142-76-14 (.642) record since 2001
PELLA—In an all-too-familiar scenario for the Central College men’s soccer team, Luther College converted on a penalty kick and pulled out a 1-0 Iowa Conference victory Wednesday.
Central, 6-9 overall and 1-5 in the league, has suffered eight of its nine losses by one goal and has been shut out five times.
At 26:39 in the first half, the Dutch were whistled for the penalty and Luther’s Michael Olson found the upper corner of the net on the kick for the game’s only goal.
“It’s been like a broken record,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “The difference in the game was one set piece. But I have no argument with the call.”
Luther (6-8-1 overall, 4-2 conference) outshot Central 6-1 in the first half, but the Dutch held a 13-8 advantage in the second half.
“I was disappointed in our first-half performance,” Laidlaw said. “But we came out in the second half and really took the game to them. Once again, we just weren’t able to find that elusive goal. It’s been the story of the season.”
Goalkeeper Quincy Garner (junior, Pella) had three saves for the Dutch, who continue to battle numerous injuries.
“We’ve got five or six reserve players seeing a lot of minutes, which is not ideal,” Laidlaw said. “But we can’t complain about that and the guys haven’t.”
The Dutch nonetheless are getting strong play in back, Laidlaw said.
“Nick DeLucia (junior, Urbana, Ill.) really warmed up to the task and Eric Fjare (sophomore, Council Bluffs, Abraham Lincoln HS) has had two solid games in a row,” he said.
The obvious key to ending Central’s struggles is generating offense.
“I cannot fault the guys’ effort,” Laidlaw said. “They’re trying to score, but the execution just isn’t there.”
Central is home Saturday for another league women’s/men’s twinbill, taking on Coe College. The women’s game starts at 1 p.m. at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field with the men’s game at 3 p.m. Live stats and a video Webcast of both games will be offered on the Central athletics Web site at www.central.edu/athletics.
Coe took a 6-7-2 overall record and a 2-2-1 conference mark into a contest with Wartburg Wednesday.