Successful nonconference season concludes with grind-out win

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 14, 2022 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – The formula was similar to the one used three days earlier by the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team: get a PK goal from Carlos Orquiz and shut the opponent out. This time around, a second goal provided some breathing room as the Bulldogs defeated Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Bethany College (Kan.), 2-0, on a warm Tuesday (Sept. 13) night inside Bulldog Stadium. Matt Schultz also notched a goal that was set up by Orquiz.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad ends the nonconference portion of the regular season schedule at 5-1. Concordia will enter GPAC action ranked as the league’s No. 3 team in the latest official GPAC poll.

“We took a good approach,” Weides said. “Ultimately, it wasn’t as pretty as we would have liked. I think we have an opportunity to be better and grow as a team, but I think we’re learning through wins and not ties or losses. When you come off an emotional game like that (1-0 win over Bellevue University), there’s a tendency for teams to drop off a little bit or overlook an opponent. I don’t think our guys did. I think we had a good mentality, defended well and put in a full effort.”

Some credit is due to the Swedes (2-3), who scrapped and kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard for more than 55 minutes. A few days earlier, Bethany earned a 3-1 win over a GPAC opponent in Doane. Though the Bulldogs were not as sharp on the attack as they would have hoped, they were not about to suffer the same fate. Concordia completely stifled the Swedes, who managed just three shots (two on goal). Bethany’s Josh Amador entered the game having scored five goals already this season, but he did not register a single shot on Tuesday.

Without many chances on either side in the run of play, the Bulldogs kept up their knack for drawing penalty kicks. Orquiz drilled his third PK goal of the season in the 56th minute, breaking the scoreless draw. The native of Chihuahua, Mexico, also had a hand in Schultz’s goal in the 74th minute. After Orquiz’s free kick hit the crossbar, the opportunistic Schultz was there for the rebound and a goal from just a couple yards away.

The fourth goal of Schultz’s career came roughly 40 minutes after he had missed high on a scoring chance in the first half. Another key play came not long after Orquiz’s goal when a potential Swede goal was wiped out by an offside call. Bethany voiced its contention to no avail.

Said Schultz, “After that huge win over Bellevue on Saturday, we came in trying to keep that same mentality. I think we did a good job of that. Though we didn’t score as many goals, we put up a big fight. I’m just proud of my boys and all that we’ve done – 5-1.”

Concordia finished the night with a 12-3 advantage in shots (5-2 in shots on goal). One of the bummers of the night was the sight of João Pedro Veríssimo being carted off the field. His hopes are to recover and return to the field soon.

On the plus side, this was the fourth clean sheet already for the Bulldogs. Keeper Callum Goldsmith made two saves while earning the shutout. He was aided by a backline that included Schultz and Iker Casanova on the outsides and Max Bisinger and Adrian Wambua at the center back positions.

Said Weides, “I think it’s about team defense. We have a great goalkeeper unit and our backline is doing a good job, but it takes everybody putting in a shift.”

Next up is the start of conference play. The Bulldogs will be headed to Yankton, S.D., for a 7:30 p.m. CT kickoff versus Mount Marty (4-0-1, 0-0 GPAC), which plays its home games at Crane-Youngworth Field. In last year’s meeting in Seward, Concordia continued its series dominance by earning a 2-0 win over the Lancers.