133-67-13 (.654) record since 2001
ST. LOUIS, MO.-The Central College men’s soccer team dropped the season opener at Washington-St. Louis (Mo.) 3-1 Friday night.
The Dutch struck first, scoring the lone first-period goal, but the Bears responded with three goals in the closing period.
After more than 40 scoreless minutes to start the game, Central capitalized on only its second shot of the first period. As the Dutch pressed into the Washington zone, midfielder Adelmo Marchiori IV (freshman, Carlinville, Ill., Carlinville HS) found defender Aleksander Glavas (junior, Loves Park, Ill., Guilford HS) with a cross. Glavas headed the ball to the far post and into the back of the net.
“Adelmo played a super ball and Glavas looped it over the keeper for the goal,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “It was a super finish. We need to do those things a bit more this year. We were not dangerous enough and did not create enough chances outside of that goal. That is a glimpse of what we are capable of and gives us something to build on.”
Central led 1-0 at halftime. The Bears held a large first-period advantage in shots (12-2) and corner kicks (5-0), but only led Central 2-1 in shots on goal.
Goalkeeper Josh Carpenter (freshman, Chelsea, Ala., Chelsea HS) made two saves in his first collegiate half between the pipes.
“Josh did well, particularly in the first half,” said Laidlaw. “We defended really well early and limited their chances.”
Washington was quick out of the gates in the second half and pressured the Dutch early. The Bears evened the score 1-1 less than 10 minutes into the half after a misplay in the box by the Central defense.
Washington threatened again in the 61st minute, but Carpenter made a spectacular save to preserve the tie for the time being.
The Bears applied pressure once again, however, and scored in the 69th minute with a long pass and shot that cleared the head of Carpenter. Washington did not relinquish the 2-1 lead.
Washington added its third and final goal of the game with 15 minutes remaining.
“We played a fantastic team,” Laidlaw said. “(Washington-St. Louis) is ranked as highly as they are for a reason. They are a classy team and program. They are very technical and their movement off the ball is terrific. We did well to build a lead.
“Our inability to keep the ball tonight was the story. We are better in positioning than we showed. We chased the game for a long period of time because we gave it up too easily. We ran out of gas in the second half and it showed.”
The Bears filled the stat sheet with 24 shots, eight shots on goal and seven corner kicks. Central attempted four shots, two on goal and one corner kick.
“It’s early in the season and we play teams of this caliber for a reason,” said Laidlaw. “We will get better because of it. The guys are upbeat and we will take what we learned tonight into our upcoming games.
The Dutch return to action on Tuesday, in the home opener versus Grinnell. Game time is set for 5 p.m. at the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field.