151-102-14 (.592) record since 2001
DECORAH—The Central College men’s soccer team was subdued in a 1-0 loss to Iowa Conference opponent Luther Saturday afternoon.
The teams battled the wind—which gusted over 20 mph—in 64 minutes of scoreless soccer. The Norse (12-5-0 overall, 5-1-0 conference) scored their lone goal midway through the second half and it held up.
“We played a very good first half,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “Our passing and possession were good. What we didn’t do well enough in the first half was play decisive soccer in the final third. We had a few good balls played into dangerous areas, but we weren’t on the end of them to do damage.
“The second half was tougher. Luther had the wind advantage and they were more effective with it. We did not possess the ball well enough, especially in those conditions.”
Luther held significant advantages in shots (17-3), shots on goal (7-2) and corner kicks (6-1). Midfielder Mark Hentschel (junior, West Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) was responsible for all three Central shots. Goalkeeper Tim Maggard (senior, Los Angeles, Calif., South Torrance HS) saved six shots in the game.
“Mark made good effort to get on the ends of passes,” said Laidlaw. “Tim had another excellent game and made a couple point-blank saves. He’s a tough goalkeeper to beat from outside the box and it took a special shot to beat him.”
Laidlaw noted the performances of defenders Brian Fyfe (junior, Clear Lake) and Adelmo Marchiori (freshman, Carlinville, Ill.) for keeping the game within reach.
“Brian had a strong game in the back,” Laidlaw said. “Luther played a lot of long balls and he did a nice job clearing the danger on a vast majority of those plays. Adelmo had a solid game, as well.”
With one game remaining in the regular season, Central is tied for fifth in the conference standings with Dubuque—two games ahead of both Buena Vista. The top six qualify for the conference tournament.
The Dutch return home for their regular season finale Tuesday afternoon against No. 6 Loras (13-1-2 overall, 4-1-0 conference). The Duhawks defeated Central twice last season—including a 2-1 win in the conference championship. Loras’ lone loss this season was at Wartburg (2-1) Oct. 5.