SEWARD, Neb. – If this has to be the final home game in the careers of the senior class, this was about how they would have wanted it to go. The Concordia University Men’s Soccer scored early and often on its way to a 6-0 demolition of Presentation on Saturday (Oct. 23) evening. Yessine Bessaïes struck for a pair of goals while three of his teammates also found the back of the net.
Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad will finish outside of the top four of the GPAC standings, but it has the belief that it can make a postseason run. The Bulldogs currently reside in fifth place with a conference mark of 5-4-1 (7-7-2 overall).
“The focus is just on us,” Weides said. “We’ve got to be our best and perform our best and go into the playoffs feeling good about where we’re at. Our goal tonight and our goal the next game is to perform the best we have all season. It doesn’t matter if we’re facing the top team in the conference, the bottom team in the conference or anybody in-between, we’ve got to be good. We know in the playoffs that anything can happen.”
Concordia wasn’t looking ahead on Saturday night. It dominated the visiting Saints to the tune of a 28-1 shot advantage. It was one of those type of games where everyone believes they have a chance to get in on the goal scoring parade. Carlos Orquiz got it started with a goal in the fifth minute. Before halftime, Bessaïes (13’), Martin Herrera (27’) and an own goal added to the lead. Bessaïes got on the board again in the second half as part of his two-goal evening.
Though situated at the bottom of the GPAC standings, Presentation (2-11, 1-9 GPAC) had not allowed this many goals in more than a month. It really did not have an answer in trying to defend Bessaïes, who has ramped up his season counts to six goals and six assists (both No. 1 on the team). Bessaïes and Orquiz were two of the six seniors honored in a pregame ceremony.
Any time the Bulldogs earn a shutout, it’s likely that senior center back Decker Mattimoe had a hand in it. The Cheyenne, Wyo., native will be missed. Said Mattimoe, “It just flies by. You’re out here making friends your freshman year from complete strangers and next thing you know, you’re saying goodbye to your brothers at the end of four years. It’s emotional, but I’m happy to see everyone succeed and grow.”
Another of the honored seniors, Callum Goldsmith got the start in goal. He never did face a shot on frame while having a front row seat to watch Concordia mount attack after attack. The Bulldogs put 12 shots on goal. Five saves by Clayton Scott kept things from getting further out of hand.
The other seniors that were acknowledged prior to kickoff were Daniel Campbell and Caleb Goldsmith. The roster also features fifth-year seniors such as David Moreno. Said Weides, “It’s hard to sum up what someone’s given to the program. It’s a good group of guys that’s helped us along the way. I’m so thankful for everything they’ve given us. It’s fun to honor those seniors and give them an opportunity to ring the bell.”
The regular season will conclude on Wednesday with a contest at Doane (2-11-1, 2-6-1 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. CT from Crete. The Bulldogs hope to duplicate last season’s result – a 5-1 home win over the Tigers.