142-76-14 (.642) record since 2001
PELLA—The Central College men’s soccer team was edged 2-0 by No. 15 Wartburg in an Iowa Conference showdown on Saturday.
The Knights (10-2-2 overall, 4-0-0 IIAC)—ranked No. 15 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll—scored less than 10 minutes into both halves for the win.
“Wartburg is a disciplined, well-organized team,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “We tried to unlock them in many different ways and they answered everything we threw at them. We played them toe-to-toe for large portions of the match and it came down to a couple moments at either end of the pitch. They had their moments and we didn’t have ours.”
The Knights struck early, as Dan Nadeau redirected a cross from Chris Nothnick to the far post at 9:39.
Goalkeeper Tim Maggard (senior, Los Angeles, Calif., South Torrance HS) made two great plays—one stop in a one-on-one situation and one leaping save—to keep the halftime deficit at one goal.
Laidlaw also noted the defensive efforts of Jeremy Dolder (sophomore, Iowa City, West HS) and Owen Shawgo (freshman, Nevada) in keeping the game close.
“Tim clearly kept us in the game,” said Laidlaw. “We are always going to be in the game with a goalkeeper like him. Beyond the two lapses on defense, the back line also played well. Jeremy has been very consistent all year and Owen has given us quality minutes off the bench. We need to hang our hats on the positives.”
Wartburg added its second goal at nearly the same point in the second half. Zubeen Azari slipped behind the Dutch defense, received a pass from Connor Johnson and shot to the far post in the 53rd minute.
After not attempting a single shot in the first half, Central led in second-half shots (8-7), but only recorded one shot on goal. Wartburg led in shots (14-8), shots on goal (6-1) and corner kicks (6-5). Forward Aleksandar Glavas (junior, Loves Park, Ill., Guilford HS) led the attack with three shots. Maggard made four saves on the day.
“Our movement up top was a bit static today,” Laidlaw said. “We played much better in the second half, but when you take eight shots and only put one on frame against a team like that, you’re not going to win too many games. We need to become more clinical at the offensive end of the pitch, manufacture our attack and make plays.
“The difference in the game was very little, in my opinion. They showed a little bit more quality in the final third (of the field), where it counts the most.”
Central (6-6-1 overall, 1-3-0 IIAC) returns to the A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex field Tuesday against non-conference opponent Nebraska Wesleyan (3-7-1 overall). Last season the Dutch and Prairie Wolves tied 2-2 (2 OT) in Lincoln, Neb. Nebraska Wesleyan defeated Buena Vista 4-1 on Sept. 4 and tied Simpson 1-1 (2 OT) on Sept. 11.