DUBUQUE — The Central College men’s soccer team’s shortened preseason schedule caught up to it Saturday afternoon in a 2-0 loss at Loras College.
Coach Garry Laidlaw said his Dutch (1-1-0, 1-1-0 American Rivers Conference) squad’s lack of game experience hampered his side against the Duhawks (2-0-1, 2-0-1 conference).
“The fact of the matter is that we were off the pace today,” he said. “We just weren’t sharp. I think it was evident that our lack of match sharpness and fitness showed. Even some of our most technical players were showing that once they got fatigured that even the most basic technical aspects of their game we’re breaking down.”
Goalkeeper John Foster (freshman, Lee’s Summit, Mo., North HS) made 14 saves between the pipes.
“The score line flattered us today,” Laidlaw said. “If it hadn’t been for our goalkeeper, it probably would have been a lot more at halftime. He gave us a chance to regroup and try some different tactics in the second half.
Laidlaw also cited the defensive effort of Brant Mueller (junior, defender, Bettendorf) in anchoring the backline.
“Brant did a good job with a team that’s really good in the air,” Laidlaw said. “He won a lot of duals today.”
Central hosts Simpson College Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
“The only way to fix a lack of match fitness and sharpness is to have more matches,” Laidlaw said. “We’ve got plenty of them coming up. The best thing we can do is jump right back in and play again.”