SEWARD, Neb. – The win streak has reached five as the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team enters its first full week of conference play. The Bulldogs met last week’s challenges in earning victories over Bethany College (Kan.) and Mount Marty. Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has run its overall record to 6-1 (1-0 GPAC) with Dordt and Northwestern coming up next on the slate. The Red Raiders shared the GPAC regular season title a year ago.
Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Dordt (2-2-3, 0-0-1 GPAC), 7:15 p.m.
--Live Webcast | Live Stats
Saturday, Sept. 24 vs. Northwestern (2-3-2, 1-0 GPAC), 3:30 p.m.
By the numbers
· It was a fine run through nonconference play as the Bulldogs went 5-1 and defeated two opponents that qualified for the 2021 national tournament: Tabor and Bellevue University. The one blemish came by a 1-0 score at Corban University (Ore.), which entered the NAIA coaches’ poll at No. 25 last week. In the six nonconference games, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents by a combined total of 9-3 and earned shutout wins over Northwest University (Wash.), 1-0, York College, 2-0, Bellevue, 1-0, and Bethany, 2-0. The five-game win streak is the longest for the program since the 2020 team won six in a row.
· Strong starts to the season are nothing new for Weides’ program. While the 2021 team was 3-3-1 after seven games, the 2017 (6-0-1), 2019 (7-0) and 2020 (6-1) squads each enjoyed similar success in comparison to the ’22 edition. The current Bulldogs would do well to take after the ’17 team that cruised to a 10-0-1 mark before finally suffering a defeat in game No. 12. Those Bulldogs went on to finish 16-3-1 overall for a still intact school record win total. The previous school record for wins in a season had been 12 by the 2000 team led by newly inducted Concordia Athletic Hall of Famer Bernie Ochoa.
· The Bulldogs just narrowly had their shutout streak snapped last week as Mount Marty got its lone goal with Concordia’s help. That’s the only goal the Bulldogs have conceded over their last four outings. In last week’s action, Concordia defeated Bethany at home, 2-0, and Mount Marty on the road, 2-1. The Bulldogs enter this week ranked in a tie for 19th nationally in terms of lowest goals against average (0.57). That figure is best among GPAC squads. All the while, the Bulldogs have started three different goalkeepers. Federico Simonetti (two GPAC Defensive Player of the Week awards this season) has started three times, Callum Goldsmith has started twice and Gabriel Mendoza has started twice.
· Each of the four Concordia goals last week were put away by a different individual: Carlos Orquiz (56’ vs. Bethany), Matt Schultz (74’ vs. Bethany), Jarrod Henson (54’ at Mount Marty) and Miguel Navarro (76’ at Mount Marty). In other words, the theme of goal scoring by committee has continued. Orquiz leads the Bulldogs with three goals on the season (all on penalty kicks). Next in line are Navarro and Dominic Abdel-Ahad with two apiece. Isaiah Shaddick has also contributed two assists. Overall this season, Concordia has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 11-4. The Bulldogs are still seeking their first major goal scoring outburst of 2022.
· As mentioned, Ochoa was officially inducted into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame this past weekend. According to available records, Ochoa ranks second in program history for career goals with 31. He accumulated that total over three seasons (after transferring from San Francisco State University). The top five goal scorers in school history are Nathan Douglas (43), Ochoa (31), Aaron Skipworth (31), Kent Schlichtemeier (30) and Mike Land (28).
Dordt is hoping for improvement after it finished the 2021 season at 3-13-2 overall (2-9 GPAC). The Defenders (2-2-3 in 2022) are unbeaten over their past three outings with a 2-1 win over Nebraska Wesleyan University included in that stretch. Dordt has scored only five goals while allowing seven goals through seven games. Head Coach Ryan Gresse is in his fourth season leading the program.
Northwestern shared the 2021 GPAC regular season title and reached the conference tournament final. The Red Raiders landed at No. 25 in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll before falling out due to three straight losses to open the 2022 campaign. Since then, the Red Raiders have gone 2-0-2 are coming off a 5-0 rout at Briar Cliff. Head Coach Dan Swier returns four First Team All-GPAC honorees: midfielder James Bolger, goalkeeper Ezekiel Foltz and defenders Marcel Lengert and Luc Roelofs.
Conference play carries on with a trip to Midland on Sept. 28 and a home game versus Dakota Wesleyan on Oct. 1. The Bulldogs will play 11 GPAC regular season games.