142-76-14 (.642) record since 2001
PELLA— Central College raced to a 1-0 lead but the men’s soccer team couldn’t hold off an Illinois Wesleyan assault as the Dutch fell 4-1 Saturday.
Just four minutes into the match, Central midfielder Matt Woodcock (senior, West Des Moines, Valley HS) found the back of the net off a pass from midfielder Brandon Bautista (senior, St. Charles, Ill., North HS).
“Brandon made a great tackle on their left back, took the ball in a few steps and passed it to Matt, who finished it brilliantly,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “We continue to do some positive things at the front end of the pitch.”
But Illinois Wesleyan (3-0) fired back, knotting the score in the 15th minute. The Titans pounced again with less than three minutes left in the half and then netted two quick goals in the second half at 52:16 and 56:16.
“Their attack started with us conceding a bad goal off a corner kick,” Laidlaw said. “Multiple responsibilities were lost and the dominoes fell.”
Illinois Wesleyan outshot the Dutch 17-12 and had a 6-2 corner kick advantage. Central goalkeeper Travis Yets (junior, Bettendorf) made three saves.
Laidlaw was pleased with the quick start.
“I thought we came out flying today,” he said. “We put them under pressure, put them on their back foot, and we passed the ball well, created chances and scored a goal. But from there, it obviously all went downhill.”
With tough non-conference opponents next week, the Dutch (2-2-1) will work on handling adversity.
“We need to eliminate the individual breakdowns and more importantly, we need to be able to move on from them,” Laidlaw said. “We’re not going to let this match deter us, we’re going to use it as motivation and growth as we continue to get stronger.”
The Dutch host perennial NCAA championship contender Washington (Mo.) Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex soccer field. The Bears (2-0-1) are coming off a double-overtime 0-0 draw against Loras College Friday.