142-76-14 (.642) record since 2001
PELLA—Dominating everywhere but the scoreboard, the Central College men’s soccer team finally broke through with a Jonathan Schroeder (sophomore, St. Charles, Ill., North HS) goal in the 80th minute for a 1-0 season-opening win over Grinnell College Tuesday.
Central (1-0) outshot the Pioneers 12-0 in the first half, but came up empty. Grinnell came back with an 8-5 shot advantage in the second half. But the ball caromed to Schroeder near the end line and his 10-footer deflected off the goalkeeper for the game’s only score with 9:58 left.
“We were fortunate to get the ball to bounce our way,” said coach Garry Laidlaw. “We’ve been on both ends of those games when it’s still 0-0 well into the second half.
“But I was pleased with how we responded as a team. We kept pushing, kept pushing, held our nerve and finally got rewarded for good attacking play.”
Schroeder had a game-high four shots for the young Dutch, who started just one senior.
“I thought we showed great control in the first half,” Laidlaw said. “We passed and possessed it well. But credit Grinnell defensively, we couldn’t find a way through. They’re big and strong in the back.
“In the second half we got a little ragged and (Grinnell) came into the game a little bit.”
It was Central’s second consecutive season-opening win and the Dutch are 6-1-1 in openers in the past eight years.
Central gets a first-ever visit from the Univ. of Puget Sound (Wash.) Friday at 3 p.m. at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field. The Dutch edged Puget Sound 1-0 on a trip to the Pacific Northwest last year.
“It’s not very often we get a team from out west to come out here and we appreciate Puget Sound’s willingness to return our game from last year,” Laidlaw said. “It’s a solid program with an excellent coach. We know we’re in for a good match.”