SEWARD, Neb. – The unbeaten streak was kept alive this past weekend as the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team walked away with a 1-1 draw in another fiercely competitive game with first-place Hastings. The Bulldogs will attempt to remain in the top two of the GPAC standings as they prep for action this week versus Briar Cliff (home) and Presentation (away). Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad enters the week at 10-2-2 overall (5-1-2 GPAC).
Wednesday, Oct. 19 vs. Briar Cliff (4-6-5, 2-2-4 GPAC), 8 p.m.
--Live Webcast/Stats | Location: Bulldog Stadium (Seward, Neb.)
Saturday, Oct. 22 at Presentation (2-10-1, 0-8 GPAC), 3 p.m.
--Live Webcast | Live Stats | Location: Saints Soccer Field (Aberdeen, S.D.)
By the numbers
· The reality is that the Bulldogs really had to have the win over Hastings for a shot to claim the conference regular season championship. The margin for error had gone out the window with the loss to Dordt and tie at Morningside. The goal moving forward this regular season is for Concordia to lock down the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament. The Bulldogs currently reside in second place with 17 conference points (Hastings holds down first with 25 points). Concordia will have to hold off the likes of Dordt (16 points) and Northwestern (15 points) to keep that No. 2 spot. During the GPAC era (2000-present), the Bulldogs’ highest ever conference regular season finish was a tie for second in 2017.
· Concordia has not been tagged with a loss since its 4-3 defeat at Dordt on Sept. 21. The Bulldogs proceeded to earn wins over Northwestern, 2-1, Midland, 3-2, Dakota Wesleyan, 6-0, and Jamestown, 6-0, while drawing with Morningside, 2-2, and Hastings, 1-1. During the six-game unbeaten streak, Concordia has outscored its foes, 20-7. The Bulldogs are just a couple of key moments away from being unbeaten overall for the entire season. The only loss besides the one at Dordt came back in August at the hands of Corban University (Ore.), which was the first team outside of the latest NAIA coaches’ top 25 poll.
· By the end of 90 minutes at Bulldog Stadium this past Saturday, the Broncos left feeling like they were fortunate the contest ended in a draw. Concordia outshot Hastings, 12-4, over the game’s final 45 minutes and held a 10-1 advantage in corner kicks. The Broncos dodged several close calls while also getting stellar play from their keeper, Brendan Dally (eight saves). Hastings took a 1-0 lead on David Panter’s goal in the 43rd minute. The Bulldogs tied the score, 1-1, when Max Bisinger knocked in a goal after chasing down the rebound in the 66th minute. Eight Concordia players put at least one shot on goal. The Bulldogs and Broncos also tied, 3-3, in their 2021 meeting.
· Concordia has now received votes in the NAIA coaches’ top 25 poll in back-to-back polls (Oct. 5 and 12). During Head Coach Jason Weides’ 15 years leading the program, the Bulldogs have received national votes in four separate seasons (2015, 2017, 2019 and 2022). Concordia is still looking to crack the top 25 for the first time ever. In order to do that in ’22, the Bulldogs will likely need a strong finish to the regular season and an extended postseason run. Perhaps the greatest team in program history, the ’17 squad was listed at No. 36 in the final coaches’ poll.
· By season’s end, this Concordia team could finish as one of the winningest in school history. Only two squads in the history of the program have reached 12 wins or more in a season – the 2017 team that went 16-3-1 overall and the 2000 squad that went 12-7. Weides was actually a player for the ’00 team that was coached by Bill Schranz. Recently inducted Concordia Athletic Hall of Famer Bernie Ochoa was the co-GPAC Player of the Year in 2000. Under Weides’ direction, the program has reached 10 wins or more in 11 of the past 12 seasons.
Briar Cliff shared the 2021 GPAC regular season title with Northwestern and saw its campaign end in the conference semifinals at the hands of Hastings. The Chargers haven’t been able to duplicate that success in 2022. Their two GPAC wins this fall have come over Dakota Wesleyan and Presentation. Briar Cliff has a new head coach in Teren Schuster, formerly an assistant at NAIA Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.). The Chargers have been outscored by their opponents, 29-21, through 15 games. The team is led in goals by Vinicius Gregorio and Nicolas Karlsen with four apiece.
Presentation joined the GPAC beginning with the 2018 season (soccer only). The Saints earned their first ever GPAC league win in 2021 when they defeated Dordt, 4-2. Presentation is still seeking its first GPAC win of 2022. John Mclean (also the women’s head coach) is in his first season as head coach of the men’s program. Through 13 games this season, the Saints have been outscored, 39-19, and outshot, 143-70. Their top goal scorer is Norberto Montero with five goals.
The regular season will conclude on Oct. 26 when the Bulldogs will host Doane. Concordia will celebrate senior night that evening. The GPAC tournament will begin with the quarterfinals on Nov. 3.