SEWARD, Neb. – After getting back into the win column over the weekend, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team has hopes of continuing a successful start to conference play. The Bulldogs will welcome Dordt to Seward on Wednesday and then travel to Northwestern on Saturday. Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad finished the nonconference regular season slate last week at No. 10 Bellevue University. Concordia stands at 3-3-1 overall (1-0 GPAC).
Wednesday, Sept. 22 vs. Dordt (1-5-2, 0-1), 8 p.m.
The Bulldogs competed closely with the nationally ranked Bruins, who knocked in the game-winning goal in the 73rd minute, breaking a 1-1 tie. David Moreno supplied the lone Concordia goal of the contest by drilling a penalty kick. Bellevue finished with a 21-13 advantage in shots. Three days later, the Bulldogs held advantages of 12-6 in shots and 5-4 in corner kicks versus Mount Marty. The Lancers did not appear to be in any danger on the game’s first goal, a laser of a strike from Garrett Perry, who unleashed a left-footed shot inside the left post in the 51st minute. The shot left goalkeeper Jose Quinonez with little chance of making a save. Concordia had barely finished celebrating when Yessine Bessaïes’ hustle led to a two-goal advantage. After his own free kick was deflected to the far left of the 18-yard box, Bessaïes chased the ball down and tucked a shot inside the right post.
The victory over an improved Mount Marty squad ended a recent four-game run of frustration that saw the Bulldogs go 0-3-1. Two of the defeats came against opponents that are either ranked or receiving votes nationally. The results so far have not affected Concordia’s placement in the official GPAC rankings. The Bulldogs remain at No. 4, exactly where they were in the preseason. The top three teams in the rankings are Morningside, Northwestern and Hastings. Briar Cliff has taken the biggest tumble, falling from first in the preseason to No. 6 currently.
Last week’s win also marked the team’s first shutout since defeating Tabor College (Kan.), 4-0, on Aug. 28. Overall this season, Concordia has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 13-9 (89-81 advantage in shots). Perry has taken over the team lead with three goals. Max Bisinger and Isaiah Shaddick have contributed two apiece. Eli Rhodes has earned credit for three assists.
The Bulldogs defeated Dordt, 4-1, last season in Sioux Center, Iowa. The Defenders have started this season at 1-5-2 overall with the lone win coming over Bethany Lutheran College. Dordt has conceded four goals or more three times during the month of September. Concordia has won each of the past five meetings with the Defenders by margins of at least three goals in each instance.
Northwestern was tripped up, 4-0, last season at Bulldog Stadium. The Red Raiders recovered to earn the No. 4 seed in the GPAC tournament and got past Concordia in the conference quarterfinals in a marathon PK shootout that ended in controversy. Northwestern is out to a strong start that includes a 2-0 win over Briar Cliff. It received votes in the most recent national poll. Juan Mackrey has totaled half of the team’s 10 goals. The Red Raiders have surrendered only five goals this season.
Coming up next week, Concordia will host Midland on Wednesday, Sept. 29 and then make a trip to Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday, Oct. 2.