147-89-14 (.616) record since 2001
DECORAH—The Central College men’s soccer team was eliminated from the Iowa Conference tournament after a 1-0 first round loss at Luther Saturday.
After surrendering a first-half goal, the No. 6-seeded Dutch (9-9-1 overall, 2-5-0 conference) had two opportunities to equalize in the second half on penalty kicks, but both were saved by Tommy Breen and the first-period goal held up as the No. 3-seeded Norse (14-5-0 overall, 6-1-0 conference) escaped with the decision.
“I’m speechless,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “I’ve seen a lot of crazy things in soccer, but that was one of the craziest games I’ve ever been a part of. Whenever we play Luther it seems the first goal wins and that was the case today. It was an event-filled game and another classic. I congratulate Luther and wish them much success in the remainder of the tournament.”
Central’s first penalty kick was less than two minutes into the second half. Senior co-captain Kyle Maynard’s (midfielder, San Diego, Calif., West Hills HS) attempt was saved. Nearly 41 minutes later senior co-captain Daniel Peacock (midfielder, Ankeny) attempted the second Dutch penalty kick, but Breen made a diving save to his left to secure the victory.
“If you would have told me before the game that we’d get two penalty kicks and that our two senior captains would be taking them, I would’ve told you we win the game,” Laidlaw said. “There’s nobody else we’d rather have in that position at the end of the game, but their goalkeeper made two great saves.”
Luther also misfired on a penalty kick, sending it high in the 89th minute.
It was the second 1-0 loss at Decorah to the Norse in the past seven days.
Luther led in shots (10-9), while the two teams were even in shots on goal (6-6) and Central led in corner kicks (6-4). Midfielder Dillon Thornbury (senior, Memphis, Tenn., Collierville HS) led the Dutch attack with three shots, one on goal. Goalkeeper Tim Maggard (senior, Los Angeles, Calif., South Torrance HS) made five saves between the pipes.
The loss ends the decorated careers of five Central seniors: goalkeeper Maggard, midfielders Maynard, Peacock and Thornbury and forward Jake Stein (Prairie City, PCM HS).
“It’s a privilege for the men to be able to play this game and an even greater privilege for me to be able to work with them,” Laidlaw said. “They’ve come in and set our program in a new direction on the field, off the field and in the classroom. They’ve raised the bar and set our sights on greater things. They’ve contributed to our program beyond today and for that I'm forever grateful.”
Maggard finished tied for 10th with 63 saves this season and is third all-time with 19 career wins in goal. Thornbury finished tied for 10th with five assists this season. Peacock, a three-time all-Iowa Conference honoree, closed out his career tied for fourth with 77 appearances for the Dutch. Maynard lettered all four years at Central, while Stein is a two-time letterwinner.
The seniors led the Dutch to a 40-32-5 overall record and four consecutive Iowa Conference tournaments, including a runner-up finish in 2012.
“I’m extremely proud to have been able to work with them,” said Laidlaw. “They did a great job this season and their whole careers.”