow," admitted head coach Scott Marksberry after the defeat. "I really thought our guys did well to keep the ball, build effectively from the back and create dangerous chances; but we just didn't put the ball away.
"We have to give credit to Concordia for just sticking in there and finding a way to get a result. I am not disappointed in our performance. On the defensive side of the ball, we did not handle the details of the match well in the second half and we gave up two goals. On the attacking side, we missed a lot of easy chances to put the game away."
In its first match of the 2013 season at Alumni Field, John Brown held possession the majority of the first half, throwing at the Bulldogs (2-1-0) all it could handle as the host squad fired nine shots toward CUNE's netminder, Brad Buchanan, who made one save in the first half.
In front of a raucous crowd, JBU finally found the scoreboard with 14 seconds left in the first half when a turnover allowed sophomore forward Zeke Zumbro to play a through ball to a streaking Duncan. The forward took two strides, breaking away from the defense, and tucked a hard shot to the far bottom right post, handing the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead moments before halftime.
JBU outshot the visitors, 9-5, in the first half. Starting Golden Eagle senior keeper Pablo Garcia turned away both shots fired his way. John Brown also held a sizable advantage in corner kicks, 7-1, highlighting the disproportionate percentage of ball possession in the home team's favor.
The visiting Bulldogs came out a different squad in the second half as the hosts had to play at a disadvantage in the second stanza, staring at the sun in the attacking zone.
In the 53rd minute, Concordia found the equalizer as defensive miscommunication between Garcia and his defenders allowed an errant shot to carom off a Bulldog forward's head right to an oncoming striker to tie the match at one apiece
The Golden Eagles quickly responded with pressure. Over the next six minutes, John Brown unleashed four shots, two of which found iron as sophomore midfielder Eli Simonsen and freshman striker Marco Cardona were unable to convert.
The 72nd minute saw CUNE stun the home crowd when a nifty passing play between two Concordia attackers converted, as a low hard shot fooled Garcia, handing the visitors a one-goal advantage.
With one last key opportunity to tie the game at two, John Brown was awarded a direct kick outside the Bulldog box, setting up a patented Simonsen strike. Unfortunately, CUNE's Buchanan came up with a highlight-reel save, knocking Simonsen's attempt just over the crossbar in the 74th minute.
Buchanan finished the match with six saves. Garcia (2-2-0) took the loss in net for JBU, turning aside four Concordia chances.
"Hopefully we can learn from the mistakes, build on the successes, get some rest, and prepare for a very strong Georgia Gwinnett team tomorrow," added Marksberry.
The Golden Eagles return to the pitch tomorrow (Sept. 7) when it faces Georgia Gwinnett in the second day of the Quality Inn Fall Classic. The Grizzlies won their match on Friday, earning a 3-1 win over Oklahoma City.