2018 Men's Soccer Schedule/Results

10-5-4 overall | 6-2-3 GPAC (4th) | Season Stats | Roster

Date Opponent Location Time/Result Record
Aug. 25 Tabor College Seward, Neb. W, 4-2 1-0
Aug. 28 York College York, Neb. L, 1-2 1-1
Sept. 1 Bellevue University Seward, Neb. L, 1-2 1-2
Sept. 8 Kansas Wesleyan University Salina, Kan. W, 3-2 2-2
Sept. 12 McPherson College Seward, Neb. W, 3-2 (OT) 3-2
Sept. 15 Friends University Wichita, Kan. W, 4-3 4-2
Sept. 22 *Northwestern College Orange City, IA T, 1-1 (2 OT) 4-2-1, 0-0-1
Sept. 26 *Morningside College Sioux City, Iowa L, 1-2 4-3-1, 0-1-1
Sept. 29 *Dordt College Seward, Neb. W, 5-1 5-3-1, 1-1-1
Oct. 3 *(4) Hastings College Seward, Neb. L, 0-2 5-4-1, 1-2-1
Oct. 6 *Presentation College Seward, Neb. W, 7-0 6-4-1, 2-2-1
Oct. 10 *Doane University Crete, Neb. T, 2-2 (2 OT) 6-4-2, 2-2-2
Oct. 13 *Dakota Wesleyan University Seward, Neb. W, 2-1 (OT) 7-4-2, 3-2-2
Oct. 16 *Mount Marty College Yankston, S.D. W, 3-1 8-4-2, 4-2-2
Oct. 20 *University of Jamestown Jamestown, N.D. T, 1-1 (2 OT) 8-4-3, 4-2-3
Oct. 24 *Midland University Fremont, Neb. W, 3-1 9-4-3, 5-2-3
Oct. 27 *Briar Cliff University Seward, Neb. W, 2-1 (2 OT) 10-4-3, 6-2-3
Nov. 1 Midland (GPAC Quarterfinals) Seward, Neb. T, 1-1 (2 OT) 10-4-4
  *CUNE advances on PK's, 4-3      
Nov. 6 (5) Hastings (GPAC Semifinals) Hastings, Neb. L, 0-3 10-5-4

2018 Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Year Hometown Previous School
00 Callum Goldsmith GK 6-1 Fr. Sevenoaks, England Oxted County
1 Jack Bennett GK 6-3 Sr. Oxford, England Buckingham
3 João Pedro Veríssimo D 5-10 So. Nova Mutum, Brazil Anisio Vecente de Freitas
4 Aries Fung MF 5-10 Sr. New Territories, Hong Kong Hong Kong Institute
5 Angel Alvarez D 5-11 Sr. San Luis, Ariz. Yuma Catholic
6 Carlos Orquiz MF 5-9 Fr. Chihuaha, Mexico Universidad CNCI Puebla
7 Joshua Lindquist F 5-9 So. Temecula, Calif. Great Oak
8 Trenton Williams D 5-9 So. Douglas, Wyo. Douglas
9 Jack Arra F 6-0 Jr. Ennis, Ireland Middle Georgia State
10 Carlos Ferrer F 5-8 Jr. Tijuana, Mexico Mater Dei Catholic
11 Matthew Ho F 5-8 Jr. New Territories, Hong Kong Diocesan
12 Garrett Perry MF 5-10 So. Corona, Calif. Woodcrest Christian
13 Konrad Sinu F 5-11 Fr. Sutton, England St. Antony's Catholic
14 Roger de la Villa MF 5-8 Jr. Barcelona, Spain Escola Sant Gregori / Marshalltown CC
15 Evan Hayden MF 6-1 Jr. Kearney, Neb. Kearney
16 Gabe Marcatto MF 6-0 So. Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil Beatrice
17 Jackson Myers D 6-0 So. Highlands Ranch, Colo. ThunderRidge
18 Ethan Doyle D 5-9 So. Shawnee, Kan. Mill Valley
19 Kevin Sanchez D 5-11 So. Las Vegas, Nev. Desert Pines
20 Decker Mattimoe D 5-11 Fr. Cheyenne, Wyo. Cheyenne Central
21 Carlos Munoz MF 5-10 Fr. York, Neb. York HS
22 Ryan LeTourneau F 6-0 So. North Platte, Neb. North Platte
23 Derek Eitzmann D 5-11 Sr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Lutheran
24 JD Dominguez D 5-8 Jr. Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Palos Verdes
25 David Carrasco F 6-0 Jr. Bogota, Colombia Skyline
26 Miguel Munoz D 5-11 Jr. Cordoba, Spain Marshalltown CC
27 Caleb Goldsmith MF 5-5 Fr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southeast HS
28 Andre Santos D 5-7 Jr. Lisbon, Portugal Marshalltown CC
29 Daniel Campbell F 5-11 Fr. Bellevue, Neb. Bellevue West
32 Mickey Waldron GK 6-2 Sr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Lutheran
33 Matthew Boll D 5-10 Jr. Ham Lake, Minn. Concordia Academy St. Paul
34 Jacob Roggow MF 5-11 Jr. Moro, Ill. Metro East Lutheran


Jason Weides, Head Coach (11th Year)

Jan Chvojan, Graduate Assistant Coach

Adam Lewis, Goalkeeper Coach

Luke Batters, Assistant Coach

Marcelo Hernandez, Assistant Coach

Season preview: 2018 Concordia men's soccer

Aug. 16, 2018

Head coach: Jason Weides (97-78-18, 10 years)
2017 Record: 16-3-1 overall; 7-2 GPAC (T-2nd); GPAC tournament runner up
Key Returners: D Angel Alvarez; GK Jack Bennett; D Derek Eitzmann; F Carlos Ferrer; MF Aries Fung; F Matthew Ho; MF Garrett Perry; D Kevin Sanchez; D Joao Pedro Verissimo
Key Newcomers: F Jack Arra; MF Roger de la Villa; MF Carlos Orquiz; F Konrad Sinu
Key Losses: D Luke Batters; D Florian Caraballo; D Toby Down; F Marcelo Hernandez; MF Micah Lehenbauer; MF Lewis Rathbone
2017 GPAC All-Conference: Florian Caraballo (first team); Marcelo Hernandez (first team); Micah Lehenbauer (first team); Jack Bennett (second team); Carlos Ferrer (second team); Lewis Rathbone (second team); Angel Alvarez (honorable mention); Kevin Sanchez (honorable mention) 

Even for a program looking to make up for a bevy of goals lost from an accomplished 2017 senior class, many key pieces remain in place. Followers of Bulldog men’s soccer ought to know some of the names like defender Angel Alvarez, goalkeeper Jack Bennett and forward Carlos Ferrer, anchors in different areas of the field. Thus, head coach Jason Weides and his new-look squad are not spending too much time lamenting the losses of each of their first team All-GPAC players (Florian Caraballo, Marcelo Hernandez and Micah Lehenbauer).

Weides and company have earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to replacing star players. Now in his 11th season at the helm of the program, Weides has put together a program that has been the model of consistency. It’s won at least 10 games in each of the past seven seasons.

“Given what we’ve seen so far, we’re confident we can get there over time,” says Weides in comparing the new group to the ones of the past. “It’s a team that will continue to improve as the season wears on. I think some of the early question marks are where are we going to get all these goals from given that we had some seniors who scored and assisted so many goals. I think it’s pretty clear that we have some guys who are going to put the ball in the back of the net. The reality is we’re going to have some tough decisions to make as far as how we put this team together.”

While often preseason rankings are a reflection of the season just gone by, Concordia was offered a sign of respect when it was pegged second in the GPAC behind perennial favorite Hastings, which will break in a new head coach this fall. Concordia and Hastings have met in the GPAC tournament final in each of the past three campaigns.

For current seniors like Bennett, an all-conference keeper, advancing to the conference final has become the expectation, although not taken for granted. The hope is to take this season a step further like the 2015 edition did when it upset Hastings in the GPAC championship game.

Says Bennett, “We’re hungry. Obviously we’ve fallen short the last couple seasons but we’ve made it to three-straight conference championships now. Hopefully we can make it two (titles) out of four this year. It shows that we’re up there with the top teams. We’re just hungry to get that second GPAC title under our belt.”

If the Bulldogs are to celebrate a GPAC title this November, it likely means that Ferrer has become the type of high-end player that Weides envisions. Now a junior, the Chula Vista, Calif., native has been a fixture in the lineup since stepping on campus two years ago. He could very well be next in line to represent the program on the GPAC’s first team.

Ferrer has totaled nine goals in 40 career collegiate games. Though the makeup of the team is still being worked out this preseason, the frequency of Ferrer goals could be on the rise.

“I think his biggest contribution is that there are going to be some teams and defenders that know who he is,” Weides said. “He’s a guy I just see running at teams. He loves to get the ball and run at people. He’s been really effective this offseason and so far this camp at running at players, getting behind them and going at them 1v1. He’s going to create chances. He’s a guy that will create chances not only for himself but for the team. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s putting a few goals in the back of the net.”

Of the returners not previously mentioned, Aries Fung, Derek Eitzmann, Matthew Ho, Garrett Perry and Kevin Sanchez each have some degree of starting experience. Fung already has his undergrad degree from Concordia but decided to return for his final season of eligibility. The native of New Territories, Hong Kong, is the only player left on the roster who saw action in the program’s GPAC title game win in 2015. Meanwhile, Perry, Sanchez and J.P. Verissimo are expected to make leaps after playing extensively as freshmen last fall.

Who’s next among newcomers to impact the roster immediately? Jack Arra (Ennis, Ireland), Roger de la Villa (Barcelona, Spain), MF Carlos Orquiz (Chihuahua, Mexico) and Konrad Sinu (Sutton, England) are some of the prime candidates. Arra and de la Villa are both transfers. De la Villa is one of three new Bulldogs to choose Concordia after beginning their careers at Marshalltown Community College (Iowa).

Said Weides, “I think it’s pretty obvious there are some guys who are going to be able to impact the team right away from day one. We’ve got this group of guys who will impact us, whether it’s day one or day five or at some point throughout this season or career. It’s a really solid class. I think it’s helping to elevate our depth and the quality of training sessions.”

The dynamics will certainly change to some degree in 2018. Last season’s squad set a Weides era high with 51 goals scored while breaking the program single-season standard with 16 wins. It won’t be easy to duplicate that lofty goal number, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Nearing 100 career victories (now at 97, to be exact), Weides plans figure out how to make that happen. It will just look a bit different.

“There are a lot of guys that maybe haven’t been in the mix the last couple years that are starting to step up,” Bennett said. “They learned from the guys ahead of them just like I did. A lot of them are going to come into bigger roles this season. That along with the recruits we have coming in will be exciting to see. It will be a battle between what we’ve got and what’s coming in. It’s going to be a good preseason.”

We’ll see what’s in store when the first official game rolls around on Saturday, Aug. 25. Concordia will be at home to host Tabor College (Kan.).

“The reality is that some of it has to change because it’s different personnel,” Weides said. “It’s sometimes this guy plays this way and it fits with our style and here’s how we use him. Now we have guys who have different attributes. We can potentially press differently defensively and look to possess the ball differently.”

Season to open Saturday with visit from Tabor

Aug. 23, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – Two weeks of preseason practice are in the books for the Concordia University men’s soccer program, now ready to open up a 17-game regular-season slate. Wednesday’s scrimmage with former GPAC rival Nebraska Wesleyan served as a tune up for Saturday’s first real thing. Head coach Jason Weides will lead his team into action against visiting Tabor College (Kan.). Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium.

All Concordia men’s soccer varsity regular-season games will be streamed live via the Concordia Sports Network. New this season to the webcasts will be enhanced high definition picture.

Weides is set to begin his 11th season as head coach. No matter the names on the roster, Weides has built a remarkably consistent program that has won at least 10 games in seven-straight seasons. The Bulldogs are coming off perhaps their finest season ever. The 2017 campaign saw them break a school record with 16 victories on their way to a third-consecutive GPAC championship game appearance. As a result of that recent success, Concordia was picked second in the GPAC preseason coaches’ poll.

While a large percentage of last season’s goals were produced by seniors who have graduated, fans of the Bulldogs will recognize several names such as Jack Bennett and Carlos Ferrer. Both standouts seem primed for even better seasons than their all-conference 2017 efforts. Saturday will be the first chance for this year’s team to prove it has answers for its goal scoring question marks. It will also provide an opportunity to showcase the Concordia debuts of potentially impactful newcomers in Jack Arra, Roger de la Villa, Carlos Orquiz and Konrad Sinu.

Affiliated with the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, Tabor finished 8-9-1 overall last season. The Bluejays were outscored by their opponents by a combined total of 34-22. The program also possesses a veteran head coach in Grant Brubacher, who is in his 12th season at Tabor. The Bluejays were pegged by league coaches to finish eighth out of 13 teams in the KCAC.

The Bulldogs will be in action twice next week. They travel to nearby York College on Aug. 28 (3:30 p.m.) before welcoming Bellevue to Seward on Saturday, Sept. 1 (3 p.m.).

Newcomers make immediate impact in season opening win

Aug. 25, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – Bulldog newcomers unleashed an early offensive flurry upon visiting Tabor College (Kan.) while getting the 2018 season started in satisfying fashion. Roger de la Villa, Jack Arra and Konrad Sinu each peppered the back of the net in the first 11 minutes as part of a comfortable 4-2 win over the visiting Bluejays on Saturday (Aug. 25).

Despite the loss of an accomplished 2017-18 senior class, 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ program has retained lofty expectations. On Saturday afternoon, Concordia began to answer questions about how it will replace all of the offensive production that has moved on.

“The start was good to get up early and to get a second and third goal pretty quickly,” Weides said. “When you get up three goals part of the challenge is making sure complacency doesn’t roll in and you’re still playing at the same level. I think today a little bit, we dropped the ball on that in terms of maintaining that consistency and continuing to add to that tally. Overall there were some good things.”

While the newcomers provided much of the offensive firepower, much of the starting lineup featured familiar faces, such as goalkeeper Jack Bennett and forward Carlos Ferrer. Weides also has high regard for budding sophomore Garrett Perry, who assisted on the first and third goals. At that point, it looked like it would be an all-out rout.

It didn’t quite turn out that way despite a 21-9 Bulldog advantage in the shot count. A David Reyes goal in the 50th minute and a Michael Caulley tally in the 76th minute kept things from getting out of hand. Concordia had regained a three-goal advantage in the 74th minute when junior David Carrasco headed in an impressive goal off a corner kick by JP Verissimo. It was also the first career goal for Carrasco.

Next time around, Weides wants to see his team tighten things up defensively. Tabor’s second goal came largely because of a mistake in the back.

“Defensively we have to see out the game,” Weides said. “We allowed a couple goals in the second half. There was disappointment as far as how we finished the game. We need to get better at team defending and individual defending. This could have been a game, had we performed the way we are capable of, we probably should have walked away with a shutout. To be fair to Tabor, they kept on coming at us.”

Though there were some shortcoming in game No. 1, Concordia seemed to flash the talent and technical ability needed to maintain its status as a GPAC contender. A transfer from Marshalltown Community College, de la Villa got things going with a goal after just 1:58 had elapsed. Afterwards, he got a cool down ice shower from his teammates during a postgame interview. He’s already one of the guys.

Said de la Villa, “I feel really good being here with all those guys. They’re really friendly and I feel so comfortable. That shows in the way the team performs during games.”

A native of Barcelona, Spain, de la Villa put four shots on frame as part of an active afternoon. Ferrer took six shots, including four on goal and was credited with an assist.

The Bulldogs will face their first road test of 2018 when they go to nearby York College on Tuesday (Aug. 28). The match will get started at 3:30 p.m. CT. In last season’s renewal of Nebraska rivals, Concordia topped the Panthers, 2-0, in Seward.

In-state nonconference foes to challenge Bulldogs

Aug. 27, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer squad will greet a pair of familiar in-state foes as the nonconference season continues this week. Fresh off a 4-2 season opening win over Tabor College (Kan.), the Bulldogs now face their first road test. They will play at York College on Tuesday afternoon before returning home to host Bellevue University on Saturday.

The Concordia Sports Network will carry Saturday’s match live from Bulldog Stadium.

This week
Tuesday, Aug. 28 at York, 3:30 p.m. CT
Saturday, Sept. 1 vs. Bellevue, 3:30 p.m. CT

Concordia came away from the season opener knowing it has plenty of room for improvement. The Bulldogs raced out to a 3-0 lead over Tabor in the opening 11 minutes and coasted to victory. Each of the first three goals were scored by newcomers. Roger de la Villa, Jack Arra and Konrad Sinu all quickly got on the board with their first goals as Bulldogs (two of the three goals were assisted by Garrett Perry). Later on, junior David Carrasco notched his first career collegiate goal. Concordia lost its hold on a shutout when the Bluejays found the back of the net in the 50th minute.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides enters the week with a chance at reaching 100 career victories. His overall coaching record stands at 98-78-18. He’s coming off his best season yet having led the 2017 squad to a 16-3-1 mark. The 16 wins shattered the previous program single-season record of 12. Weides has guided the program to seven-straight seasons of at least 10 victories. The most memorable of all those wins was a 1-0 upset of Hastings in the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game. That triumph advanced the Bulldogs to the national tournament.

York, guided by third-year head coach Alex Latorre, is in the midst of five-straight games against GPAC opponents to open its season. The Panthers are 1-1 having topped Doane, 3-1, and lost to Briar Cliff, 5-0. York finished 5-12-1 last season. Included in those 12 defeats was a 2-0 loss at Concordia on Aug. 29. The Panthers return their 2017 leading goal scorer Johan Rodriguez, who racked up nine goals last fall.

Bellevue has started strong under third-year head coach Mark Heath-Preston. The Bruins already have a signature win under their belt after going on the road and knocking off No. 7 Columbia College (Mo.), 3-2, on Aug. 22. Bellevue has also beaten Doane and Trinity International (Ill.). The Bruins will attempt to avenge their 3-0 loss at Concordia last season. Jack Bennett made five saves as part of the shutout.

Next week the Bulldogs will have a mid-week bye before returning to action at Kansas Wesleyan University on Sept. 8. Following this Saturday’s home tussle with Bellevue, Concordia will not appear at Bulldog Stadium again until Sept. 12.

Bulldogs stumble at York

Aug. 28, 2018

YORK, Neb. – Despite an 11-6 advantage in the shot count, the Concordia University men’s soccer team fell at the hands of conference rival York College on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 28). The 2-1 victory for the Panthers ended an extended drought for their program, which had not upended the Bulldogs since 2007, prior to the start of Jason Weides’ tenure as head coach.

The defeat was Concordia’s first against a nonconference opponent since Oct. 18, 2016. The Bulldogs were coming off a 4-2 home win over Tabor College (Kan.) in the season opener on Aug. 25.

York (2-1) capitalized on the few chances it created on its attacking end. It got a goal apiece from subs Johan Rodriguez and Arturo Gutierrez. The latter earned credit for the game winner when he found the back of the net in the 81st minute. That goal broke a 1-1 tie that lasted for just over 16 minutes.

For the second outing in a row, junior David Carrasco came off the bench to put away a goal. He surfaced with the equalizer in the 64th minute, erasing what had been a 1-0 halftime deficit. Jack Arra assisted the lone Concordia goal.

Panther goalkeeper Francisco Esteves made all five of his saves over the final 45 minutes to preserve the win. He denied a shot from both Angel Alvarez and Carlos Ferrer in the final minute with the Bulldogs attempting to force overtime. Ferrer’s three shots were a team high.

York is in the midst of a five-game run against GPAC opponents to open up its season. Head coach Alex Latorre’s squad owns a win over Doane and has also suffered a loss to Briar Cliff. The Panthers finished 2017 at 5-12-1 overall.

Getting back into the win column will be no easy task for Concordia, which will welcome Bellevue University to Bulldog Stadium for a 3:30 p.m. CT kickoff on Saturday. The Bruins are 3-0-1 with a 3-2 upset of seventh-ranked Columbia College (Mo.) on their résumé. Last season Concordia protected its home turf by toppling Bellevue, 3-0, in late September.

Ferrer, Bulldogs push rival Bellevue

Sep. 1, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – In-state rival Bellevue University brought a sterling résumé with it to Bulldog Stadium for Saturday (Sept. 1)’s afternoon contest. The Bulldogs held a 1-0 lead for nearly 20 minutes of action during the second half before eventually falling by a 2-1 final. The come-from-behind victory kept the Bruins unbeaten, equaling a school record for longest undefeated run to begin a season.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad did not get to taste the thrill of victory, but the effort was still represented marked improvement from the 2-1 defeat endured four days earlier at York College. The Concordia University men’s soccer team is now 1-2 overall.

“I think we responded really well. Unfortunately that didn’t result in a victory, but the response was evident,” Weides said. “We took a big step forward today from our last performance. The reality is that had we played like this in our last performance we would have been much more satisfied with the result. Despite the loss, we played a lot closer to what Concordia soccer should look like.”

Assisted by Jack Arra, junior Carlos Ferrer got on the board with his first goal of the season, breaking a 0-0 tie in the 54th minute. That play was the highlight of a nice day for Ferrer, who put pressure on Bellevue with three shots on goal (four shots total). As a team, the Bulldogs outshot the Bruins, 17-15.

In a flash, Bellevue ripped the lead away from Concordia with a goal from Inaki Aldao in the 73rd minute and then one by Toby Milward in the 75th minute. The game winner occurred on a penalty kick and allowed the Bruins to avenge a 3-0 loss in Seward a year ago.

Bellevue (5-0-1) already owns a 3-2 road win over seventh-ranked Columbia College (Mo.) and a 1-0 home victory over Benedictine College (Kan.), a squad receiving votes in the preseason poll. Saturday provided proof of Concordia’s ability to compete with teams of national relevance.

“I think Bellevue will be ranked when the next ranking comes out,” Weides said. “I think it’s evident that we should be able to compete with the top teams in the nation, whether that’s Bellevue or other teams in our conference. I think we can definitely compete with anybody. We just need to find a way to get results against some of these teams. For us, there were a lot more positives in this game than negatives.”

Senior Jack Bennett had a busy day in goal, making nine saves, although Weides commended his team’s defensive play for limiting Bellevue’s dangerous chances. On the other end, AJ Jarvis earned credit for seven saves.

The Bulldogs will be off until traveling to play Kansas Wesleyan University (1-0) next Saturday (Sept. 8) in a game that will kick off at 3 p.m. CT in Salina, Kan.

Bulldogs look to build upon previous outing this Saturday

Sep. 6, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – The last time the Concordia University men’s soccer team competed, it walked off of Bulldog Stadium encouraged that it was headed in the right direction. The disappointment came from the result – a 2-1 loss to Bellevue University on Sept. 1. However, it was proof that the Bulldogs are capable of competing with some of the country’s top teams. The Bruins (5-0-1) jumped into the national rankings this week at No. 16.

Now faced with its second road test of 2018, 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad has hopes of earning a more favorable result this Saturday when it plays at Kansas Wesleyan University. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. CT from Graves Family Sports Complex on the Kansas Wesleyan campus. 

Now 1-2 overall, Concordia is still working on putting everything together in the early season. The Bulldogs’ lone win so far was a 4-2 decision over Tabor College (Kan.) in the season opener on Aug. 25. The latest tweak made by Weides was to add David Carrasco to the starting lineup versus Bellevue. Carrasco tops the team with two goals. Jack Arra, Carlos Ferrer, Roger de la Villa and Konrad Sinu have one goal apiece. Ferrer’s goal in the 54th minute of the game versus Bellevue staked Concordia to a 1-0 lead at the time.

The Bulldogs are expecting to tighten up their defensive play moving forward. Each of their first three opponents have put two goals on the board. Last season Concordia allowed its foes only 16 goals over 20 games while posting nine shutouts. There are no worries about what the Bulldogs have in goal with senior Jack Bennett, who has started and played all 270 minutes to begin this season. Some adjustment period elsewhere may have been expected considering the large 2017-18 senior class.

Kansas Wesleyan (1-1) ventured to California to begin its season. While there, the Coyotes defeated University of Antelope Valley, 2-0, and fell at the hands of then 13th-ranked Vanguard University, 2-0. Guided by second-year head coach Diego Cocon, Kansas Wesleyan is coming off a 10-10 overall mark in 2017. The Coyotes were picked fourth out 13 teams in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason poll. They return leading goal scorer Diego Rodriguez, who tallied seven goals last fall.

The Bulldogs will get back to playing twice next week. They are slated to host McPherson College (Kan.) on Wednesday, Sept. 12 before traveling to Wichita, Kan., to play at Friends University on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Bench helps lift Bulldogs in Salina

Sep. 8, 2018

SALINA, Kan. – The players that head coach Jason Weides called upon off the bench delivered for the Concordia University men’s soccer team Saturday (Sept. 8) in Salina, Kan. The play of the reserves helped the Bulldogs come from behind in the second half to claim a 3-2 victory over host Kansas Wesleyan University.

The game winner proved to be the 78th-minute goal that came courtesy of the hustle displayed by freshman Daniel Campbell. Weides’ squad is now 2-2 overall this season.

“We got a win against a good Kansas Wesleyan team,” Weides said. “It was a good response from our last game. It wasn’t always perfect, but we did just enough and were able to score some goals to get a win. Kansas Wesleyan has some dangerous players and we defended them well … Suddenly we were down 2-1 and our guys showed some good resilience. We made a few subs and those subs had a really good impact.”

Concordia had already tasted a disappointing defeat on the road at York College. The Bulldogs wanted to make sure they didn’t suffer the same fate this time, though they were in danger when Terrence Gima put the Coyotes up 2-1 in the 68th minute. Kansas Wesleyan (1-2) had effectively erased what had been a 1-0 deficit for the host.

Enter the Bulldog bench mob. An emerging key figure, junior David Carrasco pushed his season team high goal count to three with the equalizer in the 73rd minute by finding the back of the net despite a tight angle. Joao Pedro Verissimo earned credit for the assist. Less than five minutes later, the Bulldogs were celebrating a 3-2 lead after Campbell got on the board for the first time in his collegiate career. Weides described the goal as a “scrappy, hustle play.”

Carrasco assisted on the game winner. The native of Bogota, Colombia, has caught Weides’ attention with his efforts since preseason camp.

“He’s doing quite well,” Weides said. “He’s looked sharp this season. We knew he would have a greater role than in years past, just by the way he was playing in preseason. That’s proved to be accurate. He started against Bellevue but he’s also come off the bench. He’s been a super sub for us. No matter how many minutes he gets, he seems to make an early impact. He did it today as well. Fortunately today we had a lot of guys come off the bench and really helped us.”

The Bulldogs were helped to a 1-0 lead when the Coyote goalkeeper misplayed the ball in the second minute. Konrad Sinu was the beneficiary. His goal gave Concordia an early lead that it held onto until the 21st minute. A second goal in the first half was just out of the Bulldogs’ reach. Roger de la Villa had a shot glance off the post on what particular strike.

At this point, Weides just wants to clean up some of the breakdowns that are allowing opponents to score an average of 2.0 goals per game despite a low number of shots. The Bulldogs held a 17-9 shot advantage over Kansas Wesleyan. Once Concordia regained the lead, it tightened the screws on Saturday.

“I thought we defended well in those last 15 minutes to see the game out,” Weides said. “There were a lot of positives. We’re still conceding way too many goals considering the amount of shots teams get on us. We have a break down here or there. That’s something we’ll clean up throughout the season. Once we do we’ll be a lot more dangerous. It was a good response and a good win for the guys.”

Next up is Wednesday (Sept. 12)’s home matchup with McPherson College (Kan.) (0-2-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium.

Carrasco nets GPAC weekly award

Sep. 11, 2018

GPAC release

SEWARD, Neb. – The team’s top goal scorer so far, junior David Carrasco’s efforts in leading a comeback win at Kansas Wesleyan University have netted him a major honor. On Tuesday (Sept. 11), the conference named Carrasco the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week. It is the first such award in the career of Carrasco.

Whether starting or coming off the bench, Carrasco has found a way to make a big impact this season. Said head coach Jason Weides after last week’s victory at Kansas Wesleyan, “He’s looked sharp this season. We knew he would have a greater role than in years past, just by the way he was playing in preseason. That’s proved to be accurate. He started against Bellevue but he’s also come off the bench. He’s been a super sub for us. No matter how many minutes he gets, he seems to make an early impact.”

Carrasco notched his team high third goal of the season on the board in the 73rd minute at Kansas Wesleyan. That scored tied the game, 2-2. Less than five minutes later, Carrasco assisted freshman Daniel Campbell on the game-winning goal. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Carrasco has put away his three goals while taking just four shots through the season’s first four games. Prior to this season, he had appeared in 17 games as a Bulldog without recording a goal.

Carrasco and his teammates will return to action on Wednesday when they are set to host McPherson College (Kan.) (0-2-1) at 7 p.m. CT. Concordia is now 2-2 overall.

KCAC foes make up final week of nonconference play

Sep. 11, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – It’s the stretch run of nonconference play for the Concordia University men’s soccer team, which is getting set to host McPherson College (Kan.) (0-2-1) at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday. It will mark the Bulldogs’ first home appearance since a 2-1 loss to Bellevue University on Sept. 1. Then on Saturday, 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will head to Wichita, Kan., for a matchup with Friends University (Kan.) (2-1).

This week
Wednesday, Sept. 12 vs. McPherson, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 15 at Friends, 2:30 p.m.

Weides’ Bulldogs had to wait a week to return to action after that Sept. 1 battle with a Bellevue squad that remains undefeated. Concordia came back from a second half deficit and evened up its overall record (2-2) with a 3-2 win at Kansas Wesleyan University on Sept. 8. As a result of that victory, junior forward David Carrasco earned GPAC Offensive Player of the Week accolades. Carrasco notched the game-tying goal and later assisted on the game winner scored by freshman Daniel Campbell (first career goal).

Carrasco has blossomed in his junior season after seeing action in a combined 17 games over his first two seasons at Concordia. His three goals lead the team. On the other end of the field, Weides would like to see his team tighten things up defensively. The Bulldogs have conceded exactly two goals in every game following a season in which they allowed a total of 16 goals over 20 games and recorded nine shutouts. The next clean sheet should just be a matter of time for a team employing senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett, a second team All-GPAC honoree in 2017.

Weides himself is nearing a milestone. One more victory will mark the 100th in his head coaching career at Concordia. Previously a three-year assistant coach for the Bulldogs, Weides was elevated to head coach prior to the 2008 season. The most memorable victory during his tenure was an upset of Hastings in the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game. His career record entering the week sits at 99-80-18.

Wednesday’s opponent, McPherson, is still in search of its first win. However, it opened some eyes over the weekend by earning a 0-0 double overtime draw with 16th-ranked Bellevue. Also nicknamed the Bulldogs, McPherson dropped a 4-1 decision against Midland in its season opener. McPherson went 12-7 last season. Friends should also be a worthy foe. The Falcons topped Midland, 3-1, in their most recent outing. Friends went 10-7 in 2017 (including 9-2 in conference play) and returns leading goal scorer Luis Vidal Pla (11 goals in 2017). Their top threat so far in 2018 has been Leo Sosa, who has five goals in three games.

After this Saturday, Concordia will have a week off before traveling to Orange City, Iowa, on Saturday, Sept. 22 for the start of GPAC play.

Arra steals show; Weides wins 100th

Sep. 12, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – As the Concordia University men’s soccer team and visiting McPherson College (Kan.) headed for overtime tied, 2-2, Jack Arra had a message for his team. They weren’t going to wait any longer. It had to be tonight. Arra made it happen. His golden goal in the 94th minute sewed up the 100th head coaching victory for Jason Weides as leader of the men’s soccer program.

The 3-2 overtime victory on Wednesday night (Sept. 12) pushed the Bulldogs to 3-2 overall this season. It’s difficult to sum up 11 seasons as head coach into a few sentences, but Weides expressed gratitude to all those who have contributed to what has transpired since he was promoted to his current role prior to the 2008 campaign.

Said Weides, “It’s nice to get that mark. The tough thing for me is I haven’t kicked a ball in a really long time. None of those wins resulted from me doing anything on the field. It’s many, many players over many years performing really well and helping to build our program. I think about 100 wins and I just start to think about all the memories throughout the years.”

The latest victory may not have been the cleanest during Weides’ tenure, but it likely ranks up there as one of the more exciting. Having already produced perhaps the highlight reel goal of the year, Arra put the game away with a hustle goal. After watching Carlos Ferrer’s sharply angled shot from right to left get deflected by the keeper, Arra raced to the ball and drilled it into the net from just a few yards away. Game over.

A native of Ennis, Ireland, Arra inspired both of the loudest roars of the night. He deserves extra credit for degree of difficulty on his goal in the 62nd minute. It didn’t even appear that Concordia was really threatening at the moment. Ferrer flicked a pass from right to left into the box. Arra readied himself and then successfully executed a bicycle kick to beat the keeper, who dove to his right. The game was suddenly knotted, 2-2.

Said Weides, “It was just a magnificent goal. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Added Arra, “In the moment, you can’t plan for those. It’s nothing you plan for. You see it with the professionals. It just happens. I’m not comparing myself. It just happens. You go to sleep dreaming of scoring goals like that.”

Concordia also got a header goal in the 49th minute by Carlos Orquiz, his first career goal. Ferrer assisted on all three host Bulldog goals. Each one was obviously crucial on an evening when Concordia faced deficits of 1-0 and 2-1. It wasn’t unlike the situation three days earlier at Kansas Wesleyan University when Concordia came back for a win by an identical 3-2 score.

On the other side, tough luck continues for McPherson (0-3-1), which still hasn’t won in 2018. Also nicknamed the Bulldogs, McPherson got a pair of goals from Chris Kelly (10’ | 58’). McPherson has a draw with 15th-ranked Bellevue on its record.

One of the only downers on this night was that Jack Bennett came up gimpy at the end of regulation and could not continue into overtime. In goal, freshman Callum Goldsmith saw the first action of his career. He never faced a shot. For the game, McPherson edged Concordia in shots, 16-13.

The Bulldogs will be back in Kansas for the second Saturday in a row. This time around Concordia will be at Friends University (2-2) in Wichita for a 2:30 p.m. CT kickoff. The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference member Falcons own one win over a GPAC opponent, a 3-1 decision at Midland.

Weides at 100

Sep. 13, 2018

He can laugh about it now. A first-time collegiate head coach back then, Jason Weides began preparing for Grace College of Indiana in what would be the second game of his tenure. The only problem – the Bulldogs were about to take on Grace University of Omaha.

Weides soon realized he was mistaken. It probably wouldn’t have mattered much anyway. Concordia trampled Grace, 15-0, for Weides’ first career victory. That happened almost exactly 10 years ago.

Says Weides, “Grace of Indiana was a good team and I first started to prepare for them for a day until I realized it was Grace out of Omaha. I kind of switched up preparation. I think our team showed up ready to go. It was one of those where it was the best way to start off a new tenure. Not only did we win, we won pretty emphatically. I think it was 7-0 after the first 20 or 25 minutes. I knew all the games weren’t going to go that way and there would be a lot of challenges along the way.”

Very few games have gone quite that way, but Weides has been on the right side of the ledger for a strong majority of the contests he’s presided over as head coach of Bulldog men’s soccer. In game No. 5 of season No. 11 in his coaching career, Weides celebrated win No. 100. The latest triumph came by a 3-2 score in overtime over McPherson College on Wednesday night (Sept. 12). Jack Arra emerged as the hero.

Said Arra afterwards, “We told the guys going into overtime that we need to win this today for our coach. His 100th win has to be today. Not Saturday, not next week, but today. And we wanted it to be on home turf.”

A 2002 Concordia graduate, Weides hadn’t planned on coaching as a profession. The Kearney native got a job as a graphic designer out of college. That was supposed to be his career and his life’s work. But the pull of coaching was too much for him to resist. He began assisting at his high school alma mater, Kearney High School, and coached an area club team, one his brother Jeff was a member of. Weides’ first taste of collegiate coaching came in 2005. Then Concordia head coach Art Busha had a sudden vacancy and wanted Weides to fill it.

Weides took a gamble and left his full-time graphic design job for a very part-time assistant role. Said Weides, “I decided to take the plunge and move here without much backup. I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll find a job in Lincoln as a graphic designer and I can do this part time on the side and that will be great.’ I did that for a couple years. I had a full-time job in Lincoln and was an assistant coach here at Concordia. That’s really when it kicked in and it was something I could see myself doing.”

Weides was still a young coach when Busha left the program after the 2007 season. By that time, Weides had been a three-year assistant. In a way, both sides were taking a flyer on each other. Weides was tabbed as the man to bring the program out of its string of below .500 seasons. But it wasn’t just about winning. Weides went about establishing a culture that aligned with his vision.

He wanted to build a program with the right people and right fits for the university. A 2018 graduate and native of Hong Kong, Toby Down took a chance on Concordia without even visiting the campus prior to enrolling in classes. Weides made the difference in Down’s decision.

“Weides called me almost every day and would ask how everything was and talk to my family,” Down said of the recruiting process. “It’s difficult to find someone on the same level as Weides in that he’s very competitive and at the same time, he wants to maintain that good appearance. He wants us to be good sportsmen and he wants us to be champions at the same time. With Weides, the goal is winning and being good people. It’s refreshing to see someone like Weides. This isn’t a professional team. We’re here to study and prepare for the future. Weides sets us up well for that.”

Down was rewarded for his decision, in terms of both wins and lifetime memories. He was a member of the winningest senior class in program history (48-23-10) and a key figure for the 2015 squad that tasted the sweetest victory of the Weides era and the program’s history to date. The ’15 Bulldogs went on a magical postseason run that saw them go on the road and wipe out each of the top three seeds during the GPAC tournament.

It culminated with an upset of perennial power Hastings in the conference tournament final. The Broncos are a rival within the GPAC that has often held an aura of invincibility. But on that night, it was Concordia that celebrated with the trophy and Weides who was doused by his players with ice cold water on a chilly November evening. Of the first 100 wins, none of them topped that one, although the GPAC semifinal shootout win at Midland that same postseason is another that goes in the unforgettable category.

However, Weides wants all the players who came before that moment to know that they had a hand in making it happen. That 4-13-1 record in 2009 was part of the process. Two years later, the program broke through with an 11-5-3 mark that included a perfect 8-0 home record. Win, lose or draw, there have been hundreds of players who have happily put in the blood, sweat and tears for Weides.

“They’re the reason why we’re in this position,” Weides said. “We’re building on the backs of the guys who have been here before. Some guys have been here and have had a lot of success and some guys were here before that success, but they were the ones who set us up for that. There are a lot of names who are instrumental in getting us to that point. Maybe they never lifted a trophy, but they were definitely a part of it.”

Micah Lehenbauer, an all-conference player and another piece of the 2017-18 senior class, left Concordia with plenty of admiration for his head coach. He provided some insight as to how Weides has been able to build a consistent winner. “I think the biggest thing about Coach Weides is he’s just very detail oriented,” Lehenbauer said. “He wants to get every little thing right. He’s going to address any problem that he can. I think that’s part of the reason we’ve been so successful. Whether it’s on a personal level or the team level, he wants to address these things and make sure we get it right down to a tee.”

The memorable wins, the relationships and the chance to impact young men in a long-lasting manner have made Weides’ career shift worth the gamble. Eleven seasons deep into his tenure as a head coach, Weides would seem to have a hard time seeing himself in another role. With 100 wins in hand, Weides is simply focused on nailing down No. 101.

Weides reflected on win No. 100 after Wednesday’s win. Said Weides, “It’s nice to get that mark. The tough thing for me is I haven’t kicked a ball in a really long time. None of those wins resulted from me doing anything on the field. It’s many, many players over many years performing really well and helping to build our program. I think about 100 wins and I just start to think about all the memories throughout the years.”

Bulldogs win another nailbiter

Sep. 15, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. – Make that three-straight wins by a margin of a single goal for the Concordia University men’s soccer team. Fresh off an overtime victory over McPherson College (Kan.), the Bulldogs got an 85th-minute goal to break the tie in a 4-3 triumph at Friends University (Kan.) on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 15). The goal output equaled a season high.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will now head into conference play at 4-2 overall. Concordia has claimed wins in the state of Kansas on back-to-back Saturdays.

“I’m pleased with the performance,” Weides said. “Though we conceded two goals in the first half, we did a pretty good job defensively shutting them down. I thought we limited a really good attacking team with some really good forwards. To hold them to eight shots is good. Certainly we’d like to be better at limiting the amount of goals we concede, but we responded at every moment.”

The two sides traded blows after Friends got on the board first in the 24th minute. Bulldog leads of 2-1 and 3-2 were erased by the Falcons (2-3), who took their chances well. The game was knotted at 3-3 throughout much of the second half – until Carlos Orquiz found the back of the net with less than six minutes showing on the clock.

Four different players scored goals for Concordia, continuing what has been a theme so far this season. The Bulldogs are a balanced squad featuring an array of players capable of scoring goals. On this particular day, Roger de la Villa, Konrad Sinu, Evan Hayden and Orquiz all got on the board.

“It makes it tough to defend us because there isn’t just one source of goals,” Weides said. “It’s not about shutting down one guy. When one guy maybe isn’t performing his best, someone else steps up. We feel like we have some depth in that area. We have guys who aren’t starting for us who are capable of being big-time players in those attacking positions.”

Weides commended a large portion of the roster after the victory. Garrett Perry made a critical play to save a shot off the line with the game tied in the second half. Beyond scoring his first career goal, Hayden was also instrumental in the team’s defensive efforts, along with teammates such as center back Angel Alvarez.

In goal, freshman Callum Goldsmith made his first career start with Jack Bennett sidelined because of an injury endured at the end of regulation in Wednesday’s win. Goldsmith was in goal for overtime of that victory. Said Weides, “I thought he stepped up and helped us out with some key punches late in the game.”

Concordia outshot Friends, 13-8. The Bulldogs continue to look to tighten up some of the defensive gaffes that have popped up now and then. Concordia has surrendered at least two goals in every game this season. On the plus side, the Bulldogs have scored three or more goals four times already in 2018.

Concordia will now wait a week to open up conference play next Saturday (Sept. 22) at Northwestern (3-3). The Bulldogs and Red Raiders met up twice last season. Concordia avenged a regular-season loss by defeating Northwestern in the GPAC semifinals.

Bulldogs ready for clash in Orange City

Sep. 20, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – Two teams that have perennially competed for spots near the top of the GPAC standings will go head-to-head on Saturday in Orange City, Iowa. The Concordia University men’s soccer team has waited a little bit longer than most to get conference play underway. The Bulldogs will be at Northwestern for a 5 p.m. CT kickoff. It will be a rematch of a 2017 GPAC semifinal battle.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad has been idle since a 4-3 win at Friends University (Kan.) on Sept. 15. Saturday’s action at Northwestern can be streamed live via the Red Raider Stretch Internet Portal.

Concordia rides a three-game win streak into the weekend. Each of those nonconference victories were decided by one-goal margins while challenged by foes from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs (4-2) trailed at some point in all three of those victories. Their offensive balance has been enough to come out more often than not. Five Concordia players have notched at least two goals this season, including three apiece from Jack Arra, David Carrasco and Konrad Sinu. Carlos Ferrer has piled up a team best five assists. The Bulldogs are averaging 2.67 goals per game (fourth in the GPAC).

The key now is for Concordia to eliminate some of its defensive gaffes. Last season’s squad the broke the program record for wins in a season (16) allowed only 16 goals over 20 games. So far this season, Bulldog opponents have found the back of the net 13 times through six games. Weides hopes senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett will soon return to the lineup. In his place, freshman Callum Goldsmith got his first career start as part of the win at Friends. No matter who is in goal, Concordia’s aim is to put its first clean sheet on the board.

Northwestern (5-3, 1-0 GPAC) has also won three games in a row. The Red Raiders opened up conference action on Wednesday with a 4-0 win over new GPAC member Jamestown. That victory came after a successful stay in California. Head coach Dan Swier’s squad earned a 3-2 victory over then 14th-ranked Marymount California University on Sept. 13. Five days earlier, Northwestern dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to No. 2 Baker University (Kan.). The Red Raiders possess a dangerous attacker in Tyler Limmer (45 career goals), named the GPAC Offensive Player of the Year. The Raiders have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 31-9 this season.

Coming up next week, the Bulldogs will travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to play Morningside on Wednesday, Sept. 26 before hosting Dordt on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Concordia-Northwestern play to 1-1 draw

Sep. 22, 2018

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Compelling battles have ensued in recent seasons when the Concordia University men’s soccer team and Northwestern have gotten together. The latest provided more of the same from a competitive standpoint. Though unable to hold a 1-0 halftime lead, the Bulldogs salvaged a 1-1 double overtime draw and a point in the conference standings in Saturday evening (Sept. 22)’s clash in Orange City, Iowa.

The result means that 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad now owns a four-game unbeaten streak. Concordia moved to 4-2-1 overall and to 0-0-1 in GPAC play.

“I was proud of the team. I thought they played well overall,” Weides said. “We still have yet to see our team hit on all cylinders, but there were some improvements throughout this game. Certainly were more positives to take away than negatives. There’s a lot to keep our head held high about it. In a way it felt like a loss because we had a lead and lost it, and I thought we played really well in overtime.”

Statistically, the Bulldogs dominated the 20 minutes of overtime. They outshot the Red Raiders (5-3-1, 1-0-1 GPAC), 7-2, and forced keeper Matt Scott to make a pair of saves. Carlos Ferrer and Jack Arra both put a shot on frame with a chance to knock in the golden goal.

A win would have been a real feather in the cap for Concordia. Northwestern had recently gone on the road to get a 3-2 victory over then 14th-ranked Marymount California University and then received votes in this week’s NAIA national poll. Assisted by Derek Eitzmann, Roger de la Villa found the back of the net in the 43rd minute for the night’s first goal. Just over 10 minutes later, the Red Raiders found the answer with a goal from Alex Schussman.

While the Bulldogs continue to search for their first clean sheet of 2018, they were able to eliminate some of the gaffes that gifted goals to opponents in previous outings. Concordia had allowed at least two goals in each of its first six games coming into the weekend.

“Northwestern has been scoring a lot of goals lately and been having success on the attack,” Weides said. “For us to limit them to three shots on goal is good. Any time we do that, we’re probably going to be in competition to win a game. I think we’re getting better at the little details. We need to make teams earn it.”

Because the Red Raiders put only three shots on goal, they did not test freshman goalkeeper Callum Goldsmith in a significant way. Goldsmith made his second start in a row in place of senior Jack Bennett, who continues to recover from injury. The Bulldogs won the overall shot count, 21-18. Star Northwestern forward Tyler Limmer, the reigning GPAC Offensive Player of the Week, managed four shots, but none on frame.

Another journey to western Iowa is forthcoming on Wednesday (Sept. 26) when the Bulldogs will take on Morningside (4-3-1, 2-0 GPAC) in Sioux City. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. CT. Last season’s meeting resulted in a 3-0 Concordia win in Seward.

Conference play heats up vs. Mustangs, Defenders

Sep. 24, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – After getting conference play started in last week’s only outing, the Concordia University men’s soccer team will play twice this week against GPAC competition. The Bulldogs got on the board with one point in the standings via their 1-1 double overtime draw at Northwestern on Sept. 22. According to the latest GPAC ratings, that battle was a matchup between the league’s second and third best squads.

This week
Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Morningside (4-3-1, 2-0), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29 vs. Dordt (5-3, 1-1), 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday night’s contest can be viewed live via Morningside’s YouTube channel. On Saturday, the Concordia Sports Network will have live coverage.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad enters the week at 4-2-1 overall (0-0-1 GPAC) and is 3-0-1 over its past four games. The unbeaten run has included three wins over opponents from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Concordia came away from last week’s GPAC opener feeling as though it missed an opportunity to knock off a Northwestern team that is receiving votes in the NAIA national poll. Over the two overtime periods, the Bulldogs outshot the Red Raiders, 7-2. Concordia’s lone goal was delivered by Roger de la Villa, assisted by Derek Eitzmann (first career assist).

A native of Barcelona, Spain, de la Villa is one of four Concordia players with exactly three goals (team high) this season. Others with three goals include Jack Arra, David Carrasco and Konrad Sinu. The Bulldogs rank fourth amongst GPAC teams with an average of 2.43 goals per game. Defensively, Concordia conceded a season low goal total at Northwestern (averages 3.56 goals per game). The Bulldogs continue to seek their first clean sheet of 2018.

In place of senior Jack Bennett, who continues to recover from injury, freshman Callum Goldsmith has started the past two games at goalkeeper. Goldsmith made his first collegiate appearance in the 3-2 overtime win over McPherson College (Kan.) on Sept. 12. Concordia has now won each of the three games Goldsmith has appeared in. He’s been credited with three saves. Bennett’s status this week remains questionable.

Neither Morningside nor Dordt appeared inside the top five of the teams listed in this week’s official GPAC rankings. The Mustangs have begun GPAC action by claiming wins over Presentation, 5-1, and over Mount Marty, 5-2. Morningside has a nearly even goal differential of plus-one (16-15). On the other hand, Dordt is fresh off a 2-0 home loss to Doane over the weekend. The Defenders also own a 5-1 conference victory over Presentation. Through eight games, Dordt has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 15-11.

A showdown with seventh-ranked Hastings is coming up at Bulldog Stadium next Wednesday, Oct. 3. Next week’s slate also includes a home game versus new GPAC member Presentation (soccer only) on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Concordia unable to recover from first-half deficit at Morningside

Sep. 26, 2018

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A pair of set-piece goals by host Morningside put the Concordia University men’s soccer team in a 2-0 hole. Despite a number of quality chances, the Bulldogs never did find the equalizer in what amounted to a 2-1 loss at Elwood Olsen Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa, late on Wednesday night (Sept. 26).

The latest result means 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will wait at least three more days to taste its first conference win of the season. Concordia slipped to 4-3-1 overall and to 0-1-1 in GPAC action.

“It was a disappointing result. We didn’t play our best, but I thought we had played well enough to get a result,” Weides said. “I think Morningside played quite well, but we didn’t allow them too many chances to score. Unfortunately we conceded two goals on set plays in the first half. That proved to be a big hill to overcome. I think we felt confident that we could overcome it. We saw the belief. We just fell a little short.”

At one point late in the game, it appeared the Bulldogs were about to even things up at 2-2, but a Mustang defender made one of the plays of the night by clearing the ball off the line. Concordia kept the pressure on into the final minute. One particular shot even had Morningside’s keeper diving into the post to make a save. It was just one of those nights.

The Mustangs (5-3-1, 3-0 GPAC) have yet to lose in conference play. They got their goals from Austin Lingle and Okan Goelge. They then held on to avenge a 3-0 loss at Concordia in 2017. The Bulldogs responded soon after Goelge’s goal by getting on the board with Konrad Sinu’s team leading fourth goal of the season. He was assisted by Matthew Ho.

“It’s one of those where we felt like we probably out-possessed them,” Weides said. “We had a lot of quality chances to score. At the end of the day, you have to have one more goal than they do.”

The Bulldogs will resume play at Saturday when they will be back home to host Dordt (5-4, 1-2 GPAC). Kickoff from Bulldog Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. CT. The Defenders fell by a 4-2 score at Jamestown on Wednesday. Concordia breezed to a 5-0 home win over Dordt in last season’s mid-October meeting.

Said Weides, “We’re going to have a tough, competitive league this year. This game shows it. I’m really looking forward to seeing how we respond on Saturday.”

Five different goal scorers power first GPAC win

Sep. 29, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – A 20th-minute goal for the visitors served as an early wakeup call for the Concordia University men’s soccer team. An answer came six minutes later and spurred the Bulldogs to a comfortable 5-1 victory over Dordt inside a misty and cool Bulldog Stadium on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 29). Five different Concordia players found the back of the net in the win.

It was the type of response 11th-year head coach Jason Weides had hoped for after a 2-1 loss at Morningside on Wednesday. Concordia has moved to 5-3-1 overall and to 1-1-1 in conference play.

“Dordt played really well those opening minutes and put a lot of pressure on us and forced us into some errors,” Weides said. “Ultimately I think our team needs to be a team that doesn’t respond once a goal happens. We need to respond before the whistle happens. Once we get there we’ll be a pretty good team. I was pleased with the response. We had a lot of guys contribute today.”

Balanced goal scoring has been a theme throughout the first nine games of the 2018 campaign. Garrett Perry (27’), Matthew Ho (29’), Jack Arra (48’), David Carrasco (52’) and Konrad Sinu (79’) all got on the board on Saturday. The tide really turned in the 27th minute when Dordt was whistled for a foul in the box. Suddenly, a 1-0 Defender lead had evaporated when Perry deposited the penalty kick into the back of the net.

That offensive flurry effectively demoralized a Dordt squad that came out of the gate with a lot of energy. During one stretch of just over 11 minutes early in the contest, the Defenders fired off six shots without the Bulldogs taking even one. One of those shots resulted in a goal for Gideon DeGraaf.

The rest of the way, Concordia played like a team determined not to remain winless within the conference.

“It was a good response for the team,” Carrasco said. “At halftime we had a talk about getting things done. We didn’t get the start that we wanted. We had to step up our mentality. We have to show that we want to win the games. I think it’s just a mentality. That’s what helped us coming out of halftime.”

Not only did Perry get the Bulldogs going with a PK goal, he also made one of the day’s highlight reel assists. From near the back right corner of the field, Perry lofted a ball 60 yards in the air that beautifully led Arra in behind the defense. Arra then slotted the ball over the head of a drawn-out keeper for a 3-1 advantage at the time.

For most of this season, goal scoring has not been a problem. What Concordia hopes to do is eliminate the little breakdowns that lead to scoring opportunities for opponents. The Bulldogs were masterful over the final 68 minutes on Saturday. During which, Dordt managed a grand total of four shots (10 for the game). Meanwhile, Concordia took 19 shots, including 11 on frame.

“You’ve seen a progression with Callum (Goldsmith) every game,” Weides said of the freshman goalkeeper. “He’s really growing with every experience of 90 minutes he’s getting. He’s getting better. He’s getting sharper. He’s given us an opportunity to win games.”

Next up is a clash with perennial GPAC powerhouse Hastings (7-2, 4-0 GPAC), winner of the 2016 NAIA national championship. The Bulldogs and Broncos have met each other in each of the last three GPAC tournament championship games. Concordia upset Hastings in the 2015 title game, winning by a 1-0 score.

“We need to come off stronger from the beginning,” Carrasco said. “It’s a big game. It’s one of those you’re always circling on the calendar. You always look forward to it. It’s here now.”

Hastings, Presentation to visit Bulldog Stadium in crucial week of GPAC play

Oct. 1, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – In terms of rankings, the Concordia University men’s soccer team has its biggest challenge coming up on Wednesday when sixth-ranked Hastings makes its way to Bulldog Stadium. Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will also host new GPAC soccer member Presentation on Saturday. The Bulldogs are fresh off their first win of the conference season – a dominant 5-1 decision over Dordt.

This week
Wednesday, Oct. 3 vs. No. 6 Hastings (7-2, 4-0), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6 vs. Presentation (0-10, 0-6), 8 p.m.

Both of this week’s games will be featured live on the Concordia Sports Network with Frank Greene calling the action. Although Wednesday’s match comes against a conference powerhouse, Weides is hoping to get his team to approach the game with the same process the program has regularly employed.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got to be at our best,” Weides said. “If we’re going to get results against the best teams in the conference and hold ourselves in that area, we’ve got to perform at our best. We have to be better in every area with the first being set plays. We’ve given up too many set piece goals recently. Every (conference) point is important to us and Wednesday’s points are just as important as this win (over Dordt).”

At 1-1-1 in conference play, Concordia (5-3-1 overall) has a long way to go with eight GPAC regular-season games remaining on the slate. This past Saturday’s performance was a good start in what was the team’s most dominant outing of the season. After getting down 1-0, five different Bulldogs found the back of the net to make it a comfortable victory over the Defenders. Concordia has been balanced offensively with its top three goal scorers each having either four or five goals this season. Konrad Sinu (five goals) leads the way with Jack Arra (four) and David Carrasco (four) close behind.

This week could see the return of senior Jack Bennett in goal. He continues to recover from an injury he suffered at the end of regulation in the 3-2 overtime win over McPherson College (Kan.) on Sept. 12. In his place, freshman Callum Goldsmith has started four-straight games. The Bulldogs have gone 2-1-1 in those contests. No matter who is at keeper, Concordia will give itself a better chance on Wednesday if it can carry over results like it had over the final 68 minutes against Dordt. During that stretch, the Defenders managed only four shots.

The two losses suffered this season by Hastings both came against top 25 opponents. Since a 3-2 defeat at No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan University on Sept. 15, the Broncos have cruised by their first four GPAC foes, winning by a combined total of 23-0. There are few goal scorers as dangerous as senior Daniel Whitehall, who has a Hastings program record 83 goals over 66 career games. The Broncos are adept in just about all facets. They have scored 37 goals and allowed only seven in 2018 for new head coach Tim Bohnenkamp.

Meanwhile, Presentation has found the going to be tough in its first season in the GPAC. The Saints have been outscored 40-3 over their six conference games. The Saints fell by a 1-0 score against of University of Mary on Monday (Oct. 1). They will now be off until Saturday’s game in Seward.

Conference play will continue next week with the Bulldogs playing at Doane on Wednesday, Oct. 10 before coming home to host Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday, Oct. 13.

Seven Bulldogs find back of net in blowout win

Oct. 6, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – Other than a first half goal drought of nearly 30 minutes, this one went about how the way the Concordia University men’s soccer team would have scripted it. Konrad Sinu put the Bulldogs up early and they eventually made it a runaway with an offensive surge in the second half. There were seven unique goal scorers for Concordia, which won 7-0 over new GPAC member Presentation College inside Bulldog Stadium on Saturday night (Oct. 7).

This performance marked a season high goal total for 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad. The Bulldogs pushed their records to 6-4-1 overall and to 2-2-1 inside the conference.

As much as Weides appreciated the goals, he also liked seeing his team record its first shutout of the campaign.

“We finally started to put away some goals,” Weides said. “It was good to have a lot of different guys score goals. It’s nice to see them come from a lot of different areas. A clean sheet is what you want every single time. We need more of those and I think there will be more to come.”

Though the Saints (0-12, 0-7 GPAC) have been overmatched in conference play, they did manage to stay within one goal for much of the first half. After Sinu scored in the eighth minute (assisted by Aries Fung), Concordia waited until the 37th minute to put away another goal. Presentation sprung a leak after halftime. The goal by Roger de la Villa (37’) was followed by scores from David Carrasco (51’), Carlos Ferrer (57’), Daniel Campbell (66’), Ryan LeTourneau (78’) and Miguel Munoz (87’).

This was really about taking care of business. It would have been easy to overlook an opponent that had allowed 56 goals over its first 11 games this fall. The Bulldogs did not allow an emotional letdown to happen after Wednesday’s loss to fourth-ranked Hastings.

“Just before the game, we said we were going to stay focused like it’s a normal game,” Sinu said. “Every three points matters. We just went and played Concordia-style soccer.”

Concordia outshot Presentation, 27-7, and used 16 players off the bench as the game was in hand. Five of the seven goals were produced by reserves. They helped make up for the absences of injured starters in goalkeeper Jack Bennett, outside back Garrett Perry and midfielder Joao Pedro Verissimo. Freshman Callum Goldsmith got another start at keeper. He was eventually relieved by Mickey Waldron. They combined to make four saves in preservation of the shutout.

Three Bulldogs notched two assists on the night: Carrasco, Fung and Josh Lindquist. They collaborated on a goal total that was the most for the program since an 11-0 win over Mount Marty on Oct. 8, 2016. It’s been an overall solid week for Concordia, which simply couldn’t dig out of a hole created by a rough first three minutes in Wednesday’s loss. The Bulldogs appeared focused out of the gate on Saturday.

“We really try not to focus on records in terms of our communication as coaches,” Weides said. “The reality is the game plan for this game isn’t any different than it was the last game or the game before that. At the core, we focus on our play and what we do.”

Conference play will resume on Wednesday when the Bulldogs take on rival Doane (1-7-1, 1-5 GPAC) at 7:15 p.m. CT in Crete. The lone GPAC victory for the Tigers came by a 2-0 decision at Dordt on Sept. 22. In last season’s matchup, Concordia toppled Doane, 2-1.

Concordia looks to get on roll in conference play

Oct. 9, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – At least based on the current GPAC standings, the Concordia University men’s soccer team has already played the top two teams in the conference, with losses in those games by one and two goal margins, respectively. Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides hopes that last week’s 7-0 rout of Presentation College will be the start of winning streak on the back half of the conference slate. The Bulldogs will be at Doane on Wednesday and then host Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.

This week
Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Doane (1-7-1, 1-5 GPAC)
Saturday, Oct. 13 vs. Dakota Wesleyan (4-7, 1-4 GPAC)

Wednesday’s game at Doane will be streamed live via YouTube. The contest on Saturday will be carried live via the Concordia Sports Network.

It was an overall solid week for Weides’ squad, which dropped a 2-0 decision to fourth-ranked Hastings and then throttled Presentation. Concordia (6-4-1, 2-2-1 GPAC) settled in against the high-powered Broncos after conceding two goals less than four minutes after the opening kickoff. The Bulldogs held Hastings to just four shots on goal as part of a stellar week of defensive work. In the process of earning the victory over the Saints, Concordia recorded its first clean sheet of the fall. It was a positive sign for a team that has conceded more goals than the 2017 squad did all season.

There were seven unique goal scorers for the Bulldogs in the win over Presentation: Konrad Sinu (8’), Roger de la Villa (37’), David Carrasco (51’), Carlos Ferrer (57’), Daniel Campbell (66’), Ryan LeTourneau (78’) and Miguel Munoz (87’). That display fit with a season long theme of balanced offensive production. Twelve Concordia players have notched at least one goal this season. The team leader is Sinu (six goals), who is followed closely by Carrasco (five), Jack Arra (four) and de la Villa (four). The team’s average of 2.73 goals per game ranks fourth best among GPAC squads.

In the GPAC ratings posted on NAIA.org on Monday, the Bulldogs checked in tied for third with Northwestern with Hastings and Morningside holding down the top two spots. With the addition of Jamestown and Presentation to the conference this season, the GPAC will now receive two automatic bids to men’s soccer national tournament. Automatic berths are awarded to the conference regular-season and tournament champions. If the same team wins both, then the second automatic bid goes to the squad that finishes second in the regular-season standings. At this point, it appears Concordia’s only shot to get to nationals will be to win the conference tournament.

The Bulldogs have engaged in many close battles with Doane in recent years, including a 2-1 Concordia win in 2017. The Tigers will enter Wednesday having lost four in a row since a 2-0 win at Dordt. Doane has managed to score only six goals over its nine games. Meanwhile, Dakota Wesleyan has dropped three-straight GPAC outings since a 4-1 win at Presentation. DWU has been outscored 31-10 through its first 11 games.

Concordia will be headed to the Dakotas next week to take on Mount Marty on Tuesday, Oct. 16 and then Jamestown, another new GPAC member, on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Ferrer shines in draw at Doane

Oct. 10, 2018

CRETE, Neb. – At least on paper, Wednesday night (Oct. 10)’s contest looked like a prime opportunity for the Concordia University men’s soccer team to pick up three points in the conference standings. But rarely have matchups with rival Doane resulted in comfortable victories. In the latest clash, the Bulldogs had to dig out of a 2-0 hole and eventually settled for a 2-2 double overtime draw in Crete.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides had reason to expect last week’s 7-0 win over Presentation College was the start of a GPAC win streak. The tie at Doane means Concordia is now 6-4-2 overall and 2-2-2 in conference play.

“It’s been a longstanding rivalry with a lot more close games than games that got out of hand,” Weides said. “Over the last 15 years in particular, we’ve played a lot of competitive games with Doane. Almost all have been decided by one goal or have been ties in overtime games. This year was no different. No one likes to lose to their neighbor and I think that’s why you see this being such a great rivalry. They played well to their credit.”

Even with the rivalry factor, the Bulldogs did not expect this result – and they certainly did not expect to find themselves down 2-0 in the opening half. Concordia had already faced those same circumstances at Morningside and last week against Hastings. Despite their trials, the Bulldogs had pulled even before the 48-minute mark when Carlos Ferrer found the back of the net.

It was a particularly active night for Ferrer, a junior from Chula Vista, Calif., and one of the team’s most dependable players. He put pressure on the Tigers (1-7-2, 1-5-1 GPAC) with five shots, including two on goal.

Said Weides, “(The result) was a shame because we had a couple of guys who really came to play today. Carlos Ferrer was on fire. It was probably the best performance of the year for him. He was a big-time threat that Doane struggled to hold.”

Junior Roger de la Villa got Concordia on the board with the goal it had to have in the 33rd minute. It gave hope for a comeback against a Tiger squad whose only win this season came at Dordt. This was a good effort from Doane, which was narrowly outshot, 15-14, by the Bulldogs. Over the 20 minutes of overtime, both squads managed just one shot apiece.

The Tiger goals were delivered by Rhett Dawson and Jesus Lopez as part of a nightmare start for the visitor. Concordia has scored the first goal in only two of its first six GPAC games. That’s something that will have to change for the Bulldogs to ascend into the territory they expect to be at in the league standings.

“We keep having to be in that response mode,” Weides said. “You can’t continue to concede goals early in matches and get behind by two goals before we really play. Once we can learn not to concede soft goals early in the game is when we can become a team that can compete with anybody. Until we get to that point, anybody can compete with us.”

The Bulldogs will be in Seward on Saturday to play at home for the fourth time in five outings when Dakota Wesleyan (4-7-1, 1-4-1 GPAC) makes its way to town. Kickoff is slated from 3:30 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. In the 2017 meeting that took place in Sioux Falls, S.D., Concordia breezed to a 5-0 victory.

De la Villa's golden goal supplies much needed victory

Oct. 13, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – After the draw at Doane on Wednesday, the Concordia University men’s soccer team knew the importance of protecting its home turf on Saturday (Oct. 13). For the fifth time in seven conference games, the Bulldogs conceded the contest’s first goal and again had to dig out of a hole. Fortunately for the Bulldogs, they were able to celebrate when Roger de la Villa ended the game, 2-1, with a golden goal to beat Dakota Wesleyan in the 93rd minute.

It had to be a bit of a sigh of relief for 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad, which has shown capable of competing with the top teams in the GPAC. Concordia is now 7-4-2 overall and 3-2-2 in conference play (fifth place).

“It was a little bit of the same story of conceding the first goal,” Weides said. “I think it was a little bit unfortunate in that their goal was off a free kick that came out on a deflection. Those things are going to happen. Were able to overcome it. I told the team that some days you’re not able to do exactly what you want. There’s an opponent trying to stop you from doing that. Dakota Wesleyan did a good job of doing that today.”

If nothing else, the Bulldogs have gotten solid results in games that have gone to overtime. They’re now 2-0-2 in those instances. The other victory also came at home – a 3-2 decision over McPherson College (Kan.) on Sept. 12. Jack Arra played the role of hero then. This time it was de la Villa, who played a nice ball from Carlos Ferrer to the left of the keeper while tucking it inside the left post.

“We’re kind of used to it,” de la Villa said of overtime. “We like to start quick and fast (in overtime) and finish the game as soon as we can. That was what happened today. The biggest thing is to be able to help the team win.”

It wasn’t always pretty, but they got it done. Statistically, the Bulldogs were the better team. They outshot Dakota Wesleyan, 20-7, and had a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks. Concordia came up dangerously close to taking a lead at halftime. On a play that occurred around the 38-minute mark, A Tiger defender cleared the ball off the goal line. Just seconds later, de la Villa’s well-struck shot was denied.

Dakota Wesleyan (4-8-1, 1-5-1 GPAC) certainly put a score into the Bulldogs. Julian Mole’s goal in the 59th minute gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Seven minutes later, Jack Arra chased down a rebound off a missed shot by Konrad Sinu and tapped in for the equalizer.

If Concordia learned anything over the past week, it’s that nothing can be taken for granted within conference play.

“Every game is going to be tough,” Weides said. “There are no slouches in the GPAC. Anybody is capable of forcing you into errors and making you have to play your best. I think when we’re at our best we can play with anybody. When we’re not at our best, anybody can compete with us. It’s disappointing that we didn’t walk away with six points this week, but there is nothing we can do to change that. We can only look forward.”

Callum Goldsmith got the start at keeper once again. He made a pair of saves. On the other side, Gaston Miteff collected six saves.

The Bulldogs now enter a stretch of three road games in a row. Up next is a clash at Mount Marty (2-5-2, 0-3-2 GPAC) at 3:15 p.m. CT on Tuesday. The Lancers were in action Saturday evening versus Midland. Last year’s meeting between Concordia and Mount Marty resulted in a 6-0 Bulldog victory.

Dakota swing on tap this week

Oct. 15, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – After playing four of its last five games at Bulldog Stadium, the Concordia University men’s soccer team will be logging plenty of miles on the road this week. Up first is Tuesday’s journey to Archery Fields in Yankton, S.D., for a clash at Mount Marty. Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will then have an overnight stay on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s contest at Jamestown, a new member of the GPAC.

This week
Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Mount Marty (2-6-2, 0-4-2), 3:15 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20 at Jamestown (5-7-1, 4-4), 3:30 p.m.

It should be noted that the 3:15 p.m. kickoff time at Mount Marty is an adjustment from the originally scheduled 5:30 start. Check Mount Marty’s Stretch Internet portal for a live stream. Jamestown will also have a live webcast on Saturday via its Stretch Internet site.

The Bulldogs (7-4-2, 3-2-2 GPAC) had hoped to secure six points in the GPAC standings in last week’s action. Instead, Concordia settled for a 2-2 double overtime draw at Doane and then escaped its home matchup versus Dakota Wesleyan with a 2-1 overtime victory. Weides’ squad is now 2-0-2 this season in overtime contests with both victories coming at home. The series against Doane has been incredibly competitive since Weides became head coach in 2008. During that timeframe, the Bulldogs are 4-4-2 versus Doane with seven of the 12 games going to overtime (13 total overtime periods).

Junior Roger de la Villa produced the golden goal in the 93rd minute to sink Dakota Wesleyan. The goal pulled de la Villa even with Konrad Sinu for a team high with six goals apiece on the season. Not far behind are Jack Arra (five) and David Carrasco (five). Junior Carlos Ferrer has also been a significant offensive contributor having been credited with a team high seven assists. Ferrer was instrumental in leading the Bulldogs back from a 2-0 deficit at Doane. Concordia has surrendered the first goal of the game in five of its first seven conference matches.

Mount Marty is certainly improved over last season when it went 0-9 in GPAC play and conceded 70 goals over its 15 games. The Lancers have managed to hold their first 10 opponents this season to a combined 27 goals, though they continue to hunt for their first GPAC win. Talles Ribeiro has tallied seven of Mount Marty’s 14 goals in 2018. New to this GPAC this season, Jamestown owns conference wins over Dordt, Midland, Dakota Wesleyan and Doane. In their four GPAC defeats, the Jimmies have been shut out in each instance. They have been outscored by their opponents, 30-18, over their first 13 games.

The Bulldogs will polish off the regular season next week by playing at Midland on Oct. 24 and by hosting Briar Cliff on Oct. 27. The final game will be senior day for the program.

De la Villa honored with GPAC weekly award

Oct. 16, 2018

GPAC release

SEWARD, Neb. – A game-winning goal as part of a 1-0-1 week for the Concordia University men’s soccer team helped land a conference award for junior Roger de la Villa. On Tuesday (Oct. 16), the league named de la Villa the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week. He joins David Carrasco (Sept. 11) as the second Bulldog to pick up the honor this season.

A native of Barcelona, Spain, de la Villa has been a welcome addition to head coach Jason Weides’ squad. He now shares the team lead with six goals this season after notching one apiece in last week’s games at Doane and versus Dakota Wesleyan. De la Villa’s goal in the 93rd minute lifted Concordia to a 2-1 overtime win over Dakota Wesleyan. He currently ranks in a tie for 13th on the GPAC goals leaderboard.

De la Villa has recorded one goal in three-straight games. He also has one assist this season. He and the Bulldogs (7-4-2, 3-2-2 GPAC) are back in action today (Oct. 16) at Mount Marty (2-6-2, 0-4-2 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 3:15 p.m. CT from Yankton, S.D.

GPAC unbeaten streak moves to four with win at Mount Marty

Oct. 16, 2018

YANKTON, S.D. – Another first-half deficit entered into the circumstances faced by the Concordia University men’s soccer team in its latest outing within the GPAC. The Bulldogs regrouped by putting the final three goals of the game on the board in a 3-1 win at Mount Marty on a rare Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 16) affair. The match took place at National Field Archery Association Headquarters in Yankton, S.D.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad is now 3-0-1 over its last four games and has improved to 8-4-2 overall and to 4-2-2 in the GPAC. With three games remaining in the regular season, Concordia still has a shot at a top-four league finish and the right to host a quarterfinal game in the GPAC tournament.

“The good news is that our team is more than one player, it’s more than 11 players,” Weides said. “We went into the bench early in the first half and asked some guys to help. Those guys made a difference. I was really pleased to see the impact of how those players off the bench helped us change things. Sometimes when things aren’t going well, you have to find some guys who can make that impact. I think that’s the name of the story today.”

The Bulldogs have conceded the game’s first goal now in six of their eight conference contests. Fortunately, Concordia has come back to win or tie in four of those instances. Tuesday became the latest example. Sophomore Joao Pedro Verissimo, who has battled injury of late, returned to the field and leveled the score, 1-1, on a penalty kick goal in the 44th minute.

The hope was that the Verissimo goal was about to open up the floodgates, but the next goal did not come until roughly 30 minutes later when junior Matthew Ho found the back of the net. To make for some breathing room, freshman Carlos Orquiz added the game’s final goal in the 84th minute. It had been a tight game on the scoreboard despite a final shot advantage of 31-14 for the Bulldogs. Roger de la Villa and Carlos Ferrer were both credited with assists.

To help make the victory possible, Caleb Goldsmith, Miguel Munoz and Kevin Sanchez also provided solid minutes off the bench. Their efforts were needed to overcome an improved Lancer squad that has been much more competitive in 2018. Mount Marty (2-7-2, 0-5-2 GPAC) entered the game having given up 27 goals over 10 games. It conceded 70 goals in 2017.

In some ways, Concordia is still trying to put everything together. Considering the team’s three-straight appearances in the GPAC tournament championship game, there’s still hope of peeking late this season.

“I think we’re still figuring ourselves out. We’ll get there,” Weides said. “The teams we have upcoming will be great challenges and teams that we’re battling with for position. At this point in the season we’re certainly disappointed in our standing. We really have the aspirations and the ability to be top two in the conference. We’ve had some opportunities where we dropped the ball. We can’t go backwards and change things. We’re not going to be exactly where we wanted to be come playoff time, but we can still position ourselves to succeed.”

The Bulldogs will have another journey up north this weekend when they play new GPAC member Jamestown (5-7-1, 4-4 GPAC) at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. Concordia will leave Friday morning in preparation for the journey of more than eight hours.

Late lead squandered, Bulldogs draw at Jamestown

Oct. 20, 2018

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – This was a tie that stings. Head coach Jason Weides went so far as to say that he would have been perfectly pleased with his team’s performance if this were a game that had ended after 89 minutes and 40 seconds. But with 16 ticks left in regulation, host Jamestown found the equalizer in a game that ended with a 1-1 draw in double overtime on Saturday (Oct. 20).

The late Jimmie goal marred what was otherwise a solid performance from the Concordia University men’s soccer team. Weides’ squad picked up one point in the conference standings and moved to 8-4-3 overall and to 4-2-3 in GPAC play.

“It’s frustrating. It’s a shame the game isn’t 89 minutes and 40 seconds because we played a really good first 89 minutes and 40 seconds,” Weides said. “They had almost zero chances to score throughout that game. Unfortunately they had one with 16 seconds left on a long throw in and they took that chance. We had really good opportunities in overtime but weren’t able to convert. I thought we performed really well throughout the game.”

Jamestown (6-7-2, 5-4-1 GPAC), a new GPAC member, managed only six shots for the entire 110 minutes. On the other hand, the Bulldogs fired 12 shots with nearly half of them coming from junior Carlos Ferrer (five). Ferrer got his team out to a rousing start with a goal less than a minute-and-a-half after kickoff. It looked like it would be a fruitful journey north, but Concordia never could put away a second goal.

That opened the door just enough for Jamestown, which entered the day averaging 1.5 goals per game. The goal that necessitated overtime was put forth by Ben Prochniak. The Bulldogs are no stranger to overtimes having now faced such circumstances five times this season (eight total overtime periods). They are 2-0-3 in those contests.

On the positive side, Concordia is unbeaten over its last five outings (3-0-2) and Saturday’s performance appeared to be a step up from recent showings.

Said Weides, “I thought we really controlled the game. It’s not that we dropped points against a poor team. Jamestown is a solid team. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t defend a throw in with 16 seconds left well enough.”

The Bulldogs peppered Jamestown with four shots during the second overtime. A Matthew Ho shot in the 103rd minute was saved by Jimmie keeper Jake Askew. Jamestown was held to one shot over the 20 minutes of overtime action.

Senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett, who has been battling injury since coming out of the win over McPherson College (Kan.) on Sept. 12, returned to the lineup. He was credited with three saves. After Ferrer, the team’s next most active attacker was Roger de la Villa, who took three shots.

As of Saturday evening, the entire GPAC scoreboard had not yet been finalized, but Concordia continues to jockey for seeding for the conference tournament. The Bulldogs still have a mathematical chance of a top four seed that would give them the right to host in the quarterfinal round. Up next is Wednesday’s trip to Fremont for a 7:30 p.m. CT kickoff at Midland (9-6, 6-2 GPAC).

Bulldogs looking for strong finish to regular season

Oct. 23, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer team already knows it will be playing in the GPAC tournament that begins with the quarterfinals on Thursday, Nov. 1. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Bulldogs still have a mathematical shot to host in that opening round, but they need to ramp things up this week. Concordia (8-4-3, 4-2-3 GPAC) is getting set to play two opponents currently above it in the GPAC standings.

This week
Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Midland (9-7, 6-3), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27 vs. Briar Cliff (8-5-2, 5-2-1), 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday’s game can be streamed live via Midland’s Stretch Internet portal. Then on Saturday, the Concordia Sports Network will have coverage.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will have the luxury of remaining in Nebraska this week after venturing to Yankton, S.D., for a 3-1 win over Mount Marty on Oct. 16 and then to Jamestown, N.D., for a 1-1 double overtime draw at Jamestown on Oct. 20. The Bulldogs came within an eyelash of making it a 2-0 week. A 1-0 lead at Jamestown fell by the wayside with 16 seconds left in regulation when the Jimmies found the back of the net off a throw in.

A win at Jamestown would have gotten Concordia closer to extending an active run of seven-straight seasons with at least 10 overall victories. Since the beginning of the 2011 season when that streak began, the Bulldogs have put together a combined overall mark of 88-49-16. The apex of that run to this point was the GPAC championship game upset of Hastings in 2015. The run of success has pushed Weides to 105 career head coaching wins. Concordia has reached the conference title game three seasons in a row.

It will be senior day on Saturday for the program. The most prominent seniors include starters Angel Alvarez, Jack Bennett, Derek Eitzmann and Aries Fung. Together, those four have combined to play in 206 collegiate games: Fung (66), Alvarez (65), Eitzmann (42) and Bennett (33). They have helped the program to a combined record of 46-21-9 since the start of the 2015 campaign. Bennett (second team) and Alvarez (honorable mention) earned All-GPAC accolades last season. Among the seniors, Jack Arra is the leading goal scorer with five goals.

Midland has perennially been a top three or four team in the league standings. The Warriors got out to a 6-1 league record before dropping games last week at No. 4 Hastings, 4-0, and versus Briar Cliff, 2-0. Behind Robert Wiseman (16 goals), Midland ranks 21st nationally in goals scored per game (3.19). In last season’s meeting, the Bulldogs topped the Warriors, 2-1, in double overtime. Meanwhile, Briar Cliff is currently one point up on Concordia in the GPAC standings. The Chargers have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 34-16. Top goal scorer Prichard Sibanda (26 goals in 2017) has notched six goals this season.

Once this week is settled, the Bulldogs will try to make another postseason push. The GPAC quarterfinals on Nov. 1 will be followed by the semifinals on Nov. 6 and the championship game on Nov. 9. Concordia hosted a quarterfinal contest in both 2016 and 2017.

Bulldogs pick up key GPAC road win

Oct. 25, 2018

FREMONT, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer team felt like it let one get away last week at Jamestown. Not this time. In a renewal of their rivalry with nearby Midland, the Bulldogs actually notched the game’s first goal and then added a late one for good measure. Concordia emerged from a late Wednesday night (Oct. 24) in Fremont with a 3-1 victory.

The win keeps 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad right in the hunt for a top-four seed in the GPAC tournament that begins next week. The Bulldogs have moved to 9-4-3 overall and to 5-2-3 in conference play (currently tied for fifth).

“It was a solid performance,” Weides said. “I thought the guys defended well. Midland has a very narrow field so you know you’re going to have to defend a lot of set plays and throw-ins. We absorbed a lot of pressure with how Midland played very directly. Each and every time we seemed to stand up to the challenge. We did quite well defensively.”

The first 20 minutes or so may have been a bit rough on the eyes from an attacking standpoint, but Concordia eventually settled in. It helped that it limited the Warriors to just a single shot during a scoreless first half. Then 12 minutes into the second half, the Bulldogs cracked the scoreboard with a goal by Carlos Ferrer that drew rave reviews from Weides. Ferrer knocked it home off a volley from Derek Eitzmann.

But it could never just be that easy. Robert Wiseman brought Midland even with a goal less than four minutes later. Concordia pressed back down on the accelerator. A ball that ping-ponged around the box in the 66th minute trickled into the goal. Credit was given to Carlos Orquiz. The Bulldogs had to sweat out a one-goal lead until the 87th minute. A free kick into the box found the noggin of Evan Hayden, who headed the ball to David Carrasco, who then tapped the ball in from six yards out.

Those goals stood up on a night when both teams managed only eight shots apiece. When the dust settled, Weides called it a good “top-to-bottom” performance. It kept Midland (9-8, 6-4 GPAC) reeling with its third loss in a row.

Perhaps it’s the beginning of a patented late season run for Weides’ crew. Said Weides, “We’ve been really close in a lot of situations. Though we have a decent record, we’re still better than our record shows. We are taking steps closer to what we’re capable of. I still think we’re capable of shutting good teams out. Ultimately, if we’re going to accomplish our goal, we’re going to have to have some clean sheets.”

Since a 2-0 loss to fourth-ranked Hastings on Oct. 3, Concordia has gone 4-0-2 in conference play. A win in the regular-season finale would guarantee the opportunity to host in the conference quarterfinals.

The Bulldogs will conclude the regular season on Saturday when Briar Cliff (9-5-2, 6-2-1 GPAC) comes to town for a 3:30 p.m. CT kickoff. It will be senior day for Concordia, which will honor a senior group that includes past All-GPAC honorees such as Angel Alvarez and Jack Bennett. The Chargers currently possess one more conference point (19-18) than Concordia.

Bulldogs to host GPAC quarterfinal for third year in a row

Oct. 28, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer program is getting accustomed to earning top four seeds in the conference. The Bulldogs are now getting set to host a GPAC tournament quarterfinal game for the third year in a row. Fourth-seeded Concordia will welcome fifth-seeded Midland to Bulldog Stadium for a 7 p.m. CT kickoff on Thursday for the opening round of the postseason. Pairings were set on Sunday with the close of the regular season.

Thursday’s game can be streamed live via the Concordia Sports Network.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will enter the conference tournament with positive vibes after picking up wins last week at Midland, 3-1, and at home in double overtime over Briar Cliff, 2-1. Had the Bulldogs come away with a tie or loss in either of those contests, they would be going on the road on Thursday. Thus, junior Roger de la Villa’s second golden goal of the season carried added importance. Concordia finished the regular season by going 5-0-2 over its final seven games.

Based on recent action, there is certainly a possibility of a PK shootout being necessary to decide the Bulldogs’ GPAC tournament fate. Concordia has gone to overtime in four of its last six games and in six contests overall this season (10 total overtime periods). It is 3-0-3 in those instances. The latest overtime victory pushed the Bulldogs’ season win count to 10, marking the eighth-consecutive season that the program has reached double figures. Since the start of 2011, Weides has guided the program to a combined overall record of 90-49-16.

Through its 17 regular season games, Concordia outscored its opponents, 43-26. With a two-goal effort versus Briar Cliff, de la Villa took sole possession of the team lead with eight goals on the season. Defensively, the Bulldogs are still looking to tighten things up after recording just one shutout to this point. Senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett made 12 saves in what was a near shutout of Briar Cliff. Bennett has been on the roster for each of the program’s three trips in a row to the GPAC championship game (title in 2015).

In order to make it four in a row, Concordia will first have to get by the rival Warriors. Midland halted a three-game losing streak by defeating Dordt, 4-2, in its regular-season finale. Led by Robert Wiseman (18 goals), the Warriors have averaged more than three goals per game (56 in 18 games). The Bulldogs got past Midland in the GPAC semifinals in both 2015 and 2016 in games that were played in Fremont.

Thursday’s winner will advance to play against either top-seeded Hastings or eighth-seeded Doane in the GPAC semifinals on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The highest seeds host in each round.

2018 GPAC Men’s Soccer Tournament

Thursday, Nov. 1 – Quarterfinals
No. 8 Doane (4-8-2, 4-6-1) at No. 1 Hastings (14-2, 11-0), 7 p.m.
No. 5 Midland (10-8, 7-4) at No. 4 Concordia (10-4-3, 6-2-3), 7 p.m.
No. 6 Northwestern (10-6-2, 6-3-2) at No. 3 Briar Cliff (10-6-2, 7-3-1), 7 p.m.
No. 7 Jamestown (6-7-2, 5-4-1) at No. 2 Morningside (11-5-1, 9-2), 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Semifinals
No. 1/8 vs. No. 4/5, time TBA
No. 3/6 vs. No. 2/7, time TBA

Friday, Nov. 9 – Championship
Time TBA

Bennett, Bulldogs live to fight another day in GPAC postseason

Nov. 1, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – It just feels different when you get into a win-or-go-home atmosphere that comes with playoff time. The anxiety and tension multiplied inside Bulldog Stadium when Thursday night (Nov. 1)’s GPAC quarterfinal tilt between the Concordia University men’s soccer team and Midland went to a penalty kick shootout. In the end, senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett came up with the save that clinched the game and another postseason celebration.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ program has now advanced to at least the GPAC semifinals in five-straight seasons. The Bulldogs (10-4-4) got the better of the Warriors in the shootout, 4-3.

“When it gets to that, you know anything can happen,” Weides said. “You put up 10 shooters and the reality is that all 10 could miss and all 10 could make. Regardless of their quality, it just comes down to the finest of margins when you get in a shootout. On one hand it’s really fun and exciting. On the other hand it’s great if you win and really demoralizing if you lose. Ultimately it was a great game between two good teams. We were fortunate enough to walk away with it.”

Fans of the Bulldogs have gotten their money’s worth of late. This marked the fifth time in Concordia’s last seven outings that it has gone to overtime. With the game locked in a stalemate after 110 minutes, a PK shootout had to settle it. Three years earlier, the Bulldogs got past Midland in the GPAC semifinals in a shootout, 4-3. Weides didn’t mind seeing history repeat itself.

In the latest shootout, Joao Pedro Verissimo, Carlos Orquiz, Carlos Ferrer and David Carrasco each converted their PK’s. That meant it all came down to Midland shooter and leading goal scorer Robert Wiseman versus Bennett. With a dive to his left, Bennett made the deflection, sending him and his teammates into a jubilant frenzy.

“It’s my first time in this situation in my whole career, actually,” Ferrer said. “It’s definitely different, very different, but we have the quality to put the goals into the back of the net. We knew Jack was going to stop at least two. We just had to be confident we’d put it in the back of the net.”

In a game that featured a total of 19 shots (11-8 Concordia advantage), the goalkeepers faced their biggest challenges in the shootout. All of the nerve-racking moments late in the evening came after the Bulldogs let a 1-0 lead slip through their fingers. Ferrer had provided that advantage with a goal in the 24th minute after the Warrior keeper had mistakenly played the ball directly to him in the box.

Midland (10-8-1) had hoped to avenge a 3-1 home loss to Concordia that occurred on Oct. 24. The lone Warrior goal was delivered by Cesar Cuellar in the 55th minute. It was one of the few serious attacking threats made by Midland, which registered just two shots on goal.

As his been the case for the fifth year in a row, a GPAC tournament title for the Bulldogs will have to go through conference powerhouse Hastings (15-2), which blew out Doane, 7-0, in another conference quarterfinal match on Thursday. Concordia and Hastings had met in the GPAC championship game in each of the previous three years. The Bulldogs will be an underdog as usual, but they always give the Broncos their best shot.

“It’s much different,” Ferrer said of the playing in the postseason. “The level you play at just becomes faster. The players become stronger. It’s always a good challenge. We all want this.”

The GPAC semifinal clash with fifth-ranked Hastings will be staged at Lloyd Wilson Field with a kickoff time of 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Another Concordia-Hastings postseason matchup looms Tuesday

Nov. 2, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – It’s an understatement to say that the men’s soccer programs at Concordia and Hastings are familiar with each other. They are now getting set to go head-to-head in GPAC postseason action for the fifth year in a row. The Bulldogs and Broncos will tussle in the conference semifinals beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday (Nov. 6).

Hastings will provide a live webcast of the contest via its Stretch Internet portal. The game will be staged at Lloyd Wilson Field on the Hastings campus.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides has now led his program to at least the GPAC semifinals for the fifth-straight season. Fourth-seeded Concordia kept hopes of a fourth-straight conference championship game appearance alive by getting past fifth-seeded Midland in penalty kicks, 4-3, following a 1-1 stalemate after 110 minutes of action inside Bulldog Stadium on Thursday night. The shootout came down to Warrior leading goal scorer Robert Wiseman versus Concordia keeper Jack Bennett, who dove to his left and made the game-clinching save.

The Bulldogs (10-4-4) have been living on the edge for the past month with five of their last seven games going to overtime. However, they have not suffered a loss since their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of the GPAC champion Broncos on Oct. 3. A crucial pair of wins in the final week of the regular season gave Concordia the opportunity to host in the GPAC quarterfinals. It wasn’t without drama, but the Bulldogs have made it here with the help of Carlos Ferrer, who achieved a new single-season career high with his sixth goal coming on Wednesday. He needs one more assist to equal a program single-season record.

Concordia will have to get out to a better start than it did the first time it played Hastings. The Broncos (15-2) got two quick goals and then coasted to victory. The 2-0 final was actually the tightest contest Hastings has had this season within conference play. Head coach Tim Bohnenkamp’s squad had little trouble getting out of the quarterfinal round. It took care of eighth-seeded Doane, 7-0. The Broncos have outscored their opponents 68-8 and are led by prolific goal scorer Daniel Whitehall (90 career goals).

In the previous four years of Concordia-Hastings get togethers in the conference tournament, each meeting has been decided by a margin of two goals or less with three of them being one-goal decisions. After suffering an overtime defeat at Hastings in the semifinals in 2014, the Bulldogs upset the Broncos 1-0 the following year in the championship.

Concordia-Hastings GPAC tournament meetings, previous four years
2017 – Hastings won, 2-1 (championship)
2016 – Hastings won, 3-1 (championship)
2015 – Concordia won, 1-0 (championship)
2014 – Hastings won, 2-1 – OT (semifinals)

Tuesday’s winner will advance to the GPAC championship game and take on either second-seeded Morningside or third-seeded Briar Cliff on Friday, Nov. 9.

2018 GPAC Men’s Soccer Tournament

Thursday, Nov. 1 – Quarterfinals
No. 1 Hastings 7, No. 8 Doane 0
No. 4 Concordia 1, No. 5 Midland 1 (Concordia advances on PK’s)
No. 3 Briar Cliff 2, No. 6 Northwestern 1 (OT)
No. 2 Morningside 2, No. 7 Jamestown 0

Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Semifinals
No. 4 Concordia (10-4-4) at No. 1 Hastings (15-2), 7 p.m.
No. 3 Briar Cliff (11-6-2) at No. 2 Morningside (12-5-1), 7 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 9 – Championship
Time TBA

Bulldogs fall at Hastings in GPAC semifinals

Nov. 6, 2018

HASTINGS, Neb. – For more than 43 minutes of action, the Concordia University men’s soccer team survived a series of corner kicks and a few close calls in what had been a scoreless game. It would have been a win to get to the locker room with a stalemate, but Daniel Whitehall found the back of the net in the 44th minute. That score spurred fifth-ranked Hastings to a 3-0 victory in the GPAC tournament semifinals at Lloyd Wilson Field on Tuesday night (Nov. 6).

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ program had hoped to advance to the GPAC championship game for would have been the fourth year in a row. Instead, the Bulldogs now enter the offseason with a final overall record of 10-5-4.

“We played a pretty good first half but unfortunately we conceded the goal right before half,” Weides said. “It was tough to have that happen at that moment. We certainly surrendered too many corners and Hastings is a really good team in those situations. On our attacking end, we didn’t create enough shots. We knew we had to do a better job of testing their keeper. We were just kind of stuck box-to-box and weren’t quite as dangerous as we have been previously.

“It’s disappointing because we felt like we were capable of coming here and doing the job and having a chance to play for a championship. We came up short against a very good team.”

The latest tussle with the rival Broncos (16-2) certainly got started better than the meeting that took place inside Bulldog Stadium on Oct. 3. In that instance, Hastings put two goals away in the first four minutes and cruised to a 2-0 win. On Tuesday, the Broncos managed only one shot through the opening 14 minutes before the flurry of corner kicks ensued.

In his final game as a Bulldog, senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett gave a good account of himself. He made six saves and also helped thwart chances on many of the 15 corner kicks by Hastings. Bennett was one of three players eventually sent off early. The game ended with Concordia trying to play nine versus 10.

Hastings put the game away by getting a 53rd minute goal from Jonathan Lopez and an 81st minute goal from Fernando Lisboa. On the flip side, all three of the Bulldog shots on goal were denied by Bronco keeper Kieran Harrison. One of theme was particularly noteworthy. Just prior to the 60-minute mark, Harrison made a leaping snare of a header that was put on frame by David Carrasco.

In the end, Concordia had its season ended by Hastings for the fourth time in five years. The Bulldogs were unable to duplicate the 1-0 upset they celebrated at Lloyd Wilson Field on the night of the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game.

At this point in time, some of the near misses are what hurt. Despite some key departures via graduation from the 2017 squad, Weides felt like his team had the ingredients to finish higher than the No. 4 seed that it settled in as at the 2018 GPAC tournament. This was a season in which Concordia seemed to make it a close game no matter the level of its competition. It even owns a road win over a Kansas Wesleyan University squad now ranked 21st nationally.

“We did not live up to all the expectations we set for ourselves,” Weides said. “Yeah we lost some key players from last year’s team, but we felt like we were capable of doing as much, if not more. We had some stumbles here and there, but we were really in every game. This team competed with the top 25 all season. At this cycle in the program, we go into every year wanting more.”

Seniors in Bennett, Angel Alvarez, Jack Arra, Derek Eitzmann, Aries Fung saw action while donning the Bulldog kit for the final time on Tuesday. Said Weides, “I’m really proud of the six seniors. They have been big parts of our program for the last four years and I’m thankful for having the opportunity to coach them.”

Five Bulldogs recognized on GPAC men's soccer teams

Nov. 12, 2018

GPAC release

Second Team
Angel Alvarez
Jack Bennett
Carlos Ferrer
Roger de la Villa
Honorable Mention
Matthew Ho

SEWARD, Neb. – Four Bulldogs earned second team All-GPAC accolades as part of the postseason awards haul for the Concordia University men’s soccer program. Landing on the second team were seniors Angel Alvarez and Jack Bennett and juniors Carlos Ferrer and Roger de la Villa. Junior Matthew Ho also garnered honorable mention for a 2018 squad that went 10-5-4 overall and advanced to the GPAC tournament semifinals.

Alvarez bumped up to the second team this year after being tabbed an honorable mention selection last season as a junior. The native of Yuma, Ariz., has been a central figure on the back line. He started all 19 games at center back this fall an played in 69 games during his Bulldog career. He notched his only career goal in 2015 as part of the season that saw Concordia win the GPAC tournament title.

Bennett, who hails from Oxford, England, has now been named second team all-conference in back-to-back years. He received such accolades this year despite missing eight games due to injury. In the 11 starts he made, Bennett produced 47 saves, a goals against average of 1.561 and a save percentage of .723. In his career, Bennett earned 20 wins and seven shutouts. The highlight of his senior campaign was a save that clinched the penalty kick shootout over Midland in the GPAC quarterfinals.

Ferrer may have been the team’s overall most valuable player in 2018. The Tijuana, Mexico, native netted six goals and topped the team with nine assists, one shy of a program single-season record. Ferrer has collected some form of all-conference recognition each season having also been named honorable mention as a freshman and second team as a sophomore. A three-year starter, Ferrer has recorded 15 goals and 16 assists over 59 career games with the Bulldogs.

A transfer from Marshalltown Community College (Iowa), de la Villa provided another goal scoring option this fall. He topped the team with eight goals and also added a pair of assists. De la Villa supplied the golden goal in overtime wins over both Dakota Wesleyan and Briar Cliff. He played in all 19 games this season, starting 18.

A native of New Territories, Hong Kong, Ho started 15 games as a dependable player for head coach Jason Weides. He made his two goals count. Both of them were game winners. He also chipped in with three assists. An impact player from the moment of his arrival, Ho has seen action in 56 games and has notched four goals and seven assists in his career.

Men's soccer collects United Soccer Coaches academic honor

Nov. 28, 2018

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer program has again been named a recipient of the United Soccer Coaches College Men’s Team Academic Award, as announced on Oct. 4. The honor was earned based upon performance in the classroom during the 2017-18 academic year. Head coach Jason Weides’ team also earned NAIA Scholar-Team status last season after posting a collective GPA of 3.14. The program was represented in 2017-18 by a pair of NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

United Soccer Coaches (formerly the NSCAA) announced the Team Academic Award Winners at the high school and college levels to recognize exemplary performance in the classroom during the 2017-18 academic year. A total of 824 collegiate teams (311 men, 513 women) earned the Team Academic Award, including 215 schools who had both their men's and women's programs among the recipients.

United Soccer Coaches annually celebrates the academic achievements of high school and college soccer teams whose student-athletes collectively demonstrate a commitment to excellence in their studies over the course of a full school year. College Team Academic Award recipients are active members of the United Soccer Coaches College Services Program with a composite grade point of average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for all players on the roster.

Live-on-the-edge Bulldogs proved capable of competing with top teams in '18

Nov. 29, 2018

At the very least, it’s fair to say that the 2018 Concordia University men’s soccer season provided plenty of entertainment. Seven games went to overtime (12 total overtime periods) and 12 contests were either decided by a single-goal margin or ended in draws. A squad with a flair for the dramatic even triumphed in a penalty kick shootout in the GPAC quarterfinals.

It was a season unlike any other for a program guided by Jason Weides, who completed his 11th season as head coach. The Bulldogs may not have advanced to the national tournament as hoped, but they effectively retooled after letting go of an accomplished 2017-18 senior class.

“We were in every game. We were competitive with every single team we played, regardless of their ranking,” Weides said. “We played a team like Bellevue, who went undefeated until nationals, and we had a lead. Unfortunately we surrendered a lead late in the game. It just lets us know that we can play with anybody in the country. We were just a couple moments away from having a really remarkable season.”

The campaign ultimately ended with a 3-0 loss at fifth-ranked Hastings in the GPAC semifinals. That defeat snapped a string of three-straight appearances in the GPAC postseason championship game. On the plus side, Concordia managed to notch at least 10 wins for the eighth season in a row while earning the right to host a GPAC quarterfinal match for the third-consecutive year.

That quarterfinal clash went down as a classic that will likely never be forgotten by the coaches and players involved. Unable to hold a 1-0 lead supplied by a goal from star Carlos Ferrer, the Bulldogs and rival Midland needed penalty kicks to decide who would move on. Concordia got the upper hand in PK’s, 4-3, with senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett making the clinching save that set the home team into a state of celebration.

“It was fun because you don’t see those very often,” Weides said. “It was the second one I’ve been part of as a coach and I think it’s the second one we’ve had in our entire program’s history. The good news is our seniors had been through that once before (2015 semifinals at Midland). I’m sure that helped us a little bit. Those situations are tough. It can really go anyway. You can have great players miss or make it. It was fun to see it go our way.”

While there was some disappointment over not securing one of the GPAC’s two automatic berths to the national tournament, all was not lost. The Bulldogs entered the final week of the regular season as somewhat of a longshot to lock up a top four seed for the conference tournament. However, they impressively won at Midland, 3-1, and then got past Briar Cliff, 2-1, in double overtime in the regular-season finale.

Considering the way the season had gone, it seemed fitting that the senior day affair would go more than 90 minutes. A 90th-minute equalizer by Briar Cliff could have devastated Concordia mentally, but it did not. With only 33 seconds left in double overtime, Roger de la Villa put away his second golden goal of the season. Had the outcome gone the other way, the Bulldogs would not have hosted in the conference quarterfinals.

Said Weides, “That meant a lot for our seniors. It was a very emotional day for them. It was exciting for them to know they were going to get another opportunity to play on their home field. For our underclassmen, that was a really big moment too because they knew they were sending the seniors out on a good note. There were a lot of great moments like that throughout the season.”

One of those moments came on Sept. 12 when Jack Arra delivered perhaps the team’s most spectacular goal all year. His bicycle kick goal in the 94th minute brought an abrupt end to yet another overtime nail biter. Not only did that goal lift Concordia over McPherson College, it also marked the 100th win of Weides’ head coaching career.

That particular victory was sandwiched in the middle of a three-game win streak that included a triumph at national tournament qualifier Kansas Wesleyan University. The 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Coyotes was early evidence of what the Bulldogs were capable of. They also competed closely with rival Hastings in a 2-0 home loss on Oct. 3.

Following the season, second team all-conference honors went to Angel Alvarez, Bennett, Ferrer and de la Villa. The award for Bennett was the ultimate sign of respect. Bennett missed eight games due to injury, but he had earned a reputation as one of the league’s best.

“One of the challenges we had to overcome this season was injuries,” Weides said. “We had more injuries than I can recall in the past few years. It was a challenge for Jack. He had big expectations for his senior year and certainly was capable of being a first team all-conference goalkeeper. Him getting second team indicates his quality and his impact on our team.”

Concordia still put a strong team on the field even when players like Bennett were forced to miss time. Fortunately, Ferrer (six goals, nine assists) sat out only one game while making progression in his performance as a junior. Said Weides, “He’s one of those guys our opponents really recognized as someone really tough to stop 1v1.”

There are many others worth mentioning. Newcomers like Arra, de la Villa, Carlos Orquiz and Konrad Sinu made immediate impacts. Additionally, veterans in Alvarez and Derek Eitzmann were rocks along the back line and David Carrasco (six goals, three assists) earned the term of “super sub.” The fall was another season of improvement for others like Evan Hayden, Matthew Ho, Garrett Perry, Kevin Sanchez and Joao Pedro Verissimo, who each will be counted upon heavily in 2019.

For now, members of the team can enjoy a breather before things ramp back up in the second semester, which is a crucial time for player development.

“First thing is now they have a chance to take a mental break,” Weides said. “We really encourage our guys for the few weeks after the season to take a break and decompress a little bit. After that we’ll really get after it. We want to see who’s ready to step up. We’re going to add some good players who will help us, but I’m always excited to see who will really grow over the offseason.”