142-76-14 (.642) record since 2001
WATERLOO—It took three days and an unscheduled road trip to play, but the Central College men’s soccer team yielded a pair of second-half scores and was blanked 2-0 by Luther College Friday night.
The contest was originally slated to be played in Pella Wednesday and the teams played 69 minutes but the game was interrupted twice by lightning delays and forced to be canceled. With the Dutch on fall break, Central coach Garry Laidlaw offered to move the game to a location nearer Decorah and play at night, so that Luther’s players would miss less class time.
Both teams were held scoreless in the first half and combined for just seven shots.
“We started the game slowly,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “It took us 20 minutes to get things going.”
The Norse (11-2-1 overall, 4-0 Iowa Conference) broke on top in the 67th minute with an unassisted goal by Brock Arend, his fourth of the year. Then Jason Block put the game away in the 84th minute with his sixth goal, also unassisted.
“Luther has some fast, skillful players,” Laidlaw said. “They’re a good team and they were a little bit sharper than us at times with their passing. Their defense was also very organized. We were unable to break them down and find a breakthrough goal.”
Central (8-5-1 overall, 2-2-1 conference) was outshot 11-7 but held a 7-2 corner kick advantage. Dutch goalkeeper David Ziemann (senior, Van Meter) made two saves.
Laidlaw acknowledged a spark from the bench.
“We had five or six non-starters that came in to give us a lift,” Laidlaw said. “They’ve kind of done that all year and when you get this deep into the season you need to be able to rely on that. It’s a big positive for us to continue to get solid production from the depth of the team.”
The Dutch are off this weekend, then travel to Indianola Wednesday to take on Simpson College in a 7 p.m. match. The Storm closed the 2010 season at 5-12 but a new coach is leading a turnaround effort as Simpson is 7-7-1 overall and 4-1 against league opponents.
“I think Simpson is a lot like our women’s team,” Laidlaw said. “It’s amazing what a new coach and a different attitude can do for a program. We know it’s going to be a challenging game for us and we need to bounce back quickly. We’ll come out ready to play Wednesday.”