Bulldog Weekly Report
Bulldog Athletes of the Week
Female: Carli Smith, Volleyball
The sophomore native of Temecula, Calif., totaled 71 digs in four matches over the weekend at the Bellevue Labor Day Classic. In a battle with No. 13 Grand View on Sept. 1, the sophomore posted a match-high 25 digs. Her average of 5.07 digs/set currently ranks 34th nationally. Smith passed serve receive at a 2.3 clip while playing great defense in a new position for her in a brand new system.
Male: Sean Doran, Soccer
The Dublin, Ireland, native has stepped in as a freshman and been a main cog in a defense that has allowed only one goal in the team’s first three games. Against William Woods on Sept. 1, Doran played all 90 minutes and helped shut out a pair of returning 2011 first team all-conference forwards who combined for 26 goals and 16 assists last season. Doran also scored a goal in the contest as he knocked in a free kick from 20 yards out.
Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting http://webprod2.cune.edu/csn at game time. Check team schedule/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
- The Bulldogs improved to 3-0 with a 2-1 victory over visiting William Woods (Mo.) on Sept. 1 in the team’s home opener. Head coach Jason Weides’ squad has now won nine-consecutive home games dating back to a 2-1 loss to Briar Cliff on Oct. 30, 2010, at Bulldog Stadium.
- Concordia came within 2:04 of becoming the first Bulldog team in Weides’ tenure to earn a third-straight shutout to begin the season. The Owls’ Ryan Mann scooted one past goalkeeper Chris Podlich in the 88th minute to end Concordia’s bid for another shutout. Goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan, who has started the first three games for the Bulldogs, has yet to allow a goal in just over 250 minutes played.
- Senior forward Aaron Skipworth, still two goals off the school’s all-time career goals record, has not found the back of the net yet this season. However, Skipworth has recorded one assist in each of the team’s first three contests. To read more about Skipworth’s great career, click HERE.
- Of the seven goals put away by the Bulldogs so far this season, four have come from freshmen. In the victory over William Woods, both goals were tallied by first-year players as Sean Doran (21st minute) and Gideon Soenksen (88th minute) got on the board to fuel the win.
- Doran’s first collegiate goal complimented what has been a stellar start to his career on the back line. The 6-foot-6 native of Dublin, Ireland, helped shut out two returning William Woods first team all-conference forwards and has consistently disrupted the offensive rhythm of the opposition.
- 2011 team-leading goal scorer Nathan Douglas saw his first action on Saturday after sitting out the first two games due to injury. Douglas came off the bench and fired two shots, one on goal. Goalkeeper Chris Podlich also missed the first two games with an injury, but relieved Buchanan and played the final 17 minutes in goal in Concordia’s latest victory.
- The Bulldogs have followed a similar formula in each of their first three wins – get ahead early and then rely upon a stingy defense to close the deal. Concordia has scored all seven of its goals in the first half this season.
- Weides on the team’s 3-0 start: “I’m proud of the guys. We can definitely tighten things up and get better at certain things and always improve, but certainly proud of their efforts. They’ve worked really hard. We’ve used a lot of guys off the bench. It’s been a good team effort. They should be proud. We’re certainly excited. You can’t complain when you start out 3-0, but I think our expectations continue to grow.”
- Concordia is off until Friday when it plays Bethel (Ind.) at the Hastings Tournament at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs also take on No. 6 Grand View (Iowa) on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Hastings, Neb.
- A new era in Bulldog volleyball got underway on Aug. 31 as Scott Mattera began his first season as head volleyball coach. Taking part in the Bellevue Labor Day Classic, Concordia picked up its first win of the season by knocking off Benedictine (Kan.), 25-14, 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, in its second match of the classic’s opening day.
- The Bulldogs concluded the weekend at 1-3 with all three losses coming to teams either ranked or receiving votes in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll. Concordia closely contested the first two sets against No. 13 Grand View (Iowa) on Sept. 1, taking the second set 26-24 to even the match at one apiece. However, the defending Midwest Collegiate Conference champions closed the match with decisive (25-12, 25-13) wins in the third and fourth sets.
- In its first match in Bellevue, Mattera’s squad fell 25-21, 25-16, 25-20 to Baker (Kan.) of the Heart of America Athletic Conference. In the final contest of the weekend, the Bulldogs lost in straight sets, 25-14, 25-21, 25-22, to host and No. 19 Bellevue.
- Sophomore defensive specialist Carli Smith emerged as a star throughout the weekend. She totaled 71 digs, including a match-high 25 digs against Grand View. Her 5.07 digs/set currently ranks 34th nationally. Smith passed serve receive at a 2.3 clip while playing great defense in a new position for her in a brand new system.
- Statistically, the Bulldogs were led over the weekend by the 45 kills of senior Amanda Kisker, 68 assists by sophomore Kayla James and 12 total blocks and seven service aces by sophomore Mariah Schamp.
- Overall, Mattera is pleased with the progress his team has made in adjusting to a new coach and system. “It's great to see the work rewarded with a nice win (on Friday),” Mattera said. “We've only been together for two weeks and we are way ahead of where we should be system wise. I couldn't be happier with our play as at times it displayed how good we can be. We've got a long ways to go but the future looks fantastic.”
- Many of Concordia’s first four opponents had the advantage of already having played an official match before the start of action in Bellevue. However, the Bulldogs competed admirably against some of the nation’s top teams. “We are not OK with losing matches, but we certainly were happy with several aspects of our play,” Mattera said. “We looked like a team playing its first match of the year (versus Baker) in a totally new system against a team playing its fifth match of the year, which is exactly what this matchup was.”
- Concordia now looks forward to Great Plains Athletic Conference play on Sept. 5 when it travels to Fremont, Neb., to challenge Midland at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldogs also have two matches on both Friday and Saturday at the Hastings Classic before hosting their home opener on Sept. 11 as Doane comes to town for another 7:30 p.m. varsity match. A junior varsity contest will be held at 6 p.m.
- Women’s golf teed off for the first time in the 2012-13 at the Aug. 31 Midland Invite in Fremont, Neb. As a team, head coach Brett Muller’s squad finished sixth among a field of seven Great Plains Athletic Conference schools at the 18-hole event. Click HERE for complete results.
- Concordia carded a team score of 381 and were led by the fifth-place finish of senior Mackenzie Duetschman, who shot an 88 on the par 73 course. Teammate Chelsea Peck recorded an 89 to finish in a tie for seventh.
- “They both played very well,” Muller said of Deutschman and Peck. “But I think they both came away a little disappointed. They have high expectations for themselves. They felt like they left some shots out there, but they kept the ball in play which is key with how tight the course was.”
- The biggest positive to take away from the team’s first outing of the season may have been its improvement on the final nine holes. “The thing that I really liked is that four of our five golfers improved on the back nine,” Muller said. “This is one of the toughest courses we play on. It’s so tight and the greens are quick. Our goal was to shoot a 370. We got a 381 so we weren’t too far off. This was a good measuring stick to see where we’re at.”
- The men get their season started Sept. 6-7 at the Siouxland Invite. Day one will take place in Orange City, Iowa, before moving to Sioux Center, Iowa, on the final day. The women’s next event will be the first GPAC qualifier on Sept. 11 at Landsmeer Golf Course in Orange City, Iowa.
- Bulldog football had a bye week following the team’s 45-37 season-opening loss to No. 13 Benedictine (Kan.) on Aug. 25. Concordia will be back at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday when Dakota Wesleyan, under the guidance of first-year head coach Ross Cimpl, visits for a 1 p.m. kickoff in the GPAC opener for both teams. Click HERE for this week’s Concordia depth chart.
- Dakota Wesleyan rolled to a 40-14 victory over in-state rival Dakota State University on Sept. 1 in the Tigers’ first game of 2012. Dakota Wesleyan running back Josh Endres piled up 213 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Sophomore linebacker and GPAC Defensive Player of the Week Anthony Cervantes starred on defense, posting nine tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception that he returned 25 yards for a score.
- Concordia hopes to avenge last season’s 41-17 loss at Dakota Wesleyan. The Tigers out-gained the Bulldogs 393-239 as Dakota Wesleyan quarterback Joe Bane completed 20 of 33 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Bulldog receiver Colten Quinabo had a nice day with five catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.
- The Tigers have won the last two meetings, including a 56-0 decision in 2010. Concordia last defeated Dakota Wesleyan on Oct. 20, 2007, by a score of 31-24 in a game played in Mitchell, S.D.
- Winter is a believer in the adage that a football team makes its biggest improvement from game No. 1 to game No. 2. With an extra week of practice, Concordia’s fourth-year head coach has his team in position to take a step forward. “We treated it like an extra week of fall camp. We got quite a bit done practice wise. We worked a lot on our stuff not knowing exactly what Dakota Wesleyan is doing with the changes on their coaching staff. We got better at what we do, so it was a good week.”
- Similar to Benedictine, the Tigers will bring to Seward an offense heavy on talented skill players. Winter knows the Bulldogs will have their hands full with quarterback Bane, running back Endres and returning First Team All-American receiver Anthony Muilenburg, who was held out of the team’s opener due to injury.
- Junior cornerback Derek Blessing’s average of 28.0 yards per punt return currently leads the nation. His 38.5 average on kickoff returns ranks fourth in the NAIA.
- Sophomore quarterback Von Thomas ranks 16th nationally in total yards per game with 226.
- Head coach Lisa White’s team has been idle since a 5-4 loss to the University of Nebraska-Kearney on Aug. 23. The Bulldogs remain 0-2 overall.
- Next up for Concordia is a tough challenge as it travels to Omaha on Wednesday to face No. 20 Bellevue in a 6 p.m. battle. The Bulldogs then play at Sterling (Kan.) on Sept. 15 before returning home to play York on Sept. 19.
- Sophomore midfielder Rachel Mussell earned Female Bulldog Athlete of the Week honors at last week’s Bulldog Booster Club meeting. Mussell scored three goals in the 5-4 loss to Nebraska-Kearney, surpassing her total of two goals her entire freshman season.
- White on her team’s preparation since the Aug. 23 game: “The past week of training has had two major points of focus – recovery and organization. With four games in a week and some tough opponents, we needed a bit of time to get our legs back. Organizationally speaking, we have been able to answer and address a handful of situational patterns that have caused a bit of confusion when it came to roles and responsibilities. We are eager for our game on Wednesday against Bellevue.”
- The program will hold its annual Blue-White Alumni run on Saturday on the campus of Concordia University. The event is set to get started at 10 a.m.
- Due to high temperatures north of 90 degrees on most days since the start of fall classes, head coach Kregg Einspahr’s Bulldogs have been relegated to early morning runs in an effort to beat the heat. Einsphar has been pleased with the progress of his teams so far.
- Concordia’s nationally-ranked men’s and women’s squads will officially get the 2012 season started on Sept. 15 at the Greeno Invite at Pioneer Park in Lincoln. The event is known for displaying a strong field of competitors.
4 September 2012
Gideon Soenksen (No. 10) scored one of the Bulldogs' two goals in the team's 2-1 victory over William Woods (Mo.) on Sept. 1.