SEWARD, Neb. – By kickoff on Wednesday, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team will have had a week to prepare for eighth-ranked Bellevue University. The matchup between in-state combatants will get underway at 7 p.m. CT from Papillion Landing. The Bulldogs will then return home to host Mount Marty on Saturday as GPAC play opens up. Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad stands at 2-2-1 overall and is coming off a 2-1 loss to Benedictine College (Kan.) in its most recent outing.
Saturday, Sept. 18 vs. Mount Marty (2-1-1, 0-0), 3:30 p.m.
During the month of September, Concordia has lost twice (defeats against Grand View University and Benedictine) and tied Kansas Wesleyan University. Also in nonconference play, the Bulldogs defeated York College, 4-2, and Tabor College (Kan.), 4-0. In the early going, Concordia is 2-1 at home and 0-1-1 on the road. This week, the Bulldogs will have a shot at beating a ranked opponent for the first time since their 3-2 GPAC tournament semifinal victory over 14th-ranked Midland on Nov. 8, 2016.
Jarrod Henson came up with the lone Concordia goal in last week’s loss to Benedictine. Henson’s goal means the Bulldogs have now had seven unique goal scorers so far this season. Max Bisinger, Garrett Perry and Isaiah Shaddick have each contributed two goals while Henson, Martin Herrera, Carlos Orquiz and Ryan Wokutch have recorded one apiece. Among active players, Perry owns the most career goals with 15 followed by Shaddick with 12. Balance has been typical for Concordia in recent seasons. The Bulldogs last had a double-digit goal scorer in 2017 when three individuals accomplished that feat.
Weides would like to see his team generate more attacking chances. Through five games, Concordia has generated 65 shots, including 42 on goal. Game by game, the Bulldogs have posted respective shot totals of 10, 18, 14, 12 and 11. In back-to-back games, Concordia has had the benefit of nine corner kicks. Individually, Yessine Bessaies has been most active offensively having attempted 13 shots. On the flip side, Bulldog foes have been limited to 27 combined shots on goal. Callum Goldsmith and Federico Simonetti have both seen extensive action at keeper.
Bellevue got the upper hand, 3-1, in last season's meeting with Concordia (in Seward). The Bulldogs topped the Bruins by that identical score in 2019. Bellevue has high expectations for this season after advancing to the final site of the NAIA national championship this past spring. Impressively, the Bruins have already put 28 goals (in seven games) on the board in 2021. Four individuals have scored four goals apiece. Bellevue’s one loss came at Morningside, 4-1. This past weekend, the Bruins edged No. 24 McPherson College (Kan.), 2-1, in double overtime.
Mount Marty has ramped up its competitive level in recent years. The Lancers played Concordia to a 2-2 draw last season in Yankton, S.D. To begin this season, Mount Marty has beaten both NCAA Division III Buena Vista University (Iowa) and Dakota Wesleyan and tied Waldorf University (Iowa). Head Coach Carlos Saenz is in his fourth season. Two years ago, the Lancers qualified for the GPAC tournament.
GPAC play will continue next week when Concordia hosts Dordt on Sept. 22 and travels to Northwestern on Sept. 25.