Cold Weather, Hot Home Opener

Sophomore Sondre Rygg controls the ball in the first half of the Cobbers' home opener against St. John's. He scored his team-leading second goal of the year in the second half.
Sophomore Sondre Rygg controls the ball in the first half of the Cobbers' home opener against St. John's. He scored his team-leading second goal of the year in the second half.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (4/14/21)---It might have been cold and snowy in Moorhead on Wednesday but fans inside Jake Christiansen Stadium were treated to a hot game that went down to the wire.

Concordia and St. John's went back-and-forth for the first 86 minutes until a late-game goal gave the Johnnies a 2-1 lead.

The goal at the 86:22 mark sent the Cobbers to their first loss of the season. CC had won two straight road games before dropping the 1-goal game in the home opener.

Both teams controlled sections of the game and got quality looks at the net. The Johnnies had more offensive third time at the start of the game and got the opening goal off of a corner kick. SJU played the ball into the penalty area and one of the St. John's players was able to get his head on it and flick it toward the back post and into the net.

The goal at 17:45 gave the Johnnies the early lead but started the Cobbers' control of the next 20 minutes. CC nearly tied the game in the 27th minute when sophomore Telvin Vah controlled the ball inside the right corner of the SJU penalty area and was able to get pas a defender and hammer a low cross towards the back post. TJ Anderson ran on to the ball and had to reach back to get his foot on the ball. The in-close shot went straight up and hit the crossbar and ricocheted away from goal.

The teams would only generate three more chances in the final 15 minutes with neither team getting a quality look on goal.

The Cobbers tied the game midway through the second. After threatening on a couple of occasions, CC was able to get on the board when Patrick Smith won the ball in the middle of the field, dribbled forward and played the ball to the left wing for Anderson. Anderson cut back the ball back into the middle and made a pass to Sondre Rygg inside the top of the penalty area. Rygg's first touch brought the ball off the ground and he was able to hit an outside of the right foot volley on his second touch which went just under the crossbar on the left side of the net.

The goal at 68:58 was Rygg's team-leading second of the season. Smith and Anderson both picked up their first assists of the year.

Concordia would have the only shot on net until the game winner. SJU was able to win the ball and get a free look from 35 yards out on the right wing. The SJU attacker then player a curling ball behind the CC defense which was met by a player running on to it and he blasted it home from five yards out.

The Cobber nearly tied the game less than 30-seconds later. They were able to get the ball to Vah inside the St. John's penalty area. Vah freed himself for an open shot but his low drive was stopped by the SJU goalie as it almost made its way through his legs.

Concordia was outshot by a slim 11-9 margin in total shots and 5-4 in shots on goal. Vah led Concordia with three total shots while Rygg had a team-high two shots on goal.

Noah Sahr made three saves in goal for the Cobbers.

UP NEXT: Concordia will have a home-and-away weekend. The Cobbers will host Augsburg in the final home game of the season on Saturday, Apr. 17 at 1:30 and then travel to St. Mary's for a 3 p.m. game on Sunday, Apr. 18.

RECAP SPONSOR: Today's recap sponsor is Fargo Linoleum. Cobber athletics would like to thank Fargo Linoleum for their continued support of Concordia student/athletes.