2021 Men's Soccer Schedule/Results

7-8-3 overall | 5-4-2 GPAC (5th) | Season Stats | Roster

Date Opponent Location Time/Result Record
Aug. 25 York College Seward, Neb. W, 4-2 1-0
Aug. 28 Tabor College (Kan.) Seward, Neb. W, 4-0 2-0
Sept. 1 Grand View University (Iowa) Des Moines, Iowa L, 0-2 2-1
Sept. 4 Kansas Wesleyan University Salina, Kan. T, 1-1 (2 OT) 2-1-1
Sept. 8 Benedictine College (Kan.) Seward, Neb. L, 1-2 2-2-1
Sept. 15 (10) Bellevue University Omaha, Neb. L, 1-2 2-3-1
Sept. 18 *Mount Marty University Seward, Neb. W, 2-0 3-3-1, 1-0
Sept. 22 *Dordt University Seward, Neb. W, 1-0 4-3-1, 2-0
Sept. 25 *Northwestern College Orange City, Iowa L, 0-1 4-4-1, 2-1
Sept. 29 *Midland University Seward, Neb. L, 0-1 4-5-1, 2-2
Oct. 2 *Dakota Wesleyan University Mitchell, S.D. W, 5-1 5-5-1, 3-2
Oct. 6 *Morningside University Seward, Neb. L, 2-3 5-6-1, 3-3
Oct. 9 *University of Jamestown Jamestown, N.D. W, 3-0 6-6-1, 4-3
Oct. 16 *Hastings College Hastings, Neb. T, 3-3 (2 OT) 6-6-2, 4-3-1
Oct. 20 *Briar Cliff University Sioux City, Iowa L, 0-1 6-7-2, 4-4-1
Oct. 23 *Presentation College Seward, Neb. W, 6-0 7-7-2, 5-4-1
Oct. 27 *Doane University Crete, Neb. T, 1-1 (2 OT) 7-7-3, 5-4-2
  GPAC Tournament      
Nov. 3 Morningside University (Quarterfinals) Sioux City, Iowa L, 1-2 7-8-3

2021 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
1 Callum Goldsmith GK 5-11 Jr. Sevenoaks, England Oxted County
2 Iker Casanova D 5-10 Fr. Mexico City, Mexico IES Alfonso VIII
3 João Pedro Veríssimo D 5-10 Sr. Nova Mutum, Brazil Anisio Vecente de Freitas
4 Renzo Bozzo MF 6-1 So. Santiago, Chile Colegio San Benito
5 Matt Schultz MF 6-1 So. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southwest
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 Max Bisinger MF 6-2 So. Rosenfeld, Germany Gymnasium Haigerloch/Muskegon CC
10 Martin Herrera F 5-9 Fr. Quito, Ecuador ISM Academy
11 Ryan Wokutch F 5-10 Fr. Paola, Kan. Paola
12 Garrett Perry MF 5-10 Sr. Corona, Calif. Woodcrest Christian
13 Eli Rhodes MF 5-6 Fr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southwest
14 Isaiah Shaddick F 5-9 So. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southwest
15 Carter Hinman F 6-2 Fr. Gretna, Neb. Gretna
16 Eduardo Rojas F 5-11 So. Bogotá, Colombia San Jose de Fontibon Parish College
17 Ryan Brown D 5-9 Fr. Omaha, Neb. Mount Michael Benedictine
18 Spencer Kaufman MF 5-8 Fr. Omaha, Neb. Westside
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 Ryoto Nakamura MF   Jr. Kobe, Japan Northwest College
24 Michael Lindberg D 5-9 Fr. Mesa, Ariz. Red Mountain
25 Connor Powers MF 6-1 Fr. Appleton, Wis. St. Mary Catholic
26 David Moreno MF 5-10 Sr. Cali, Colombia Leonistico La Merced / Northwestern Ohio
27 Caleb Goldsmith MF 5-5 Jr. Lincoln, Neb. Lincoln Southeast
28 Jarrod Henson D 5-7 Fr. Sidney, Australia Oakhill College
29 Daniel Campbell F 5-11 Jr. Bellevue, Neb. Bellevue West
30 Josh Bergt F 6-2 Fr. Fairmont, Minn. Martin Luther
31 Efren Flores Fierro GK 6-4 Fr. Omaha, Neb. Millard South
32 Gabriel Mendoza GK 6-1 Fr. Fuengirola, Spain  
33 Ethan Doyle D 5-9 Sr. Shawnee, Kan. Mill Valley
34 Benjamin Boll GK 5-10 So. Ham Lake, Minnesota Concordia Academy St. Paul

STAFF

Jason Weides, Head Coach

Luke Batters, Assistant Coach

Jack Bennett, Goalkeeper Coach

Nick Holmes, Assistant Coach

Schedule Release: 2021 Concordia Men's Soccer

June 3, 2021

2021 Men’s Soccer Schedule

SEWARD, Neb. – After playing into the middle of April this past season, Concordia University Men’s Soccer will return to the pitch for what figures to be a more standard campaign. The program has announced its 2021 schedule (revealed on June 3), which features 17 regular season matchups. The season is slated to get underway on Aug. 25 when nearby York College will be in town.

Head Coach Jason Weides recently finished his 13th season leading the Bulldogs, who reached the 10-win mark for the 10th season in a row. Concordia went 10-5-3 overall and placed fifth in the GPAC regular season standings (7-2-2 GPAC mark). The season ended in heartbreak via a penalty kick shootout in the GPAC quarterfinals at Northwestern. Five Bulldogs garnered all-conference mention: Iker Casanova (second team), Moises Jacobo (second team), Carlos Orquiz (second team), Federico Simonetti (second team) and Garrett Perry (honorable mention).

The 2021 slate features nonconference opponents in York, Tabor College (Kan.), Grand View University (Iowa), Kansas Wesleyan University, Benedictine College (Kan.) and Bellevue University. Bellevue finished this past season ranked No. 8 in the NAIA. In addition, the GPAC sent three teams to the national tournament (Briar Cliff, Hastings and Morningside) that took place this spring. The GPAC opener is scheduled for Sept. 18 with a visit from Mount Marty. Concordia will be at home eight times during the regular season.

The conference tournament dates are set for Nov. 3 for the quarterfinals, Nov. 6 for the semifinals and Nov. 11 for the championship game. The NAIA National Championship Opening Round is slated for Nov. 18 and 20 with action at the final site (location to be announced) set to run from Nov. 30 – Dec. 6.

York, Tabor on tap for season's first week

August 22, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – Year 14 of Jason Weides’ head coaching tenure will officially get started this week as the Concordia University Men’s Soccer program opens the 2021 campaign. The Bulldogs are getting set to host York College on Wednesday and Tabor College (Kan.) on Saturday in nonconference action. Concordia is coming off a unique two-part 2020-21 season that saw it go 10-5-3 overall in a journey that concluded in the GPAC quarterfinals.

This Week

Wednesday, Aug. 25 vs. York (1-0), 7 p.m.
--Live Webcast/Stats (Concordia Sports Network)

Saturday, Aug. 28 vs. Tabor (0-1), 3:30 p.m.
--Live Webcast/Stats (Concordia Sports Network)

Note for fans: Tickets to home soccer games can be purchased online via Concordia’s HomeTown ticketing page – or on site at Bulldog Stadium on the day of games. Currently, there are no capacity limits within the stadium. Face coverings are not required. More details for fans can be found HERE.

The rivalry with York is back on after a break last season. Since Weides became head coach in 2008, Concordia owns a record of 11-1 against the Panthers, a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The two sides last met in 2019 when the Bulldogs dealt York a 3-0 defeat in Seward. The Panthers (2-7-2 last season) opened the 2021 season on Aug. 21 with a 1-0 overtime win over Doane. Head Coach Tyler Wilt is in his second season leading the York program.

Tabor is a much less familiar opponent. The most recent Concordia-Tabor meeting occurred in 2018 when the Bulldogs defeated the Bluejays, 4-2, in the season opener. Also a member of the KCAC, Tabor went 2-13-1 last season. It began the 2021 campaign this weekend and dropped a 2-1 double overtime decision to Panhandle State University (Okla.). Grant Brubacher is in his 15th season as Tabor’s head coach.

As for the Bulldogs, they were picked fourth in the GPAC preseason coaches’ poll. The roster features 17 players with collegiate starting experience, including returning All-GPAC performers in Iker Casanova (second team), Carlos Orquiz (second team), Federico Simonetti (second team) and Garrett Perry (honorable mention). Not only does Concordia bring back Simonetti in goal, it also returns 85.4 percent (35 of 41 goals scored) of the goal scoring production from last season. A model of consistency, the program has reached the 10-win mark in 10-straight seasons and owns an overall record of 110-61-22 during that stretch. As a tune up, Concordia had a scrimmage this past Saturday and has been in preseason training since its Aug. 9 report date.

Following this week’s action, the Bulldogs will look forward to road trips to Grand View University (Iowa) on Sept. 1 and to Kansas Wesleyan University on Sept. 4. The next home date will be Sept. 8 versus Benedictine College (Kan.).

For an in-depth breakdown of the 2021 Concordia Men’s Soccer team, read the season preview HERE.

Shaddick starts fast, Bulldogs topple Panthers

Aug. 25, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – The opening 45 minutes went as scripted for the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team as it opened the 2021 campaign on a muggy night inside Bulldog Stadium on Wednesday (Aug. 25). Lincoln Southwest High School alum Isaiah Shaddick got on the board twice in the first 20 minutes while making for a mostly anticlimactic affair. Concordia built a 4-0 lead and ultimately came with a 4-2 win over visiting York College.

Now beginning year 14 as Head Coach, Jason Weides has led the Bulldog program to a record of 12-1 in the past 13 meetings versus York, a neighbor situated roughly 30 miles to the west. Weides saw this contest as a bit of a mixed bag, but it’s a start.

“It’s about you expect the first time out,” Weides said. “It’s not going to be perfect – it’s never perfect – but you’re likely to make a few more mistakes in your first game. It’s likely to show you a lot of things to improve upon. I think we saw that tonight. It really was the tale of two halves. We were up 4-0 and really controlling the play and doing some really good things in the first half. Second half, they were the better team … There were some really good things that happened too.”

Weides would like to see the advantage in possession turn into more attacking chances, but he’ll never complain about a four-goal first half. Shaddick got loose in the 17th and 19th minutes for his 11th and 12th career goals, respectively. Then in the latter stages of the half, Max Bisinger struck for his first goal as a Bulldog and the fifth-year veteran Garrett Perry added a goal in the 36th minute. From that point forward, Concordia was stifled on the attack.

Opponents surely will want to watch out for No. 14. Dating back to last season, Shaddick has posted six goals over the past six games. He is one of several Bulldogs with the capability of racking up a big number in the season goal column.

“It feels nice to come out here and set the tone early,” Shaddick said. “I couldn’t do it without my teammates of course. We’ve been working hard all preseason so it’s good to see the hard work paying off as a unit … We have a lot of dangerous weapons up top. I think any day we can have a guy go out and score two goals or a hat trick. We all have to go out with the mindset of being aggressive and capitalizing on the chances we have in front of the goal.”

To be sure, the lineups and combinations on the field will vary as the season goes on and more Bulldogs come available. The starting 11 on Wednesday included newcomers in the form of Bisinger, Martin Herrera and Eli Rhodes. Weides used 19 total players in the opener. Concordia entered the season with 17 players on the roster who had started for the Bulldogs.

The Panthers (1-1), who opened their season with an overtime win over Doane, got a goal apiece from Alexandre Motta and Reinaldo Kickhofel. The finally tally came in the 78th minute. Although it was too little, too late, York left with something it can build on.

Concordia will focus on internal improvement heading into the weekend. Said Weides, “Early on in the season there’s so little scouting information about our opponents … We’ll watch the film and focus on the things we need to improve upon. We just have to create more chances.”

The Bulldogs will remain at home and host Tabor College (Kan.) at 3:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. Like York, Tabor is a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Concordia puts together complete 90 minutes in rout of Tabor

Aug. 28, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – After letting down in the second half of the season opening victory over York College three days earlier, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team aspired to put together a complete 90 minutes on Saturday (Aug. 28). Four unique goal scorers and a dominant afternoon of possession carried the Bulldogs to a 4-0 win over Tabor College (Kan.). Concordia left no doubt with an 18-4 advantage in the shot count.

All in all, week one of the regular season was quite satisfying for the winningest coach in program history, Jason Weides. The Bulldogs defeated two Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference opponents by a combined tally of 8-2.

“I’m pretty pleased overall, beyond just the score line,” Weides said. “We talked at the beginning of the game and at halftime about consistency, composure and intensity. We really wanted to see those lived out today and I think we saw that despite a really hot day. This was definitely a more complete game than we had in game one. Game one was a tale of two halves, and this was pretty consistent throughout the entire game.”

Six different Concordia players have already found the back of the net through the first two outings. The goals on Saturday were notched by Martin Herrera (8’), Garrett Perry (44’), Ryan Wokutch (67’) and Carlos Orquiz (76’). Half of the goals came via penalty kick as the Bulldogs turned up the heat in the box. Max Bisinger just missed out on a potential goal of his own on a header that hit the crossbar.

The starting keeper in back-to-back games to begin the season, Callum Goldsmith wanted to ensure a clean sheet this time around. Wednesday’s matchup with York became a little too interesting when the Panthers put two second half goals on the board. In the latest contest, Goldsmith made three saves in 80-plus minutes before giving way to Efren Flores Fierro.

“The first thing we spoke about when we got inside at halftime was consistency carrying over to the second half,” Goldsmith said. “The York game we were great in the first half, but the second half – not so much. Today in the second half we carried on the way we started. It was a fantastic response we needed … Defensively we were solid. We really wanted a clean sheet today.”

The immense depth of this Concordia roster makes for a challenge when attempting to find the right combinations and lineups. Of course the blowout nature (and muggy conditions) contributed to the number of subs on Saturday. Twenty-four Bulldogs found their way onto the field. Off the bench, Spencer Kauffman assisted Perry’s goal. Daniel Campbell (three shots on goal) was one of the more active players on the attack.

Said Weides, “We have a lot of options – it’s a great thing to have. The reality is we’ll probably get it right a few times and get it wrong a few times for sure. If someone’s maybe not performing well, the nice thing is we’ve got someone who can come in. We have guys on the bench with great experience … We are going to have a lot of tough decisions. It’s only going to get more challenging because we still had a few guys out today.”

A significant challenge will be presented on Wednesday (Sept. 1) when Concordia travels to Des Moines, Iowa, for a matchup with Grand View University (1-0-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT.

Concordia falls at Grand View in closely contested match

Sep. 1, 2021

DES MOINES, Iowa – In the first meeting between the Concordia University Men’s Soccer and Grand View University (Iowa) programs since 2012, the Bulldogs stumbled for the first time this season, albeit in a strong effort. The Vikings struck for a goal both midway through the first and second halves while securing a 2-0 victory at Crownie Soccer Complex in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday (Sept. 1). The contest was characterized by high level play on both sides.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad had hoped to continue its winning streak after it had claimed victories last week over Tabor College (Kan.) and York College. Weides coached Concordia to a 2-1 triumph over then 20th-ranked Grand View nine years ago.

“It was a good college soccer game between two good teams. They happened to be a bit better than us today,” Weides said. “The game kind of had everything – chances for both teams and some good saves. Both teams came up with some key saves at key moments. Our team performance overall was pretty good. We just didn’t get the result. We talked to the guys about that. Certainly, there are areas we can improve.”

Weides felt like the Vikings were the aggressor in the opening 15 minutes. A nifty save by Bulldog starting goalkeeper Callum Goldsmith kept Grand View off the board during that timeframe. Eventually, the Vikings (2-0-1) broke through with a goal from Alessandro Venditti in the 23rd minute. Breathing room came in the 67th minute thanks to Gavin Nevshernal’s goal.

Concordia’s goalkeeper tandem of Goldsmith and Federico Simonetti (both played 45 minutes) were up to the task. Goldsmith made three saves before giving way to Simonetti, who collected four saves. On the opposite end of the field, Felix Shafer denied seven Bulldog shots on frame while preserving a hard-earned shutout.

Said Weides, “We had some good chances when it was 1-0. There was a bit of a scramble in the box and their keeper made a point-blank save. We weren’t able to get that goal and then they got a second one that proved to be the decisive one.

“We talked about three things we wanted to see: competing with composure, responding to adversity and great communication. To be honest, we had all three things. We can improve our communication, but we really responded to some tough moments.”

Weides gave props to David Moreno for his play in the middle of the field. On the attack, Yessine Bessaïes (four shots, three on goal) and Isaiah Shaddick (four shots, two on goal) were most active. Grand View wound up with advantages of 19-14 in shots and 5-2 in corner kicks. The Vikings’ early season run also includes a 1-1 draw with eighth-ranked Bellevue University.

The Bulldogs will be back on the road this weekend for another night game. Kickoff with Kansas Wesleyan University (0-2) is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT in Salina, Kan., on Saturday. This will mark the fifth season in a row that the two programs have met. Concordia has won three of the past four meetings with the Coyotes.

Late lead relinquished in draw at Kansas Wesleyan

Sep. 4, 2021

SALINA, Kan. – The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team appeared on the verge of claiming win No. 3 on the season, but an 87th minute goal forced overtime and eventually resulted in a draw. The Bulldogs tied host Kansas Wesleyan University, 1-1, in double overtime in Salina, Kan., on Saturday (Sept. 4) evening. Max Bisinger had broken a 0-0 deadlock with a goal in the 67th minute.

Earlier this week, Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad dropped a 2-0 closely contested decision at Grand View University (Iowa). Concordia stands at 2-1-1 overall.

“It was a frustrating one,” Weides said. “Credit to Kansas Wesleyan. I think they played their best game from what we’ve seen so far of them. Early on they had some good possession but it was mostly in their defensive half. I felt like we worked our way in into the game. We really did not create many chances in the first half. There was little service into the box, very few crosses and very few shots. It was an odd game in that you didn’t see many saves between the keepers. It was frustrating knowing we did not test their keeper.”

The closest the Bulldogs came to a potential golden goal during the extra periods involved a sequence in the 107th minute when Daniel Campbell’s shot was saved by the Coyote keeper. Such chances were few and far between on an evening when Kansas Wesleyan led the shot count, 15-12. The Coyotes also held a slight advantage in corner kicks, 11-9.

Concordia executed a corner midway through the second half when Eli Rhodes’ volleyed the ball towards Bisinger. The native of Rosenfeld, Germany, headed the ball into the back of the net for his second goal this season. The 1-0 lead held up until Jesus Genaro emerged with the equalizer in the 87th minute.

This marked the fifth year in a row that Concordia and Kansas Wesleyan have met up. The Bulldogs are 3-1-1 in those matchups. The Coyotes (0-2-1) are still searching for their first victory of this season.

In goal, Callum Goldsmith started and played the first half for the Bulldogs. Federico Simonetti then covered the second half and the two overtimes. Simonetti was credited with five saves.

This was one Concordia felt like it let get away. Said Weides, “We have to test our opponents more. At times we overcomplicated it a bit. Sometimes the margins are small and unfortunately we weren’t able to take advantage of the chances we had. We had a 1-0 lead and were in position to win, even though we didn’t play our best game. Our guys gave it their all, we just fell a little short (of the victory). We’ll learn something and move on.”

The Bulldogs will be back home on Wednesday to host Benedictine College (Kan.) (1-2). Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. Concordia hopes to avenge the 2-0 defeat it endured at Benedictine this past spring. The Ravens defeated Bethel College (Kan.), 3-1, on Saturday.

Attempt to avenge spring loss comes up short

Sep. 9, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – It can be a cruel game sometimes. The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team put together an effort that was worthy of a result, but it wound up on the wrong side of a 2-1 decision on Wednesday (Sept. 8) evening. The Bulldogs fell at the hands of visiting Benedictine College (Kan.) despite conceding only three shots on goal. The Ravens made them count with a goal apiece in the 20th and 34th minutes.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has started out September with a couple of losses and a tie after a 2-0 start. Now 2-2-1, Concordia has the capability of turning these recent results into wins going forward.

“I felt like did quite well in many facets of the game,” Weides said. “Normally if you have one save you have to make it a game, you would probably say you won the game. They didn’t have many shots, but they took advantage of it. I think in the first half, we played well in many areas, minus a little bit of toughness – getting into a tackle, winning a challenge, winning a second ball or a header. We challenged them going into the second half and they stepped up to the challenge.”

This one got feisty in the second half on an evening when eight cards were issued. Benedictine played down a man for nearly the final 30 minutes. That circumstance put the Ravens on their back foot. In the 74th minute, Jarrod Henson found the back of the net for his first collegiate goal. The match picked up from intensity the rest of the way with Benedictine managing to hold onto its one-goal advantage.

Concordia peppered Ravens keeper Carlos Flores with eight shots on goal, including two from Yessine Bessaies. The lone save registered by Bulldog keeper Federico Simonetti occurred in the 88th minute and provided some late hope. One final desperation shot was fired off by Caleb Goldsmith, who launched ball high over the goal.

Concordia dropped a 2-0 decision at Benedictine back in the spring. The Ravens (2-2) have bounced back from an 0-2 start to this season by claiming wins over Bethel College (Kan.) and the Bulldogs. They got a goal apiece on Wednesday from Daniel Wee and JJ Johannsen. Concordia owned a 10-6 advantage in the overall shot count.

Weides and company feel like they have missed some opportunities over the last couple outings. Fortunately, there is time to turn things around.

“We’re trying to get healthier. We are a bit banged up,” Weides said. “Every team deals with it to a certain extent, but we have a little bit more of our fair share (of injuries) right now. Step one is to get some guys back and then keep increasing that competition level each and every day at practice. We know we’re in for a good test come Wednesday against Bellevue.”

That matchup with the eighth-ranked Bruins (4-1-1) will take place next Wednesday (Sept. 15) with kickoff at 7:30 p.m. CT from Bellevue. The in-state rival Bruins defeated the Bulldogs last season, 3-1, in Seward.

Concordia edged at No. 10 Bellevue

Sep. 16, 2021

PAPILLION, Neb. – This was another in a series of close calls for the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team. A 73rd-minute goal proved the difference on Wednesday (Sept. 15) night as 10th-ranked Bellevue University held off the Bulldogs, 2-1, at Papillion Landing. Concordia went toe-to-toe with the highly regarded Bruins in a contest that was tied, 1-1, for nearly 60 minutes of action.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has played four-straight competitive contests without putting a tally under the W column, but the Bulldogs (2-3-1) remain confident in the direction they’re headed.

“It was a game from box-to-box without a lot of great chances for either side,” Weides said. “Both teams defended well. We’re certainly frustrated to not walk away with a result, but I think our guys did what we asked of them. We were right there with a top 10 team in the nation. It’s the smallest of margins when you have two good teams. I think our guys had a great mentality from start to finish. Our guys stood up to the test pretty well – we just fell a little short.”

Several area Concordia alums were in attendance in Papillion, where the Bruins wound up with an advantage of 21-13 in the total shot count. Very few of those were placed on frame by either team (6-3 Bellevue edge in shots on goal). The Bruins (6-1-1) got the benefit of a perfect carom off a Concordia defender’s deflection for one of their two goals. Oumar Sissoko earned credit for the game winner in the 73rd minute.

The Bulldogs did a commendable job in limiting a direct Bellevue attack that has piled up six or more goals in three separate outings already this season. The Bruins have also been tough to crack on in their defensive third. Concordia answered an early Bellevue goal when it was awarded a penalty kick in the 15th minute. With his parents on hand, Cali, Colombia, native David Moreno perfectly executed the PK for his second career goal as a Bulldog.

Federico Simonetti again started in goal for Concordia and made four saves. Yessine Bessaïes was the team’s most active attacker with three shots fired (one on goal).

In the month of September, the Bulldogs have been a bit snakebit, but there has been enough high-level play showcased against quality opponents to make Weides believe positive results are right around the corner.

Said Weides, “This is a team that I know is really close to taking that next step. We definitely have the capability to beat top 10 teams in the nation. We will put it together. I was really impressed by our team’s mentality, the energy on the sideline and the engagement of our team, no matter the moment.”

No harm has been done to Concordia’s chances to compete for a lofty placement within the conference. The Bulldogs will open GPAC action on Saturday when they host Mount Marty (3-1-1, 1-0 GPAC) at 3:30 p.m. CT. The Lancers have improved considerably over the past two years. They got the conference season started on Wednesday with a 3-1 win over Doane.

Perry, Bessaïes supply highlight reel-worthy goals in GPAC opening win

Sep. 18, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – Both Bulldog goals scored on Saturday (Sept. 18) were worthy of the highlight reel as part of a day when visiting Mount Marty made the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team earn it. There were chances to put away a third goal, but the Bulldogs made the exploits of Garrett Perry and Yessine Bessaïes hold up in a 2-0 win. The Lancers played Concordia to a 0-0 stalemate through the opening 50 minutes inside Bulldog Stadium.

This was the result Head Coach Jason Weides and his side were seeking after having gone 0-3-1 over the previous four games against strong competition, including No. 10 Bellevue University. The Bulldogs moved to 3-3-1 overall (1-0 GPAC).

“I think we took a step closer to where we need to be,” Weides said. “We had closer to the mentality we’re looking for each and every day. It was a game we felt frustrated in the first half because we had some good chances. We weren’t able to get on that front foot in the first half. There were some good things that happened in the first half, but we had nothing to show for it. Mount Marty made it tough on us for sure. I was glad to see us come out in the second half with some good intensity and good mentality.”

The Lancers (3-2-1, 1-1 GPAC), who opened conference play with a 3-1 win over Doane, have improved considerably in recent seasons. Mount Marty earned a draw with Concordia last season and threatened to accomplish a similar result on Saturday. The Lancers held the Bulldogs off the scoreboard in the first half despite being outshot, 7-3.

Mount Marty really did not appear to be in any danger on the game’s first goal, a laser of a strike from Perry, who unleashed a left-footed shot inside the left post. The shot left goalkeeper Jose Quinonez with little chance of making a save. Concordia had barely finished celebrating when Bessaïes’ hustle led to a two-goal advantage. After his own free kick was deflected to the far left of the 18-yard box, Bessaïes chased the ball down and tucked a shot inside the right post.

In goal, keeper Federico Simonetti recorded the clean sheet while making four saves. The Bulldog back line made up for the absence of captain João Pedro Veríssimo while earning a shutout for the first time since the 4-0 win over Tabor College (Kan.) on Aug. 28.

The results may not have been as expected lately, but Concordia remains confident. Said Perry, “The boys are pushing and fighting. There’s a confidence in this team. Everyone knows that we can do it.”

Added Weides, “The record isn’t where we want it. It’s really unusual for us to go four games without a win. We also didn’t really panic. We didn’t feel like it was a situation where we had to restart or start from scratch. We have to trust the process and know we’ll get there. In terms of us accomplishing our goals and being successful this season, it’s a grind. Though we don’t have anyone in the top 10 in the nation in our conference, there’s still good teams. The competitive nature of our conference continues to get better.”

Quinonez did come through with a save of a Bulldog penalty kick in the 62nd minute. Concordia finished with a 12-6 advantage in shots and a slight edge, 5-4, in corner kicks.

Up next, the Bulldogs will host Dordt (1-5-2, 0-1 GPAC) at 8 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Concordia hopes to duplicate the 4-1 decision it took over the Defenders last season.

Concordia rides Rhodes goal to 2-0 GPAC start

Sep. 23, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – A goal less than two minutes after kickoff proved to be all the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team needed in a shutout victory on Wednesday (Sept. 22) night. The exceptional play of the visiting goalkeeper played a large role in limiting the goal count for the Bulldogs, who edged out Dordt, 1-0, inside Bulldog Stadium. Eli Rhodes picked up his first career collegiate goal in the win.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad also defeated Mount Marty this past Saturday and moved to 4-3-1 overall (2-0 GPAC). Concordia seized control of Wednesday’s affair, it just couldn’t find that second goal.

“We came out well and Eli had a great strike for the first goal,” Weides said. “It was one of those things where maybe we got a little bit complacent and was on cruise control given we got the lead so early. You want to score early, but sometimes the response from that isn’t the best. We had some really good attaching chances in the first half. We challenged the team to be better at combining through the middle and we were far better in this game … Their keeper came up with some really good saves.”

A powerful strike from Rhodes in the second minute forced the Defenders to play catch up all night. Dordt keeper Brandon Hansen ensured that his side hung tight on the road. Hansen totaled 10 saves, including one just before halftime that he made by sprawling to his left to deny a laser off the foot of Carlos Orquiz. Nine different Bulldogs put at least one shot on goal.

On the other end, Gabriel Mendoza started at keeper while making his first career appearance with the Bulldogs. Mendoza made four saves as Concordia picked up a second shutout in a row. Of course Mendoza had a reliable back line in front of him, headed by captain center back Decker Mattimoe. There were precious few prime scoring chances for Dordt, which was outshot, 20-4.

Rhodes had contributed three assists this season prior to his goal on Wednesday. He was assisted by Yessine Bessaïes on the strike that proved to be the game winner. Though still young in his career, Rhodes has reason to believe the Bulldogs have the ability to make some noise.

Said Rhodes, “We set a team goal to be at the top of the GPAC and I really think that we’re up there. I haven’t seen all the teams in the GPAC, but I honestly think that we’re one of the best teams. We can compete with anyone when we play how we should play.”

The feeling is that this team is close to clicking. There have been moments here and there that have held Concordia back at times. Said Weides, “Our guys came out with a really good mentality in the second half and continued to create a lot of chances. We’re either one step off putting it in the back of the net or the keeper would come up with a good save. It was frustrating in that regard, but I thought it was a convincing performance.”

The first road test within conference play is coming up Saturday when the Bulldogs will be in Orange City, Iowa, for a 3:15 p.m. CT kickoff at Northwestern (6-1-1, 2-0 GPAC). The contest will be a rematch of the GPAC quarterfinals this past spring when the Red Raiders advanced in a marathon penalty kick shootout. Northwestern received votes in this week’s NAIA coaches’ poll and topped No. 22 Morningside in overtime, 2-1, on Wednesday.

Men's Soccer lands Team Academic Award from coaches organization

Sep. 24, 2021

United Soccer Coaches Release

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University Men’s Soccer program has been named a recipient of the 2020-21 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 2020-21 academic year. Head coach Jason Weides’ team also earned NAIA Scholar-Team status last season.

The Bulldog Men’s Soccer program has been rewarded with the Team Academic Award for the eighth-straight year. Additionally, the Bulldogs were represented in 2020-21 by 11 NAIA Scholar-Athletes: Yessine Bessaïes, Renzo Bozzo, Ethan Doyle, Caleb Goldsmith, Decker Mattmoe, Victor Meneses, David Moreno, Carlos Orquiz, Garrett Perry, Isaiah Shaddick and João Pedro Veríssimo.

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 2020-21 academic year. A total of 602 soccer teams (220 men, 382 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.

Hot starting Red Raiders edge Bulldogs in Orange City

Sep. 25, 2021

ORANGE CITY, Iowa – Considering how last season ended in heartbreak in Orange City, Iowa, it wasn’t hard for Concordia University Men’s Soccer to get hyped for Saturday (Sept. 25)’s matchup at Northwestern. However, the Bulldogs were unable to earn any measure of revenge as the Red Raiders eked out the latest matchup, 1-0, on the strength of a goal in the 65th minute. For most of the afternoon, Northwestern stymied Concordia’s attacking efforts.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has actually moved past the halfway point of the regular season and stands at 4-4-1 overall (2-1 GPAC). Each of the last three defeats have been decided by one-goal margins.

“It was a game that could have gone either way,” Weides said. “Despite a decent amount of shots and corners there weren’t a lot of clear-cut good chances. It was kind of a box-to-box scrum, a pretty physical and direct game overall. We knew it was going to be a bit more of a direct game. It was one of those frustrating ones where we just couldn’t find the back of the net. The first 10 minutes of the second half I thought we were really dictating the game. We pushed them all the way to the end.”

The physicality was evident in the fouls and yellow card counts. In the face of that type of contest, Concordia hung tough and fended off a number of dangerous services in the box. Finally, the Red Raiders broke through with Niklas Fitter’s goal in the 65th minute. It was one of eight shots put on goal by Northwestern. The other seven were saved by Gabriel Mendoza, who has made back-to-back starts at keeper.

The Bulldogs were outshot, 13-7 (8-5 in shots on goal), for the game. The Red Raiders also had an 11-1 advantage in corner kicks. Concordia had one last attempt in the final few seconds, but a potential equalizer was sailed over the goal. Yessine Bessaïes put two shots on frame as one of the more active attacking Bulldogs. Ezekiel Foltz (five saves) earned credit for the shutout in goal for the victors.

Said Weides, “I thought the guys had a good mentality and fought hard. We just came up a little short. We had a lot of guys playing at a really solid, consistent level.”

Northwestern (7-1-1, 3-0 GPAC) has a chance to for a special season. Three days earlier, the Red Raiders defeated No. 23 Morningside, 2-1, in overtime. They also knocked off another of the GPAC’s top teams in Briar Cliff, 2-0, on Sept. 18. Northwestern received votes in this week’s NAIA Coaches’ Poll.

Concordia will close the month of September on Wednesday when it hosts Midland (4-4, 1-2 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. The two sides played each other this past spring with the result being a 4-2 win for the Bulldogs.

Concordia misses opportunities in 1-0 home defeat

Sep. 30, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – As of late, an inability to capitalize on prime attacking chances has left Concordia University Men’s Soccer with little margin for error. A Midland goal in the 57th minute stood up in a 1-0 victory for the visitors from Fremont, Neb., on Wednesday (Sept. 29) evening inside Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs were left frustrated once again after allowing their opponent only four shots on goal.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad has played three-straight games that have ended in 1-0 final scores and has been shut out in back-to-back conference games. Concordia fell to 4-5-1 overall (2-2 GPAC).

“We have 90 minutes to put the ball in the back of the net and unfortunately this was the second game in a row that we haven’t been able to do that,” Weides said. “I think we have the right mentality and the guys are working hard and giving full effort. We’re not getting played off the field in any of these games. It’s just the smallest of things preventing us from putting the ball in the back of the net. We’re at a point right now where we need someone to step up and have a big moment.”

Immediately following Jared Money’s goal in the 57th minute, a red card was issued to the Warriors. As a result, Midland played down a man for more than 33 minutes of action. Throughout that time, the ball lived in the Bulldogs’ attacking third. During the second half, Concordia outshot Midland, 8-3, and held a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. Somehow, the Warriors escaped every sticky situation, including a well-struck free kick from Yessine Bessaïes that sailed just left of the goal.

Midland keeper Matthew Ricci made five saves in earning the clean sheet as part of a physical battle. The Warriors (5-4, 2-2 GPAC) effectively bounced back from their 3-2 loss at Dordt last week. On the other hand, the Bulldogs still haven’t hit their stride. Much frustration has come from the fact that each of Concordia’s past four losses have been decided by one-goal margins in games that could have easily swung the other way.

“We’re putting ourselves in situations where our opponent gets one good chance and they convert it,” Weides said. “I think that was the case today. Midland didn’t have many good chances or shots on goal. It’s an example that you have to play every game in the GPAC. It’s a grind – it’s tough. We knew this wasn’t going to be easy.”

Freshman Gabriel Mendoza made his third-straight start in goal and collected three saves. Seventeen Bulldogs appeared in the game. Concordia has recently been playing without captain João Pedro Veríssimo. In terms of offensive activity, David Moreno (four shots, one on goal) and Bessaïes (three shots, one on goal) were most aggressive. Concordia defeated Midland twice last season.

The Bulldogs will hit the road for another Saturday road trip and take on Dakota Wesleyan (2-8, 1-2 GPAC) in Mitchell, S.D. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. CT. Concordia got the best of the Tigers, 2-0, last season in Seward. However, the most recent meeting in Mitchell saw DWU emerge with a 1-0 upset victory.

Bulldogs break out on attack, rout Tigers

Oct. 2, 2021

MITCHELL, S.D. – Isaiah Shaddick and the rest of the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team had a breakout offensive performance against Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday (Oct. 2). The Bulldogs fired on all cylinders in a 5-1 win, marking perhaps their most complete outing of the fall. Concordia also excelled defensively, holding the Tigers to just four shots, compared to the Bulldogs’ 23.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad improved to 5-5-1 overall (3-2 GPAC) while shaking off back-to-back conference defeats.

“We haven’t scored many goals the last few games and it’s put us in challenging positions,” Weides said. “It’s not like our guys aren’t trying to score. We just haven’t been good enough in those little details, whether it’s the final touch or the final cross. All those things happened today at a higher level. For us to be successful, we have to put the ball in the back of the net. Our guys responded well and rose to the occasion. I thought they played really well from the opening whistle through the end of the game. The first half was probably one of the best halves we’ve had this season.”

Although the Bulldogs had been in an offensive slump, being shut out in the past two games, they were able to break out with five goals against the Tigers. Shaddick captured his second multi-goal game of the season, with goals coming in the 48th and 77th minutes. Yessine Bessaies got the scoring started in the eighth minute with a penalty kick and picked up two assists in the contest. Carter Hinman (42’) and Garrett Perry (12’) also scored in the game. The collective Bulldog defensive effort made it easy for goalkeeper Federico Simonetti, who had one save.

Said Weides, “Everybody who stepped on the field performed well, whether they started or came off the bench. Our bench had a good mentality and good energy. We know we’re up for a challenge moving forward, but we’re excited about that opportunity.”

In the most recent trip to Mitchell, S.D., the Bulldogs were shut out, 1-0, in November 2019. The natural grass of the Pepsi-Cola Soccer Complex hadn't played well for Concordia in the past. "Playing at Dakota Wesleyan had been like a kryptonite for us. We've gotten wins here, but they've never been pretty and they're always by one goal. I don't remember the last time we played well on this field. I'm just really proud of the guys. They responded to some disappointments and challenges that we've had this season. Hopefully they can see that confidence in themselves because we certainly have confidence in them.”

Concordia will be back in action on Wednesday as it faces Morningside (5-4, 2-2 GPAC), currently receiving votes nationally. The Bulldogs will try to pick up their first win against the Mustangs since 2017. The game is set to start at 8 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium.

Physical, attacking frenzy won by Morningside

Oct. 7, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – Wednesday (Oct. 6) night’s GPAC rumble was nothing if not entertaining. Both sides attacked with a frenzy in a physical battle that saw Morningside edge the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team, 3-2, inside Bulldog Stadium. Many more goals could have easily been put on the board in a contest that saw both teams record more than 20 shots.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad knows this feeling all too well. It was another instance in which the Bulldogs (5-6-1, 3-3 GPAC) fell short despite believing they had played well enough to earn a better result.

“Both teams had good chances in the attack,” Weides said. “The struggle is that we had a lot of chances and only 10 shots on goal. It was a one-goal game and we could have easily scored five goals. I think they could have had one or two more as well. It could have been a crazy 6-5 affair. I think this had a bit of a feel of a GPAC final. It was intense and got a little heated at moments. It’s frustrating that we’re on the raw end of it, but it shows we can come back from a negative position.”

This was the most active Concordia has been in the attacking third all season. The Bulldogs fired 23 shots (10 on goal) while the Mustangs put up 21 shots (10 on goal). Morningside (7-4, 4-2 GPAC) immediately jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute when Noah Aniser found the back of the net. A quick reaction of a save by Gabriel Mendoza just moments later allowed for Concordia to avoid going down 2-0.

There wasn’t time for either side to catch its breath as both mounted consistent counterattacks. Down 3-1 in the 75th minute, the Bulldogs got within a goal thanks to the collaboration of Ryan Wokutch and Isaiah Shaddick. The latter tapped a goal in on the assist from Shaddick. That goal made the final 15 minutes especially frantic. From that point on, the Mustangs played on the defensive while dodging potential equalizers from the likes of Yessine Bessaïes, Garrett Perry and Matt Schultz.

The first Concordia goal was notched by David Moreno at the 24-minute mark (assist from Jarrod Henson). That score tied the game, 1-1, at the time. On the other end, Moritz Lusch and Gero Zarbo joined in on the goal scoring. Lusch took seven shots, including four on goal. Mendoza made seven saves while helping the Bulldogs hang tight with a Morningside squad that had been receiving votes nationally prior to this week.

Concordia has answered the bell each time out with frustrating losses mounting. The Bulldogs will have to pick themselves back up again after their fifth loss this season by a margin of one goal.

Said Weides, “Our guys go back to work and they work hard the next day of training and start to focus on the next game. I mean, it hurts. It hurts when you lose games like this. The challenge for teams is that when you start to lose a few like this, you start to question things. I think this team is capable of being resilient and resolute in our goals. How we respond to moments like this will be the tale of our season.”

The Bulldogs would like to duplicate the result they had in their most recent road trip – a 5-1 win at Dakota Wesleyan last week. Concordia will head north for a matchup on Saturday with Jamestown (5-4-2, 3-2-1 GPAC). Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT. The Bulldogs won last season’s meeting, 4-1.

Top-to-bottom performance spurs win in pouring rain

Oct. 9, 2021

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The rain did not relent on Saturday (Oct. 9) evening as the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team made a long weekend journey worth the while. Three different Bulldogs found the back of the net in a strong all-around team performance that resulted in a 3-0 win at Jamestown. Concordia managed to lock up its fourth shutout of the season (third within conference play).

This was the type of team Head Coach Jason Weides would like to see moving forward. The Bulldogs have improved to 6-6-1 overall and to 4-3 within the GPAC.

“I’m really proud of the guys – not just for the result,” Weides said. “We played really well against a good team. Jamestown has really dangerous players and I think our guys really rose to the challenge. We told our team to focus on us first and try to be the best versions of ourselves. I think our guys did a great job of that. We really tested their keeper. It was an especially good first half. Defensively, I think we did a good job of limiting their possession.”

Despite creating a large number of chances (13 shots in the first half), Concordia waited until the 40th minute to get on the board. That’s when the Bulldogs took advantage of a mistake by the Jimmies. The result was a goal for Yessine Bessaïes. Before the turf field became a lake, the Bulldogs added a goal from David Moreno (header) in the 52nd minute and one from Martin Herrera (free kick) in the 55th minute.

The two early scores in the second half provided comfort during a season that has featured many close calls. Concordia was able to see out the clean sheet with the help of four saves by keeper Gabriel Mendoza. Most notably, Jamestown (5-5-2, 3-3-1 GPAC) owns a win this season over Hastings. In other words, the Bulldogs were expecting a tough battle.

“We had opportunities to get a fourth goal – just couldn’t,” Weides said. “Renzo Bozzo had a really good header that missed narrowly. Really, everybody played well. Everyone who stepped on the field played well. Despite being cold and miserable on the bench – it was the wettest game I’ve ever been a part of – the bench was encouraging and supportive. Top to bottom, it was a great win for us.”

Bessaïes took six shots while Herrera fired five. Concordia finished with an advantage of 17-13 in shots (7-4 in shots on goal). Meanwhile, the Jimmies had the edge in corners, 6-1. Jamestown keeper Alex Hamer made four saves. After returning from injury this past Wednesday, Matt Schultz moved into the starting lineup on Saturday.

The Bulldogs will take a mid-week bye as they now look forward to playing at Hastings (5-3-1, 4-2 GPAC) next Saturday (Oct. 16). Kickoff from Lloyd Wilson Field is set for 8 p.m. CT. Concordia will attempt to knock off the Broncos for the first time since 2015.

High intensity clash concludes in draw at Hastings

Oct. 16, 2021

HASTINGS, Neb. – The evening featured all the intensity and tension one could ask for in a matchup between Concordia University Men’s Soccer and arch nemesis Hastings. The two sides traded blows before settling with a 3-3 draw following 110 minutes (two overtimes) of action at Lloyd Wilson Field on Saturday night (Oct. 16). The Bulldogs held a 2-1 lead just into the second half and responded to deficits of 1-0 and 3-2.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ program had hoped to celebrate its first win over the perennially powerful Broncos since its 2015 GPAC tournament championship game upset. Concordia (6-6-2, 4-3-1 GPAC) picked up one point towards the GPAC standings with the tie.

The Bulldogs really wanted this one – and they had their chances. Concordia controlled portions of the match and finished with an advantage of 22-19 in shots (12-9 in shots on goal). Both teams had a bevy of set piece opportunities in a contest that included a combined 27 fouls, 11 cards issued and 18 corner kicks. Not unusual for Bulldog-Bronco get-togethers, the play on the field got physical and feisty.

Many of the goals were of the highlight reel variety. In the 80th minute, Concordia’s Martin Herrera drilled a sharply angled free kick into the back of the net to equalize, 3-3. That splendid goal (tucked inside the far post) helped set aside frustration from near misses just moments earlier from the likes of Yessine Bessaïes and Jarrod Henson. The Bulldogs were able to equalize after going down a man in the 74th minute.

Neither team ever had a lead of more than one goal. The scoring summary looked like this:

·        9’ – Keegan Goracke-Johns, Hastings

·        17’ – Yessine Bessaïes, Concordia

·        41’ – Ryan Wokutch, Concordia

·        57’ – Tyler Mase, Hastings

·        75’ – Sandro Rubio, Hastings

·        80’ – Martin Herrera, Concordia

Bessaïes and Herrera were also credited with one assist apiece. Since the calendar flipped to October, the Bulldogs have been much more dangerous on the attack. They have tallied 13 goals in four October games (2-1-1 in that stretch).

Just two years removed from an appearance in the NAIA national championship game, Hastings (7-3-2, 6-2-1 GPAC) has shown more vulnerability this fall though it remains a formidable foe. The lone two GPAC losses for the Broncos have come at the hands of Jamestown and Briar Cliff. Hastings had won each of the previous nine series meetings with Concordia.

Another challenging road game is coming up on Wednesday when the Bulldogs will be at Briar Cliff (9-5, 7-1 GPAC). Kickoff from Sioux City, Iowa, is slated for 4 p.m. CT. Last season’s meeting in Seward resulted in a 1-1 draw. Concordia will attempt to defeat the Chargers for the first time since the 2018 season.

Bulldogs unable to stop Briar Cliff win streak

Oct. 20, 2021

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A schedule adjustment on short notice meant a full day in Sioux City, Iowa, for the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team on Wednesday (Oct. 20). Following a long wait, the Bulldogs slogged through rainy, cold conditions and fell at the hands of red-hot Briar Cliff, 1-0, at Memorial Field. A goal by Marcus Horwood early in the second half accounted for the game’s lone score.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad entered the week with virtually no margin for error in terms of its bid for a top four seed in the GPAC standings. Concordia (6-7-2, 4-4-1 GPAC) currently resides in fifth place in the conference.

From Weides’ perspective, it was a poor start to the second half that made the difference on Wednesday. Said Weides, “It’s frustrating to not get results when you feel like you have the opportunity to. It would be different if we were getting played off the field in these games, but that’s just not the case. I think this one was a tale of two halves. We played pretty well in the first half. I was really pleased with so many aspects of our game. We had the lion’s share of the ball in the first half. They were far better in the second half.”

The run of hot goal scoring during the month of October ended on Wednesday with the Chargers stymying the Bulldogs, who put only four shots on frame (including two from center back Decker Mattimoe). Concordia had totaled 13 goals over its previous four outings. On a positive note, Bulldog keeper Gabriel Mendoza made six saves to help keep the visitors within a goal. In these tight games with foes situated at or near the top of the GPAC, it always seems to be the opposition that capitalizes on a mistake.

Briar Cliff (10-5, 8-1 GPAC) needed this one in order to keep pace with Northwestern (9-0 GPAC) and keep hopes alive for a conference regular season title. The Chargers rode Horwood’s 51st-minute goal to victory while recording their third shutout within GPAC play. Briar Cliff has won six straight games since its 2-0 loss at Northwestern on Sept. 18.

Said Weides, “Second half, we still had some opportunities and had some clear-cut good chances. We just couldn’t quite put it on frame. Unfortunately we were chasing the lead in the second half. Credit to Briar Cliff. I think they played pretty well with that lead. They defended well and managed the game. Briar Cliff’s a good team. There’s a reason why they’re in second place. It’s another example of how we can be there. We’re just not doing those little things.”

To illustrate Weides’ point, the Bulldogs have been right on the heels of the current top four in the GPAC. They dropped decisions by one-goal margins to Northwestern, Briar Cliff and Morningside and tied with Hastings. Those four teams are a combined 28-6-1 in conference play.

Wednesday’s contest was originally scheduled to be played at 3:30 p.m. CT at Faber Field (grass) on the Briar Cliff campus. Due to heavy rain, the game was pushed back to 7 p.m. and played on a turf field at Sioux City Bishop Heelan High School.

The Bulldogs now look forward to their final home game of the 2021 regular season. They will honor a group of six seniors prior to Saturday’s 8 p.m. CT kickoff versus Presentation (2-10, 1-8 GPAC). Concordia has gone 3-0 against the Saints since they became a member of the conference (soccer only) beginning in 2018.

Bessaies, seniors celebrate senior day blowout

Oct. 24, 2021

SEWARD, Neb. – If this has to be the final home game in the careers of the senior class, this was about how they would have wanted it to go. The Concordia University Men’s Soccer scored early and often on its way to a 6-0 demolition of Presentation on Saturday (Oct. 23) evening. Yessine Bessaïes struck for a pair of goals while three of his teammates also found the back of the net.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad will finish outside of the top four of the GPAC standings, but it has the belief that it can make a postseason run. The Bulldogs currently reside in fifth place with a conference mark of 5-4-1 (7-7-2 overall).

“The focus is just on us,” Weides said. “We’ve got to be our best and perform our best and go into the playoffs feeling good about where we’re at. Our goal tonight and our goal the next game is to perform the best we have all season. It doesn’t matter if we’re facing the top team in the conference, the bottom team in the conference or anybody in-between, we’ve got to be good. We know in the playoffs that anything can happen.”

Concordia wasn’t looking ahead on Saturday night. It dominated the visiting Saints to the tune of a 28-1 shot advantage. It was one of those type of games where everyone believes they have a chance to get in on the goal scoring parade. Carlos Orquiz got it started with a goal in the fifth minute. Before halftime, Bessaïes (13’), Martin Herrera (27’) and an own goal added to the lead. Bessaïes got on the board again in the second half as part of his two-goal evening.

Though situated at the bottom of the GPAC standings, Presentation (2-11, 1-9 GPAC) had not allowed this many goals in more than a month. It really did not have an answer in trying to defend Bessaïes, who has ramped up his season counts to six goals and six assists (both No. 1 on the team). Bessaïes and Orquiz were two of the six seniors honored in a pregame ceremony.

Any time the Bulldogs earn a shutout, it’s likely that senior center back Decker Mattimoe had a hand in it. The Cheyenne, Wyo., native will be missed. Said Mattimoe, “It just flies by. You’re out here making friends your freshman year from complete strangers and next thing you know, you’re saying goodbye to your brothers at the end of four years. It’s emotional, but I’m happy to see everyone succeed and grow.”

Another of the honored seniors, Callum Goldsmith got the start in goal. He never did face a shot on frame while having a front row seat to watch Concordia mount attack after attack. The Bulldogs put 12 shots on goal. Five saves by Clayton Scott kept things from getting further out of hand.

The other seniors that were acknowledged prior to kickoff were Daniel Campbell and Caleb Goldsmith. The roster also features fifth-year seniors such as David Moreno. Said Weides, “It’s hard to sum up what someone’s given to the program. It’s a good group of guys that’s helped us along the way. I’m so thankful for everything they’ve given us. It’s fun to honor those seniors and give them an opportunity to ring the bell.”

The regular season will conclude on Wednesday with a contest at Doane (2-11-1, 2-6-1 GPAC). Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. CT from Crete. The Bulldogs hope to duplicate last season’s result – a 5-1 home win over the Tigers.

Regular season wraps up with draw at Doane

Oct. 27, 2021

CRETE, Neb. – For the fourth time in the past nine series matchups, Concordia University Men’s Soccer and Doane played to a stalemate. The latest matchup took place in a pouring rain on Wednesday (Oct. 27) night in Crete, Neb., where the result was a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes of action. The visiting Bulldogs were unable to hold onto a 1-0 advantage that stood for roughly 11 minutes during the first half.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad is now locked into the No. 5 seed in the GPAC tournament. Concordia (7-7-3, 5-4-2 GPAC) has tallied 17 points towards the GPAC standings. The Bulldogs will have to regroup next week after a performance that fell below expectations.

“We spent the first half trying to play out of the back with everything,” Weides said. “Doane certainly had a lot to play for, but we did as well. Credit to Doane – they fought hard and played well. We didn’t do the simple things right and it was just not the championship effort we expect. Second half, I thought our guys had a better mentality.”

The Bulldogs had dominated Doane the past two years (8-1 combined score), but these rivals are no strangers to overtime meetings throughout Weides’ tenure. Needing a win to keep hopes alive of a postseason berth, the Tigers gave a spirited account of themselves. They finished with a 24-20 edge in the shot count and showed no fear in the overtime sessions. There were even moments when Doane came dangerously close to finding the golden goal. The Tigers (2-11-2, 2-6-2 GPAC) missed a shot with a wide-open goal in the first overtime. On the flip side, a Concordia free kick also nearly put an end to the contest.

There was a degree of relief in salvaging a tie considering Concordia played down a man beginning in the 58th minute. At that point, it had been a 1-1 score since Gilberto Rodriguez’s equalizer in the 39th minute. His goal answered a set-piece goal from the Bulldogs’ Renzo Bozzo in the 28th minute (assist credited to Martin Herrera). It marked Bozzo’s first goal of 2021.

Concordia keeper Gabriel Mendoza made seven saves while helping to preserve the tie. Doane keeper Dylan Trindle collected six saves. The most active attacker for the Bulldogs was Yessine Bessaïes (five shots, including three on frame).

This was another in a series of close calls and near misses for Concordia this season. Said Weides, “We just needed someone to have one special moment and we didn’t have that today. You combine that with a poor first half and going down a man, it makes it tough. It was another example of how you can’t overlook anyone in this league. Unfortunately, we missed a chance to go into playoffs really feeling good about ourselves.”

The Bulldogs will have the weekend off while waiting for GPAC tournament pairings to be announced after all conference play has been completed. It’s not yet official, but Concordia will be the No. 5 seed for the GPAC postseason event, which will begin with the quarterfinal round next Wednesday (Nov. 3).  The Bulldogs have appeared in the GPAC tournament final as recently as 2017.

Season of close calls ends in GPAC quarterfinals

Nov. 3, 2021

SIOUX CITY, Iowa – A theme throughout the fall, the Concordia University Men’s Soccer team could not quite capitalize on its opportunities in a close call with one of the GPAC’s top teams. The fifth-seeded Bulldogs saw their 2021 season halted on a chilly Wednesday (Nov. 3) evening in Sioux City, Iowa, where fourth-seeded Morningside earned a 2-1 GPAC tournament quarterfinal victory. This marks the third season in a row that Concordia endured defeat in the conference quarterfinal round.

It had been an up-and-down regular season for Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad, which hoped to put the pieces together for a deep postseason run. The Bulldogs (7-8-3 overall) will have to wait until 2022 to attempt to turn around these types of results against strong GPAC foes.

“Looking back, this game was indicative of our season in so many ways,” Weides said. “It was a tight, competitive game and we weren’t able to convert enough of our chances. Our guys responded really well to being down very early in the match and we were able to get one back. For the most part, we defended well, we pressed well and I thought we counter-attacked well. Ultimately, I thought we were a little bit better in the first half and they were a little better than us in the second half. It could have gone either way.”

Each time Concordia challenged one of the conference’s eventual top four seeds, it had a real shot to win. It leaves the Bulldogs with plenty of ‘what ifs’ at the close of 2021. In Wednesday’s outing, Morningside got a 55th minute goal from Robin Thomala and rode it to victory. The Mustangs did so while limiting the Concordia attack in the second half (five shots and no goals). The meeting was a bit of contrast to the regular season matchup that saw both teams register more than 20 shots (Morningside won that contest in Seward, 3-2).

The lone Bulldog goal was put away by Matt Schultz in the 38th minute. Schultz found himself in the right place after a long Yessine Bessaïes’ free kick deflected off the head of a Bulldog, making for a clean chance from about 10 yards out. The official initially signaled offside before a quick conference ended with the goal being put on the board. Concordia’s other three shots on frame were denied by keeper Bjarne Huth.

Defensively, the Bulldogs managed to shut out top Mustang goal scorers Moritz Lusch and Gero Zarbo, who had a goal apiece in the regular season meeting. Concordia keeper Gabriel Mendoza collected seven saves, including two in span of less than 10 seconds that required quick reactions in the 64th minute. Weides commended his guys for their response after Victor Beker’s highlight-reel worthy goal staked Morningside to a 1-0 lead already in the second minute.

There were a number of key injuries that nagged key players in 2021, but that won’t be used as an excuse. The Bulldogs entered the season believing they had a deep and talented team capable of contending for a conference championship. The sting from falling shy of the team’s measurable goals will have to fuel it throughout the offseason. At the same time, there’s confidence that the graduating seniors have left behind a strong foundation.

Said Weides, “I think we’ll take 24 hours to kind of decompress before we get started on next season. There’s definitely a great nucleus and opportunity for next year. We have a lot of young talent and I think this season will help them become better players. Our players and our coaching staff are frustrated with how the season turned out in some ways because we really believed we would be practicing tomorrow and preparing for the conference semifinals. We had that belief in ourselves the whole time. This team had the right mentality today. It wasn’t for a lack of effort or commitment. I give credit to this team because there have been so many one-goal losses, and I think our team showed some good resilience throughout the year. It will go down in the record books as a 7-8-3 team, but our guys battled and competed. It came down to the smallest of margins this year.”

Trio of Bulldogs land on All-GPAC second team

Nov. 15, 2021

2021 Men’s Soccer All-GPAC Teams

Second Team: Yessine Bessaïes, Iker Casanova, David Moreno
Honorable Mention: Decker Mattimoe, Garrett Perry

SEWARD, Neb. – A trio of Bulldogs from the Concordia University Men’s Soccer program landed on the all-conference second team, as announced by the GPAC on Monday (Nov. 15). Second team accolades went to Yessine Bessaïes, Iker Casanova and David Moreno. In addition, Decker Mattimoe and Garrett Perry were chosen as Honorable Mention All-GPAC.

A native of Bordeaux, France, Bessaïes starred as the team’s top offensive threat this fall. He led the team in goals (six), assists (five) and points (17) while playing in all 18 games (17 starts). Also an NAIA Scholar-Athlete, Bessaïes notched a goal and two assists in the win at Dakota Wesleyan and found the back of the net twice in the victory over Presentation. In two seasons with the Bulldogs, Bessaïes has totaled 10 goals and 12 assists without missing a single game (36 games played).

An essential figure on the back line, Casanova has picked up Second Team All-GPAC accolades for the second year in a row. The native of Mexico City, Mexico, helped Concordia limit its opponents to 22 goals over 18 games this past fall. Casanova started all 18 outings and recorded one assist. In two seasons at Concordia, Casanova has started 35 of a possible 36 matches. He has posted three goals and three assists in his collegiate career.

The 2021 campaign actually marked Moreno’s sixth season on an NAIA soccer program’s roster. The transfer from the University of Northwestern Ohio has been a dependable player in the midfield. In 2021, Moreno (Cali, Colombia) started 17 games and tallied three goals. The previous year, Moreno posted one goal and one assist while playing 18 games. In his time at Northwestern Ohio, Moreno contributed to a team that reached the national tournament.

Mattimoe has provided a physical presence at center back throughout his four years with the Bulldogs. The native of Cheyenne, Wyo., started all 18 games this past season and combined on a solid overall collective team defensive performance. Mattimoe appeared in 52 matches during his time at Concordia. He is a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete.

Perry returned to the program for a fifth season in 2021 and produced four goals and three assists while playing in 15 games (10 starts). The native of Corona, Calif., garnered Honorable Mention All-GPAC recognition three times in his career and is also a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete. In 81 career games with the Bulldogs, Perry totaled 17 goals and 15 assists. Perry was a key contributor on the 2017 team that set a school record with 16 victories that season.

Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad finished the 2021 season at 7-8-3 overall and in fifth place in the GPAC regular season standings. The campaign came to an end in the GPAC quarterfinals.

Season-In-Review: 2021 Concordia Men's Soccer

Nov. 23, 2021

The 2021 campaign will be remembered as one that featured a series of close calls for the Concordia University Men’s Soccer program. In the midst of preseason training, Head Coach Jason Weides saw enough talent to believe that his team could legitimately challenge for the program’s first-ever GPAC regular-season championship. While there were a number of injuries that prevented the Bulldogs from showcasing themselves at full strength, they come away from season feeling unsatisfied.

Ultimately, the 2021 run ended with a 2-1 GPAC tournament quarterfinal loss at Morningside. In many ways, that defeat summarized the season in a nutshell.

Said Weides, “I’m a believer that tomorrow can always be different and just because something has happened during the course of the season doesn’t mean it has to happen today. It was a very competitive game (at Morningside) and an exciting game to watch. When it really comes down to it, we didn’t capitalize on enough of our chances. That’s been a little bit of a story of the season. We felt like we had a team that maybe could have and should have been in a better position to compete for a conference title and continue on in playoffs. At the end of the day, we couldn’t quite put it in the back of the net enough. It’s been the smallest of margins.”

The 7-8-3 overall record this fall does not tell the whole story. The final seven of those eight defeats came by just one-goal margins, three losses to NAIA national qualifiers: Bellevue and Northwestern. Concordia also earned a 3-3 draw at Hastings, the GPAC postseason champion. For much of September, the Bulldogs struggled mightily to score goals. They recovered in October with wins by scores of 5-1 over Dakota Wesleyan, 3-0 over Jamestown and 6-0 over Presentation.

The competitor within Weides will spend more time this offseason thinking about those close losses – and three ties – than he will about the victories. Successes such as the 2015 GPAC tournament title and the school record 16-win season of 2017 set a new standard for the program. Concordia had higher hopes than fifth place in the GPAC.

“It would be different if we were played off the park in some of our games and just didn’t have the talent, but it was clear that we were capable of winning every game we played this year,” Weides said. “Every team has their ‘if’s and ‘buts,’ but any loss for us was a tight, competitive match that could have gone the other way. I think that will definitely fuel our guys. They know we have to be that one degree better next year. I think honestly it is a one-degree difference.”

In mid-November, five Bulldogs were recognized with all-conference accolades. Second team awards went to Yessine Bessaïes, Iker Casanova and David Moreno. Meanwhile, Decker Mattimoe and Garrett Perry garnered honorable mention status. Bessaïes developed into one of the GPAC’s most dangerous attacking players, collecting team highs in goals (six) and assists (five). Once again, Casanova served as an anchor for a back line that helped limit opponents to 22 goals over 18 games.

Offensively, four Concordia players turned in exactly four goals: Martin Herrera, Perry, Isaiah Shaddick and Ryan Wokutch. In addition, Eli Rhodes contributed four assists. The Bulldogs accumulated 35 goals as a team. On the other end of the field, Weides had the luxury of deciding between three quality keepers. Callum Goldsmith, Gabriel Mendoza and Federico Simonetti each made at least four starts in 2021.

Considering the aforementioned names, Concordia feels good about the foundation it has in place. Prior to 2021, the program had won at least 10 games in 10-straight seasons. During that stretch, Weides had guided the program to a combined record of 110-61-22. That’s also why the ’21 season felt like a bit of a disappointment. However, Weides complimented his group for consistently showing strong “effort, intensity and mentality.”

The Bulldogs won’t lower their expectations heading into 2022 – quite the opposite. Concordia will work towards a productive spring semester that will hopefully put it in the running with the likes of Northwestern, Briar Cliff, Hastings and Morningside – the GPAC’s top four teams this season.

The program celebrated six seniors on senior day back in October, but it’s possible one or more could return and use the ‘COVID’ year of eligibility. God willing, it will be a healthy year for team captain João Pedro Veríssimo and a group of Bulldogs that remains on solid footing.

Said Weides, “The guys are certainly hungry to move forward. We usually take some time to decompress after we finish the season. We’ll get going once we pick ourselves off the ground and we’ll keep moving forward. We bring a lot back – we certainly lose some great players and some key players who impacted our program in so many ways. As we look forward, we return a good core of the team, and we’ll add some guys to the mix to fill in some gaps. I think this team will be hungry in the offseason. We fell short of our expectations. I really believe this team was capable of winning a conference regular season title and winning a conference tournament title. Our team believes that too.”