133-67-13 (.654) record since 2001
Three players scored five goals for the Central College men’s soccer team in a 5-1 victory against Buena Vista in the Iowa Conference opener Saturday.
Sophomore Brandon Bautista (St. Charles, Ill., North HS) started the first half scoring rally with an unassisted goal in the 9th minute. Nick DeLucia (sr., Urbana, Ill., Urbana HS) scored two minutes later with a Brett McKenzie (sr., Lindenhurst, Ill., Antioch HS) assist.
Bautista scored again off an assist from Leland Schipper (jr., Ankeny) before Schipper assisted Jonathan Schroeder (jr., St. Charles, Ill., North HS) in the 28th minute. Central’s final goal came unassisted from DeLucia.
“Both Nick and Brandon are playing really well this year,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “It’s always nice to see players get rewarded for their efforts.”
The Dutch have scored 16 of their 19 goals this season in the first half.
“I’m encouraged by our good starts,” Laidlaw said. “But we have to become a better second half team.”
Although the Dutch outshot Buena Vista 18-4 in the first half and 11-6 in the second, the Beavers (3-6, 0-1 conference) found the frame in the 83rd minute.
“We talked at halftime about trying to keep a clean sheet,” Laidlaw said. “But credit Buena Vista. I thought they played really well in the second half and outplayed us for portions of it.”
Bautista, DeLucia and Schroeder each improved to three goals on the season, behind team-leader McKenzie with six. Schipper holds a team-high three assists.
“We’re getting contributions from different players,” Laidlaw said. “That’s something we didn’t always get last year.”
Central heads to Rock Island, Ill., to play Augustana (Ill.) (2-5-1) Tuesday at 7 p.m. before hosting 2009 Iowa Conference champion Loras at 4 p.m. Oct. 2.
“We don’t have an easy schedule next week but we haven’t had it easy all year,” Laidlaw said.