2020 Men's Soccer Schedule/Results

10-5-3 overall | 7-2-2 GPAC (5th) | Season Stats | Roster

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the season was split between the fall and spring.

Date Opponent Location Time/Result Record
Sept. 9 Bellevue University Seward, Neb. L, 1-3 0-1
Sept. 12 MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe, Kan. W, 2-1 1-1
Sept. 16 Kansas Wesleyan University Seward, Neb. W, 4-0 2-1
Sept. 23 *Dordt University Sioux Center, Iowa W, 4-1 3-1, 1-0
Sept. 26 *Northwestern College Seward, Neb. W, 4-0 4-1, 2-0
Oct. 3 *Dakota Wesleyan University (HC) Seward, Neb. W, 2-0 5-1, 3-0
Oct. 10 *University of Jamestown Seward, Neb. W, 4-1 6-1, 4-0
Oct. 12 *Mount Marty College Yankton, S.D. T, 2-2 (2 OT) 6-1-1, 4-0-1
Oct. 17 *Hastings College Seward, Neb. L, 1-3 6-2-1, 4-1-1
Oct. 28 *Doane University Seward, Neb. W, 5-1 7-2-1, 5-1-1
Nov. 4 *Midland University Fremont, Neb. W, 1-0 8-2-1, 6-1-1
Nov. 11 *Morningside College Sioux City, Iowa L, 0-3 8-3-1, 6-2-1
Nov. 14 *Briar Cliff University Seward, Neb. T, 1-1 (2 OT) 8-3-2, 6-2-2
Nov. 21 *Presentation College Aberdeen, S.D. W, 5-1 9-3-2, 7-2-2
March 20 Benedictine College (Kan.) Atchison, Kan. L, 0-2 9-4-2
March 27 (5) Missouri Valley College Marshall, Mo. L, 1-2 9-5-2
April 2 Midland University Seward, Neb. W, 4-2 10-5-2
  GPAC Tournament      
April 10 Northwestern (GPAC Quarterfinals) Orange City, Iowa T, 0-0 (2 OT) 10-5-3
  *NWC advances on PKs, 10-9      

2020 Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Year Hometown Previous School
0 Federico Andrea Simonetti GK 5-11 Fr. Crema, Italy I.I.S Racchetti-Da Vinci
00 Zakk Wilce GK 6-3 Jr. Malanda, Australia Malanda / Allen County CC
1 Callum Goldsmith GK 6-1 Jr. Sevenoaks, England Oxted County
2 Iker Casanova D 5-7 Fr. Mexico City, Mexico IES Alfonso VIII
3 João Pedro Veríssimo D 5-10 Sr. Nova Mutum, Brazil Anisio Vecente de Freitas
6 Carlos Orquiz MF 5-9 Jr. Chihuaha, Mexico Universidad CNCI Puebla
7 Yessine Bessaïes MF 5-10 So. Bordeaux, France Monterey Peninsula College
8 Trenton Williams D 5-9 Sr. Douglas, Wyo. Douglas
9 Isaiah Shaddick F 5-9 So. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southwest
10 Martin Herrera F 5-10 Fr. Quito, Ecuador Andragogy International Universe
11 Ryan Wokutch F 5-10 Fr. Paola, Kan. Paola
12 Garrett Perry MF 5-10 Sr. Corona, Calif. Woodcrest Christian
13 Mauro Figueroa MF 5-8 So. El Cajon, Calif. Steele Canyon
16 Eduardo Rojas F 5-11 So. Bogotá, Colombia San Jose de Fontibon Parish College
17 Jackson Myers D 6-0 Jr. Highlands Ranch, Colo. ThunderRidge
18 Ethan Doyle D 5-9 Sr. Shawnee, Kan. Mill Valley
19 Braden Spath MF 6-1 Fr. Kearney, Neb. Kearney
20 Decker Mattimoe D 5-11 Jr. Cheyenne, Wyo. Cheyenne Central
22 Victor Meneses F 5-10 So. Petropolis, Brazil Crowder College
23 Renzo Bozzo MF 6-1 So. Santiago, Chile Colegio San Benito
24 Michael Lindberg D 5-9 Fr. Mesa, Ariz. Red Mountain
26 David Moreno MF 5-11 Sr. Cali, Colombia Leonistico La Merced / Northwestern Ohio
27 Caleb Goldsmith MF 5-5 Jr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southeast
28 Moises Jacobo MF 5-6 So. Grand Island, Neb. Grand Island Senior HS
29 Daniel Campbell F 5-11 Jr. Bellevue, Neb. Bellevue West
30 Matt Schultz MF 6-1 So. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southwest
31 Santiago Esparza GK 6-2 Jr. Hallandale Beach, Fla. Sunlake / Daytona State College
32 Benjamin Boll GK 5-10 So. Ham Lake, Minnesota Concordia Academy St. Paul


Jason Weides, Head Coach (13th Year)

Luke Batters, Graduate Assistant Coach

Jack Bennett, Goalkeeper Coach

Nick Holmes, Assistant Coach

Season preview: 2020 Concordia Men's Soccer

August 20, 2020

Head coach: Jason Weides (117-89-24, 13th year)
2019 Record: 10-6-2 overall; 5-4-2 GPAC (6th)
Key Returners: D Renzo Bozzo; F Daniel Campbell; MF Mauro Figueroa; MF Caleb Goldsmith; GK Callum Goldsmith; F Moises Jacobo; D Decker Mattimoe; MF Carlos Orquiz; MF Garrett Perry; F Isaiah Shaddick; D Joao Pedro Verissimo.
Key Newcomers: MF Yessine Bessaies; D Iker Casanova; GK Santiago Esparza; F Martin Herrera; F Victor Meneses; MF David Moreno; GK Federico Simonetti; F Ryan Wokutch.
Key Losses: GK Eduardo Alba; F David Carrasco; MF Roger de la Villa; MF Carlos Ferrer; D Evan Hayden; F Matthew Ho.
2019 GPAC All-Conference: Eduardo Alba (Honorable Mention); Renzo Bozzo (Honorable Mention); Carlos Ferrer (Honorable Mention); Moises Jacobo (Honorable Mention); Garrett Perry (Honorable Mention).

Across the GPAC landscape, fall sports play on. The start to the preseason has been unlike any other for Head Coach Jason Weides, who enters his 13th season leading his alma mater. Last season Weides became the winningest coach in program history while Concordia Men’s Soccer ran its streak of consecutive years with at least 10 victories to nine. Reaching the 10-win mark in 2020 would be an accomplishment considering the regular season has been reduced to 14 outings.

A year ago, injuries played a role in sidetracking a Bulldog squad that raced out to a 7-0 start. This August, Concordia is doing its best to keep COVID-19 from derailing the fall season, even if it already has pushed the NAIA national tournament to the spring.

“Everyone is dealing with it,” Weides said. “We’re not unique in that situation. I felt a little like a fish out of water in that it’s such a different preseason for us than we’re used to. I feel like we have experience to lean on and things that we’ve done in the past. We can always tweak those, but we were kind of starting from scratch for our preseason. We’re trying to be tight as a team and encourage relationship building to happen in a natural and organic way. We’re having to manufacture that in different ways. Those are some of the unique challenges.”

Official practice began on Aug. 15 with some players still unable to step onto the field due to travel restrictions, quarantining or other circumstances. Even so, there is a strong belief in the talent that Weides has pulled into the program. Prior to placing sixth in the GPAC in 2019, the Bulldogs had three-straight top-four GPAC finishes and were winners of the 2015 GPAC tournament. They want to get back in the running at the top.

From a personnel perspective, Concordia has a lot of depth to work with. All-conference performers return in the form of sophomore midfielder Renzo Bozzo, sophomore forward Moises Jacobo and senior midfielder Garrett Perry. Jacobo and Perry combined for 11 goals as two of the team’s leading attackers last season. Meanwhile, senior captain João Pedro Veríssimo returns from injury and has all-conference ability.

“I was super excited,” said Perry of the return to campus. “That’s something we’ve all been waiting for since last year, especially with the injuries our team endured last year. It was kind of hard. We thought we had the skill and ability to go far and achieve our goals. I think this year with the new guys and the returners we have, we have a real strong chance to do what we want to do.”

Perry is another of the upperclassmen leaders along with the likes of midfielder Caleb Goldsmith, goalkeeper Callum Goldsmith, defender Decker Mattimoe, Pedro Veríssimo and others. Bozzo and Mattimoe topped the ’19 team with 17 starts apiece while Jacobo started 16 times. A newcomer to watch from a leadership and on-field production standpoint is David Moreno, a transfer from the University of Northwestern Ohio. Moreno played in 41 games while at Northwestern Ohio.

Of those not already mentioned, three others started at least eight games in 2019: Mauro Figueroa, Carlos Orquiz and Isaiah Shaddick. A Lincoln Southwest graduate, Shaddick earned Lincoln Journal Star Prep Player of the Year honors in 2018 and has the ability to be a significant goal scorer as a Bulldog. He helped Concordia outnumber its 2019 opponents in goals, 38-21. Weides is hoping for things to look even more lopsided in Concordia’s favor.

Right out of the gates, the Bulldogs will face a major test with a trip to Central Methodist University, which has won back-to-back NAIA national championships. Originally, Concordia had been slated to host Oklahoma City University on the opening day of the season.

“We get a chance to see where we stack up right away,” Weides said. “We get a great chance to see where we’re at on day one of our first game. I’m really excited for that. I think our players are really excited for that. I’m excited to see who all steps up. We have a good group of newcomers that will be able to impact our team, in addition to the returners who have made an impact previously. There are some good newcomers who are going to challenge the returners for their spots and also help elevate our team.”

The Bulldogs will have a new primary goalkeeper as the Bulldogs attempt to iron out some of the defensive issues that popped up in the second half of last season. A junior from Sevenoaks, England, Callum Goldsmith has the most experience. He’s played in 15 games over the past two seasons. He’ll be challenged by newcomers in Santiago Esparza and Federico Simonetti.

It will be no easy assignment for whichever keeper wins the job. The GPAC is getting stronger as evidenced by its three national tournament bids last season and by the improvement of the bottom of the league. For the first time since 2013, Concordia failed to advance past the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.

Says Weides, “The GPAC has been getting better every year. The depth of the quality teams is improving and those quality teams are competing better at the national stage, more consistently. I think the GPAC is garnering a little bit more respect nationally the last few years. It’s becoming more and more competitive. You have to show up every day in the GPAC if you’re going to get the results.”

The consistency of the Bulldog program has been remarkable and there’s no evidence to say that the 2020 version can’t be right in the thick of things in the GPAC. Every year it’s been safe to expect steady play, at worst, from any team led by Weides.

“We have a lot of skill coming back,” Perry said. “We have a lot of good players here and a lot of good players coming in. They’re going to bring our program to a better level than before. We have no idea what other teams are doing right now. We don’t know what they have but we don’t really care because we’re all in the same boat. We think we have a shot. This year we’re super excited to get back. We’re really pushing for it.”

The anticipated clash with Central Methodist is coming up Saturday, Sept. 5 at 4:30 p.m. CT from Fayette, Mo. The Bulldogs will host for the first time on Sept. 9 when Bellevue will be in town for an 8 p.m. kickoff.

Weides' Bulldogs pegged fifth in GPAC preseason poll

August 27, 2020

GPAC Preseason Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Men’s Soccer program aims to get back into the running amongst the top dogs within an improving league. After placing sixth in 2019, the Bulldogs landed fifth in the GPAC Preseason Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll released on Thursday (Aug. 27). Concordia was credited with 77 points in the poll.

Head Coach Jason Weides is getting set for his 13th season leading his alma mater. Weides has led the program to great heights – such as a school record 16 wins in 2017 and a GPAC tournament title in 2015. Last season, the Bulldogs went 10-6-2 overall. It marked the ninth-straight season that Concordia has notched at least 10 victories. The ’19 campaign concluded with a loss to eventual national runner up Hastings in the GPAC tournament quarterfinals.

Concordia returns three honorable mention All-GPAC performers in midfielder Renzo Bozzo, forward Moises Jacobo and midfielder Garrett Perry. The Bulldogs bring back eight players who started at least eight games last season. That group includes the three aforementioned names as well as Mauro Figueroa, Caleb Goldsmith, Decker Mattimoe, Carlos Orquiz and Isaiah Shaddick. Concordia outscored its opponents by a combined total of 38-21 in 2019.

Says Weides, “The GPAC has been getting better every year. The depth of the quality teams is improving and those quality teams are competing better at the national stage, more consistently. I think the GPAC is garnering a little bit more respect nationally the last few years. It’s becoming more and more competitive. You have to show up every day in the GPAC if you’re going to get the results.”

2020 GPAC Preseason Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll
*First-place votes in parentheses

1. Hastings – 120 (10)
2. Morningside – 105 (2)
3. Briar Cliff – 93
3. Midland – 93
5. Concordia – 77
6. Northwestern – 74
7. Jamestown – 68
8. Mount Marty – 43
9. Dordt – 37
10. Doane – 35
11. Dakota Wesleyan – 29
12. Presentation – 11

Nonconference game with Kansas Wesleyan added to schedule

September 1, 2020

The Concordia University Men's Soccer program has announced the addition of a nonconference home matchup with Kansas Wesleyan University. The two sides have agreed to play inside Bulldog Stadium at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

This will mark the fourth-straight regular season that the Bulldogs and Coyotes have gone head-to-head. Concordia defeated Kansas Wesleyan in 2017 and 2018 before suffering defeat at the hands of the Coyotes in 2019. Kansas Wesleyan finished 10-9-1 overall last season.

Bellevue to visit Bulldog Stadium for men’s soccer home opener

September 8, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia Bulldogs open the 2020 season on Wednesday, Sept. 9, as they play host to the Bellevue Bruins with kickoff set for 8 p.m. 

Wednesday’s contest will be carried live (video/statistics) on the Concordia Sports Network

A year ago, the Bulldogs notched an impressive 3-1 win over the Bruins. The win was part of an impressive seven-game winning streak to open the season. 13th-year head coach Jason Weides would be satisfied if Concordia could duplicate last season’s start in 2020. Concordia and Bellevue have split their last four matchups dating back to 2016.

The Bulldogs will look to continue their streak of 10 consecutive winning seasons. Concordia returns three All-GPAC honorable mention performers, Sophomore Defender Renzo Bozzo, Sophomore Midfielder Moises Jacobo and Senior Midfielder Garrett Perry. Jacobo and Perry combined for 11 goals in 2019 and are expected to account for a significant of scoring as the team’s leading attackers. Newcomer David Moreno will be expected to provide leadership and production as well. Moreno appeared in 41 games at Northwestern Ohio before arriving in Seward.

One headline for the Bulldogs coming into the season is the goalkeeper position. With the departure of Eduardo Alba, Junior Callum Goldsmith and newcomers Santiago Esparza and Federico Simonetti are all in the mix for the starting job.

Bellevue started their season this past Saturday as they defeated William Penn in a 5-1 rout. During that matchup, the Bruins fired on all cylinders as they netted four goals in the first half. Overall, Bellevue out-shot William Penn 9-5 on shots on goal. Senior Defender Gabriel Giaotto headlined the stat sheet as he netted two goals and recorded an assist in the win.

After playing Bellevue, the Bulldogs will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 12, as they travel to MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.

Pair of PK's sinks Bulldogs in 2020 opener

September 10, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team struggled out of the gates before settling in during the second half of action in Wednesday (Sept. 9) night’s dreary and chilly season opener inside Bulldog Stadium. A pair of first-half penalty kick goals proved the difference for visiting Bellevue University. The Bulldogs were unable to recover in what amounted to a 3-1 defeat.

At long last, the 2020 campaign is underway for Head Coach Jason Weides and his team. This marks year No. 13 for Weides leading the program.

“We came out in the second half and were better than the first,” Weides said. “It was a rough first half. Credit to our team. I do think we responded well to it. At the end of the day, you really put yourself in a big hole when you concede two PK’s. We still have to have the mentality that we’re going to go win the game.”

Bellevue’s Toby Millward successfully converted the two PK opportunities. One came at the 15-minute mark and the other occurred with just five seconds before halftime. The second one was a backbreaker. Concordia narrowly missed going to the locker room with a 1-0 deficit despite being outplayed considerably over the first 45 minutes.

An experienced transfer via the University of Northwestern Ohio, senior David Moreno got on the board in the 53rd minute with the help of Iker Casanova’s assist. However, the Bruins (2-0) quickly pushed the margin back to two goals when Alex Cuenca answered in the 55th minute. Bellevue rode out the win four days after it secured a 5-1 victory over William Penn University (Iowa).

The Bruins (2-0) finished with a 14-8 advantage in the shot count. While making the start in goal, Concordia’s Callum Goldsmith collected five saves. Yessine Bessaies (three shots – two on goal) was one of the more active Bulldogs on the attack.

There are still some moving parts, but that’s the case for a lot of college athletic programs these days. The goal is to learn from it and get better next time out.

“Everyone’s dealing with (challenges),” Weides said. “That had no bearing on today’s result. We were outmanned. They performed better than us and deserved to win. They did the simple things well.”

Concordia will hit the road for the first time this season when it plays at MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) on Saturday. Kickoff from Olathe, Kan., is set for 2:30 p.m. CT. It will be the season opener for the Pioneers.

Dominant first half keys road victory

September 12, 2020

OLATHE, Kan. – Unlike its season opener, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer Team jumped its opponent early on and dominated first-half action while venturing on the road for the first time this 2020 season. The Bulldogs ruled the shot count (17-8) and coasted to a 2-1 win over MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan., on Saturday (Sept. 12) afternoon. It was a nice rebound from the 3-1 home loss to Bellevue University three days earlier.

Thirteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides saw a squad that looks much more like the one he believes can contend for a spot near the top of the GPAC standings. Concordia is 1-1 with one nonconference game left on the slate.

“We really did start better,” Weides said. “Top to bottom it was a much better performance. We made some great improvements from the first game and made them fairly quickly. We were much more organized defensively and that really helped us keep possession. We created some good chances in that first half.”

New starters on Saturday included Michael Lindberg, Victor Meneses, Carlos Orquiz and Andrea Simonetti (first career start at keeper). The first 11 did the job on Saturday. By halftime the Bulldogs held a 2-0 lead and a 13-2 shot advantage. A goal apiece came courtesy of sophomore Isaiah Shaddick (13’) and freshman Ryan Wokutch (42’). Assists were credited by Moises Jacobo and Yessine Bessaies. The Bulldogs also had a goal wiped out by an offside call.

There were plenty of other contributors for a team with considerable depth. Weides called upon a total of 16 players on Saturday.

“We really feel like we have some good competition – not just 11 guys,” Weides said. “There are a lot of guys fighting for spots. A few guys over the last couple practices really stood out and shined. They got their opportunity and some of them really took that opportunity.”

The Pioneers (0-1) are historically a strong program having finished as the 2015 NAIA national runner up. A member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, MNU went 6-10-2 overall last season. The lone Pioneer goal came in the 87th minute (Winder Pessoa PK) and made for a more nervous final few minutes.

Weides will want to clean up some of the team’s defensive play in the box. The Bulldogs have already conceded three penalty kick goals in two games. The PK was the only thing that prevented Andrea Simonetti from a clean sheet. He made three saves in his Bulldog debut.

The Bulldogs will return home to welcome Kansas Wesleyan University (0-0) to town on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. CT matchup. This will mark the fourth-straight season that the two programs have gone head-to-head. Concordia has won two of the past three meetings (last two decided by a one-goal margin). The Coyotes have yet to play in 2020 due to postponements of games scheduled for Sept. 5 and 12.

Kansas Wesleyan, Mount Marty to test Bulldogs

September 14, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer team wraps up non-conference play and begins conference play this week. The Bulldogs will go head-to-head with fellow NAIA program in Kansas Wesleyan University (Kan.) on Wednesday before a weekend trip to Mount Marty.

Wednesday, Sept. 16 vs. Kansas Wesleyan (0-0-0), 7 p.m.
-Live Webcast/Stats

Saturday, Sept. 19 at Mount Marty (0-0-0), 3:30 p.m.
-Live Webcast

Head coach Jason Weides’ squad is coming off their first win as they topped Mid America Nazarene 2-1 on Sept. 12. During the matchup, the Bulldogs outshot the Pioneers 17-8 with five shots on goal to MNU’s three. Concordia raced out to a 1-0 lead with sophomore Isaiah Shaddick finding the back of the net on a pass from sophomore Moises Jacobo just 13 minutes into the match. Freshman Ryan Wokutch then added insurance, scoring his first career goal just before intermission with sophomore Yessine Bessaies assisting. MNU added a penalty kick goal with four minutes remaining, but it was too little too late. Freshman goalkeeper Frederico Andrea-Simonetti was solid during his debut, recording three saves while allowing a penalty kick goal.

Throughout the early season, penalty kicks have served as an issue for the Bulldogs. During two matches, Concordia has allowed three goals off penalty kicks. Going forward, cleaning up play in the box will be a focal point of the Bulldogs defensive game plan.

The Bulldogs will look avenge last season 2-1 overtime loss to Kansas Wesleyan. In the past four meetings, the series is knotted at 2-2.

Kansas Wesleyan (0-0-0) will be playing in their season opener when they set foot on the pitch of Bulldog Stadium. Covid-19 has already canceled the two scheduled matches this season for the Coyotes. KWU returns just 25 percent of players from a team that finished 10-9-1 in 2019. The Coyotes are led by first-year coach Miguel Prieto. Prieto is one of the youngest head coaches in college soccer, having graduated from KWU in 2019. Wesleyan was tabbed to finish fourth in the KCAC preseason poll.

Mount Marty (0-0-0) opens their season and GPAC play Wednesday on the road at Doane before hosting the Bulldogs. The Lancers were slotted at eighth in the GPAC preseason poll after going 5-11-1 in 2019.

Concordia resumes play next week with a trip to Dordt University, located in Sioux Center, Iowa. Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m.

Second half explosion results in rout of Coyotes

September 16, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – Playing at home for the second time in 2020, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer Team let loose in the second half and routed visiting Kansas Wesleyan University on Wednesday (Sept. 16). Four unique goal scorers got into the act in the 4-0 victory inside Bulldog Stadium. The score was reflective of the way the Bulldogs dominated possession for the bulk of 90 minutes.

Thirteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has put together back-to-back wins. Concordia is 2-1 having also beaten MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) on the road.

“It’s always fun to get goals and to get a shutout,” Weides said. “At the end of the day it was really nice to get a lot of guys on the field. We have a lot of guys competing, working hard – and a lot of them that are deserving some time. For some it was the first minutes of their collegiate career or of this year. They’ve been really improving. It’s great to see that materialize.”

Eighteen Bulldogs wound up seeing action while Concordia distanced itself from the Coyotes (0-1) of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. This was the first time out this season for KWU, which ran into scheduling difficulties to open up the year. Concordia took advantage and owned the shot count, 17-5. In perhaps the best chance the Coyotes had all night, keeper Federico Andrea Simonetti made a sterling save to deny Andrew Quiroz just before the intermission.

After conceding three penalty kick goals over the first two outings, the Bulldogs got on the board with one of their own in the 23rd minute. Freshman Ryan Wokutch drew a foul in the box that set up Carlos Orquiz’s PK goal. The floodgates opened after halftime with Garrett Perry (54’), Wokutch (72’) and Moises Jacobo (79’) adding to the lead. Jacobo also assisted the second and third goals as part of a big night.

Wokutch has already knocked in a pair of goals in the early going of his collegiate career. After Wednesday’s game, he received a cold bucket of ice dumped over him as a reward, courtesy of his teammates. He’s one of the guys.

Said Wokutch, “I’ve had a lot of fun. Everybody on the team is amazing. They’re all nice and I think we can go far.”

Simonetti made three saves in 77 minutes before giving way to Santiago Esparza in goal. The back line did the job in front of Simonetti and Esparza. The starting group included Joao Pedro Verissimo, Decker Mattimoe, Iker Casanova and Michael Lindberg from left to right. Pedro Verissimo talked of his aspirations of reaching the national tournament in the postgame huddle.

For now the focus is on improvement each time out. Said Weides, “Our pressing is getting a little bit better. I think we still have a ways to go. In our first game we were all over the place in terms of our pressing. We quickly improved on that the last couple games.”

With the win, Concordia avenged a 2-1 overtime loss to Kansas Wesleyan that occurred last season. The Bulldogs and Coyotes have matched up in four-straight years with Concordia winning three of those meetings.

The Bulldogs had originally been scheduled to play at Mount Marty this Saturday. That game has been postponed until Oct. 12. That means Concordia will open up GPAC play next Wednesday (Sept. 23) at Dordt (0-3, 0-1 GPAC). Kickoff from Sioux Center, Iowa, is set for 7:15 p.m. CT.

Bulldogs kickoff GPAC play

September 21, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer team begins its conference slate this week. The Bulldogs will be the guests at Dordt on Wednesday before returning to Bulldog Stadium to host Northwestern this weekend.

Wednesday, Sept. 23 at Dordt (0-3-0), 7:15 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 26 vs. Northwestern (2-1-0), 3:30 p.m.

Head coach Jason Weides’ squad, will be looking to continue their winning ways this week after blanking Kansas Wesleyan in their last match 4-0. During the matchup, the Bulldogs outshot the Coyotes 15-7 while putting 13 shots on goal. Junior Midfielder Carlos Orquiz opened up the scoring for Concordia on a penalty kick in the 22nd minute. Senior Garrett Perry (53’) and Freshman Ryan Wokutch (71’) added insurance goals with sophomore Moises Jacobo assisting. Jacobo capped the scoring with his unassisted goal in the 78th minute of play. Freshman goalkeeper Frederico Andrea-Simonetti recorded his first shutout of the year while making three saves.

The Bulldogs were scheduled to open up GPAC play this past Saturday at Mount Marty. However, due to COVID-19 protocols, the game was postponed and will be made up at a later date.

Concordia defeated both Dordt (5-0) and Northwestern (3-1) during the 2019 season.

Dordt (0-3-0) will be looking to turn the tide on the young season when they host the Bulldogs. Offensive play has been an issue for the Defenders in this season as they have two goals in three matches this season. Dordt is 0-2 in GPAC play this season as the Defenders dropped 1-0 decisions to Northwestern and Briar Cliff. The Bulldogs currently hold a four-game winning streak over the Defenders.

Northwestern (2-1-0) is currently 1-1 in GPAC play. The Red Raiders defeated Dort in the opener 1-0 before losing to Briar Cliff 5-2 this past weekend. Northwestern was picked to finish sixth in the GPAC preseason poll, coming in three votes behind Concordia. The Bulldogs have had recent success in the series, taking four out of the last five over the Red Raiders.

Concordia resumes play next week with a trip to Midland University, located in Fremont, Neb. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Jacobo honored as GPAC Offensive Player of the Week

September 22, 2020

GPAC Release

SEWARD, Neb. – For his role in Wednesday’s (Sept. 16) 4-0 blanking of Kansas Wesleyan, Moises Jacobo has been named the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week. Jacobo is the first Bulldog this season to garner a player of the week award. The award marks Jacobo’s second time being named conference player of the week as he garnered his first in September of 2019.

Jacobo stuffed the stat sheet in Wednesday’s victory over Kansas Wesleyan. The native of Grand Island, Neb., notched a goal and two assists in the 4-0 rout. Jacobo leads Concordia in assists this season with three.

As a freshman in 2019, Jacobo led the Bulldogs in both goals (6) and assists (5). As a result of his play, he earned a plethora of honors, including being named to the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska team and All-GPAC Honorable Mention team.

Jacobo and his teammates have won their past two matches by a combined score of 6-1. The Bulldogs will attempt to keep their win streak going (Sept. 23) when they take on Dordt University (0-3) at 7:15 p.m. at Open Space Park Stadium in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Jacobo goes for hat trick as Concordia rolls in GPAC opener

September 23, 2020

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa – Sophomore Moises Jacobo likely came away from this game feeling like he could have easily had an additional goal or two – but he did plenty enough to help his team win on Wednesday (Sept. 23). In its first conference outing of 2020, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer took care of business in a 4-1 road victory over Dordt. The Bulldogs have won four-straight meetings with the Defenders.

It marked victory No. 120 in the head coaching career of Jason Weides. Concordia (3-1, 1-0 GPAC) has won three-straight matches since dropping its season opener to Bellevue University.

“Overall it was a good performance,” Weides said. “We created a lot of chances and could have had more goals in the first half, but I thought we did well overall in creating those chances. The first half was about some little details that we let slip. At the same time, we weren’t giving our opponent a lot of opportunities to score. Everyone who played was able to provide something whether they started or came on as a substitute. It was a team performance.”

The Bulldogs generated a flurry of offensive chances throughout the night and finally found some breathing room in the middle portion of the second half. The reigning GPAC Offensive Player of the Week, Jacobo was inches away from recording a hat trick in the first 45 minutes. He simply waited until the 74-minute mark before putting away goal No. 3 of his night. At a sharp angle, Jacobo tucked the ball inside the left post to provide the contest’s final score for the visitors.

Jacobo also found the back of the net in the 12th and 60th minutes while running his season goal count to four. The combo of Isaiah Shaddick and Yessine Bessaïes interrupted Jacobo’s offensive showcase for Concordia’s third goal of the evening. In the 67th minute, Shaddick executed a beautiful cross into the box that Bessaïes headed home for his first career goal as a Bulldog.

A native of Grand Island, Neb., Jacobo is doing more than just score goals. Said Weides, “He’s certainly playing at a really good level. His third goal in particular was a really great shot. He’s playing at a sharp level. At any moment several of our guys could pop up and have a hat trick and he was the guy who did that tonight. He’s been really productive and not just on the score sheet. He’s helped us defensively as well.”

Unfortunately, a late penalty kick goal kept Concordia from a second-straight clean sheet. Federico Andrea Simonetti held down the keeper role for most of the night before giving way to Callum Goldsmith. In front of them, the Bulldogs have gotten steady play from center backs Iker Casanova and Decker Mattimoe.

Concordia ruled the shot count, 24-10 (10-6 in shots on goal). Jacobo was a constant pest in peppering nine shots (five on goal) at the Defenders. Bessaïes and Garrett Perry took four shots apiece. Perry assisted one goal and nearly had one of his own. Quinton Olson converted the PK for Dordt (0-4, 0-2 GPAC) in the 88th minute.

Concordia will return to Bulldog Stadium for its third home game this season. The Bulldogs will welcome Northwestern (2-1, 0-1 GPAC) to Seward for a 3:30 p.m. CT kickoff on Saturday. The two programs also met in Seward last year with the result being a 3-1 Concordia victory. The Bulldogs moved to 7-0 at the time.

Week of dominance features second hat trick

September 26, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – Head Coach Jason Weides wasn’t lying on Wednesday when he said he believed his team had many players capable of finding the back of the net three times. After sophomore Moises Jacobo accomplished that feat three days earlier at Dordt, senior Garrett Perry turned in a hat trick of his own on Saturday (Sept. 26) afternoon. Another 90 minutes of dominance resulted in a 4-0 Bulldog victory over visiting Northwestern.

The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team has won four in a row to move to 4-1 overall (2-0 GPAC). Weides and his team enjoyed this week of conference action.

“We put goals in. I think that’s the biggest thing,” Weides said. “Our guys when they get chances they put them away. Maybe we don’t score as soon or as early as we’d like, but we’re really putting teams under pressure in the second half. At times we create something and at times it’s forcing them into an error that we capitalize on. Both of those happened today.”

As evidenced by his strike last season against Midland, Perry can score in impressive fashion. His second one on Saturday was a beauty. Perry beat a defender one-on-one and then rifled a shot inside the left post from a good 20 yards away. The native of Corona, Calif., pelted the back of the net in the 17th, 70th and 82nd minutes. The latter two tallies ensured the Bulldogs would not have to sweat it out.

The goals are also piling up for Jacobo, who has five goals over the past three games. Just 34 seconds into the second half, Jacobo stole the ball from a Red Raider and slotted it past the keeper. It marked career goal No. 11 for the rising star. Of course there could be others who emerge in future outings.

“We have a lot of boys who can put it in the back of the net,” Perry said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a couple more to come. I think we have a lot of good finishers on the team. Today I got the chances but maybe another day they’ll get the chances and I know they’ll put them away.”

Concordia had to shuffle its back line a bit after Decker Mattimoe left the game in the first half. Even if the opposition does penetrate the Bulldog back four, there is a growing confidence in keeper Federico Andrea Simonetti. He made five saves to preserve the shutout versus Northwestern. An anchor in the back line, Joao Pedro Verissimo was credited with an assist. So too was David Moreno and Trent Williams.

The shot count favored the Bulldogs, 12-9. That did not tell the full story of another strong showing. Since the 3-1 season opening loss to Bellevue, Concordia has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 14-1 during the four-game win streak.

“We’ve had a little more patience in the attack,” Weides said of the past week. “Early in the season once we went forward, we went forward fast. There was no resetting, no patience and no probing. I think we’re starting to have a better recognition of when to go backwards in order to go forwards and when to switch the field.”

The Bulldogs hope to take that clinical approach into Wednesday (Sept. 30)’s game at Midland (1-0, 1-0 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT from Fremont. In their only game this season, the Warriors edged Jamestown, 3-2, on the road.

Bulldogs look to continue (4-0) winning streak

September 28, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer team continues its conference slate this week, as the Bulldogs host Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday at 8 p.m. 

Saturday, Oct. 3 vs. Dakota Wesleyan (1-2, 0-2) 8 p.m.

 - Livestream

Concordia was initially scheduled to play at Midland on Wednesday however due to COVID-19 implications that game has been postponed and will now be played on November 4. 

Head coach Jason Weides’ squad extended their winning streak to four games this past weekend as they notched a 4-0 shutout win over Northwestern. During Saturday’s shutout, senior midfielder Garrett Perry recorded his first career hat trick finding the back of the net in the 16th, 69th and 81st minute. Perry’s hat-trick marked the second-straight match a Bulldog accomplished the feat as sophomore Moises Jacobo did so just three days earlier against Dordt. Jacobo continued his scoring tear as he netted his fifth goal of the season in the 45th minute of play. The Bulldogs defense was suffocating in their second shutout of the season as freshman goalkeeper Frederico Andrea Simonetti recorded five saves to preserve the shutout.

To say the Bulldogs have been solid during their winning streak might be an understatement as Concordia has outscored its opponents 14-1 during the span. This is the second straight season the Bulldogs have reeled off a winning streak early in the season. Concordia won its first seven matches in 2019.

The Bulldogs will be looking for a more satisfying outcome this weekend than what they experienced last year against Dakota Wesleyan when the Bulldogs dropped a 1-0 squeaker to the Tigers. 

Dakota Wesleyan (1-2) is currently 0-2 in GPAC play. The Tigers lone win came back on Sept. 10 when they shutout Viterbo 1-0. Wesleyan lost to Briar Cliff (3-2) and Hastings (2-1) in both GPAC matches this season. The Tigers were slated 11th in the GPAC Preseason Men’s Soccer Poll.

Concordia resumes play next week with a trip to Morningside College, located in Sioux City, Iowa. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

Jacobo, Simonetti make for sweep of GPAC weekly honors

September 29, 2020

GPAC Release

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Men’s Soccer program has swept conference weekly awards. On Tuesday (Sept. 29), the league named sophomore Moises Jacobo the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Offensive Player of the Week while freshman Federico Andrea Simonetti was tabbed the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Defensive Player of the Week. This marks the second-straight week that Jacobo has garnered the offensive award.

A rising star, Jacobo has been on a roll in the goal scoring department. The native of Grand Island, Neb., notched the first hat trick of his career in last week’s 4-1 victory at Dordt. Jacobo added another goal three days later in the 4-0 home win over Northwestern. Only three players in the entire NAIA have scored more goals this season than Jacobo, who has put away five goals in 2020 (11 in his career). Jacobo is the team leader in both goals and assists (three).

On the other end of the field, Andrea Simonetti did not allow a single goal in 165 minutes of action last week at keeper. The native of Crema, Italy, made a combined nine saves and earned credit for his first career shutout in the win over Northwestern. Andrea Simonetti ranks 13th nationally in goals against average (0.270) while sporting a save percentage of .938.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ Bulldogs (4-1, 2-0 GPAC) will return to action this Saturday when they host Dakota Wesleyan (1-2, 0-1 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT.

Jacobo upgraded to NAIA National Player of Week

September 29, 2020

NAIA Release

SEWARD, Neb. – Named GPAC Offensive Player of the Week earlier in the morning, sophomore Moises Jacobo has also been awarded the NAIA National Offensive Player of the Week award. The announcement came from the NAIA National Office on Tuesday (Sept. 29). Based on the NAIA honors database, Jacobo is the first Concordia University Men’s Soccer player to ever receive national weekly accolades.

Rising star, Jacobo has been on a roll in the goal scoring department. The native of Grand Island, Neb., notched the first hat trick of his career in last week’s 4-1 victory at Dordt. Jacobo added another goal three days later in the 4-0 home win over Northwestern. Only three players in the entire NAIA have scored more goals this season than Jacobo, who has put away five goals in 2020 (11 in his career). Jacobo is the team leader in both goals and assists (three).

Head Coach Jason Weides’ Bulldogs (4-1, 2-0 GPAC) will return to action this Saturday when they host Dakota Wesleyan (1-2, 0-1 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT.

Weides made the following comments regarding Jacobo following the Dordt game, “He’s certainly playing at a really good level. His third goal in particular was a really great shot. He’s playing at a sharp level. At any moment several of our guys could pop up and have a hat trick and he was the guy who did that tonight. He’s been really productive and not just on the score sheet. He’s helped us defensively as well.”

Weides' program honored with Team Academic Award

September 30, 2020

United Soccer Coaches Release

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Men’s Soccer program has been named a recipient of the 2019-20 United Soccer Coaches College Men’s Team Academic Award, as announced on Sept. 24. The honor was earned based upon performance in the classroom during the 2019-20 academic year. Head coach Jason Weides’ team also earned NAIA Scholar-Team status last season after posting a collective GPA of 3.08.

The Bulldog Men’s Soccer program has been rewarded with the Team Academic Award for the seventh-straight year. Additionally, the Bulldogs were represented in 2019-20 by eight NAIA Scholar-Athletes: David Carrasco, JD Dominguez, Ethan Doyle, Caleb Goldsmith, Decker Mattimoe, Carlos Orquiz, Garrett Perry and Joao Pedro Verissimo.

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 2019-20 academic year. A total of 930 soccer teams (350 men, 580 women) posted a team grade point average of 3.0 or higher, thereby earning the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award.

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.

Win streak grows to five with homecoming triumph

October 4, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – It was choppy at times, but the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team managed to avenge one of its losses from last season on a homecoming Saturday (Oct. 3) inside Bulldog Stadium. Senior Garrett Perry delivered another goal while helping lift the Bulldogs to a 2-0 win over Dakota Wesleyan. Concordia’s early pressure contributed to an own goal that meant it held a lead for nearly 85 of the 90 minutes.

Thirteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad still has not fallen since the season opener back on Sept. 9. The Bulldogs (5-1, 3-0 GPAC) have outscored their first three conference opponents by a combined total of 10-1.

“We’ll take the three points, no doubt,” Weides said. “I think we felt good about the first 15 minutes. This season we’ve started the games a little slow and it’s taken us a little while to get into second, third or fourth gear. This was a game where our team did a good job of coming out with an aggressive mentality. We were creating some good chances. There were some moments that were poor on our part, but there were some really good moments. We just need to be consistent.”

The Bulldogs concluded the 2019 regular season with a 1-0 loss at Dakota Wesleyan. The early action seemed a good indicator that this meeting would not go down the same way. Concordia’s aggressive approach yielded the own goal in the sixth minute. As Weides mentioned in the postgame, the Bulldogs were close to finishing that particular goal off themselves.

A collective team defensive effort has been integral in the current five-game win streak. During which, Concordia has allowed two penalty kick goals but not a single goal in the run of play. The Bulldogs were able to make up for the loss of starting center back Decker Mattimoe on Saturday night. Sophomore Matt Schultz stepped into a starting center back role with fine results.

“I’ve got to be ready for any circumstance,” Schultz said. “When someone gets injured I’ve got to be ready. Today it was the whole back line and Federico (Andrea Simonetti) that helped me. We did it together as a team.”

The Tigers (2-3, 1-2 GPAC) certainly brought a feistiness with them to Seward. Stoppages were the norm in a game that had seven total cards. A couple of dangerous situations on the DWU attacking end could have made things interesting down the stretch, but Concordia survived its mistakes. The Bulldogs owned a 16-3 advantage in the shot count.

Impressive strikes from Perry are becoming the norm. He laced another frozen rope into the back of the net, this time in the 51st minute. He and Isaiah Shaddick both narrowly missed goals beyond the 80-minute mark that could have made it look like a rout. Reigning NAIA National Offensive Player of the Week Moises Jacobo was held without a shot. On the other end, Simonetti needed to make just a single save to preserve the clean sheet.

If things had gone as scheduled, Concordia would have played this past Wednesday at Midland. That meeting was postponed until November. Weides has not minded the breaks between games, but noted that the schedule reshuffling is more of a challenge for administration than for the coaches and players.

Said Weides, “It’s just unique. We’re not used to that rhythm of one game a week. We have to get back to it on Monday even though we have a full week of training leading up until Saturday. We talked to the guys after the game that they have to stay focused.”

The Bulldogs will now prepare to host Jamestown (1-2, 1-2 GPAC) at 3:30 p.m. CT next Saturday. The two sides played to a 1-1 draw last season in Seward.

Casanova garners GPAC Defensive Player of the Week award

October 6, 2020

GPAC Release

SEWARD, Neb. – A standout in the shutout victory over Dakota Wesleyan, freshman Iker Casanova has been recognized as the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Defensive Player of the Week, as announced on Tuesday (Oct. 6). This marks the fourth GPAC weekly award of 2020 for the Concordia University Men’s Soccer program. Moises Jacobo (twice) and Federico Andrea Simonetti have also garnered GPAC honors this season.

A native of Mexico City, Mexico, Casanova has quickly stepped into a starting role at center back. He’s played an instrumental role in shutouts in three of the past four outings for Concordia (currently on a five-game win streak). In last week’s 2-0 victory over Dakota Wesleyan, Casanova and the Bulldogs limited the Tigers to just three shots (one on goal). Through six games, Concordia has surrendered only one goal within the run of play (the other four have come via penalty kicks). Casanova, a journalism and public relations major, has started all six games.

The Bulldogs (5-1, 3-0 GPAC) will return to action on Saturday when they will host Jamestown (1-2, 1-2 GPAC) at 3:30 p.m. CT.

Bulldogs look to continue (3-0) winning streak

October 6, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The Bulldogs win streak reached five last weekend (Oct. 3) as Concordia celebrated homecoming in style. The Bulldogs recorded seven shots on goal while blanking Dakota Wesleyan in the 2-0 victory. With eight matches to go in GPAC play, Concordia currently sits a half-game back of Briar Cliff and Hastings atop the conference standings. The Bulldogs will ride their unblemished conference mark (3-0) into Saturday’s match against Jamestown. Kickoff from Bulldog Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. CT.

During Saturday’s victory over Dakota Wesleyan, the Bulldogs won the field position battle handily. Freshman goalkeeper Federico Andrea Simonetti had a very uneventful day as he made one save in his only attempt. Concordia got out to a 1-0 lead early with a little help from the opposition as Dakota Wesleyan scored an own goal in the fifth minute of play. Senior Garrett Perry added his fifth goal of the season on an absolute rocket in the 50th minute. Overall, the Bulldogs outshot the Tigers 16-3 in a much more lopsided match than the final score indicated.

Jamestown (1-2, 1-2) at Concordia (5-1, 3-0)
Saturday, Oct. 10 | 3:30 p.m.
Bulldog Stadium | Seward, Neb.

Nobody leads, 0-0-2
Last meeting: Oct. 26, 2019; 1-1 T (2 OT)


Team Statistics

*2020 GPAC rank in parentheses

Offensive Goals/Game: 2.83 (3rd)
Total Goals: 17 (T1)
Shots on Goal/Game: 8.33 (4th)
Defensive Goals Allowed/Game: 0.83 (2nd)
Saves/Game: 3.67 (9th)

Offensive Goals/Game: 2.33 (5th)
Total Goals: 7 (T5)
Shots on Goal/Game: 5.33 (11th)
Defensive Goals Allowed/Game: 3 (11th)
Saves/Game: 5.67 (7th)

The opponents
The Jimmies of Jamestown have hovered around the .500 mark since joining the GPAC back in 2018. Head Coach Tommy Nienhaus is the winningest coach in Jamestown history, with 68 wins. The Jimmies are coming off a 3-1 win over Dordt on Sept. 26. Jamestown currently sits in fourth place in the GPAC standings with a record of 1-2.

In the ratings
The GPAC Preseason Soccer Coaches’ Poll was unveiled on Aug. 27. Concordia landed at No. 5 (77 points), while Jamestown was placed seventh in the league (68 points). The poll closely resembled the final 2019 standings. The NAIA has not released a single national poll this year. In the current Massey Ratings, the Bulldogs appear at 22nd while the Jimmies check in at 98th. Concordia also ranks in the Top-25 in the Massey Power Ratings as they moved into the No. 23 spot. this week.

GPAC preseason: 5th
Current Massey Ratings: 22nd

GPAC preseason: 7th
Current Massey Ratings: 98th

Consistent Competitors
Winning seasons have become the norm for the Concordia Bulldogs during the Jason Weides era. Under Weides, the Bulldogs have reeled off nine consecutive winning seasons dating back to 2011. During that period, they have finished with a winning record in GPAC play in eight of those seasons.

Casanova earns GPAC honor
Freshman center back Iker Casanova has made an immediate impact since arriving in Seward. The native of Mexico City, Mexico, was part of a suffocating defense that limited Dakota Wesleyan to just three shots during the Bulldogs 2-0 win. After playing a major role during shutouts in three of the past four matches for Concordia, Casanova earned the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week award. He is already the third Bulldog to be honored by the conference this season. Sophomore Moises Jacobo (twice) and freshman Federico Andrea Simonetti have also garnered GPAC player of the week accolades.

Just win baby
Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad is no stranger to finding success out of the gates as Concordia won its first seven contests in 2019. Concordia is close to replicating that performance this season as their win streak is currently at five games. The Bulldogs have dominated opponents during their winning streak as they have outscored opponents 16-2 during the span. Perhaps the most impressive figure is that Bulldogs have outshot opponents 86-36 in the past five matches. The five-game win streak is the third-longest in the Jason Weides era.

Simonetti saves
Freshman goalkeeper Federico Andrea Simonetti has been impressive since taking over the starting role. The Crema, Italy, the product boasts a .941 save percentage. Overall, Simonetti has only allowed one goal in 17 attempts on the season. Simonetti and the Bulldog defense have pitched three shutouts on the season.

Dynamic duo
Senior Garrett Perry and Sophomore Moises Jacobo have been scoring at a furious pace so far this season. Both Perry and Jacobo have netted five goals, each currently leading all GPAC players.  Jacobo and Perry currently sit at 11th nationally in total goals and 27th nationally in goals per game. Their ten combined goals outnumber eight teams in the GPAC conference.

Series vs. Jamestown
The Concordia-Jamestown series has not been for fans of high scoring contests. The Bulldogs and Jimmies have squared off twice and both resulted in 1-1 double-overtime ties. Jamestown’s Aaron Pike and Concordia’s Garrett Perry were the respective lone scorers in last year’s contest.

Scouting Jamestown
The defense has been a problem for Jamestown this season as the Jimmies have allowed nine goals in their three contests this season. Jamestown is allowing an average of 10.33 shots on goal per game, with capitalizing on 34.6 percent of their shots on goal. On the offensive side of play, Jamestown has been solid, averaging 2.3 goals per game. The Jimmies are averaging 16 shots per game and 5.3 shots on goal per game. Senior midfielder Ruben Zepeda is a major scoring threat with four goals and eight points through three contests this season. In addition to Zepeda, the Bulldogs will want to keep an eye on junior midfielder Deigo Valle who has accounted for two goals this season. The Jimmies offense will be one of the strongest the Bulldogs have faced all year.

Casanova, Orquiz star, Concordia wins sixth-straight

October 10, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The run through conference play continues to go about as hoped for the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team. The goals were produced by unusual suspects on Saturday (Oct. 10) while the Bulldogs cruised to a 4-1 afternoon home victory over Jamestown. Pleasant fall temperatures in the upper 70s greeted the two sides, which played to a 1-1 draw in the 2019 meeting.

Thirteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has won six-consecutive games (including four inside conference play) to move to 6-1 overall. Concordia (4-0 GPAC) is one of five GPAC teams without a conference loss in 2020.

“We feel happy about it overall,” Weides said. “Certainly Jamestown tested us in some good ways. I thought we stood up to the challenge pretty well. It’s nice to get a comfortable lead in the first half, but we knew we would be challenged in the second half. What we lacked today is getting that fourth goal earlier to put the game to bed. That’s not easy to do against good teams. It was a good team win.”

A key component of the back line and the reigning GPAC Defensive Player of the Week, freshman Iker Casanova had himself a fine day. He was the beneficiary of two well-placed corner kicks by Carlos Orquiz. Casanova capitalized with a goal apiece in the 41st and 42nd minutes. Those were back-breakers for the Jimmies, who found themselves trailing 3-0 at halftime.

Orquiz (one goal and two assists in the game) also found the back of the net in the 35th minute via a penalty kick. Some credit goes to Jamestown for not folding after those moments. The Jimmies’ lone goal was a pretty one. After a corner ping-ponged around, Diego Valle scored on a bicycle kick from close range.

Casanova and his teammates still believe they have yet to reach their peak as a team. Said Casanova, “I think we’re capable of a lot of better stuff. We’re not having perfect games, but our momentum is really good. We didn’t have a great match today, but we’re winning. We have a lot of space for opportunity to be better.”

The Bulldogs owned the shot count by a margin of 16-6 (8-4 in shots on goal). Concordia’s co-leading goal scorers Moises Jacobo and Garrett Perry (five goals apiece) were held off the board on Saturday. Both put one shot on frame. In the final seconds of the contest, Ryan Wokutch put a cherry on top with his third goal of the season. He took advantage of some lazy play in the back by Jamestown (1-3, 1-3 GPAC).

During the current win streak, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 20-3. Based on the league standings right now, Concordia knows its toughest challenges are yet to come. There are some signs that the Bulldogs will be ready.

Said Weides, “I think we were prepared defensively to limit Jamestown’s chances. The guys did a good job of that … it will be a challenge for us at Mount Marty at their place. Tomorrow we’ll get some rest and recovery and go through some tactical stuff. We just want to make sure the guys can bounce back.”

In a quick turnaround, Concordia will be at Mount Marty (1-3, 0-3 GPAC) on Monday for a 1 p.m. CT kickoff from Yankton, S.D. The Lancers proved to be much improved last season when they took Hastings to double overtime. The Bulldogs beat Mount Marty, 2-0, in 2019.

Bulldogs settle for draw in quick turnaround

October 12, 2020

YANKTON, S.D. – There was no time to celebrate Saturday’s home win over Jamestown. The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team quickly returned to GPAC play with a Monday (Oct. 12) matinee at Mount Marty. All goals were scored during a wild second half of action at Crane Youngworth Field in Yankton, S.D. The Bulldogs ultimately settled for a 2-2 draw after two overtime sessions.

The tie interrupted a six-game win streak for Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad. The Bulldogs (6-1-1, 4-0-1 GPAC) are unbeaten over their last seven outings.

“Our guys worked hard. It wasn’t for a lack of focus our effort (that it ended in a tie),” Weides said. “We had some lapses in important moments and that ultimately made the difference in the game. We created enough chances to win the game, but for whatever reason we lacked that composure or that quality to finish off the game. To be fair, their keeper came up with some great saves. We had a few opportunities to put the game to bed when we were ahead 2-1 – just weren’t able to convert it.”

It was easy for Weides to think about the opportunities that were missed in a game that saw Concordia hold a shot advantage of 22-8. There were a number of near misses that found the post or the crossbar instead of the back of the net. In the second half, the Bulldogs found themselves in danger of a loss when they went down 1-0.

Concordia responded with an equalizer from Matt Schultz, who recorded his first career goal in the 70th minute. About four-and-a-half minutes later, Yessine Bessaies put away his second goal (via penalty kick) of the season to provide a 2-1 advantage. Israel Jimenez necessitated the overtime periods by slotting the ball into the back of the net in the 88th minute.

In the 20 minutes of overtime play, the Bulldogs outshot the Lancers, 6-1. Concordia had one corner kick opportunity that came in the second overtime period. Mount Marty effectively (1-3-1, 0-3-1 GPAC) effectively milked the clock over the final 10 minutes.

Said Weides, “It was just one of those days. I thought Mount Marty played quite well overall. They made it tough on us and they worked hard. I didn’t think we played bad defensively, but we were poor in those two moments. We’ll get better from it. Every tie either feels like a win or a loss and this tie feels like a loss.”

Moises Jacobo was credited with taking six shots (three on goal). Lancer keeper Sebastian Aguero collected eight saves, including four during the 20 minutes of overtime action. Meanwhile, Concordia keeper Federico Andrea Simonetti made four saves in his 110 minutes.

The Bulldogs will have time for rest prior to hosting 2019 NAIA national runner up Hastings (4-0, 4-0 GPAC) at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. The two programs met in the GPAC tournament title game three-straight years from 2015 through 2017. The Broncos last played on Sept. 26 (7-0 win over Presentation).

Casanova recognized by GPAC for second-straight week

October 13, 2020

GPAC Release

SEWARD, Neb. – Iker Casanova has made quite an impact in his first season with Concordia University Men’s Soccer. On Tuesday (Oct. 13), Casanova was recognized as the GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports GPAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second week in a row. This marks the fifth GPAC weekly award of 2020 for the Bulldogs. Moises Jacobo (twice) and Federico Andrea Simonetti have also garnered GPAC honors this season.

In the only outing of last week, Casanova played an instrumental role in the 4-1 home win over Jamestown. The native of Mexico City got on the board with the first two goals of his collegiate career. Both came after well-executed corner kicks off the foot of teammate Carlos Orquiz. At center back, Casanova helped limit the Jimmies to six total shots. The one Jamestown goal of the day came on an impressive overhead strike.

Casanova has started all eight games for Concordia (6-1-1, 4-0-1 GPAC), which returned to action on Monday and settled for a 2-2 draw at Mount Marty. The Bulldogs now look forward to hosting Hastings (4-0, 4-0 GPAC) at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday.

Bulldogs looking to notch victory on senior day

October 13, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – After battling Mount Marty to a 2-2 tie on Monday, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team continues its fall slate this weekend. The Bulldogs will be honoring their senior class when they take the pitch on Saturday, Oct. 17, to face Hastings College.

Saturday, Oct. 17 vs. Hastings College (4-0, 4-0) 3:30 p.m.

Head coach Jason Weides’ squad, went the full distance on Monday as they recorded their first tie of the 2020 season, bringing their record to 6-1-1 overall and 4-0-1 in GPAC play. During Monday’s contest, the Bulldogs outshot Mount Marty 22-10 in shots and 10-6 on shots on goal.  However, Mount Marty goalkeeper Sebastian Aguero was a force at the net, recording eight saves in just 70 minutes of play. Sophomore Matt Schultz recorded his first collegiate goal in the 69th minute. Sophomore Yessine Bessaies followed and scored on a penalty kick in the 73rd minute of play to give Concordia a 2-1 lead; however, Mount Marty scored with just three minutes left in regulation to force overtime. Concordia recorded six shots in both overtimes while Mount Marty had two. The game ended in a tie as neither team could capitalize on their opportunities in the overtime periods.

The tie moved the Bulldogs back in the GPAC standings as they now trail first-place Briar Cliff by a half-game. Concordia is entering arguably the toughest portion of a very back-loaded schedule as it’s six remaining opponents have a combined GPAC recorded of 13-6. Finishing strong will be vital for the Bulldogs to get favorable seeding in the conference tournament, which has been moved to the spring of 2021.

During Saturday’s match, Concordia will be honoring its senior class of Joao Pedro Verissimo, Trenton Williams, Garrett Perry, Ethan Doyle and David Moreno. During their career, the Bulldog seniors have an overall record of 42-15-8 and a GPAC runner-up finish in 2017.

The Bulldogs will be looking to stay unbeaten in GPAC play when they play the undefeated and untied Hastings Broncos on Saturday. The Concordia-Hastings series has been all Broncos as they hold a 20-1 record over the Bulldogs dating back to 2006.

Hastings (4-0) is coming off a dominant 7-0 win over Presentation. The Broncos have also beaten Dakota Wesleyan (2-1), Mount Marty (3-0) and Jamestown (5-2). Hastings won the GPAC in 2019 and made it to the NAIA National Championship, where they fell to Central Methodist 3-1. The Broncos were the favorite in the GPAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll as they garnered 10 of the 12 possible first-place votes.

The Bulldogs resume play next week as they host Briar Cliff on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

Undefeated Broncos handle Bulldogs on senior day

October 17, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The series history between the Bulldogs and Broncos has made it quite clear that it takes a special effort for the Concordia University Men’s Soccer program to topple mighty Hastings. The 2019 NAIA national runner up Broncos put up two goals early in the second half while galloping to a 3-1 victory inside Bulldog Stadium on Saturday (Oct. 17).

This marked the first loss on the conference record for 13th-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad. The week for Concordia (6-2-1, 4-1-1 GPAC) included a draw at Mount Marty on Monday.

“It was unfortunate we couldn’t get that second goal to really make those last few minutes interesting,” Weides said. “I think there were moments where I didn’t sense the fight in our team that we usually show. We scored that goal and I think that lit a little bit of a fire in us. It was a good response after that. I think they beat us in a lot of facets today, but we beat ourselves too. They deserved to win today.”

If there is anything the Bulldogs can build upon moving forward, it’s the way they made Hastings sweat a bit after the three-goal differential. That spread held until Garrett Perry played a perfect cross into the box for Carlos Orquiz, who knew what to do with it. The Orquiz goal (72nd minute) seemed to bring the entire game to a new level.

These 90 minutes featured the usual feistiness and chippiness that has characterized the series. There were a combined seven cards issued (all in the second half). Concordia began fighting back after Tyler Mase and David Panter knocked in goals for the villains. In the 86th minute, Yessine Bessaies had a good look at a potential goal that was saved by Bronco keeper Jesus Parra. Hastings finished with a 12-9 advantage in shots.

The Broncos (6-0 GPAC) are undoubtedly a threat to win the GPAC once again. Hastings has been able to avoid falling victim to Concordia ever since the Bulldogs upset the Broncos in the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game. The leading striker for Hastings, Lukas Goetz (seven goals this season), attempted four shots on Saturday.

Concordia honored a group of six seniors prior to kickoff. They were part of a 2017 team that went 16-3-1 overall (school record for wins in a season). Said Weides, “It’s been a fun group to work with. They’ve had a lot of success in their time here at Concordia. Their freshman year was probably one of the best years in Concordia history. They’ve won a lot of games and they’re competitors … They have worked tirelessly for Concordia and improved throughout their time.”

The Bulldogs will be right back at home on Wednesday to face another unbeaten team in Briar Cliff (7-0, 5-0 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT in Seward. The Chargers will be coming off a 9-1 victory last Saturday (Oct. 10) over Presentation.

Bulldogs looking to bounce back this week

October 19, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – After suffering their first GPAC loss of 2020, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team continues its conference slate this week. The Bulldogs will be hosting Briar Cliff Wednesday (Oct. 21) before traveling to Aberdeen, S.D., to face Presentation College on Saturday (Oct. 24).

Wednesday, Oct. 21 vs. Briar Cliff University (7-0, 5-0) 8 p.m.

 - Livestream

Saturday, Oct. 24 at Presentation College (0-4, 0-4) 3:30 p.m.

 - Livestream

Head coach Jason Weides’ squad dropped a tough 3-1 decision to GPAC leader Hastings their last time out. During Saturday’s contest, the Broncos outshot Concordia 12-9 in shots and 5-3 on shots on goal. Concordia was the victim of an own goal in the 37th minute of play that gave Hastings a 1-0 lead in the early going. The Broncos then added goals in both the 47th and 53rd minutes to increase their lead to 3-0. Junior Carlos Orquiz put the Bulldogs on the board with a goal in the 71st minute with an assist from Garrett Perry. However, it was too little too late. Corner kicks served as the difference-maker in the final box score as Hastings held a 10-3 advantage over Concordia, giving the Broncos plenty of offensive opportunities on the Bulldogs goal.

The setback dropped the Bulldogs back in the GPAC standings to third place as they now trail first-place Hastings and second-place Briar Cliff. The loss was the seventh-consecutive to Hastings as the Bulldogs have not defeated the Broncos since beating them in the 2015 GPAC Conference Championship.

The Bulldogs will be facing another formidable opponent on Wednesday when undefeated Briar Cliff comes to town. Concordia was blanked 2-0 by the Chargers in their lone matchup in 2019.

Briar Cliff (7-0) is coming off a dominant 9-1 win over Presentation. The Chargers are 6-0 in GPAC play with wins over Dakota Wesleyan (3-2), Dordt (1-0), Northwestern (5-2), Mount Marty (2-0) and Doane (2-1). Briar Cliff has one of the more dominant offenses in the GPAC, averaging 3.57 goals per game and 11.29 shots on goal per game. The Charger defense is also stout as Briar Cliff is ranked third in the GPAC, allowing just 1.14 goals per game. Senior Marcus Horwood leads the offensive attack for the Chargers with five goals on the season. Briar Cliff was slated at third in the 2020 GPAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

The Concordia-Presentation series has been all Bulldogs in the two previous matches. The Bulldogs have outscored the Saints by a dominant 16-0 margin. 

Presentation (0-4) has struggled mightily in its matches this season. The Saints have lost their four decisions by a combined score of 25-3. Presentation has allowed 48 shots on goal while recording just 18 shots on goal this season. Both rank last in the GPAC. Presentation was picked last in the 2020 GPAC Preseason Poll, garnering 11 votes.

The Bulldogs resume play next week as they host Doane on Wednesday, Oct. 28, in the final home match of the 2020 season. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

Wednesday (10/21) Men's Soccer home game postponed

October 21, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The men’s soccer programs of Concordia University and Briar Cliff have announced the postponement of their scheduled meeting in Seward on Wednesday, Oct. 21. They have rescheduled the matchup for Saturday, Nov. 14. Kickoff time is set for 3:30 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium on that date.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad remains slated to play at Presentation in Aberdeen, S.D., at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. Five games are left on the GPAC regular-season schedule for the Bulldogs (6-2-1, 4-1-1 GPAC). The GPAC tournament has been postponed until the spring semester of 2021 with dates to be announced.

For the latest updates, follow@cunebulldogs on Twitter. The updated men’s soccer schedule can be viewed HERE.

Bulldogs back in action after layoff

October 26, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – After an uneventful week with both matches postponed, the Concordia Men’s Soccer team continues their GPAC slate this week. The Bulldogs host Doane on Wednesday in their lone match this week. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 28 vs. Doane (3-4, 3-4), 8 p.m.


Last week’s home match against Briar Cliff was postponed due to the Chargers dealing with COVID-19 related issues. The game against Briar Cliff will now be the season finale as it has been rescheduled for Nov. 14, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday’s match at Presentation was postponed due to mother nature as forecasts were calling for nearly ten inches of snow. The game will now take place on Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.

The Bulldogs currently sit in third place in the GPAC standings. Concordia trails second-place Briar Cliff by a half-game and first place Hastings by a game and a half.

Concordia will welcome Doane to town on Wednesday as they continue their rivalry series. The series has been in the Bulldogs favor in the past decade as the Bulldogs have not lost to the Tigers since 2012.

Doane (3-4) is coming off of a 4-2 win over Dordt this past Saturday. The Tigers are averaging 2.14 goals per game while allowing 2.43 goals per game on the year. The Tigers rank sixth in the GPAC as they average 7.71 shots on goal per game. Forward Kobi Smith leads the offensive attack for Doane with his team-best four goals so far this season. The Tigers were slated at 10th in the 2020 GPAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

Following the game against Doane, the Bulldogs will travel to Fremont, Neb., on Nov. 4., as they square off against Midland. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT.

All Dawgs contribute in rout of Doane

October 28, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The layoff of more than 10 days did not stop the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team from getting out to a big first-half lead as it returned to action by hosting Doane on Wednesday (Oct. 28) evening. Three Bulldogs got on the board with their first goals of 2020 in a 5-1 victory over the conference rival from the southeast. Concordia played for the first time since a home loss to Hastings on Sept. 17.

These were three GPAC points the Bulldogs needed in their pursuit of another lofty GPAC placement. Thirteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad moved to 7-2-1 overall and to 5-1-1 within the conference.

“We handled it really well. Certainly a week-and-a-half layoff is unique,” Weides said. “I don’t think we’ve ever had that before. With any postponement, they handled it well. It gave us an opportunity to really get back to some of the basics. The last week of practice was really good for us and guys were competing and working at a better level.”

Going back throughout much of Weides’ tenure, the Concordia-Doane series has been ultra-competitive, but the Bulldogs have now won back-to-back meetings by margins of three goals or more. In this particular matchup, Weides called upon a number of players who were impressive in recent training, including junior Daniel Campbell. He found the back of the net in the ninth minute to open the game’s scoring.

Campbell and Mauro Figueroa were inserted into the starting lineup – and it worked. Campbell notched a goal and an assist and Figueroa also produced a goal and an assist. There were contributions all around for a Concordia side that dominated a Tiger team coming off a 4-2 win over Dordt. The Bulldogs finished with an advantage of 15-8 in the shot column.

“Tonight we had some guys get in the lineup that maybe hadn’t played a lot or hadn’t started this season,” Weides said. “A couple of them were on fire this last week-in-a-half in training. Danny Campbell and Mauro were really playing at a top level. They came out here and did the same thing. They were really big contributors in that first half.”

More than anything, Campbell is just glad to be back out there playing again. Said Campbell, “After being injured for over a month and having to wait to get back into the swing of things, it felt really nice to start off the night with a goal and get the team rolling like that.”

Campbell (9’), Figueroa (11’) and freshman Braden Spath (45’) each got on the board with their first goals of the season. Then in the final 10 minutes of play, Isaiah Shaddick and Ryan Wokutch joined in with a goal apiece to add the exclamation mark. Shaddick assisted the goal to Wokutch, which occurred in the last minute of action.

Only when the game was well in hand did Doane (3-5, 3-5 GPAC) really get much going on the attacking end. The Bulldogs were solid defensively in front of goalkeepers Andrea Simonetti Federico and Santiago Esparza. Doane managed just four shots on goal. The Tigers have not beaten Concordia since 2012. Concordia’s series record since then is 6-0-4.

In a rescheduled matchup, the Bulldogs will be at Presentation (0-5 GPAC) for a 1 p.m. CT kickoff on Saturday. In the first two meetings as GPAC foes, Concordia has outscored the Saints by a combined total of 16-0.

João's leap of faith rewarded with rich Concordia relationships

October 30, 2020

What a difference a few years makes. João Pedro Veríssimo can smile now as he reflects on the journey from Nova Mutum, Brazil, to Seward, Nebraska. Sight unseen, Pedro Veríssimo gave his pledge to Concordia University, located in a state he had never been, inside of a country he had never stepped foot in. Admitted João of his feelings then, “I don’t know where I’m going or how it’s going to be.”

Pedro Veríssimo will tell you that it was a God thing that led him here. That belief had to have been in mind when he landed in Miami, Florida, en route to Seward for the very first time. In the airport, a stranger told Pedro Veríssimo a joke while speaking English and then laughed. Pedro Veríssimo grinned back, but he hadn’t been able to comprehend what was said.

“I just kind of took a shot in the dark,” Pedro Veríssimo said of his decision to attend Concordia. “I said, ‘I want this program.’ I didn’t go to any showcases or visits. I made my highlights on my own and sent them to some coaches. I had some other offers, but the way they treated me here made the difference. The most important thing was the human interaction.”

Now in the midst of an unusual 2020 season, Pedro Veríssimo has found a comfort zone and a role as one of two captains on the Bulldog Men’s Soccer team. He’s one of the most respected leaders on the team. Pedro Veríssimo conquered the fear of learning to communicate in English. He can speak not just English, but also Portuguese and Spanish. Such fluency comes in handy on a diverse team represented by many different nations.

Thirteen years into his tenure, Head Coach Jason Weides knows what leadership looks like. He sees the way that teammates gravitate towards Pedro Veríssimo.

“He’s the type of guy that’s not only there for other international players. He’s there for the team,” Weides said. “Whether you’re from Lincoln, Nebraska, or whether you’re from somewhere else in the world, he’s a guy our players can turn to … He’s one guy that every single person on our team when we ask who they see as leaders on our team, they mention his name. He’s just really a great leader on our team.”

Jokingly, teammates sometimes refer to João as the “grandfather” or the “senior citizen.” He’s a good sport about it. He’s not the oldest on the team in terms of age, but he is “by body, for sure,” João says while laughing. Of course he’s coming off an injury that took away nearly his entire 2019 season. There may be some body aches that linger, but Pedro Veríssimo is a gamer. He’s an essential part of this team on and off the field. He’s started all 10 games this fall as an outside back.

The injury actually might have made Pedro Veríssimo a better leader. He had to find a different way to make an impact last season when he couldn’t be on the field.

Said João, “Last year I was a captain and I ended up getting injured in the second game. That took a lot of time to digest the fact that I wasn’t able to be on the field with my teammates. It changed my mindset of being a leader off the field and making sure everyone was ready to go. This year, being on the field is totally different. I want to be an example by what I say, but I can also be an example by performing … the main goal of leadership should be producing new leaders.”

In other words, João cares about what happens to the program after he’s gone. He wants the younger players to carry on whatever momentum is built this season. Why should he care? Because he’s thankful for the opportunity he’s had here – and for the people. When Pedro Veríssimo had zeroed in on Concordia as a possibility, he began messaging current players on the team. He learned about a healthy culture. It was something he wanted to be part of.

It was going to be different. He was worried about the language barrier – and of course the weather. He was warned of cold winters and humid summers. Now he sees the beauty of snow and the changing of the seasons in Nebraska. None of that really matters when you’re surrounded by the right people.

“Amazing people,” João offers as one of the best things about Concordia. “It’s kind of cliché to say that, but it’s really true. People here are really welcoming. They try to make you feel at home. That’s the main thing for me.”

Weides has been struck by the uncompromised positivity of João. As Weides put it, João always pictures the most ideal outcome in all situations. In a regularly scheduled one-on-one meeting with his head coach, Pedro Veríssimo requested it take place at 8 a.m. When he arrived, Weides asked if João was a morning person. João replied, “I’m an all-day person.”

“All Day” João will graduate in May 2021 with a degree in Business Administration. He’s also started his MBA with plans on returning and playing again next season in taking advantage of the year he lost in 2019. Simultaneously, Pedro Veríssimo is interning with Chartwells Dining Services, an opportunity that is giving him real world experience in business and finance (João grew up in a farming family with a father who works on the financial side of it).

Pedro Veríssimo may choose to go that route for his career, but he figures he still has a little time to decipher the road ahead. At this moment, he continues to follow his passion. Few things bring him more joy than the game of soccer, a sport that is basically a rite of passage in his native country. As João puts it, the sporting culture in Brazil is “all about soccer.”

It’s a game that brought Pedro Veríssimo to the United States and has given him a window into a whole different world. The greatest rewards are not the results on the field – even if it meant a win over rival Hastings – but the relationships formed with teammates, coaches, professors and fellow students.

João will leave Concordia eventually. Not all people can make this claim, but João can. Says the Bulldog captain, “I’ll have friends all over the world to visit after I graduate.”

Trip to Midland awaits Bulldogs

November 2, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – After dispatching Doane 5-1, the Concordia Men’s Soccer team will travel to Fremont, Neb., on Wednesday (Nov. 4) to face Midland in their lone match this week. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT.

Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Midland University (5-2, 5-2), 7:30 p.m.

 - Live Stream 

Head Coach Jason Weides went with a new lineup, which paid off in the Bulldogs 5-1 win over Doane. Junior Daniel Campbell and sophomore Mauro Figueroa took advantage of their opportunities as both netted their first goals of the season to give Concordia a 2-0 lead in the early going. Freshman Braden Spath connected on his first collegiate goal in the 44th minute to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. Doane got on the board with an own goal by the Bulldogs. Isaiah Shaddick and Ryan Wokutch then provided insurance as each added a goal in the final ten minutes of play to increase the margin to 5-1. Overall, Concordia outshot Doane 15-8 overall and 13-4 on shots on goal. 

Concordia currently finds itself in third place in the GPAC standings, trailing second-place Briar Cliff by a half-game and leading fourth-place Midland by a half-game. Wednesday’s matchup will have significant implications on the final GPAC standings and tournament seedings. 

The Concordia-Midland series has been a battle as of late, with the past two matches ending in 1-1 double-overtime draws.

Midland (5-2) has dealt with COVID-19 issues this season as five matches have been postponed or canceled so far due to the virus. Midland is coming off a 5-1 win over Mount Marty. The Midland offense has been solid this season as the Warriors are averaging 3.57 goals per game. Their 9.14 shots on goal per game currently rank third in the GPAC. Senior Forward Mario Bueso is one of the biggest scoring threats in the GPAC conference as he averages 1.14 goals per contest. Midland was slated at fourth in the 2020 GPAC Coaches’ Poll, garnering 93 votes overall.

Following the trip to Midland, Concordia will travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to face Morningside on Nov. 11. Game time is set for 8 p.m. CT.

Bulldogs earn 1-0 win over 2019 national qualifier

November 4, 2020

FREMONT, Neb. – Two perennially strong GPAC programs met up on an unseasonably warm Wednesday (Nov. 4) evening in Fremont, Neb. The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team made a 42nd-minute goal from Matt Schultz stand up in a 1-0 win over 2019 NAIA national qualifier Midland. In an evenly-matched battle, both sides attempted eight shots.

At least on paper, this goes down as the most impressive win this season for 13th-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad. The Bulldogs have moved to 6-1-1 in GPAC play (8-2-1 overall) with three games remaining on the slate this fall.

“It was a pretty even game,” Weides said. “The first 15 minutes we came out and played really well. We didn’t create a lot of chances, but we were dominating possession. The game got a little more even after that. It was a game with not a ton of chances for either team. Neither keeper was really tested to make a great save. It was a scrappy box-to-box battle that was about winning challenges and winning the second ball.”

Call it a workmanlike victory for Concordia. In other words, it may have been fitting that a defender knocked in the game’s only goal. Schultz put away his second goal this season following a corner kick off the foot of Yessine Bessaïes. Schultz also helped goalkeeper Federico Andrea Simonetti notch a clean sheet. Simonetti collected five saves in the process of the Bulldogs picking up their fourth shutout of the season.

Concordia was able to keep top Midland striker Mario Bueso (eight goals this season) quiet. He put one shot on frame. It was a strong collective effort for the Bulldogs, who tagged the Warriors (5-3, 5-3 GPAC) with their first shutout defeat of 2020. Midland lost only one GPAC game in all of 2019 while making its way to the national tournament.

“To me what today showed was a great competitive nature in our team,” Weides said. “Because it was such a grind-it-out game. The play wasn’t always brilliant, but it was very physical and about winning the first and second ball. Ultimately if we can do that, we should be able to compete with anybody.”

On the attacking end, senior Garrett Perry was most active for Concordia with three shots (two on goal). Daniel Campbell made his second-straight start and registered two shots. Four Bulldogs started for the 11th-straight time to begin the campaign: Iker Casanova, Moises Jacobo, David Moreno and João Pedro Veríssimo.

The Bulldogs will have this weekend off while preparing for next Wednesday (Nov. 11)’s matchup at Morningside (5-2, 4-1 GPAC). The rescheduled contest is set to kick off at 8 p.m. CT from Sioux City, Iowa. The Mustangs won the 2019 GPAC regular-season title and own a win this season over Hastings (2-1 on Oct. 28).

Vital GPAC matches await Concordia

November 9, 2020 

SEWARD, Neb. – After defeating 2019 NAIA national qualifier Midland 1-0, the Concordia Men’s Soccer team is back in action with two matches this week. The Bulldogs will travel to Morningside on Wednesday (Nov. 11) before returning home to host Briar Cliff on Saturday (Nov. 14).

Wednesday, Nov. 11 at Morningside College (7-2, 6-1), 8 p.m.

 - Live Stream 

Saturday, Nov. 14 vs. Briar Cliff University (8-1, 6-1), 3:30 p.m.

 - Live Stream 

During their last outing, the Bulldogs found themselves in a defensive battle with the Warriors of Midland. Both sides were limited to just eight shots during the contest. Concordia put four shots on goal while Midland recorded five shots on goal. The game’s decisive moment came in the 42nd minute when sophomore Matt Schultz scored on a corner kick coming from Yessine Bessaies to give the Bulldogs the only goal they needed for the 1-0 victory. Goalkeeper Federico Andrea Simonetti recorded five saves on his way to a clean sheet. 

Head Coach Jason Weides squad finds themselves in second place in the GPAC standings with a 6-1-1 conference record. The Bulldogs have a chance to make things interesting in the final stretch of the season as they trail first-place Hastings by a half-game with three matches remaining. 

The Concordia-Morningside matchup has always been a battle as the Mustangs hold a 7-6-1 advantage of the Bulldogs historically. Morningside has come out on top in the last two matchups as they defeated Concordia 3-0 in 2019 and 2-1 in 2018.

Morningside (7-2, 6-1) has been impressive this season while scoring a 2-1 win over conference front runner Hastings. The Mustangs are coming off a pair of dominant wins over Jamestown (6-0) and Presentation (7-1). Morningside is led by junior Okan Golge, who is one of the top-scoring threats in the NAIA. Golge, a native of Cologne, Germany, ranks seventh nationally with an average of 1.67 goals per game. Morningside was picked second while garnering two first-place votes in the 2020 GPAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. 

Briar Cliff (8-1, 6-1) is coming off a 1-0 loss to Dakota Wesleyan which snapped an eight-game win streak. The Chargers are averaging 3.11 goals per game while only allowing one goal per game. Senior Forward Marcus Horwood is the leader of the Chargers offensive attack with five goals and three assists this season. Horwood was a first-team All-GPAC in 2019. Briar Cliff is also strong defensively, allowing just 24 shots on goal through eight matches this season. The Chargers were slated at third in the 2020 GPAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

Following the game against Briar Cliff, Concordia will close out its regular season with a trip to Aberdeen S.D., to face Presentation on Nov. 21. Game time is set for 1 p.m. CT.

Concordia shut out for first time in 2020

November 11, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – In a battle between two teams with just one GPAC loss apiece entering the night, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team came up on the short end. The Bulldogs were shut out for the first time this season in a contest they likely had to have if they were to keep hopes alive of winning a GPAC regular-season title. Host Morningside dashed those hopes by earning a 3-0 victory on Wednesday (Nov. 11) evening.

Thirteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad remains in the thick of things in the top four of the GPAC standings. The Bulldogs slipped to 6-2-1 in conference play (8-3-1 overall) with two games remaining this fall.

“We were outplayed and outcoached, top to bottom, in this game,” Weides said. “They were definitely the better team tonight. It was frustrating for us because we thought we could compete much better than we showed tonight. In the second half I thought we came out in the first 10 minutes and played a little bit better. In the first half we were really poor moving forward in the attack.

“Unfortunately they scored two really quick goals. I think that was an indication of how poorly we performed. We generally don’t allow three goals and we almost never allow two goals back-to-back.”

Snow piles bordering all sides of the field provided a wintry backdrop at Elwood Olsen Stadium in Sioux City, Iowa. The two goals that Weides alluded to occurred in the 70th and 72nd minutes and effectively put the game to bed. The Mustangs (8-2, 7-1 GPAC) got their goals from Moritz Lusch, Nicolo Renzi and Okan Golge (10 shots taken). Few teams have had success marking Golge, who now has 16 goals on the season.

Morningside remains in the hunt along with Hastings (8-1 GPAC) and Briar Cliff (7-1 GPAC) as conference title contenders. Champion of the 2019 GPAC regular season, the Mustangs enjoyed a 21-8 advantage in the shot count on Wednesday. Only David Moreno managed to put a shot on frame for Concordia.

Though he didn’t start the game, junior center back Decker Mattimoe returned to action after having been sidelined by injury. Weides inserted Mattimoe into the lineup in the second half and moved Matt Schultz to a holding mid role. At goalkeeper, Federico Andrea Simonetti collected five saves. Bjarne Huth picked up on the shutout on the other end.

Said Weides, “It was a disappointing performance where a top performance was needed. We have to lick our wounds and move on.”

The Bulldogs will play at home for the final time this fall when action kicks off at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. Concordia will have another tough challenge on its hands with Briar Cliff (9-1, 7-1 GPAC) visiting town. The Chargers’ lone defeat was a surprising 1-0 decision at Dakota Wesleyan on Nov. 7.

Final home clash of 2020 ends in draw

November 14, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. –  In an abnormal mid-November regular-season contest, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team got one last chance to play at home in the calendar year 2020. The Bulldogs acquitted themselves well while up against a GPAC title contender and earned a 1-1 draw with Briar Cliff on Saturday (Nov. 14). Daniel Campbell knocked in the equalizer for Concordia.

Thirteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad picked up one point in the standings, but this week as a whole hurt in terms of its chances at locking up a GPAC tournament quarterfinal final game in the spring. The Bulldogs (8-3-2, 6-2-2 GPAC) now reside in fifth place in the league standings.

“I was certainly satisfied with the effort and intensity,” Weides said. “It was one of those games that’s a battle against a good team. They have a lot of good players. They make it tough, but we rose to the challenge. It’s unfortunate that we fell behind because we had some good chances to take the lead in the first half. I thought we showed a nice response to get back in the game when we got behind.”

Weides really wanted these three GPAC points. On the flip side, the Chargers (9-1-1, 7-1-1 GPAC) missed out on an opportunity to keep pace at the top of the conference standings. They got all they could handle from Concordia, which won the shot count, 13-9, and gave Briar Cliff a considerable scare with an attacking situation in the second overtime.

Once again, the Bulldogs have proven they can go toe-to-toe with basically anyone in the GPAC. Hopes of a signature conference win were bolstered in the 75th minute when Campbell emerged with his second goal of the season. Campbell hustled his way into the right place at the right time and was played directly in front of the goal by Ryan Wokutch. Concordia put three additional shots on frame that were denied by keeper Leandro Faria.

Weides went with another different starting 11 that included Decker Mattimoe and Matt Schultz at the center back positions. Caleb Goldsmith also jumped back into the starting lineup in the midfield. After an early run of hot goal scoring, the likes of Moises Jacobo and Garrett Perry have been held in check from an attacking perspective. In goal, Federico Andrea Simonetti made a pair of saves.

With one game left this fall, the Bulldogs are hoping for a win and a little bit of help in order to place inside the top four of the conference. In a normal year, conference tournament play would have been wrapping up about this time.

“Our goal is to be near the top,” Weides said. “We’re going to do everything we can to finish as close as humanly possible and control the things we can control. That’s our effort and trying to get three points every game. I think our guys have done a good job of creating every game as a cup final, or like it’s the GPAC final. Today was indicative of that.”

Briar Cliff got its goal from Marcus Horwood (sixth of the season). The Chargers have been one of the more dangerous attacking teams in the conference having put 31 goals on the board in their previous 10 games.

Concordia will close the fall portion of the schedule next Saturday when it plays at Presentation (0-8 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. CT from Aberdeen, S.D. The Bulldogs won last year’s meeting, 9-0.

Dawgs look to finish fall slate strong

November 19, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia Men’s Soccer team is wrapping up its fall slate this weekend. The Bulldogs will travel to Aberdeen, S.D. on Saturday (Nov. 21) to square off against Presentation College at 1 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 21 at Presentation (0-10, 0-10), 1 p.m.

 - Livestream 

During their last outing, the Bulldogs found themselves in a defensive battle with the Chargers of Briar Cliff. Offensive looks were limited for both teams as Concordia had just four shots on goal while Briar Cliff had three. Overall, Concordia held a 13-9 shot advantage. A goal by Briar Cliff‘s Marcus Horwood in the 61st minute of play put the Chargers on the board first. Daniel Campbell gave the Bulldogs the equalizer when he scored off a pass from Ryan Wokutch in the 74th minute. Concordia had one last scoring opportunity in the second overtime when Yessine Bessaies sent a header towards the net, but the Briar Cliff goalkeeper corralled it.

Head Coach Jason Weides' squad finds themselves in fifth place in the GPAC standings with a 6-2-2 conference record. The Bulldogs need a win over Presentation and a Northwestern loss to host a GPAC tournament match. 

The Concordia-Presentation matchup has been all Dawgs throughout its young history. Concordia took last year’s matchup by a 9-0 margin and won the inaugural match in 2018, 7-0.

Presentation (0-10, 0-10) has struggled mightily in both aspects of the game so far this season. Presentation is coming off a blowout 10-1 loss against Midland. The Saints are averaging 0.80 goals per game which rank dead last in the GPAC and 110th nationally. Presentation's 6.30 goals allowed per game are last in the GPAC and 120th nationally. The Saints are performing to the expectations most had throughout the conference as they were picked last in the 2020 GPAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, garnering just 11 votes.

Saturday’s match at Presentation concludes the 2020 fall slate. The Bulldogs will be back in action in the spring of 2021, when they will compete in the GPAC postseason tournament. The tournament was initially scheduled in the fall but was pushed back to the spring due to COVID-19 implications. Dates for the tournament have yet to be announced.

Win over Presentation ends fall on a high note

November 21, 2020

SEWARD, Neb. –  The Concordia University men’s soccer team breezed to a victory in its season finale on Saturday (Nov. 21). The Bulldogs dispatched last place Presentation by the score of 5-1. 

Concordia got started early as sophomore forward Victor Meneses found the back of the net off a pass from Moises Jacobo in the second minute of play to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage. After Meneses’ goal the Bulldogs went cold offensively as good looks were a rarity over the next 40 minutes.

“It was nice to get a goal in the first five minutes, and it dictated the game in a lot of ways,” head coach Jason Weides stated. “We could not seem to get a second goal for the longest time. We were doing good things we just couldn’t create opportunities for shots.”

Concordia broke its forty-minute scoring drought when freshman Iker Casanova scored on a pass from Yessine Bessaies right before the break to make it 2-0 Concordia.

One major mistake that hurt the Bulldogs was a handball in the box, which set up a penalty kick for Presentation. The Saint’s Parker Carlson converted on the penalty kick to make it a 2-1 game. After that, it was all Bulldogs as junior Carlos Orquiz netted a goal in the 66th minute. Sophomore Isiah Shaddick added two late goals in the 73rd and 81st minutes, respectively, to give the Bulldogs their fourth and fifth goals of the contest. Garrett Perry and Bessaises were credited with the assists on Shaddicks goals.

Concordia outshot Presentation 16-8 overall and 10-4 on goal. The Bulldogs were also able to generate offensive opportunities off of corner kicks and held a 5-0 advantage over the Saints. Junior Goalkeeper Callum Goldsmith made his second start of the season and first since the season opener back on Sept. 9. Goldsmith made three saves and allowed one goal in the outing.

Everybody who suited up appeared in the game for Concordia as Weides was able to get all 20 of his Bulldogs playing time in the match.

The Concordia squad finished the regular season with an overall record of 9-3-2 and finished the GPAC standings in fifth place with a conference record of 7-2-2. 

The Bulldogs just missed out on hosting a GPAC tournament game in the spring. A Northwestern loss would have given the Bulldogs a fourth-place finish and a home game in the conference quarterfinals however, the Red Raider’s secured a fourth-place finish with a 2-1 win over Jamestown. 

“I certainly think we have shown we can compete with some of the top teams in the league,” Weides reiterated. “It is still disappointing because we can beat the top teams, but unfortunately, we made one too many stumbles. We had a really tight league and every point in the standings matters. If you drop a point or two, it can make all the difference in the world. There were maybe two games this year on conference play where we did not play well, and then we had a frustrating draw. Those little moments make all of the difference. There is a lot of positives to take away. We will have to do a lot of hard work in the GPAC tournament to get a spot in nationals.”

Today’s match concludes the fall portion of the schedule for Concordia. The Bulldogs will be back on the field in the spring of 2021 as they compete in the GPAC postseason tournament. The tournament was postponed to the spring due to COVID 19 complications. The dates for the GPAC tournament have yet to be determined.

Four Bulldogs land on All-GPAC second team

December 18, 2020

2020 All-GPAC Men’s Soccer Team

SEWARD, Neb. – A quartet of representatives from the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team landed on the 2020 All-GPAC second team, as announced by the conference on Friday (Dec. 18). The group of Bulldog second team honorees includes freshman Iker Casanova, sophomore Moises Jacobo, junior Carlos Orquiz and freshman Federico Simonetti. In addition, senior Garrett Perry earned recognition as an honorable mention all-conference selection.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad went 9-3-2 overall (7-2-2 GPAC) this fall and placed fifth in the GPAC regular season standings. The 2020-21 season is slated to continue in the spring when the conference postseason tournament will be held.

A native of Grand Island, Neb., Jacobo moves up to the second team in 2020 after collecting honorable mention accolades in 2019. One of the team’s top strikers, Jacobo was named the NAIA National Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 29 following a hat trick in the win at Dordt. Jacobo shares the team lead with five goals on the season. He has also added four assists. In 32 career games at Concordia, Jacobo has totaled 11 goals and nine assists.

In the midfield, Orquiz has provided a consistent high level of play. The native of Chihuahua, Mexico, has picked up all-conference mention for the first time in his career. While playing in all 14 games this fall, Orquiz amassed four goals (one game winner) and four assists. In the victory over Jamestown, Orquz produced a goal and two assists. Over 47 career games, Orquiz has put up nine goals and eight assists while also contributing heavily to typically strong team defensive performances.

Simonetti stepped into the starting keeper role in his first collegiate season and solidified the role. The native of Crema, Italy, started 12 of 14 games this fall and notched 38 saves, a .776 save percentage and a .930 goals against average. Simonetti was credited with three shutouts. He made a season high five saves in three separate outings. Simonetti was named the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 29.

Casanova stepped into a starting center back position and thrived. Casanova and Simonetti are two of five GPAC freshmen to be named to either the first or second team. A native of Mexico City, Mexico, Casanova played a key role in the team’s four shutouts and also contributed three goals and two assists this fall. He was honored as the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks in October.

Perry is an honorable mention selection for the second year in a row. He has equaled Jacobo for a team high five goals on the year. The native of Corona, Calif., recorded the first hat trick of his career in the home win over Northwestern. Perry has also chipped in with three assists. Over 62 career games as a Bulldog, Perry has totaled 13 goals and 11 assists.

Spring season to feature three regular-season contests

January 13, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team has announced the addition of three varsity games to the spring 2021 regular-season schedule. The changes are official as of Jan. 13. Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad played 14 games during the fall portion of the season before concluding the calendar year 2020. The three outings this spring will serve as a precursor to the GPAC tournament, slated to kick off on April 10.

Varsity schedule additions for spring 2021:

·        Saturday, March 20 at Benedictine College (Atchison, Kan.), 3:30 p.m.

·        Saturday, March 27 at Missouri Valley College (Marshall, Mo.), 3:30 p.m.

·        Friday, April 2 vs. Midland University (Bulldog Stadium), 3 p.m.

The three games listed above will each factor into Concordia’s overall regular-season record for 2020-21. The home matchup with Midland on April 2 will be counted as a nonconference contest. All three foes also played extensive schedules in the fall. Benedictine went 6-5-1, Missouri Valley went 10-3-1 and Midland went 5-5-1. Missouri Valley has been a particularly strong program recently having finished the 2019 season ranked seventh in the NAIA.

Weides led his team to a record of 9-3-2 in the fall (7-2-2 within the conference). Unofficially, the Bulldogs will be the No. 5 seed and will be on the road for the GPAC quarterfinals on Saturday, April 10. The proceeding rounds are slated for April 13 for the semifinals and April 16 for the championship. The NAIA national tournament is scheduled to begin with the opening round April 22-24 before the remaining teams convene at the final site (Evans, Ga.) starting on May 4.

View the complete Concordia men’s soccer schedule HERE. Back in the middle of December, five Bulldogs earned All-GPAC honors: Iker Casanova (second team), Moises Jacobo (second team), Carlos Orquiz (second team), Federico Simonetti (second team) and Garrett Perry (honorable mention).

First spring action results in 2-0 defeat at Benedictine

March 20, 2021

ATCHISON, Kan. – In its first action since just before Thanksgiving, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team knocked off the rust while taking on Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., on Saturday (March 20). The host Ravens put one goal on the board in both halves in the process of earning a 2-0 victory. There were a combined 13 shots in the entire 90 minutes in a defensive battle.

During the fall, Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad placed fifth in the GPAC regular season standings. The Bulldogs slipped to 9-4-2 overall while beginning to ramp things up for the conference tournament next month.

“The first 20 minutes of the game it was obvious it was our first game and their fifth game this spring,” Weides said. “We really struggled in possession and they were all over us that first part. We eventually settled in and started to play better, especially in the first two-thirds of the field. We looked good going up the right side in the first half and had a couple decent chances but couldn’t convert.”

Benedictine (9-7-1) was playing for the fifth time since Feb. 24. The Ravens got a goal apiece from Kassa Girma and Robert Mike Keon (penalty kick). The first goal came in the 10th minute, meaning Benedictine lead this contest for more than 80 minutes. The Ravens made their five shots (six total shots) on goal count.

Concordia managed seven shots (four on goal) with Yessine Bessaies being the most active attacker. Weides noted that the first-half injury to Caleb Goldsmith was a limiting factor. The Bulldogs have largely the same team they showcased back in the fall. Weides called upon 17 players on Saturday. Both goalkeepers made exactly three saves (Federico Simonetti played all 90 minutes for Concordia).

Said Weides, “The team had good intensity and fight but we just weren’t sharp enough and didn’t create enough chances to overcome the mistakes we made in the game. Today showed we have to quickly make significant strides, but credit to Benedictine who outplayed us.”

The Bulldogs will be on the road again next Saturday (March 27) with a 3:30 p.m. CT matchup scheduled at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. The Vikings are 11-3-1 overall and are ranked fifth in the NAIA Coaches’ Poll.

Bulldogs push fifth-ranked Missouri Valley in 2-1 defeat

March 28, 2021

MARSHALL, Mo. – It wasn’t hard to find positives in the aftermath of a 2-1 road loss to fifth-ranked Missouri Valley College on Saturday (March 27) afternoon in Marshall, Mo. While up against their highest rated opponent of the season and a bit shorthanded, the Bulldogs played the host Vikings to a 1-1 stalemate until an 85th minute goal from Kainan Dos Santos. One of the NAIA’s most prolific attacking teams managed to see out the one-goal advantage.

This was something for Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad to build upon. Concordia (9-5-2) looked like a better team than the one that dropped a 2-0 decision at Benedictine College (Kan.) a week earlier.

“The team did well against a top team but came up just short,” Weides said. “It was a game that we needed to be organized and defend well because MVC is very good in possession. We really did that well and limited their quality chances in the run of play. Our attacking play wasn't as pretty today, but credit to MVC who made it tough on us to build and possess as we normally would.”

Hopes of an upset were alive and well in the 70th minute when Isaiah Shaddick buried a strike from roughly 12 yards out into the back of the net. Shaddick’s fifth goal of the season was set up by Matt Schultz. At that point, the pressure was on Missouri Valley (12-3-1), which was stonewalled by a highlight reel worthy save from Federico Simonetti with the score still knotted, 1-1.

Dos Santos actually scored the winning goal while lying on the ground in what was a potentially hazardous scramble situation in the box. The Bulldogs were unable to muster a shot over the final five minutes. An 89th minute shot by the Vikings was spurned by Simonetti, who finished with six saves.

Attacking opportunities were limited for Concordia, which had four shots (two on goal) in the entire 90 minutes. Meanwhile, Missouri Valley registered 17 shots (eight on goal). A scoreless draw held up until Miroslav Markovic found the back of the net in the 52nd minute. The Vikings entered the weekend averaging 3.0 goals per game.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to play one more regular season game before the GPAC tournament quarterfinals take place on April 10. Concordia will host Midland (3-9-1, 3-7-1 GPAC) in a nonconference matchup at 3 p.m. CT on Friday, April 2.

Bessaïes, Bulldogs pull away from Midland for 4-2 win

April 2, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – The response of Concordia University Men’s Soccer in the second half will send it into the postseason on a high note. After a brief lapse after halftime, the Bulldogs turned on the jets with the help of three different goal scorers and defeated visiting Midland, 4-2, on Friday (April 2) afternoon. The contest (which officially counted as a nonconference result) marked the first Concordia home game since Nov. 14.

This was also the first victory of the spring portion of the season for Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad, which moved to 10-5-2 overall. The program has extended its string of consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins to 10.

“It’s nice to get to the 10-win mark and be able to ring our bell again,” Weides said. “We feel a little bit better about heading into playoffs. I think it’s great for the morale of the team … moving forward we can’t afford for some of the lapses we had. We didn’t have much energy and effort in those first 15 minutes of the second half. Midland punished us for that, but we showed some good resilience and fight as a team to get back into the game.”

The Warriors struggled to mark Yessine Bessaïes up top. The native of Bordeaux, France, has been a bit of a Swiss Army Knife in his ability to play all over the park. He got loose in the sixth minute for a goal and nearly had a second one not long after. He earned credit for the game winning goal when he found the back of the net in the 68th minute.

A consistent 25 mile-per-hour wind made it a challenge moving towards the south goal. However, the game’s first three goals were scored in that direction. Midland erased a 1-0 deficit with a goal apiece from Liam Brandso (54’) and Thomas Crawford (63’). After only rare offensive chances in the first half (one total shot), the Warriors (3-10-1) had made a serious threat in what was their final game of 2020-21.

The equalizer came four minutes after Crawford’s goal. Victor Meneses headed a corner from Bessaïes into the back of the net. Less than two minutes later, the Bulldogs were celebrating a goal from Isaiah Shaddick (assist to Ryan Wokutch) that provided a much more comfortable advantage down the stretch.

“We’ve had three games to prepare for the playoffs and we’ve kept improving,” Bessaïes said. “Unfortunately we lost the first two, but we’ve improved every game. Today was a good challenge and I’m sure we’re ready for the playoffs now … The main purpose for me is to help the team. I’ll play wherever Coach wants me. Of course I’m happy to score those two goals, but I’m happy with the win.”

Late in the game, Weides made liberal use of the bench. Callum Goldsmith spelled Federico Simonetti in goal for the final 12 minutes. While the team has looked slightly different this spring, Weides has continued to lean upon All-GPAC performers in Iker Casanova, Carlos Orquiz, Garrett Perry (assist on Friday) and Simonetti.

As the No. 5 seed in the GPAC, Concordia will be at No. 4 seed Northwestern (11-5) for the GPAC quarterfinals on Saturday, April 10. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT from Orange City, Iowa.

“It’s going to be a challenging game,” Weides said. “Northwestern had a great season. We caught them early on a bad day (4-0 Concordia win on Sept. 26). We have to have the mentality that it’s not a team we’ve beaten already, but a team we have to prove we can beat again.”

Game Preview: Road trip to Northwestern awaits in GPAC quarterfinals

April 7, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – A potential postseason run for Concordia University Men’s Soccer team will have to begin with a positive result on the road. As the No. 5 seed in the GPAC, the Bulldogs will be headed to Orange City, Iowa, on Saturday for a matchup with fourth-seeded Northwestern in the conference tournament quarterfinals. The Red Raiders finished with one conference point more than the Bulldogs (24-23) in the final regular season standings.

GPAC Quarterfinal Game Info

Concordia (10-5-2, 7-2-2) at Northwestern (11-5, 8-3)
Saturday, April 10 | 7 p.m. CT
NWC Soccer Complex | Orange City, Iowa
Webcast: Red Raiders All-Access
Live Stats: Dakstats
 --Admission: $10 for adults/senior citizens, $3 for K-12; only those with NAIA passes and GPAC student ID’s will be admitted free of charge.

Fan policy: Fans are allowed to attend Saturday’s game. Fans are encouraged to bring their own seating and to use the west sideline to physical distance from others.

By the numbers

·        Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has played three nonconference games this spring in preparation for the GPAC playoffs. The results have included a 2-0 loss at Benedictine College (Kan.) on March 20, a 2-1 loss at No. 5 Missouri Valley College on March 27 and a 4-2 home win over Midland on April 2. Prior to the restart this spring, Concordia had not played since its 5-1 win at Presentation on Nov. 21.

·        The win over Midland marked the 10th of the season for the Bulldogs. That means the program has extended its streak of consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins to 10 (2011 through 2020). During that stretch, Weides has led Concordia to an overall record of 110-61-21. Weides is the winningest coach in program history with 127 career victories.

·        In last week’s win over Midland, the Bulldogs got a pair of goals from Yessine Bessaïes and one apiece from Victor Meneses and Isaiah Shaddick. Through 17 games this season, Concordia has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 41-23. Shaddick has now taken over the team goals lead with six. He’s one of 13 different Bulldogs to find the back of the net this season. Six Concordia players have contributed four or more goals.

·        This will mark the second season in a row that the Bulldogs have gone on the road for the GPAC quarterfinals. Concordia had a tough drew in 2019 when it lost at Hastings in the quarterfinal round. That defeat broke a string of five-straight years reaching at least the GPAC semifinals. Weides’ program experienced a breakthrough in 2015 when it won the GPAC final in an upset of Hastings. The Bulldogs proceeded to reach the championship game in 2016 and 2017 (finishing as the runner up both times).

·        It would have been hard to predict that Concordia would finish behind Northwestern in the conference standings after the two sides played back on Sept. 26. The result was a 4-0 Bulldog win in Seward. Garrett Perry turned in a hat trick and Federico Simonetti earned the shutout in goal. However, the shot count was fairly even at 12-10 in favor of Concordia.

The opponent
Following the aforementioned loss at Concordia, Northwestern closed the fall portion of the season by going 8-1 in its final nine GPAC games. That stretch vaulted the Red Raiders into position to host a GPAC tournament game. Head Coach Dan Swier’s squad has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 30-23 on the season. The title of team’s top goal scorer is shared by James Bolger and Juan Mackrey, who have both put away seven goals on the season. In the spring part of the campaign, Northwestern is 1-2 with a win over Clarke University (Iowa) and defeats coming at the hands of William Penn University (Iowa) and Viterbo University (Wis.).

GPAC tournament schedule
Quarterfinals – April 10
(8) Dakota Wesleyan at (1) Morningside, 1 p.m.
(5) Concordia at (4) Northwestern, 7 p.m.
(6) Jamestown at (3) Hastings, 1 p.m.
(7) Doane at (2) Briar Cliff, 1 p.m.
Semifinals – April 13 / Championship – April 16

The Concordia/Northwestern winner will advance to the semifinals and play either top-seeded Morningside or eighth-seeded Dakota Wesleyan.

Season ends in PK shootout heartbreak

April 10, 2021

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – One team’s jubilation is another team’s heartbreak when it comes to PK shootouts in the postseason. The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team found itself in the heartbreak category on Saturday (April 10) night in a tension-filled, drawn-out shootout. Finally, on the 10th round of PKs, fourth-seeded Northwestern celebrated an advancement to the GPAC semifinals while hosting the fifth-seeded Bulldogs. The two sides had played to a 0-0 draw in 110 minutes of action (two overtimes).

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad concludes the 2020 campaign at 10-5-3 overall. Concordia knew it would be a challenge to repeat its 4-0 win from the fall over the Red Raiders.

“Despite the outcome we are proud of this team,” Weides said. “PKs are a tough way to decide a game and unfortunately we came out on the short end of it tonight. PKs are always dramatic but especially when both teams are converting them. It doesn't often come down to the 20th shooter. Normally when you make nine of the 10 you find yourself in a great situation. We played much closer to the style and ability we are capable of, minus seeing the ball hit the back of the net during regulation. The smallest of margins stopped us in the end. We feel confident about our chances had we been able to advance, but it wasn't the case this year. Wished we could have sent our seniors out on a better note but really proud of all of them, regardless of their role this year.”

Neither team could find the back of the net on a combined 22 shots that occurred in the first 110 minutes. So of course both sides were virtually automatic when it came down to putting away penalty kicks. Both squads drilled their first nine PK attempts before the door finally opened up for Northwestern. The Bulldogs missed on PK No. 10.

On the ensuing try, Red Raider keeper Ezekiel Foltz sailed his shot high over the net, but he was granted a retake by the official (due to the Concordia keeper having been judged to have left the line too early). Foltz then converted on his second chance, setting off a celebration for the home team. Northwestern went a perfect 10-for-10 in the shootout.

Concordia held a slight advantage in shots, 12-10, for the evening. Foltz made seven saves, including three on shots from Yessine Bessaïes, who notched two goals in last week’s win over Midland. Off the bench, Daniel Campbell also put two shots on frame for the Bulldogs. On Northwestern’s attacking end, Federico Simonetti made four saves to preserve the shutout. During the 20 minutes of overtime action, Concordia put one shot on frame.

The Red Raiders (11-5-1) went 8-1 to close the GPAC regular season after their loss at Bulldog Stadium on Sept. 26. Northwestern is moving on to the GPAC semifinals after falling in the quarterfinals in 2019.

This is the end of the line for the Bulldogs, who again reached the 10-win mark. Under Weides, the program has reached at least that win total in 10 straight seasons. This particular team navigated a campaign that was unlike any other in the program’s history. Concordia played four official games this spring. Five Bulldogs garnered all-conference accolades for their performances: Iker Casanova (second team), Moises Jacobo (second team), Carlos Orquiz (second team), Simonetti (second team) and Garrett Perry (honorable mention).

Season-In-Review: 2020-21 Concordia Men's Soccer

May 22, 2021

It’s anyone’s guess as to what may have resulted this postseason had a heartbreaking penalty kick shootout gone the other way in the GPAC quarterfinals. Unfortunately, that particular scene at Northwestern in Orange City, Iowa, remains the freshest memory from a unique two-part season for Concordia University Men’s Soccer. The 2020-21 campaign began back on Sept. 9 and concluded on April 10.

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, Head Coach Jason Weides experienced a season unlike all the others in his 13-year tenure at his alma mater. The Bulldogs wound up with an overall record of 10-5-3 and placed fifth in the GPAC standings. Those details will likely be overshadowed years down the road.

Said Weides, “The one thing I’ll always remember is the penalty kick shootout that finished our season. Those are pretty memorable moments. Unfortunately that moment didn’t finish in joy and jubilation for us. I’ll remember all the challenges the student-athletes went through and how everybody here at Concordia made it work to get us on the field and play. It was a season where I spent more time focusing on the protocols than coaching at times. That’s just the reality that every coach was in.”

Weides has presided over a program that, ever since 2011, has been competitive enough and talented enough to be a factor in the GPAC race each season. Led by the likes of four second team All-GPAC honorees, the ’20 edition put together a mark of 7-2-2 within a league that sent three teams to the NAIA national tournament. Some highlights of the conference season included wins over rivals Doane and Midland and a 1-1 draw with eventual GPAC postseason champion Briar Cliff (a top 25 team in the final NAIA poll).

For the 10th season in a row, the program achieved at least 10 wins. This year’s Bulldogs managed to reach that mark while facing one of the most challenging schedules in school history. Concordia played six national qualifiers throughout the fall and spring: No. 1 Missouri Valley, No. 8 Bellevue, No. 17 MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.), No. 21 Briar Ciff, No. 23 Morningside and Hastings (just outside the final top 25). Way back in September, the Bulldogs earned a 2-1 win over MidAmerican Nazarene in Olathe, Kan.

Concordia traveled to play eventual national champion Missouri Valley as part of a three-game slate of regular season contests this spring. An Isaiah Shaddick goal in the second half made it a 1-1 stalemate until the Vikings found the game winner in the 85th minute. In the lone home appearance this spring, the Bulldogs defeated Midland, 4-2.

Over the 18 games in 2020-21, Concordia outscored its opponents by a combined total of 41-23. All-in-all, it was an overall solid season. However, Weides had hopes of making a more serious run at a conference championship.

“From an outside perspective it looks like another good season,” Weides said. “We’ve been really consistent over the past 10 years at achieving 10-plus wins. We checked that box again and showed that consistency and had a decent finish in the GPAC. We try to find opportunities to enjoy the journey. It takes a little while to gain the right perspective after the season ends. You think about what you missed rather than what you had. We truly came into this season believing we could win a regular season title. Then when postseason started, we believed we could win the tournament title. We fell short of that. For us internally, there is some disappointment and hunger for next year. We’ll have to use this for motivation.”

Individually, All-GPAC honors went to Iker Casanova (second team), Moises Jacobo (second team), Carlos Orquiz (second team), Federico Simonetti (second team) and Garrett Perry (honorable mention). Both Casanova (center back) and Simonetti (goalkeeper) immediately earned starting roles as freshmen and were key components for a solid defensive team. In the midfield, Orquiz provided a high level of play while Jacobo and Perry were two of the team’s most dangerous attackers. With two goals during the spring, Shaddick emerged as the team’s top goal scorer with six goals. Six Bulldogs produced four or more goals. As an outside back, João Pedro Veríssimo was a rock and started all 18 games after having missed most of the 2019 season due to injury.

It's likely none of the coaches or players associated with the team will ever forget the aforementioned GPAC quarterfinal clash. As the No. 5 seed, the Bulldogs were forced to play on the road. After 110 minutes of scoreless action in Orange City, a dramatic PK shootout ensued. Both teams converted their first nine PK attempts before Concordia finally misfired. It looked like an 11th round of PK’s would be needed, but the official ruled that the Bulldog keeper left his line too early and granted a retake. The Red Raiders celebrated a controversial PK shootout triumph soon after that judgement.

“It’s a tough way to not only end a game, but end a season,” Weides said. “We really don’t get a chance to experience (PK shootouts) much at all. I believe it’s only the third time in our program’s history. It’s a moment where you know your team’s hurting. We felt like we were a team that really had more and believed in our team goals. We felt like we were capable and had the ability to go out and win a GPAC title and go to nationals. It’s painful when you fall short of it. It was a classic college playoff game with a lot of physical play.”

A large portion of the most-called-upon players will return for the fall of 2021. It’s hopeful that things will look much the way they did prior to 2020. Said Weides, “We were able to play a full regular season and have playoffs. Our guys worked hard to have those opportunities, and there were a lot of people at Concordia that helped make that happen.”