Bulldog Athletic Association Athletes of the Week
Male: Lewis Rathbone, Soccer
Rathbone, who hails from Manchester, England, enjoyed the most productive week of goal scoring of his career. He turned in a hat trick in a win at Waldorf University and then added two more goals in a victory over Kansas Wesleyan University. Rathbone has a career high seven goals for the undefeated Bulldogs (6-0-1).
Female: Victoria Cera, Soccer
Cera, a native of Las Vegas, Nev., notched the first three goals of her career in a hat trick performance in last week’s 7-1 victory at Waldorf University. She added an assist in the same contest. The freshman product of Centennial High School has started all eight games while playing a variety of different roles.
Previous athletes of the week
Sept. 12 – Tarence Roby (football) / Murphy Sears (golf)
Sept. 5 – Jack Bennett (soccer) / Lindsey Carley (soccer)
News and notes:
Homecoming week has arrived: It’s homecoming week on the Concordia University campus. The festivities get started on Friday, Sept. 22 when the Athletic Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony are held. The next day will feature head coach Patrick Daberkow’s football team against Doane. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT. For complete details on homecoming weekend, click HERE.
Horn brings big city game to small town Seward: A native of Denver, Colo., Annie Horn has brought a big city game to Concordia. The standout senior is coming off a junior season that saw her win 15 singles matches and go undefeated against GPAC opponents. She began her senior campaign by extending her personal singles win streak to 14. For more on Horn, click HERE.
Bulldog Coaches Show airs every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CT: The Bulldog Coaches Show is underway in its third year of existence. The show airs live for a half hour every Thursday beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT on KTMX-FM 104.9 Max Country. The weekly feature can also be heard live via 104.9 Max Country’s website or by downloading the Max Country app. Throughout the 2017-18 season, Bulldog football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball contests will be aired live on Max Country. Tyler Cavalli serves as the host of the coaches’ show as well as the play-by-play voice for football and basketball. Frank Greene is again calling volleyball action.
Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting http://www.cune.edu/csn at game time. Check team schedules/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
- The 2017 Bulldogs are already making history. For the first time since 1974, Concordia men’s soccer is unbeaten after its first seven games of a season. Head coach Jason Weides’ squad picked up nonconference wins last week over Waldorf University, 4-2, and Kansas Wesleyan University, 3-0. The lone remaining undefeated team in the GPAC, the Bulldogs will enter conference play with an overall record of 6-0-1. Concordia is 3-0 at home and 3-0 in true road contests. The draw occurred in a neutral setting. For more information on Bulldog men’s soccer, click HERE.
- The 2017 team passed up the 2011 edition for the best seven-game start during Weides’ tenure as head coach. The ’11 team started out 5-1-1 and finished with the top winning percentage (.658, 11-5-3) of any squad coached by Weides. The ’74 team, coached by Jack Kinworthy, started out 7-0 and finished 7-3. The season prior, head coach Terry Boren led Concordia to a 6-0-1 start and a 6-2-1 final overall record. The lone men’s soccer team in the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame is the 1976 group that went 9-3-1.
- Senior Lewis Rathbone is on a tear. The native of Manchester, England, has tallied at least one goal in three games in a row. In last week’s win at Waldorf, Rathbone collected the first hat trick of his career. He then scored twice more in the latest Bulldog triumph. His seven goals on the year are already a career high. Only one GPAC player has found the back of the net more times this season than Rathbone, who now has 14 career goals. Ten of those goals have come over the last 10 games Rathbone has played.
- Concordia is now the conference leader for fewest goals allowed per game (0.86). Junior goalkeeper Jack Bennett picked up his third shutout last week while making four saves, including one of a penalty kick, in the win over Kansas Wesleyan. Bulldog opponents are just 1-for-4 this season on penalty kick attempts. Bennett has covered all 630 minutes in goal this season for Concordia.
- Dating back to last season’s GPAC tournament run, the only loss the Bulldogs have suffered was a 3-1 defeat at the hands of eventual national champion Hastings in the conference championship game. Concordia is an impressive 8-1-1 with a victory over No. 14 Midland over the past 10 games. Over that stretch, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 23-12.
- The win over Waldorf marked the second time this season that Concordia has avenged a loss from the 2016 season. The Warriors are actually the most recent team to emerge from Bulldog Stadium with a win. They defeated Concordia, 1-0, in overtime last season. The Bulldogs also found redemption by defeating Graceland University, 2-1, on Sept. 9. Concordia could avenge more of last season’s losses by topping Bellevue University, Dakota Wesleyan, Hastings and Midland.
- Thanks to the victory over Kansas Wesleyan, the Bulldogs have now won five in a row at home. The streak includes a 2-1 overtime win last season over Briar Cliff as well as the 2016 GPAC quarterfinal triumph over Northwestern, 2-1. The 2017 Concordia team is aiming to become the program’s first group to complete an 8-0 home regular season run since the 2011 squad was perfect at home.
- Rathbone supplied five of the team’s seven goals last week. The other two came via Marcelo Hernandez and Carlos Ferrer. Six different Bulldogs have scored at least once. In terms of shots, Rathbone has been the most active, taking 25 shots. Hernandez has been credited with 18 shots.
- A mid-week bye provides Concordia the opportunity to rest before making a trip to Dakota Wesleyan (3-4) on Saturday for a 6:30 p.m. CT kickoff in Mitchell, S.D. The Tigers upset the Bulldogs, 2-1, last season. Concordia outshot Dakota Wesleyan, 24-4, in a tough luck defeat.
- Concordia knew this portion of the schedule would offer some major challenges. The Bulldogs are right in the middle of a six-match stretch that matches them up with each of the GPAC’s six nationally-ranked teams. That grind so far has resulted in losses to No. 9 Midland, No. 16 Doane and No. 14 Northwestern. However, sixth-year head coach Scott Mattera saw his team take a step forward while giving the Red Raiders a serious push inside Walz Arena on Sept. 16. The Bulldogs are now 5-8 overall and 0-3 in conference play. For more information on the Concordia volleyball program, click HERE.
- The Bulldogs seemed to figure out creative ways to use freshman Tara Callahan’s diverse skill set. The Brady High School product saw extensive action as a right side hitter versus Northwestern and produced 12 kills on 24 attacks without an error. She accomplished a rare feat by also reaching double figures in assists (33) and digs (11). Callahan has been the team’s primary setter this season, racking up 447 assists (9.1/set).
- Northwestern entered last weekend’s matchup leading the nation in hitting percentage. The Red Raiders, led by Iowa State transfer Anna Kiel, slipped back to No. 3 in that category after being held to a .247 hitting percentage by Concordia. Not just one of the country’s top attacking squads, Northwestern ranks 12th nationally in aces per set (2.39). The visitors from Orange City dropped in six aces inside Walz Arena.
- In the loss at Doane, senior Jocelyn Garcia surpassed 1,500 career digs. Now at 1,523 digs in a total of 384 sets played, Garcia racked up 559 digs as a sophomore and then 600 more as a junior. This season’s she’s averaging a career best 4.1 service receptions per set. In 2015, Garcia garnered first team all-conference and NAIA honorable mention All-America accolades while leading Concordia to a national tournament appearance.
- If the Bulldogs are to make a return to the national tournament in the near future, they will have to figure out how to get over the hump against ranked opponents. The 2015 squad went a very respectable 6-4 against top 25 teams. Included in those six wins was a road victory over then second-ranked Midland. So far this season, Concordia is winless in four tries versus the top 25. It came up agonizingly close in a five-set loss to No. 20 Bellevue University on Aug. 30.
- After posting a total of 50 kills over her first two collegiate seasons, junior Jenna Habegger has taken on a larger role in 2017. She’s surpassed 100 kills this season after putting up 12 versus Northwestern. Habegger was especially impressive in the first set when she swatted eight kills, helping the Bulldogs take the opening set, 25-16. The 12 kills were a new career high for Habegger, who has tallied 11 kills on three occasions as a Bulldog.
- Senior Annie Friesen is the team leader with 42 blocks this season. The 2015 first team all-conference performer is also just one kill away from reaching 500 for her career. Friesen slammed 313 kills during an impressive sophomore season when she ranked eighth nationally in hitting percentage (.374).
- This week will test Concordia significantly with three more ranked opponents looming over a four-day stretch. First up, the Bulldogs will host No. 1 Hastings (11-0, 3-0 GPAC) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Concordia will then be on the road to take on No. 5 Dordt (14-3, 2-1 GPAC) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and No. 24 Morningside (9-7, 1-2 GPAC) at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
- The Bulldogs put behind back-to-back losses by drubbing Waldorf University, 7-1, in Forest City, Iowa, on Sept. 13. Three days later, Concordia settled for a 2-2 double overtime draw with Kansas Wesleyan University, a fellow 2016 national tournament qualifier. Fifth-year head coach Greg Henson’s squad has now wrapped up the nonconference portion of the schedule. The Bulldogs will head into GPAC action with an overall mark of 4-2-2. For more information on Concordia women’s soccer, click HERE.
- A season best goal scoring outburst was spurred at Waldorf by freshman midfielder Victoria Cera. The native of Las Vegas, Nev., turned in the first three goals of her career while notching a hat trick. She also assisted on another goal. Cera has stepped in and become an immediately important player. She has started each of the first eight games.
- The team’s most prolific goal scorer last season as a freshman, Sami Birmingham got on the board in both of last week’s games, posting career goal Nos. 23 and 24. The Johnston, Iowa, native continues to be the team’s most active attacking player. She is now tied with both Maria Deeter and Kaitlyn Radebaugh for the most goals on the team (four apiece). Birmingham is tops on the Bulldogs in shots (34) and shots on goal (20).
- Deeter may not have scored herself last week, but her actions played a role in at least three goals. She contributed one assist both at Waldorf and versus Kansas Wesleyan. She also drew a foul in the box that resulted in a Birmingham penalty kick goal. Deeter opened up the season by scorching Avila University with three goals. She has scored 17 times over 50 career games as a Bulldog.
- Lindsey Carley got the start at goalkeeper in both of last week’s matches. Carley’s most significant contribution was a nifty save to preserve the tie in double overtime with Kansas Wesleyan. An Urbandale, Iowa, native, Carley has started five times in 2017 and owns a goals against average of 1.04 and a save percentage of .833. She has totaled 25 saves in 431 minutes of action.
- Concordia will enter conference play ranked fifth in the GPAC in the most recent NAIA ratings. Under Henson’s guidance, the Bulldogs have become a perennial contender at the top of the standings. They placed second in 2014, third in 2015 and third again in 2016. Concordia also has an active streak of three straight appearances in the GPAC tournament championship game, winning titles in 2014 and 2016.
- At the close of nonconference play, the Bulldogs possess GPAC rankings of third in goals per game (3.13), second in shots per game (19.6), first in shots on goal per game (12.8) and seventh in goals allowed per game (1.38). The glaring number is the ranking of seventh in goals allowed per game. The 2015 Bulldogs topped the GPAC in that category while the 2016 squad ranked second.
- Concordia will take a breather with a mid-week bye before hitting the road for Saturday’s GPAC opener at Dakota Wesleyan (4-2). Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. CT. The Tigers have already surpassed their win total for the entire 2016 season (3-13-1). The two sides met in the regular season finale last week. After facing a 1-0 halftime deficit, the Bulldogs scored four times in the second half and left town with a 4-1 win.
- The conference season opened up last week for head coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad. Northwestern freshman quarterback Tyson Kooima accounted for all five Red Raider touchdowns while handing the Bulldogs a 35-21 defeat. Concordia had hoped to claim its first win in Orange City, Iowa, since 2002. Instead, the Bulldogs slipped to 1-2 overall. Concordia was only slightly outgained, 419-413, by Northwestern, which is now 3-0 and ranked 24th nationally. For more information on Bulldog football, click HERE.
- Daberkow has continued shuffling things up at the quarterback position. Riley Wiltfong provided a late spark at Northwestern, engineering a pair of fourth quarter touchdown drives. He found three different receivers with his trio of touchdown tosses: Jackson Hall (47 yards), Lane Castaneda (21 yards) and Kiyoshi Brey (24 yards). Wiltfong wound up with a career high for total yards (247 passing, 72 rushing) while leading the team’s comeback bid after it had trailed 35-7.
- On the majority of plays, the Concordia defense did a solid job. Out of 67 offensive plays run by the Red Raiders, 10 resulted in tackles made in the backfield. Northwestern running back Jacob Kalogonis had rushed for 359 yards over the first two games. The Bulldogs managed to hold him to 30 rushing yards on 20 carries. The Red Raiders struggled to keep linebacker Zac Walter out of the backfield. He made 3.5 tackles for loss. Northwestern’s five scoring plays accounted for 182 of its 419 yards of offense.
- Castaneda has quickly emerged as a reliable receiver in the absence of Jared Garcia. A freshman from San Antonio, Texas, Castaneda has caught 18 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. His first career score came on a highlight reel touchdown grab at Kansas Wesleyan in week one. He ranks 14th among all NAIA pass catchers for receptions per game. Only two GPAC players rank above him in the aforementioned category.
- The Red Raiders were able to slow down running back Ryan Durdon, who rushed 14 times for 46 yards in Orange City. After beginning his collegiate career as a receiver, Durdon has become the primary ball carrier. He racked up 302 yards on 51 carries over the first two weeks of the season. A native of Decatur, Texas, Durdon ranks 11th nationally in rushing yards per game (116.0).
- Thanks in large part to the dynamic talents of Tarence Roby, Concordia ranks third nationally in yards per kick return (28.6). Roby has returned eight kicks for an average of 30.1 yards per return and a long of 64. In his career, Roby has found the end zone in four different ways (kick return, blocked punt return, interception return and fumble return). The most memorable of those returns was his 100-yard interception run back for a touchdown in the win over Ottawa University.
- With the injury to linebacker Terrell Pearson, the Bulldogs now have both Small brothers starting on defense. Erik Small took on nose guard duties this season in addition to also starting at fullback on offense. Kevin Small is a graduate student who transferred to Concordia this fall. The Smalls are two of eight Bulldogs with double digit tackle totals so far this season. The leaders are D’Mauria Martin and Lane Napier with 16 apiece.
- It would be a homecoming Saturday to remember if Concordia can figure out a way to upend No. 7 Doane (3-0, 1-0 GPAC). The Bulldogs have dropped each of the last 12 meetings with the Tigers. The 2015 matchup went Doane’s way, 23-20, in overtime. Head coach Matt Franzen’s squad will be coming off a wild 68-67 victory over 22nd-ranked Dakota Wesleyan. The Tigers also own wins over No. 14 Sterling College and Friends University.
- The women are coming off a busy week that saw them compete at the Midland Fall Invite (Sept. 11) and the Lila Frommelt Invite (Sept. 15-16) hosted by Briar Cliff. Concordia placed fourth out of six teams in Fremont and then finished 15 out of 16 squads at the Lila Frommelt meet. The women have now competed in three events (five rounds) while the men have golfed in two events (four rounds). The men have been idle since the Siouxland Invite (Sept. 7-8). For more information on Bulldog golf: MEN | WOMEN.
- Sophomore Murphy Sears has been Concordia’s highest finisher at all three tournaments so far this season. Through five rounds, the Crete native owns an 18-hole average of 87.6. Sears has turned in place finishes of 39th/82 at the Mount Marty Fall Invite, 5th/45 at the Midland Fall Invite and 31st/94 at the Lila Frommelt Fall Classic. Sears carded a season low 11-over-par 82 in the first round of the Lila Frommelt meet. That total was one stroke off of a career best.
- Sears was followed in the lineup last week by freshman Haley Nolde (104-93–197; 75th), who shaved 11 strokes off of her day one total in the meet held at Two Rivers Golf Club in Dakota Dunes, S.D. The remainder of the lineup included sophomore Payton DeMers-Sahling (97-102–199; T-77th), freshman Rebecca Day (93-107–200; T-79th) and junior Madison Pitsch (105-106–211; T-85th). Golfing as individuals, sophomore Paighton Barbre (108-95–203; 81st) and freshman Gabrielle Coviello (108-107–215; T-89th) were also present.
- Sears helped lead her team to a season low score of 376 on Sept. 15. That number is 13 strokes better than the squad’s next lowest score. The team average is now 391.2 after posting rounds of 376, 389 (twice), 390 and 412. Three individuals own averages below 100: Sears (87.6), Nolde (98.4) and Day (99.4).
- At the Siouxland Invite, the men’s team placed third out of 13 teams. Junior Nolan Zikas placed eighth with a two-round total of 71-74–145. Zikas is the team leader with an 18-hole average of 76.54. Three other Bulldogs have averages below 80: sophomore Tylar Samek (76.55), senior Russell Otten (78.29) and freshman Kort Steele (79.00). Zikas, Samek and Steele have each turned in one round apiece at even par or better.
- This week the women will be off from competition. Meanwhile, the men will co-host the Blue River Classic along with Doane this Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 19-20). The first round will be at Doane’s home course, Wilderness Ridge Golf Club in Lincoln. Day two will shift to Highlands Golf Course in Lincoln, home of the Bulldogs. At last season’s Blue River Classic, Concordia placed second and broke a school team single round record by shooting 288 at Highlands. Both the men’s and women’s GPAC Fall Championships are coming up in October.
- Concordia has been idle since competing in its season opening meet, the Dordt College Classic, on Sept. 9. In that race, the Bulldog men took second place while the women finished sixth. Both teams also ran their home course at the Blue-White meet on Sept. 2. For more information on Concordia cross country, click HERE.
- Deschaine is the most accomplished runner in the program based upon past accolades. She’s a two-time all-conference performer in cross country and was a 2016 national qualifier thanks to her ninth-place individual finish at the 2016 GPAC championships. Formerly known as Emily Sievert, the native of Frankenmuth, Mich., clocked in at 18:20.96 at last year’s conference meet. In this season’s first race, she ran a solid 19:33.12. That time will likely be cut down as the season goes on.
- Among Bulldogs, Deschaine was followed by sophomore Rebekah Hinrichs (20:25; 27th), freshmen Alyssa Fye (20:29; 29th) and Everett Elder (20:40, 32nd) and sophomore Miranda Rathjen (20:52; 34th) to round out the top five in Sioux Center, Iowa. Concordia was without junior Taylor Grove, a 2017 outdoor track and field national qualifier in the marathon. Grove finished 31st at last year’s GPAC championships, good for third best on the team.
- On the men’s side, five Bulldogs placed between 11th and 21st (based upon official results that included the Dordt alumni team) at the Dordt Classic. Leading the way were juniors Thomas Taylor (27:05) and Evan Asche (27:08), placing 11th and 12th, respectively. Next came freshman Jordan Lorenz (27:23; 16th) and seniors Pat Wortmann (27:44, 18th) and Kohlton Gabehart (27:47; 21st). The team’s four best performers following Gabehart were all freshmen: JP Reynolds, Christian Van Cleave, Cody Williams and Patrick Schneeberger.
- At the Dordt Classic, the men beat out the likes of conference schools in Morningside, Dordt, Hastings, Dakota Wesleyan and Mount Marty. The encouraging results appear to be proof that the Bulldogs are ready for a move up the conference. In the official GPAC preseason rating, Concordia was ranked fourth behind Northwestern, Morningside and Midland. On the women’s side, the Bulldogs checked in at No. 6 in the preseason ranking.
- Beisel aspires to bring the program back to the competitive levels that it reached in past years during previous head coach Kregg Einspahr’s tenure. Einspahr oversaw nine combined cross country conference titles (five men, four women) and 32 top 25 national finishes. His teams placed as the national runner up a total of five times. Einspahr also coached 16 individual GPAC champions with Sarah Kortze (2012) and Colin Morrissey (2012) being the most recent Bulldogs to take first at the conference meet.
- After a bye in the schedule last weekend, Concordia will return to action on Saturday for the Dean White Invite hosted by Doane. The meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. CT in Crete. The Bulldogs will run in three more meets prior to the conference championships in Sioux Center on Nov. 4.