2015 Men's Soccer schedule/results

11-7-3 overall | 4-4-2 GPAC | Season stats


2015 Men's Soccer roster


Head Coach: Jason Weides (8th year)
Graduate Assistant Coach: Nico Luque
Assistant Coaches: Nick Holmes and Brendan Buchanan

SEASON PREVIEW: 2015 men’s soccer

By Amanda Gubbels, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications

Head coach: Jason Weides (59-61-12, seven years)

2014 Record: 10-6-4 overall; 5-2-3 GPAC (5th)

Key Returners: MF Carlos Acosta; MF Julian Amaya; D Mark Anderson; D Mark Campbell; D Sean Doran; F Toby Down; D Justin Lawrie; MF Marcos Leon; F Dean Stevens

Key Losses: GK Brendan Buchanan; MF Chris DeFeyter; MF Rajan Kooner

2014 GPAC All-Conference: Gideon Soenksen (first team); Chris DeFeyter (second team); Mark Campbell (second team); Brendan Buchanan (honorable mention); Justin Lawrie (honorable mention)

Concordia men’s soccer carries motivation from an agonizing 2014 season-ending defeat into a new year. After falling 2-1 in overtime to perennial power Hastings in the GPAC semifinal game, the Bulldogs have set their sights on taking another step. Last year they broke through with a 1-0 win over Doane in the opening round of the GPAC tournament.

Said Weides, “I think our team obviously felt a lot of pain and it took a little time to get over that loss (to Hastings) and to do it in that fashion as well. They use it as fuel in the off season. I think most teams use that last loss as motivation. I think to our guys, it meant something more because they wanted to get back there, they wanted to get further than that for this upcoming year. We’ve always had guys work really hard in the off season, and this year was no different in that, but I felt like there was a little something the guys had, that little extra motivation.”

This season will see a lot of key returners with a senior class of 11, a uniquely large group of four-year players. Gideon Soenksen and Justin Lawrie, two veterans for the Bulldogs, will compete in their final season after grabbing GPAC all-conference honors last year. Soenksen was the team’s top goal scorer with six and also led in shots on goal with 22.

Weides noted on Soenksen. “I think more than anything it’s what he does when no one is watching that were impressed by the most. He’s had a really nice career and continues to get better and we’re expecting big things from him this year.”

On Lawrie Weides said, “Justin has always been a good player for us but I think last year took a huge step forward and he’s just a guy that we see as an all-conference player.”

A question mark in the Bulldog lineup is at the goalkeeper position. In Brendan Buchanan’s absence, Weides and staff will turn to less experienced options. Buchanan was tabbed with honorable mention all-conference recognition and was placed on the Capital One Academic All-America second team after last season. The new keeper for the Bulldogs will have big shoes to fill. One possible candidate for keeper is junior Mark Horsburgh.

“He has been here for a couple years and I think is ready for that position,” said Weides of Horsburgh. “We’ve got a couple new players, one from England and one from here in Lincoln that are going to immediately compete for that position as well.”

Whoever ends up at goalkeeper will have the services of a stellar backline to work with. Lawrie will team up with the likes of Mark Campbell and Sean Doran on a stingy defensive unit that allowed an average of only 0.95 goals per game (29th fewest among all NAIA teams).

With no individual tallying more than six goals on the 2014 season, goal scoring was spread out amongst the team. Soenksen recorded those six goals while graduated senior Chris DeFeyter and returner Dean Stevens found the back of the net five times a piece.

“I think we have guys that could step up and end up with 10 plus goals,” Weides stated. “We’ve got other guys who I think that could do that. We’ve got some young freshman that are coming in that are goal scorers so I think that there’s a lot of players that could help contribute to that. I still think we’ll probably be a little bit like last year where it’s spread out.”

Improvement late last season and in the off season will show this fall. Lawrie, Toby Down and Micah Lehenbauer have shown significant progress and are expected to have solid seasons this year.

Said Weides, “I think there’s a lot of guys that could make that big leap this season.” Also, returning players coming off injuries will help boost the Bulldogs up a level. “Once we get those guys back like Marcos Leon, then we’ll be plugging on all cylinders,” stated Weides.

Before taking on GPAC foes, the ‘Dogs will face a tough non-conference season. Benedictine will come to Seward to open the season and Bellevue will visit shortly after, two teams that have been in the top 25 in recent seasons. A road trip to Denver, Colo., will also be highlighted before conference play takes off. Contests between Johnson and Wales University and Sterling College will be played in the Centennial state.

“We’ve got some teams that will really test us. Our non-conference will test us and prepare us for our conference season,” said Weides.

Looking at the GPAC schedule, the Bulldogs will continue to have tough competition this fall. Hastings finished last season 9-0-1 in the GPAC with Midland and Dordt not far behind. However, Concordia finished in the top half and expects to again this season.

“I think our group is going to be competing with everyone in the conference this year. We’re right there in the mix of the top teams.” Weides says, “On paper, we should be there with all these teams but that’s why we play the game and we’ll see. I think the league overall is getting better all the time. We see every team improving. It’ll be a really fun league this year.”

The Bulldogs will open action on Aug. 26 when they welcome Bethel College from Kansas to Bulldog Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. GPAC play will begin on the road for the squad as it travels to Orange City, Iowa, to take on Northwestern on Sept. 26.

Concordia men’s soccer shutout Bethel College, 4-0

SEWARD, Neb – The Concordia men’s soccer team shut out Bethel College 4-0 Wednesday night. Sophomore Micah Lehenbauer led the team in shots with eight, five on goal and one making it in the net. A total of 12 members of the squad took at least one shot in the contest.

The first goal of the contest came from Julian Amaya from 15 yards out 3:04 into the match. Toby Down scored the second goal with the help of Amaya from 10 yards out with 17:27 gone on the clock. The last goal of the first stanza came from Marcelino Varona 36:04 into the half. The final goal was scored just barely into the second half. Lehenbauer found the back of the net 18 seconds into the final half of the competition from 14 yards out.

Goalkeeper Mark Horsburgh played all 90 minutes and recorded four saves, one coming from a Bethel penalty kick. Jesus Alba filled the net for the Threshers. Alba marked eight saves for Bethel. The Bulldogs outshot the Threshers 30-6. Shots on goal were also in the Bulldogs favor, 12-4.

Head coach Jason Weides said, “Overall it was a good first test for us and we saw a lot of good things to be honest. I think there were some guys who stepped forward and had really good performances. It’s good to see us get a shutout. Mark Horsburg had a great save on a PK to help keep that shutout. I’m really proud of the team’s defensive effort and really proud that we came out and got a few goals in this first game.”

The Bulldogs move to 1-0 on the season while the Threshers of Bethel fall to 0-1. The Concordia men’s soccer team is back in action Saturday, Aug. 29 at 8:00 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium as the host Benedictine College. 

Bulldog men find victory with late Andrade goal

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia men’s soccer team defeated Benedictine College in a physical 1-0 battle Saturday night at Bulldog Stadium. A late goal by freshman Devin Andrade squeezed between a pair of defenders to find the net for the first goal of his career.

In a fast tempo, aggressive game the tension was running high as both the Bulldogs and Ravens looked to score late in the game. Lexington native, Andrade was the first to find the back of the net with just under nine minutes left in the game from 18 yards out.

The back line for the Bulldogs proved to be a force as they helped keep the ball away from their own goal. Keeper Horsburg had one save on seven total Raven shots. The ‘Dogs tallied 15 shots, seven on goal, giving Benedictine keeper, Caleb Jenkins six saves.

Coach Jason Weides said, “We showed a lot of grit. All over the field guys were flying into tackles, they were throwing their bodies on the line, going for aerial challenges. So overall our guys just showed a lot of grit tonight…inevitably when you’re playing really good teams, there’s going to be some times where many chances aren’t created and it’s just a physical battle as well. Even though it’s two sides that have the technical ability to get the ball down and play a great style of soccer, sometimes it just turns into a grinded out battle which is what this game was tonight.”

Concordia improved to 2-0 on the season while Benedictine drops its first match of the season, falling to 0-1. The Bulldogs travel to York College for a 3:30 kickoff on Tuesday, Sept. 1 for the first road game of the season.

Down leads offensive flurry in blowout at York

YORK, Neb. – Toby Down completed a first-half hat trick by drilling a shot into the upper right corner of the goal from about 30 yards out. Less than 25 minutes into action, the Concordia University men’s soccer team had already mounted a 6-0 lead over a shell-shocked York College opponent. The Bulldogs rode the first-half explosion to a 7-2 road victory over the Panthers in a game played at Cornerstone Soccer Complex on Tuesday afternoon.

Eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad has won each of this season’s first three games, outscoring its opponents by a combined total of 12-2. Weides could have hardly asked for more in his team’s latest outing. York entered the contest with a 2-0 record of its own.

“We know we have goals in us,” Weides said. “We’ve been talking all week about playing at the standard we’re trying to set. Ultimately I think the guys did a great job of doing that today. I think there were some challenges today in it being the first road game of the year. That makes things interesting. And it was our first time playing on grass. I was really pleased with the way we came out and didn’t waste much time.”

The bulk of Concordia’s offensive surge came in the game’s opening 16:35, during which the Bulldogs pounced on every York misstep. Sophomore Micah Lehenbauer initiated the surge with a third-minute goal assisted by Julian Amaya, who found the back of the net himself roughly four minutes later.

Then came the onslaught from Down. The sophomore from Hong Kong began his splurge by outmuscling a defender for the ball and then slotting it past goalkeeper Ighor Tavares. Down mixed in another goal before pelting the back of the net with his most impressive goal to date.

“You have to take a chance sometimes and shoot from distance, otherwise you’re not going to get goals,” Down said. “Just had a go and it went into the top corner luckily. Otherwise the team would have been shouting at me.”

Down combined with Lehenbauer for five of the team’s seven goals. Lehenbauer got his second in the 16th minute, just 63 seconds before Down notched his second of the afternoon. Down is the team’s early season leader with four goals while Lehenbauer has three. Six different Bulldogs have scored at least once this season.

Down is the first player Bulldog to rack up three goals in a game since Nathan Douglas (program’s all-time leading goal scorer) did so in a 3-2 win at Doane on Oct. 9, 2013.

“It’s nice to get goals early,” Weides said. “It just helps build confidence for guys. You don’t want to go six, seven games without getting that first goal because you start to doubt yourself a little bit. It’s a really challenging position to be in not to score. These guys are creating lots of chances.”

Concordia finally allowed a goal for the first time this season when Tyler Wilt chipped in a shot from 20 yards out in the 48th minute. The Panthers’ Guilherme Camargo added a penalty kick goal in the 65th minute. Concordia starting keeper Mark Horsburgh sat out the second half and has yet to allow a goal this season in two-and-a-half games.

The final tally came in the 72nd minute when Concordia senior Sean Doran rebounded his own penalty kick that was saved by the York keeper. Doran calmly found the back of the net.

Weides’ squad finished with a 17-11 advantage in shots and a 13-5 edge in shots on goal. In addition to his three goals, Down assisted two others. Senior Gideon Soenksen also recorded an assist.

The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday when they head east to take on Saint Ambrose University (0-1) in Davenport, Iowa. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

St. Ambrose tops Bulldog men

DAVENPOERT, Iowa – The Concordia men’s soccer team suffered its first loss Saturday, Sept. 5 to St. Ambrose, 1-3. Julian Amaya was the lone goal scorer for the Bulldogs, scoring his third goal of the season.

Said head coach Jason Weides, “Overall I thought St. Ambrose was more motivated to win their first game than we were to win our fourth. We played below the standard we set in the last couple of weeks and St. Ambrose just adapted better. The heat was an issue as well and that was something else that St. Ambrose seemed to adapt to better than we did as well. We struggled to attack and make contact. We didn’t press as well as the last few games. St. Ambrose’s goals had more to do with us than them, not to take away from St. Ambrose as a team. We just made too many mistakes.” 

Amaya was the first to find the back of the net in the first half. The goal came ten minutes into the match off a penalty kick. The Bees’ first goal came from an own goal 27:17 into the half. With under three minutes left until halftime, St. Ambrose scored again in the form of Shaquille Jones. Late in the game with over 83 minutes gone by, the Bees were able to take advantage of a penalty kick to make the score a final 3-1.

Amaya led the Bulldogs with one goal, two shots on goal and four total shots. Also taking more than one shot were Toby Down (3) and Gideon Soenksen (2). CUNE ended the match with 11 shots to St. Ambrose’s 12. Shots on goal were also in the Bees’ favor, 9-5.

On the upcoming battle against No. 14 Bellevue University Weides said, “Every game is unique. We need to take steps forward after each game and today we just took a step to the side, the biggest thing is to just keep moving forward. We need to adapt to changes quickly. It’s not that we are lacking the desire to win, St. Ambrose just had more motivation to win their first game. Having motivation going into a game against a ranked opponent isn’t going to be hard for the guys, they’re hyped up and ready to go.”

Filling keeper duties for the Bulldogs was Mark Horsburgh for 83 and a half minutes, recording six saves. Coming in for the last six and a half minutes was freshman Jack Bennett. For St. Ambrose, Tom Greensall filled the net for the entire 90 minutes while marking four saves.

The Bulldogs fall to 3-1 on the season while the Bees grab their first win of the year, improving to 1-2.

The Concordia men’s soccer team will return to the pitch Thursday, Sept. 10. The Bulldogs will invite the No. 14 Bruins of Bellevue University to Bulldog Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

No. 14 Bellevue edges Concordia men’s soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – The No. 14 Bruins of Bellevue University topped Concordia University, 2-0 Thursday, Sept. 10 at Bulldog Stadium. In the first meeting of the two teams since 2007, the Bulldogs put up a defensive fight and recorded six saves as a team.

Said head coach Jason Weides, “Bellevue is a really good team, we were right there with them. We feel it was a game if a few things would’ve went differently we would’ve came out of there with a win. I think it was a matter of execution at key moments both in the attack but more so in both goals we kind of gave them the opportunity to execute, they took those goals really well.”

There were opportunities for the Bulldogs to score. With just over 21 minutes left in the second stanza, Sean Doran headed the ball to the net off a free kick from Carlos Acosta but it was quickly grabbed by Bellevue keeper, Ben Martin. Toby Down also showed a fire to score late in the game with two and a half minutes left in the contest.

“We just didn’t test the keeper enough, only five shots on goal and not many of those really stretched and contested their keeper,” Weides noted.

The Bruins’ first goal came 11:21 into in the first half from Alan Carr on a free kick. After the break, Rob Smith found the back of the net for Bellevue with seven and a half minutes left in the contest.

The Bulldog outshot the Bruins, 12-9 but fell short of Bellevue on shots on goal, 5-8. Down led CUNE in shots with four, one on goal while Doran marked two shots, both on goal. For the Bruins, Smith took two shots, both on goal and tallied one goal. Jamie Henderson struck three times, two on goal.

In his first start for the Bulldogs, Jack Bennett fulfilled keeper duties for the tilt. The freshman marked five saves while playing all 90 minutes. On the other end of the pitch, Bruins’ keeper Martin also grabbed five saves during 90 minutes.

The Concordia Bulldogs fall to 3-2 on the season while the No. 14 Bellevue Bruins improve to 4-1-1.

The ‘Dogs will be back in action Sept. 19-20 as they venture to Colorado to take on Sterling College and Johnson and Wales University in Denver. Kickoff times are 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20.

Bulldogs shut out Warriors, 4-0

DENVER, Colo. – On Saturday, Sept. 19, the Concordia men’s soccer team shutout the Sterling Warriors, 4-0. Tyler Jensen completed a hat trick in the second half for the Bulldogs.

Said head coach Jason Weides on the win, “Overall, solid performance by the entire team. We created a few good chances in the first half but couldn’t get the second goal before half which made the game more difficult. I’m really pleased with the quality of the performance of our subs.”

The lone goal in the first half came from Gideon Soenksen from five yards out, assisted by Micah Lehenbauer. Jensen’s hat trick came in the second half, scoring at the 51 mark off an assist from Soenksen from 13 yards out. The second goal was at the 70 minute mark with Toby Down credited with the assist. Jensen was able to compete the hat trick with just three seconds left in the match off a free ball 25 yards out.

On Jensen’s performance, Weides said, “Tyler played well. He has been really sharp recently and it was great to see his performance rewarded with goals. I thought we really shut them down defensively as well as holding them to just a couple shots.”

Mark Horsburgh filled the net for the Bulldogs, recording three saves. Julio Chavez played keeper for the Warriors and tallied five saves. Concordia outshot Sterling College, 24-5 and topped the Warriors in shots on goal 10-3.

The shutout improved Concordia’s record to 4-2 while Sterling College falls to 1-5-1 on the season.

The Bulldogs will take on Johnson & Wales University Sunday, Sept. 20 in Commerce City, Colo., with kickoff slated for 3:30 (CDT). 

Andrade’s second game winner caps perfect weekend

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – In a game that featured a second-half offensive flurry, the Concordia University men’s soccer got the game winner from freshman Kevin Andrade on the way to a 3-2 victory over host Johnson & Wales University at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo., on Sunday afternoon. All three Bulldog goals were courtesy of players who came off the bench.

Eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad moved to 5-2 overall this season by handling the Wildcats, an NAIA Independent.

“We showed great focus the entire weekend,” Weides said. “It can be tough playing back-to-back days, especially when you’re not used to the altitude here. Our guys gave full effort at all times. Every guy stepped in and added something productive whether playing 90 minutes or five minutes. I’m proud of the entire team. We responded to several challenges in this game and showed mental resolve.”

Despite a combined 19 shots (11-8 Wildcat advantage) in the first half, neither team found the back of the net until Bulldog senior Dean Stevens notched a 50th-minute goal. From that point on, both sides traded tallies until Andrade emerged with the deciding goal in the 83rd minute.

The Nebraska prep national leader in goals last season at Lexington High School, Andrade came through just 25 seconds after Johnson & Wales equalized (2-2) on Concordia’s misstep that resulted in an own goal. Andrade broke away from the defense and delivered a well-composed shot in the clutch.

Andrade capped a 2-0 weekend in which six of the team’s seven goals were produced by reserves.

“It shows the depth of the team,” Weides said. “They were clutch goals, too.”

Playing in his second contest as a Bulldog, Lewis Rathbone, a transfer from Evergreen Valley College, surfaced with his first goal of the season in the 57th minute. Rathbone connected on a strike from roughly 22 yards out to provide a 2-1 advantage at the time.

The Wildcats (3-4) finished with a 19-16 edge (9-9 in shots on goal) edge in total shots. Junior Mark Horsburgh made six saves in goal for the Bulldogs. Johnson & Wales had one final shot attempt that came in the 90th minute, but Dalton Pando missed left of the goal.

The lone individual to score for the Wildcats was Ben Flannery Bartlet, who capitalized on his only shot of the day by finding the back of the net in the 52nd minute. Bartlet headed in a free kick from Mitchel Erickson.

The Bulldogs have nearly a week off from competition until traveling to Northwestern (4-3, 0-0 GPAC) on Saturday (Sept. 26) for the GPAC opener for both teams. Kickoff from Orange City, Iowa, is slated for 7:15 p.m.

Hat trick leads to GPAC weekly honors

SEWARD, Neb. – Freshman Tyler Jensen received GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week honors announced Tuesday, Sept. 22. After Jensen’s outstanding performance vs Sterling College in Colorado, scoring three of CUNE’s four goals, the freshman picks up his first player of the week award.

Last week, Jensen recorded not only his first collegiate goal, but also his first hat trick. The goals came in the last half of the tilt with Sterling College Saturday, Sept. 19. The freshman took five shots in the contest coming off the bench. Jensen also saw action in Sunday’s match vs Johnson & Wales University.

On the season, Jensen has tallied three goals which is tied for the second-best on the Bulldog squad. The Renton, Wash. native has taken seven shots this season, three on goal. Seeing action in all seven contests this season, Jensen is tied for 12th place in the GPAC for total goals this season.

The last time the men’s Bulldog team picked up a weekly honor was Oct. 28, 2014 when Brendan Buchanan received his third honor of the season.

The Concordia men’s soccer team (5-2) will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 26. The Bulldogs will face Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa for a 7:15 kickoff.

Northwestern tops Concordia with late goal

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The Concordia men’s soccer team was topped by (RV) Northwestern College on Saturday, Sept. 26, despite 12 Bulldog shots on goal. The goal from the Red Raiders came late in the contest, giving CUNE limited time to find the equalizing goal.

“It was a tough, back and forth game,” said head coach Jason Weides. “I don’t think either team played great in terms of style of the game. It was a gritty game. I thought both teams played really hard, it was a physical game. It had the feel of a conference playoff game, both teams were really battling. I was really proud of the guys’ effort. I thought they had the right focus and attitude entering this game all week, I thought we prepared well. Besides style of play, we did the things that are necessary to win, we just didn’t get the win.”

The lone goal of the tilt came from Northwestern’s Hartrick Tarr. The goal came at the 8:30 minute mark with the assist going to Tyler Limmer.

The Red Raiders outshot the Bulldogs, 15-13. Shots on goal were in the ‘Dogs favor, 12-8. Freshman Tyler Jensen led squad in shots with five, all on goal, in just 29 minutes of play. Five other Bulldogs took at least one shot.

Weides said, “In particular from this match we got into a bit of a track meet, when we went forward in the attack, there was never a sense of going back. It was up and down and had a lot of transition. We need to do a better job moving forward of holding the ball a bit better, switching the point of attack, going backward to go forward. We just had our foot on the pedal and went forward the whole time and we’re a team that has the ability to possess a little bit better than we did tonight. Against the good teams in our conference we’ve got to alleviate pressure by holding the ball a little bit better.”

Filling the net for the Bulldogs was Mark Horsburgh. The keeper played all 90 minutes and tallied five saves. Matt Scott was the goalie on the other end of the pitch, recording seven saves.

The Concordia Bulldogs fall to 5-3 (0-1 GPAC) on the season while the Northwestern Red Raiders improve to 6-3 (1-0 GPAC).

“We’ll use this as motivation moving forward. There was nothing to hang their head about. It’s not that we under preformed or played poorly, Northwestern didn’t have many good chances and they took advantage of a chance they had late in the game,” Weides noted.

The men’s soccer team will be back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 29 as they travel to Hastings College. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Concordia men play to draw with Dordt

SEWARD, Neb. – On Saturday, Oct. 3 the Concordia men’s soccer team faced off with Dordt College and played to a 0-0 draw after 110 minutes of soccer at Bulldog Stadium. Keeper Mark Horsburgh marked up six saves on the night.

Said head coach Jason Weides, “There were moments I felt we played really sharp, especially early on in the contest. I thought we were hitting well. We weren’t able to get that first goal to reward us for good play. The game just wore on. There were little moments when we played well, but I think we got a little panicked as the clock clicked down.”

The Bulldogs outshot the Defenders 24-14 while the shots on goal were even at seven apiece.  

“We had 24 shots which is normally enough to get a goal,” Weides noted. “We didn’t put enough on frame and didn’t test the keeper enough. I think we created enough chances to win the game, but we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net which is frustrating.”

Horsburgh played all 110 minutes vs the Defenders and saved six shots. Jack McCool filled keeper duties for Dordt and tallied seven saves on the night.

The Bulldogs move to 5-4-1 (0-2-1 GPAC) on the season. The Defenders are now 4-5-1 (1-2-1 GPAC) this year.

The Concordia men’s soccer team will return to the pitch at Bulldog Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The Warriors of Midland University will pay a visit for an 8 p.m. kick off. A live webcast will be available on the Concordia Sports Network.

Bulldogs fall to Midland despite 17-10 shot advantage

SEWARD, Neb. – Visiting Midland responded to a Bulldog equalizing goal with the final two tallies of Wednesday night’s clash inside Bulldog Stadium. The Warriors (9-3, 4-0 GPAC) used three different goal scorers and held Concordia off the board for the final 58 minutes in earning a 3-1 road victory.

Despite putting an end to its scoring drought, eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad continues to seek its first conference victory. The Bulldogs dropped to 5-4-1 overall, 0-2-1 GPAC.

“It’s tough because we still feel we’re one of the better teams in the conference,” Weides said. “We feel like we can compete with anyone in our conference, but we aren’t getting results. That’s really challenging. At the end of the day, you have to get points. What we tell the team right now is that we need to stay the course.”

With Concordia having gone scoreless over its first two GPAC games, the free kick goal from Augustin Escobar in the 60th minute provided a significant 3-1 advantage for the Warriors. It was the second-straight Midland goal that essentially left keeper Mark Horsburgh with little a prayer.

The Bulldogs appeared to have gained momentum when Kevin Andrade’s third goal of the season squirted into the back of the net after keeper Cesar Valverde got a hand on the ball. Andrade was set up beautifully behind the Warrior defense with Lewis Rathbone’s assist that traveled 30 yards in the air before Andrade played a touch from 13 yards out, directly into the net.

Just after Andrade’s equalizer, the Warriors turned in a highlight-reel goal on a sharp-angled cross from Nick Saunders (two assists on the night) to Ben Hutton, who headed the ball into the goal from his point-blank position in the box. Somehow Concordia trailed 2-1 at the half despite a solid first 45 minutes of play.

The Bulldogs ultimately created 17 shots to Midland’s 10.

“I thought for large chunks we really controlled the play and had more chances,” Weides said. “It was really tough to walk away after the first half being down 2-1, because we played pretty sharp. I thought we dominated most facets of the game.”

An offsides negated a Gideon Soenksen set-piece goal midway through the first half. A few moments later Concordia narrowly missed on another chance when a streaking Jake Sells surfaced behind the defense after a well-struck free kick into the box. The ball bounded out of bounds.

Eight different Bulldogs took at least one shot. Julian Amaya topped the team with four shots (three on goal). Defensively, Concordia played solid in the back even though it was without two key defenders, Mark Campbell and Sean Doran, on Wednesday.

Ali Sodal, who notched the game’s first goal, now has nine tallies this season for the Warriors, who remain undefeated in conference play.

Up next for the Bulldogs is a trip to Sioux City, Iowa, on Saturday when they will challenge Morningside (6-3-1, 1-1-1 GPAC). Kickoff is slotted for 7:30 p.m. In last season’s matchup, Concordia topped the Mustangs, 2-1, on the strength of goals from Julian Amaya and Toby Down.

Amaya’s multi-goal effort spurs win at Morningside

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – The Concordia University men’s soccer team stormed out of the halftime intermission with a pair of quick goals to take command of host Morningside on Saturday night. The Bulldogs added another tally for good measure to pull away with a 3-0 win over the Mustangs.

Eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad earned its first GPAC win and now sits at 6-4-1 overall and 1-2-1 in GPAC play.

“It was a solid all-around performance,” Weides said. “I thought Morningside started the game strong. They were controlling possession and creating chances. Our guys improved as the game went on. It was a pretty even first half and then we came out in the second half and responded well. We had a totally different mentality. We had very few lapses.”

The Bulldogs got a big offensive night from junior midfielder Julian Amaya, who relieved the team’s recent goal-scoring struggles by finding the back of the net in the 52nd and 61st minutes for his fourth and fifth goals on the year. All three goals were recorded in less than a 10-minute span. Sophomore Lewis Rathbone got into the act with a 54th-minute score that came fewer than two minutes after Amaya’s first goal.

Amaya, a native of Bogota, Columbia, has been a consistent performer all year long. He has four assists to go with his five goals.

“Julian has had a good year,” Weides said. “We were getting him in good positions to score tonight. Even when he hasn’t been scoring, he’s been able to give other people opportunities. He’s playing really sharp.”

Up against a rebuilt Morningside squad, Concordia dominated the statistics, outshooting the Mustangs, 16-7. Morningside placed just a single shot on frame as the Bulldog back line kept goalkeeper Mark Horsburgh clean. Horsburgh received credit for his fifth shutout of the campaign. He was the beneficiary of the pressure his teammates put on the ball.

Two different keepers split the 90 minutes evenly for the Mustangs. Tim Edrmann was tagged with all three goals in the second half. He and Carter Donahue made a combined total of four saves.

Morningside (6-4-1, 1-2-1 GPAC) has identical overall and GPAC marks as compared to Concordia. The Mustangs’ lone conference win was a 5-0 result against Mount Marty.

The Bulldogs will be back home next week for two GPAC tilts. On Wednesday they will host Nebraska Wesleyan (7-4, 1-3 GPAC) in a game slated to begin at 8 p.m. from Bulldog Stadium.

Prairie Wolves best Bulldog men on the pitch

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer team was not able to convert nine shots on goal into a win verses Nebraska Wesleyan Wednesday, Oct. 14. The Prairie Wolves took the 3-0 victory in Bulldog Stadium.

Head coach Jason Weides said, “I thought Nebraska Wesleyan played really sharp tonight and we played really poor…we dug ourselves a big hole being down 2-0 at half. I thought we responded well at half time and fixed a few issues and played better the second half but it just wasn’t good enough.”

The Bulldogs outshot the Prairie Wolves 15-10 and had the advantage in shots on goal, 9-5. Corner kicks were even at five apiece.

Mark Horsburgh was the keeper for the Bulldogs and recorded two saves in 90 minutes of action. Jack Nespor played in the first 81 minutes for NWU recording nine saves. In the final minutes of the contest Christian Lomax filled the net for the Prairie Wolves.

Goals for Nebraska Wesleyan in the first half came from Jake Kennedy at 5:39 and 21:33. With just over 22 minutes left in the tilt, Brady Blazek scored the final goal for the Prairie Wolves.

On upcoming contests Weides said, “We need to make sure we come out with the right tempo to start the game, we just didn’t do that tonight.”

Up next on the Bulldogs’ schedule is Briar Cliff University (6-5, 3-2 GPAC). The match will take place at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 3:30 p.m.

Trio of Bulldogs score in shutout win over Briar Cliff

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer team used three different goal scorers and a momentum-boosting hustle play from Justin Lawrie in returning to the win column. A Bulldog team that spent much of the afternoon on the offensive came away with a 3-0 victory over Briar Cliff in a game played inside Bulldog Stadium on Saturday.

Eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad has now won two of its last three games and improved to 7-5-1 overall and 2-3-1 in league play.

“We just needed to respond. We told the guys that we’re going to face challenges throughout the season,” Weides said. “You don’t know exactly when they’re going to come or in what form.

“I just think the guys responded really well to that. Briar Cliff is a tough team.”

After a series of close calls, Concordia finally cracked the scoreboard in the 30th minute. That’s when Marcelino Varona’s shot was blocked by a Charger defender before trickling to Tyler Jensen. He calmly slotted the ball past the keeper on the ground.

In the 33rd minute, Lawrie made a highlight reel individual effort to save what would have been a sure goal. Briar Cliff’s Christopher Nkoghe lofted a bounding ball over the top of drawn-out goalkeeper Mark Horsburgh. Lawrie raced the ball down and kicked it straight up off the crossbar before clearing it out of bounds.

The Bulldogs seemed to feed off the hustle play that had Lawrie clapping and hollering.

“I just went around our keeper and hoped to God he would miss it in the first place,” Lawrie said. “But then it was going straight for the net. (I thought) got to kick it up so I tried to get underneath it. It had the crossbar and went out. Thank goodness we didn’t get a penalty off that. It definitely saved us.”

Lawrie and company went into the halftime intermission leading 1-0. The Bulldogs waited until the 65th minute to get some breathing room. The goal kick of Briar Cliff’s Jared Belin found Lewis Rathbone, who headed the ball nearly 30 yards behind the defense. That’s where Micah Lehenbauer cashed in after playing a touch off his chest. His goal made it 2-0.

For good measure, senior Julian Amaya added a cherry on top by chasing down a loose ball after Angel Alvarez had lifted a shot off the crossbar in the 89th minute. Amaya ran right past three defenders who stood watching the play. The native of Bogota, Colombia, was rewarded with his sixth goal of the season.

Amaya tied Jensen and Lehenbauer with a team high four shots on goal. The Bulldogs ended up with a 27-15 shot advantage, including a 14-6 edge in shots on goal over the Chargers (6-6, 3-3 GPAC).

“I thought it was a good job by the guys to get a little more combination play in the final third than we’ve had the last couple games,” Weides said.

Mark Horsburgh made six saves in goal to help the Bulldogs record their sixth shutout of the season and third against GPAC opponents. Concordia has allowed 16 goals in 13 games.

The Bulldogs will be in action again on Sunday for a replay of a matchup at Hastings that had taken place on Sept. 29 but was wiped away. The NAIA ruled that officials misapplied substitution rules in that contest. Sunday night’s game will get underway at 7:30 p.m. at No. 22 Hastings (8-3-2, 5-0 GPAC).

Alvarez notches first career goal in loss at No. 22 Hastings

HASTINGS, Neb. – GPAC favorite and 22nd-ranked Hastings got on top with an 18th-minute goal and never looked back on the way to a 3-1 victory over the Concordia University men’s soccer team on Sunday night. The contest at Lloyd Wilson Field in Hastings, Neb., was a replay of a game that had originally taken place on Sept. 29. The NAIA mandated a replay of the match due to a misapplication of substitution rules.

The loss dropped eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad to 7-6-1 overall and 2-4-1 in GPAC action.

“There were a couple moments where we weren’t quite as sharp as we needed to be,” Weides said. “We didn’t handle their pressing very well and we were rushing on the attack. We could have caused them some more challenges, but we really were rushing. That forced us to defend more and we got caught a couple times.”

The lone Bulldog goal came with the Broncos possessing a commanding 3-0 lead in the 89th minute. Freshman Angel Alvarez emerged from a scramble in the box with his first career goal. What Concordia really needed was a response after finding itself in a 2-0 hole.

Instead, Hastings tacked on a back-breaking goal in the 81st minute when Daniel Whitehall scored for the second time on the night. Whitehall also assisted the Broncos’ first goal as part of a big offensive performance.

A day after making a key momentum-boosting play, Concordia senior center back Justin Lawrie again made a great defensive play in the back when he deflected a through ball that would have provided a one-on-one with the keeper in the 74th minute.

Weides had no complaints about the effort of his team in a game that brought about several challenges. Not only were the Bulldogs going up against the GPAC’s top-rated team, they had to do so without the services of first team all-conference midfielder Gideon Soenksen. In addition, Mark Campbell and Aries Fung left the game early and a 49th-minute red card forced Weides’ squad to play down a man for the remainder of the contest.

The Broncos (9-3-2, 6-0 GPAC) have been dominant in conference play, winning their first six league games by a combined total of 27-4.

The Bulldogs continue a run of three-straight GPAC run games when they travel to nearby Doane (7-4-2, 4-1-1 GPAC) for Wednesday’s 7:15 p.m. tilt in Crete. Concordia is 2-0-1 over its last three meetings with the Tigers. Last season the Bulldogs advanced to the GPAC semifinals with a 1-0 win at Doane in the quarterfinals.

Bulldogs play to draw at Doane despite taking 32 shots

CRETE, Neb. – The Concordia men’s soccer team marked up 32 shots, 15 on goal in a 1-1 tie at Doane on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Freshman Tyler Jensen scored the only goal for the Bulldogs, his fifth of the season. Twelve different Bulldogs took at least one shot in the 110 minute match.

The Bulldogs are now 7-6-2, 2-4-2 GPAC this season while the Tigers move to 7-4-3, 4-1-2 GPAC.

Head coach Jason Weides noted, “Overall, it was positive. We played well and looked really sharp. It was a hard earned draw on the road. Sometimes in our conference against tough teams, picking up a point on the road is important. We didn’t win but I thought we performed well and showed a good team mentality. We fought hard and showed a lot of passion.”

In the first half, the Doane Tigers struck first. Mark Wallace scored on a ball from Gabe Garbin 15:20 into the match. Then four and a half minutes later, Jensen answered back with his fifth collegiate goal to knot the tilt at one.

“The first half we started fairly sharp,” Weides said. “It was misting a little bit and the wet surface caused both keepers a bit of trouble. The first goal they scored had to do with that issue, it was tough to hang on to the ball. On our goal, their keeper bobble it and it was pretty much the same thing.”

The Bulldogs attacked the net, taking more shots on goal than the Tigers took total. The 32 shots (15 on goal) from the Bulldogs is a new season high. Previously, CUNE had taken 30 shots in the opening match of the season against Bethel. The 15 shots on goal is a season high for Concordia.

“I thought we absolutely dominated the second overtime,” said Weides. “Our guys created a lot of opportunities and just came out firing. We were so close on a couple opportunities.”

Jensen led the ‘Dogs in shots with six, four on goal. Eleven other Bulldogs took at least one shot while nine had at least one on goal.

“We have some guys playing at positions that they haven’t played at all year and they all really stepped up,” stated Weides. ”Our back line was really sharp and our strikers created chances for us, I’m really pleased with the performances.”

Mark Horsburgh filled keeper duties for Concordia and recorded one save in the match. Matthew Dworak, Doane goalie, tallied 14 saves in the 110 minute contest.

Weides said on upcoming GPAC play, “I think if our guys play with that same amount of intensity and passion going to Dakota Wesleyan, I’m confident we’ll perform well. Dakota Wesleyan is a tough place to play on the road, historically we haven’t done well there. We’ve got to really perform if we want to get points in that game.”

The Concordia men’s soccer team will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 24. The Bulldogs will travel to Mitchell, S.D. to take on Dakota Wesleyan University (3-10-1, 0-5-1 GPAC) for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

Meisinger 90th-minute goal completes comeback win at Dakota Wesleyan

MITCHELL, S.D. – Playing in his home state, senior Matt Meisinger picked an opportune time for his second career goal. Meisinger found the back of the net for the game winner in the 90th minute to lift the Concordia University men’s soccer team to a critical 3-2 win over host Dakota Wesleyan in Mitchell, S.D., on Saturday afternoon.

A loss would have dealt a significant blow to the GPAC playoff hopes of eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad. Instead, the Bulldogs (8-6-2, 3-4-2 GPAC) avoided a potentially crippling defeat with a pair of goals in the final eight minutes to erase a 2-1 deficit. Concordia currently sits in sixth place in the league standings.

“Though it was not an overall great performance, I’m pleased with how we responded,” Weides said. “Our guys kept fighting and battling. You could tell they just believed, even when it got late in the game. We needed a special moment from someone and we got that from Matt.”

After leading 1-0 at halftime, Concordia stumbled out of the break, allowing a 59th minute goal to Alex Nelson and a 61st minute score to Derek Brenner. In the blink of an eye, the Bulldogs found themselves trailing thanks to a rough start to the second half.

Concordia waited more than 22 minutes to come up with the equalizing goal. With the Bulldogs on the brink of defeat, senior Justin Lawrie surfaced with a set-piece goal that knotted the score and shifted the game’s momentum. Roughly seven minutes later, Meisinger, a Sioux Falls native, recorded the game-winning goal.

The late-game heroics were a much-needed tonic for a Bulldog team that entered the season expecting to be closer to the top of the conference standings.

“A loss wouldn’t have eliminated us from the playoffs but it would have made it incredibly hard,” Weides said. “Now we’ve got a really good shot. It was huge for us to come back.”

With the team’s performance wavering in the second half, Weides went six players deep on his bench. Meisinger was one of several Bulldog reserves to positively impact the game.

Once again, Lawrie proved tough in the back for Concordia. In part due to his steady play, the Bulldogs easily outshot the Tigers, 17-4. However, Dakota Wesleyan converted on both shots on frame to make it a tense final 45 minutes.

Concordia took an early lead when Micah Lehenbauer, assisted by Lawrie, turned in his fifth goal of the campaign in the 42nd minute. The Bulldogs’ offensive effort ran dry for more than 40 minutes before Lawrie notched his first goal of 2015.

Weides’ squad has a week off before closing the regular season with Mount Marty on Oct. 31. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. from Bulldog Stadium where Concordia will celebrate senior night.

Lawrie nets GPAC defensive player of the week award

GPAC release

SEWARD, Neb. – For the first time in his career, senior Justin Lawrie has garnered a weekly conference award. On Tuesday the league named Lawrie the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Defensive Player of the Week. Lawrie is the second Bulldog men’s soccer player to earn weekly honors, joining freshman Tyler Jensen, tabbed the league’s offensive player of the week on Sept. 22.

A native of Winnipeg, Canada, Lawrie has been one of head coach Jason Weides’ most consistent performers all season. The 6-foot-1 center back played a key role in the Bulldogs limiting last week’s opponents to a combined four shots on goal as they played to a 1-1 draw with Doane and then defeated Dakota Wesleyan, 3-2. Lawrie recorded and assist and scored the equalizing goal in the 83rd minute of the win at Dakota Wesleyan.

Lawrie is one of three Bulldogs to start all 16 games this season. He has played in 74 games over the past four seasons. During that time, Concordia owns a four-year record of 39-29-6.

Lawrie and the Bulldogs (8-6-2, 3-4-2 GPAC) finish the regular season by hosting Mount Marty (0-16, 0-8 GPAC) at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Lawrie will be one of 13 seniors honored as part of a pregame senior night ceremony.

Down and the Dawgs close regular season with demolition of Mount Marty

SEWARD, Neb. – A group of 13 seniors appeared in their final regular-season home game while helping the Concordia University men’s soccer team to a 10-1 blowout win over visiting Mount Marty on Saturday night. Seven different Bulldogs registered in the goal column for a squad that used 26 players in a season-best scoring outburst.

Eighth-year head coach Jason Weides’ Bulldogs will enter postseason play with an overall record of 9-6-2. Concordia went 4-4-2 in conference action.

“I thought overall we played really well,” Weides said. “Every game we really try and focus on ourselves and us performing well and not focusing on our opponent. That’s every game. I think the guys really did a good job of that. We haven’t always done that throughout the season, but we did a really good job of that today.”

Similar to his scoring explosion at York College on Sept. 1, sophomore forward Toby Down wasted little time in recording a hat trick. The Hong Kong native knocked in three goals before 18 minutes had elapsed. It was the second hat trick of the season for Down, who now has seven goals on the year.

Concordia put the game to bed before the halftime break. Tyler Jensen (25’), Dean Stevens (29’) and Aries Fung (44’) added a goal apiece in the opening 45 minutes. For good measure, the Bulldogs tacked on early second-half scores courtesy of Micah Lehenbauer (49’) and Nathan Northcutt (50’).

Both Fung and junior Dan Stephens (71’) booked their first career goals on Saturday night. Stephens entered the game in the second half and was set up beautifully by a cross in the box from Lewis Rathbone. While he did not score a goal of his own, Rathbone was active, registering six shots and a trio of assists. Lehenbauer also chipped in a second goal and Dean Stevens found the back of the net in the 29th minute.

Mount Marty (0-18, 0-10 GPAC), which went winless this season, played on the defensive the entire night. Concordia unleashed a season high 39 shots while narrowly missing out on numerous additional opportunities on the attack. The Lancers managed only six shots, including two on goal. They got on the board in the 84th minute when Danny Barillas capitalized on a penalty kick.

A win in the quarterfinals of the GPAC tournament would give the Bulldogs a double-digit win total for the fifth-consecutive season. The current senior class, headlined by 2014 first team all-conference honoree Gideon Soenksen, has an overall record of 40-29-6 since the start of the 2012 season.

“It is kind of sad knowing this is probably the last game here,” Soenksen said. “When we came out here we knew it was just another game. We had to come out and win. It is sad, but we have to come out and move ahead to the next game.”

Soenksen and several other seniors such as Mark Campbell, Sean Doran and Justin Lawrie have played central roles in a large chunk of those 40 victories over the past four seasons. Together they make up the largest senior class that Weides has ever coached.

“You can’t sum it up into a couple sentences or a few minutes,” Weides. “Every senior class we’ve had has been special in some way. This class is really special just because of the size of it. You just don’t see it very often. I would imagine it’s probably one of the biggest senior classes in the history of Concordia.

“It’s a special group. They bonded really well as freshmen and stuck together throughout the whole time. I’m just really proud of what they’ve accomplished over the last four years.”

The Bulldogs now look forward to postseason play. Sixth-seeded Concordia will get a rematch with third-seeded Northwestern (12-5-1, 7-2-1 GPAC) on Tuesday (Nov. 3) in Orange City, Iowa, where the Red Raiders won the first meeting, 1-0, back on Sept. 26.

After a regular-season that featured ups and downs, the Bulldogs hope to advance beyond the semifinal round in which the 2014 campaign ended at Hastings.

“We know what we can do and we know ultimately the goal is the GPAC final,” Soenksen said. “Going up to Northwestern we haven’t had much luck. Hopefully this time we’ll have better luck and get a win.”

Concordia men’s soccer moves past Northwestern, heads to semifinal match

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – The sixth seeded Concordia men’s soccer team upset third seeded Northwestern College, 1-0 in the opening round of the GPAC Tournament Tuesday night. Senior Sean Doran headed the free kick from Lewis Rathbone in the second half to seal the win.

The Bulldogs, now 10-6-2, will play in the semifinals for the second straight year. CUNE will face second seeded Midland University on the Warriors’ turf on Saturday, Nov. 7 with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Head coach Jason Weides said, “I’m really proud of our entire team, the guys that played, the guys that didn’t play and the guys who didn’t even travel. In general I’m just really pleased with the team and the direction we’re moving. It’s great to come here against a great team and get a win. Northwestern is a tough place to play…it’s a hostile environment to play in.”

With just under 17 minutes left in the match, Julian Amaya was fouled leading to a free kick. Rathbone took the kick and fed it into Doran who headed in the ball for his second goal of the season. The usual strong defensive presence of the Bulldogs helped keep the shutout alive for keeper Mark Horsburgh.

On Horsburgh Weides noted, “Our keeper Sparky (Horsburgh) came up with a huge save early in the second half. I thought he played really well tonight. He was commanding in the box, won everything in the air, played well off his line and was called upon to make one really critical save. They got behind us and were able to beat us and Sparky came up huge to keep the game 0-0.”

Horsburgh grabbed six saves in the tilt. Northwestern keeper, Matt Scott recorded four saves.

Concordia had the advantage in shots, 12-11 while the Raiders edged the Bulldogs in shots on goal, 6-5. Nine different Bulldogs took at least one shot with three taking two.

“We’re excited to get another shot at them,” Weides said on upcoming opponent Midland. “It will be a great game and an exciting one to watch. We have to try and get on the front foot in the game. They were able to get on the front foot the last time we played so that will be important. In the event we don’t, it’ll be important that we show the resiliency that we’ve been seeing in the team lately.”

The last meeting between the Bulldogs and Warriors took place on Oct. 7 in Seward. Midland prevailed, 3-1 in the competition.

Weides said, “I’m really pleased to see the passion that our team showed together as a team. It wasn’t a performance of beauty or perfection but it was one of great work, belief, sacrifice and confidence. They’re just willing to work for one another.”

Bulldog men advance to GPAC final on Horsburgh penalty kick

FREMONT, Neb. – For the first time in GPAC history, the Concordia men’s soccer team will advance to the GPAC Championship match. After 110 minutes of scoreless play at (RV) Midland, the Bulldogs and Warriors turned to a penalty kick shootout. Keeper Mark Horsburgh knocked in the game winning PK for the Bulldogs.

Head coach Jason Weides said, “It was a really exciting game. Overall I’m just really proud of the team. I thought we showed great support. Everybody on the team, whether they played or not, was a part of this win. I was really excited to see the fans, you would have thought this was a home game for us. Bulldog nation came out in force. We heard from a lot of people before the game, whether it was texts, phone calls, emails or Facebook messages, we could feel the support from Bulldog nation, it was huge tonight.”

After the first scoreless 110 minutes of the contest, the shootout commenced. Midland was up first and scored in the form of Ali Sodal. Julian Amaya answered back and made his PK. After another successful Midland PK, Mark Campbell also found success. Then a pair of misses came from the Warriors and Bulldogs. Sean Doran’s kick was saved by the MU keeper. Midland was up again followed by Lewis Rathbone for Concordia, both with a good PK. After the Warriors missed their next shot, Horsburgh was able to knock one in, advancing the Bulldogs to the final round of the GPAC Tournament.

“Ultimately, PK’s are something we’ve been working on a lot recently,” Weides noted. “We knew they could step up in that moment. That moment is really about being strong enough to deal with the idea of missing. We have a lot of guys on our team that are strong enough to deal with missing. I feel with that attitude, it takes away a lot of the pressure and fear…On the fifth one, Sparky (Horsburgh) stepped up. He has made every PK since he’s been here whether it be in training or practice and we were confident he could take it home. He was confident in stopping them, too. Every single PK Midland had, Sparky went the right way whether he got the save or not.”

Concordia outshot Midland 21-20 while MU had the edge in shots on goal, 11-7. CUNE led in corner kicks 10-6.

Keeper for the Bulldogs, Horsburgh, caught up 11 saves in addition to the game winning shootout goal. Cesar Valverde filled the net for the Warriors and grabbed seven saves.

“For us, there’s a lot of excitement to go on to a GPAC final,” said Weides. “It’s a good win against a good team. Midland is a good team, they finished second in our conference. It’s a tough way to end a season and fortunately we were able to move on.”

The Bulldogs, now 10-6-3 on the season will face No. 19 Hastings College. The Broncos are 14-3-3 this year after defeating Doane, 4-1 in the conference semifinal in Hastings. The championship match will take place on Thursday, Nov. 12 in Hastings, Neb. at 7 p.m.

Previously this season, the Bulldogs suffered a defeat from the Broncos, falling 1-3 in Hastings. Freshman Angel Alvarez scored the goal for Concordia while Horsburgh racked up six saves.

On the upcoming matchup Weides said, “They’re a good team. I think that ultimately what we need in that game is to press really well as a team and take the chances we get. This team is really believing in each other and we’re more unified than we have been. I’ll take our chances against any team in the nation. I think we’ll get the best of Hastings.”

Horsburgh grabs GPAC weekly honors after shutouts and shootout

SEWARD, Neb. – Junior keeper Mark Horsburgh has received the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week honors, announced Tuesday by the GPAC office.

The Scotland native combined for 17 saves and zero goals allowed over the past two GPAC Tournament matches. Horsburgh also made a game-clinching penalty kick after two overtimes at Midland to advance the Bulldogs to the GPAC Championship match for the first time.

Horsburgh is second in the GPAC for goals against average with a .97 mark, behind Midland keeper, Cesar Valverde. The Bulldog keeper has made 71 saves this season with a save percentage of .807 and has put up eight shutouts.

This is the first weekly honor for the junior and third for the men’s squad this year. Senior Justin Lawrie and freshman Tyler Jensen were each tabbed offensive players of the week in October and September, respectively.

Horsburgh and company will be back in action on Thursday, Nov. 12 as they take on Hastings College in the GPAC Championship match at 7 p.m. This will be the first time that the Concordia men’s soccer team will appear in a GPAC Championship contest in program history. 

Dawgs shock No. 19 Hastings for first-ever GPAC title

HASTINGS, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer team completed an improbable conference tournament run by slaying an elusive GPAC dragon on Thursday night. For the first time in program history, the Bulldogs raised the GPAC championship trophy by way of a 1-0 victory on the home field of top-seeded and 19th-ranked Hastings.

After an up-and-down regular season, head coach Jason Weides’ squad found its groove in the conference tournament. The Bulldogs did not allow a single goal in 290 minutes of conference postseason action on the way to a championship that left the Broncos stunned. That 25-game Hastings unbeaten streak against league opponents? Gone.

Concordia is headed to the NAIA national tournament for the first time ever.

“I think we believed the whole time,” Weides said. “It was a bit of a rocky road for us, especially mid-season, opening up conference play we didn’t get the results we expected. The reality is this is where we expected to be and this where we thought we had the capability of being in the conference final game. We just took a little different path.”

Under Weides, no Bulldog team had ever gone toe-to-toe with the powerful Broncos in the way that the eighth-year coach’s bunch did on Thursday. This was no fluke. Hastings outshot Concordia, 16-7, but in only few instances did the potent Broncos seriously threaten to put away a goal. And when they did, GPAC defensive player of the week Mark Horsburgh stonewalled Hastings.

After a scoreless first half, the only goal came in the blink of an eye. A booming Horsburgh goal kick helped lead Tyler Jensen in behind the defense. With All-American goalkeeper Alex Guyer drawn well off the goal line, Jensen softly tapped the ball from left to right into the net for his seventh goal of the season.

The Bulldogs smelled blood. With just under 20 minutes to play, senior Gideon Soenksen got free in the box for a shot that Guyer got enough of to deflect to the left of the goal. Guyer made four saves on the night in another solid effort.

There just wasn’t any denying a team that won a heart-stopping penalty kick shootout at Midland in the semifinals. “Finally,” exclaimed senior defender Mark Campbell. A team that had been 2-4-1 in conference play at one point suffered through injuries and tough luck. All of those frustrations transformed into jubilation at Lloyd Wilson Field, where opponents typically go to die against a Hastings program that won the 2010 NAIA national championship.

“I just can’t believe it,” Campbell said. “This is what we’ve been striving for three or four years now. We’ve never beaten them. After last year and the heartbreak of losing in the last minute, this is what we deserve. We’ve deserved this. If you look around, the emotions and everybody – it’s just amazing. We’re going to nationals.”

Horsburgh, the hero of the semifinal at Midland, made nine saves on Thursday, pushing his GPAC tournament save total to 26. On the attack, Soenksen was most active with three shots – all on goal.

“It’s just incredible,” Horsburgh said. “It’s the journey we’ve been on in an up-and-down season. It was just a huge effort from everyone. It was brilliant.”

The Bulldogs will be back on the road at a site to be determined for the opening round of the national tournament, set for Saturday, Nov. 21. Pairings will be released by the NAIA on Monday (Nov. 16).

But no one was quite ready to think national tournament on Thursday. This was a night to celebrate a historic moment for the program. Concordia players doused their coach with ice water and posed for seemingly hundreds of photos while exchanging hugs. Campbell provided postgame remarks and then kissed a camera.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. But someone forgot to tell the Bulldogs.

Said Campbell, “Not a lot of teams would have went up against the setbacks we had and been able to kick back and still have the belief to go and win the GPAC championship.”

Bulldogs net five All-GPAC selections

SEWARD, Neb. – The (RV) Concordia men’s soccer team has five student-athlete All-GPAC selections this season. Forward Julian Amaya, midfielder Lewis Rathbone and defender Justin Lawrie picked up All-GPAC Second Team honors. Defender Mark Campbell and midfielder Gideon Soenksen were selected to the All-GPAC Honorable Mention team.

Amaya, a senior from Bogota, Colombia, appeared in 19 games started 17 for Concordia. The forward scored six goals and assisted four, both season highs. The senior ranked second on the team in goals scored and tied for second in assists. Amaya scored two game winners for the Bulldogs, one at Morningside on Oct. 10 and against Briar Cliff on Oct. 17.

Rathbone, a sophomore from England, appeared in 15 games and started 12 for the Bulldogs. In his first year at Concordia, Rathbone knocked in two goals and led the team with six assists. The .40 assists per game ranked fifth in the GPAC while the six total ranked eighth. Rathbone had a game high of three assists and six shots in the final season finale verse Mount Marty College.

Lawrie, a senior from Winnipeg, Canada, started in all 20 games for Concordia. This is the second straight post-season GPAC honor for Lawrie. He was part of the back line that recorded nine shutouts, which led the GPAC and allowed just 1.15 goals a game. Lawrie scored one goal and assisted one goal at Dakota Wesleyan this season. The senior grabbed GPAC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 27 this year.

Campbell, a senior from Dublin, Ireland appeared in 16 games and started 15. The All-GPAC selection is Campbell’s third straight post-season GPAC honor. In the backfield, Campbell helped the Bulldogs to a GPAC leading nine shutouts and a 1.15 average goals allowed per game, which ranked fourth in the GPAC.

Soenksen, a senior from Lincoln, Neb., appeared in all 20 games and started 19 for the Bulldogs. This is Soenksen’s third straight post-season GPAC honor. The senior scored one goal against Sterling and assisted two against York and Sterling this year. Soensken took 41 shots, which tied for fourth on the team.

The (RV) Concordia men’s soccer team advanced to the NAIA Tournament for the first time in program history after defeating No. 19 Hastings College in the GPAC Championship game. The victory was also the first-ever GPAC Championship for the CUNE program. The Bulldogs will face No. 2 Oklahoma Wesleyan University in the opening round of the NAIA Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 21. The match will take place at Bartlesville, Okla. Kickoff time is to be determined.

Concordia men fall in first national tournament appearance

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. – In its first-ever NAIA Tournament appearance, the (RV) Concordia men’s soccer team was defeated by No. 2 Oklahoma Wesleyan, 0-3. Keeper Mark Horsburgh made four saves in the tilt while Gideon Soenksen led the ‘Dogs in shots with four.

Head coach Jason Weides said, “It’s a tough one to swallow, just trying to bounce back from the pain of a loss and the season coming to a close. Overall I’m just really proud of this group and what they were able to accomplish this year. I’m really proud of the fight they demonstrated today because Oklahoma Wesleyan is a really good team and they played well today. Our guys didn’t back down, we fought really hard whether it was from the opening minute to the 90th minute, no matter the circumstances of the game our guys were giving everything they had.”

In the Concordia Bulldogs finish the season at 11-7-3 while the Oklahoma Wesleyan Eagles improve to 20-1.

Horsburgh grabbed four saves while the team recorded one in the contest. OKWU’s keeper saved two Bulldog shots.

The second half saw all 16 of Concordia’s shots with two on goal. The Eagles registered 17 shots, eight on goal. Oklahoma Wesleyan also held the advantage in corner kicks, five to one.

“One half of the field was pretty wet and sloppy,” noted Weides. “That half was a little bit more difficult for us to defend on in the first half and we knew it would be difficult for them to defend in the second. Also, the wind was going that way, so there were two things going against us in first half beyond us maybe not playing as well as we did in the second half. I thought we started the second half strong.”

In the first half of play, Nemanja Zalad scored the goal for the Eagles, assisted by Jack McGowan and Percia Obradovic. Concordia came out of the break with a different energy and had more opportunities to score. With the wind at their backs, the Bulldogs took 16 shots. Soenksen got ahold of several passes but was unable to find the back of the net. The Eagles scored two more goals in the second to seal the victory.

Reflecting back on the season, Weides said, “It’s hard to summarize in a couple sentences. This is a team that’s been fun to be a part of. They’re a great group of guys. There’s a big senior class and we’re going to sorely miss them. They’ve been such instrumental part of us taking these steps.”

Men's soccer ties GPAC high with seven scholar-athletes

SEWARD, Neb. – Seven representatives from the Concordia University men’s soccer program have been named 2015 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, as announced by the NAIA on Friday. Among this year’s honorees, seniors Mark Anderson, Justin Lawrie and Nathan Northcutt are two-time scholar-athletes. First-year scholar-athletes include seniors Mark Campbell and Marcelino Varona and juniors Carlos Acosta and Andrew Mussell.

Head coach Jason Weides’ squad bumped its scholar-athlete total up by two individuals compared to 2014 when the Bulldogs again garnered the NSCAA Team Academic Award from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. With seven scholar-athletes in 2015, the Bulldogs equaled Hastings for the most among GPAC men’s soccer programs.

In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or sports information director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved a junior academic status. A total of 382 men’s soccer student-athletes across the nation were named scholar-athletes by the NAIA.

Concordia University ranks as the NAIA’s all-time leader in number of Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes with 1,241 and counting (27 for the fall of 2015). The 2014-15 season culminated with GPAC-leading totals of 94 Bulldog scholar-athletes and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams. During the 2013-14 academic year, Concordia garnered 101 Scholar-Athlete honorees (most in the NAIA) and 17 NAIA Scholar-Teams (tied for fourth nationally).

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Neb., that currently serves over 2,300 students. Concordia offers more than 50 professional and liberal arts programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world.

2015 men’s soccer Scholar-Athletes
Carlos Acosta | Jr. | Cali, Columbia
Mark Anderson | Sr. | Morton, Ill.
Mark Campbell | Sr. | Dublin, Ireland
Justin Lawrie | Sr. | Winnipeg, Canada
Andrew Mussell | Jr. | Buffalo, Minn.
Nathan Northcutt | Sr. | Dublin, Ireland
Marcelino Varona | Sr. | Olathe, Kan.

Recounting a run for the history books

Raw emotions poured out all over Lloyd Wilson Field, engulfing a stadium that has made a habit of stamping out national tournament dreams for GPAC opposition. But not so on Nov. 12, 2015. Said senior Mark Campbell in the immediate aftermath, “I just can’t believe it. This is what we’ve been striving for three or four years now.”

As a program, Concordia men’s soccer had been striving to soak up such a moment for much longer than three or four years. A Tyler Jensen 66th-minute goal and a third-straight GPAC tournament shutout allowed the Bulldogs to stun conference regular-season champion and 19th-ranked Hastings in the league title game. It’s no hyperbole. This was the most significant win in the 45 years of Concordia men’s soccer.

So forgive the Bulldogs and their large throng of fans who partook in an extended celebration that chilly night in Hastings. Countless hugs were exchanged. Hundreds of photos were flashed. It was a historic instance made for Instagram. Eighth-year head coach Jason Weides, who received a dousing of ice-cold water from his players following the win, will have the images of that night etched in his mind forever.

Says Weides, “I’ll never forget the moment in which we captured the GPAC tournament title – just the excitement on the guys’ faces and how happy they were. They put in a lot of hard work to get to that point. It was great to see them be rewarded.”

The prize at the end of the line proved especially rewarding considering where Concordia came from. The Bulldogs emerged from the depths of a 2-4-1 conference mark on Sept. 18. They also fought through nagging injuries to numerous starters and a string of tough-luck results. Concordia’s chances of making even the GPAC tournament were in question when it trailed 2-1 late in the game at Dakota Wesleyan on Oct. 24. Justin Lawrie and Matt Meisinger surfaced with late goals that helped rescue the season.

Once in the GPAC tournament, junior goalkeeper Mark Horsburgh looked superhuman. He made a highlight-reel save to preserve the 1-0 quarterfinal win at Northwestern and then played the role of hero in the semifinal at Midland. In a dramatic penalty-kick shootout following 110 minutes of scoreless action, Horsburgh made two saves and clinched the PK win by drilling the back of the net.

At that point the Bulldogs had bounced the GPAC’s Nos. 2 and 3 seeds from postseason play. That meant Concordia would travel to top-seeded Hastings to play the title game as a decided underdog. Somehow, Weides’ group believed just the way it had when a 2-4-1 GPAC record stared it down.

“I don’t think the attitude changed,” Weides said of the late-season success. “I think the biggest thing was that guys continued to believe in what we had laid out for expectations. They continued to believe in what we could accomplish as a team. They were steadfast in thinking about their goals and not letting themselves stray from that. I think the fact that our mentality didn’t change despite the challenges was what propelled us.”

Believing and doing are two different things. Weides admits there may have been some doubts about whether his team could see out its 1-0 lead at Hastings. Too many times before the former Bulldog player had seen conflicts with the Broncos end in agony. A year earlier Concordia left Hastings after a 2-1 heart-breaking overtime defeat in the GPAC semifinals. In 2012 Hastings escaped Seward with a 2-1 overtime win. The Broncos won by the same 2-1 score in 2009.

Not since the late 1990s had Concordia upended the GPAC power that claimed the 2010 NAIA national title. The Bulldogs were getting closer. Close wouldn’t be good enough anymore.

“Though we’ve been very competitive with them the last few years and have had overtime games and narrow losses, there’s a little bit of a sense of wondering if we can do this,” Weides said. “I think when it got to under five minutes and we had a lead against them – I don’t want to say there was panic – but a little worry. Can we hold this out? I think winning against them, especially in a big moment in a conference final, gives the guys confidence. I think it will help us in the future. We don’t ever have to think about, ‘oh it’s been a long time since we’ve beat Hastings.’ Hopefully that’s something we can move past.”

Concordia’s breakthrough win kept the Broncos from reaching the national tournament. As the GPAC’s lone representative at nationals, the Bulldogs dropped a 3-0 contest at second-ranked Oklahoma Wesleyan in the opening round. Concordia held almost no possession in the first half, but recorded 16 shots in the second half in an experience that future teams can build upon.

Weides would like to think the floodgates have been opened and that Concordia will now compete for GPAC championships on an annual basis. The reality is that the Bulldogs must replace 13 seniors, including six that started in the national tournament game. Seniors Mark Anderson, Campbell, Sean Doran and Justin Lawrie were rock solid along the back line. Another senior, midfielder Jake Sells, was praised effusively by Weides for his growth in his final collegiate season.

Some of the names will change in 2016, but Weides relishes the unfamiliar standing the program now finds itself in. Now the trick is to make it back to the national stage.

Says Weides, “We’ve never been in a position before where we can say, ‘we want to get back to nationals and you can help us.’

“Winning breeds winning.”

The story of the 2015 GPAC tournament champs

Commemorative Booklet | PDF »

The 2015 Concordia men's soccer team provided a season's worth of memories during a 10-day span in November that saw the Bulldogs knock off the GPAC's top three seeds (all on the road) to claim the conference tournament title. No one associated with the program will ever forget Nov. 12, 2015, the day the team celebrated a 1-0 upset at No. 19 Hastings in the championship game. As head coach Jason Weides put it, "The emotion and pure joy shown by the guys after the win (at Hastings) is something I will always cherish."

What will players remember about that victory? Here are responses from some of the key figures in that special run. Also check out the PDF above for a book that commemorates the 2015 season.

It’s always good to beat one of the powers in the conference and nationally - but beating them in the conference final is what makes this one of the best feelings in my life! That’s why I love football. It always gives you a second chance. We all remembered the 2014 season when they beat us with just one-minute-and-thirty-seconds left in the game. That was on my mind until that 12th of November of 2015. This is the result of all the hard work and discipline that the team has been putting in. It was amazing. I wouldn’t trade that moment and that feeling for anything in my life!

I’m proud of this program since the moment I decided to become a Bulldog. This program has been taking huge steps from season to season. Being part of the history of the program and the history of the school is something different. I’m so proud of playing with this team. Instead of the word “team,” I would name this group of people a “family.” That’s one of the huge factors that helped us to achieve this. We were a family with everyone supporting everyone. I really don’t know how to express what I feel right now. It’s really amazing. This team will be always remembered for being the first GPAC champions in history of Concordia men’s soccer. That will be forever. Concordia Bulldogs - 2015 GPAC champions!!!

When the clock had five seconds left and I saw other players celebrating I nearly had a heart attack because Hastings still had the ball. Once we cleared that last ball forward and the whistle went, never in my life have I felt a feeling like the relief, the adrenaline rush and sheer elation like the feeling I had at that point. To be able to celebrate with my brothers was the happiest moment I’ve ever had in my life.

After I came to Concordia and learned about the history of results and feats that had never been reached by the soccer team, my goal was to graduate having left a mark on the program. I did not want to just come and go, but to be remembered. It means everything to be written into the history books. We are the team that achieved what every team before us strived to achieve and the team that every future team will look to try and replicate. That’s special.

I was ecstatic. It was like an out-of-body experience. For me, it didn’t fully sink in until the following day.

I think it sets the standard for future CUNE soccer teams and to say that I was apart of that legacy, means everything. It is something I will never forget.

The feeling that overcame me the most was complete euphoria. We had worked extremely hard since losing there last season and it was all worth it for that moment we had together on the Hastings field. To see the excitement on teammates’ faces you have gotten to know so well is something I will never forget. To be the “underdogs” throughout the whole postseason tournament is something we relished and it makes winning the GPAC title even sweeter. We never doubted our team once and I think that brought all of us closer this year.

To be written into the history books as a team is something special because we didn’t rely on individuals to win us this title. We did it as group and as a team. To be able to say “we are GPAC champions” is something that we have been working towards for three or four years now and many years before us. Wow that we can say it, it is just unbelievable not just for us but everyone who has been a part of the soccer program here. I think it is a huge step for this program and I am looking forward to taking another step forward next year.

Honestly, when the final whistle blew I just collapsed on the field. I was so tired that it took me a minute just to gather my thoughts. When I finally realized what we had just done, all that I was thinking was, “finally, finally our hard work paid off.” We knew what we had to do from the beginning and we went out and did it. The blood, the sweat, the tears, the broken bones, it wasn’t for nothing this time. This time there is no ‘what if.’ This time it’s only “look what we did.”

Being a part of this team means everything to me. I think of each and every one of those guys as my brother and to go out and make history with my family is the best feeling in the world. There aren’t many chances that you get to do something that no one else has done before. I just can’t thank God enough for giving us that chance to prove that we are more than just a team. We are the GPAC champs.

Once we scored the first goal, we knew we were going to go on and win the game. It was a feeling of accomplishment. We believed all year that we would make playoffs, and it was our aim to get to the GPAC final and make nationals. So to win the GPAC is a start of future success for the men’s soccer program.

For me, the talent on our team deserved to win the GPAC championship. We knew we started the season slowly and we had challenges that we had to overcome all year, but we found our form when it really mattered in the playoffs. We played the best soccer we had played all year and we all definitely believed in ourselves throughout the playoffs. This is when we knew we were about to make history for the men’s soccer program.

Horsburgh, Rathbone highlight all-Nebraska selections

Omaha World-Herald story

SEWARD, Neb. – A total of six Bulldogs from the 2015 GPAC tournament champion men’s soccer team received mention on the NAIA All-Nebraska team, as released by the Omaha World-Herald on Thursday. Junior Mark Horsburgh and sophomore Lewis Rathbone were listed among the 17 team members by the Omaha World-Herald while four represented Concordia with honorable mention recognition: Julian Amaya, Mark Campbell, Tyler Jensen and Justin Lawrie.

Horsburgh, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, saved his best performances for the postseason. He recorded shutouts in each of the three GPAC tournament contests as Concordia knocked off the league’s top three seeds on the road. Horsburgh made a total of 84 saves and had a goals against average of 1.02. He was credited with nine shutouts.

Rathbone also earned second team all-conference honors during his first season as a Bulldog. The England native chipped in a pair of goals and six assists in 2015. Amaya and Lawrie joined Rathbone with second team all-GPAC laurels while Campbell collected honorable mention all-conference status.

F: Daniel Whitehall, Hastings, Fr.
F: Ali Sodal, Midland, Jr.
F: Damien Austen, Hastings, So.
F: Rob Smith, Bellevue, So.
M: Andy Perkins, Hastings, Sr.
M: Felix Proessl, Hastings, Sr.
M: Gabe Garbin, Doane, Jr.
M: Lewis Rathbone, Concordia, So.
M: Tobias Maertzke, Bellevue, Sr.
D: Akeem Ward, Hastings, Fr.
D: Nick Saunders, Midland, Sr.
D: Alex Garner, Hastings, So.
D: Harrison Rogers, Midland, Jr.
D: Alan Carr, Bellevue, Sr.
G: Alex Guyer, Hastings, Sr.
G: Mark Horsburgh, Concordia, Jr.
G: Ben Martin, Bellevue, Jr.

Honorary captain: Alex Guyer, Hastings College

Honorable mention: Daniel Coupland, Jamie Henderson, Bellevue; Julian Amaya, Mark Campbell, Tyler Jensen, Justin Lawrie, Concordia; TJ Kulawik, Quinn Selby, Mark Wallace, Doane; Nate Flack, Nate Miller, Lucas Venegas, Hastings; Ben Hutton, Cesar Valverde, Midland; Brady Blazek, Jake Kennedy, Will Weber, Nebraska Wesleyan; Ben Sullivan, York.