133-67-13 (.654) record since 2001
PELLA—The Central College men’s soccer team pushed No. 6-ranked Loras to the limit, but the Iowa Conference foe escaped with a 2-1 win Tuesday afternoon.
The Duhawks (15-1-2 overall, 6-1-0 conference) scored two goals at about the same time increment in the first and second half—between 11 and 13 minutes into each—en route to the one-goal win.
“We played a very good team and we played them very tough,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “I’m really pleased with the effort. We were right in the game. They have great players and we did a nice job containing them. At the end of the day, it wasn’t enough.”
The Dutch (9-8-1 overall, 2-5-0 conference) made things interesting midway through the first period, as forward Mark Hentschel (junior, West Des Moines, Dowling Catholic HS) equalized on a header off of a set piece. It was his third goal of the season and tied the game at halftime. Forward Aleksandar Glavas (junior, Loves Park, Ill., Guilford HS) assisted on the free kick.
“Aleksandar’s delivery was spot on,” Laidlaw said. “He’s done that a number of times this season, so it’s no fluke. He’s got great accuracy. It was a great ball and Mark flicked it on beautifully, just enough to tuck it into the corner. It was a great finish and that’s what he can give us up top.”
Goalkeeper Tim Maggard (senior, Los Angeles, Calif., South Torrance HS) faced a flurry of shots and crosses and kept Central in the game with seven saves. Laidlaw also recognized the defensive efforts of defenders Brian Fyfe (junior, Clear Lake), Jeremy Dolder (sophomore, Iowa City, West HS) and Nick Lutsch (junior, South Elgin, Ill., St. Charles North HS).
“Tim was Tim again today,” said Laidlaw. “It was a solid performance and I cannot fault him on their two goals. Brian had a spectacular game. Loras puts a lot of pressure on offensively and he dealt with it very well. Jeremy was solid, as was Nick Lutsch. All of the backs did well today.”
The Duhawks led in shots (25-9), shots on goal (9-5) and corner kicks (4-3). Glavas led the Dutch attack with three shots, two on goal.
“We know who we are going into the playoffs and we have to be one goal better,” Laidlaw said. “There’s a lot of positives to take from this match, so we will take them and we will be ready come Saturday.
“Unfortunately, too many one-goal losses have our postseason seed at No. 6,” said Laidlaw. “But today was a classic example of how little the difference is from top-to-bottom in this league. We look forward to whatever challenge faces us in the first round.”
The Dutch—who had already qualified for the conference tournament—must await the outcome of two late games to determine their first-round opponent. Dubuque visited Simpson, while Luther visited Wartburg.