PELLA — Playing its final non-conference match, the Central College men’s soccer team was upended by Carleton College (Minn.) 2-1 on the road Tuesday night.
The loss drops Central’s record to 8-1-1.
“Unfortunately, we were just well off the pace in the first half,” coach Garry Laidlaw said. “We got a little sloppy on the goals we conceded. All in all, I don’t think there was too much between the teams. They were clearly better in the first half and I thought we were much better in second half.”
It’s the second time in three games the Dutch have fallen behind 2-0 in the first half. Against Knox College (Ill.) last Wednesday, Central rallied for a 2-2 draw with two goals in the final five minutes of regulation.
“We can’t keep falling behind against teams of this quality and expect to come back every time,” Laidlaw said.
Central’s only goal came from forward Ian Meentemeyer (senior, Hartsburg, Mo., Southern Boone County HS) in the 78th minute. Jake Dzarnowski (sophomore, midfielder, Wheaton, Ill., North HS) was credited with the assist.
“Ian always gives us great effort,” Laidlaw said. “He really sparked us off the bench. He got himself in a good position and tapped the ball in.”
Central has already beaten one regionally ranked team and tied another in the non-conference matches. However, unranked Carleton was arguably the stiffest test yet.
“We’ve had a really good non-conference schedule,” Laidlaw said. “We knew this game would only help us prepare for the conference matches to come.”
The first match of the American Rivers Conference is Saturday in Decorah against Luther College at 4 p.m.