Basketball season on horizon: Both Bulldog Basketball teams will open up their 2020-21 seasons over the next two weeks. Last week the GPAC and NAIA released preseason coaches’ polls. Head Coach Drew Olson’s squad landed at No. 2 in the conference poll and at No. 11 in the NAIA national poll. Meanwhile, Head Coach Ben Limback’s team checked in at No. 6 in the GPAC poll. This season offers a new dynamic with the NAIA moving to one division for basketball. The NAIA featured two separate divisions for basketball for the 1991-92 through 2019-20 seasons. For complete season outlooks on the Concordia Basketball teams, click the links below.
–Men’s Basketball season preview | Women’s Basketball season preview
Shooting Sports wins Fall College Virtual Competition: Head Coach Scott Moniot’s squad officially completed its fall season by winning the Hastings Bronco Invitational (Oct. 11-12), but last week the Bulldogs were announced as a champion of a very 2020 competition. Concordia took first place in the team trap and skeet categories of the SCTP Fall College Virtual Competition. The Bulldogs were placed under “Division I.” Individually, Concordia’s Erin Lokke won the women’s trap and skeet events and Bulldogs Russell Malterud (men’s trap) and Colten Uitermarkt (men’s skeet) also claimed titles. For complete results, click HERE.
HomeTown Ticketing and Fan protocols for home events: Fans who plan to attend Concordia Athletics home events are advised to read through our protocols HERE. All fans are expected to self-screen and are required to wear masks while viewing contests in either Bulldog Stadium or Walz Arena. Non-family members are welcome to be present on our campus during these contests. Fans are also encouraged to order advance tickets through HomeTown Ticketing. By purchasing tickets online, fans are guaranteed entrance on game days. Concordia is allowing 75 percent capacity in outdoor venues and 50 percent capacity in indoor venues.
Bulldog Coaches Show airs every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. CT: The Bulldog Coaches Show is underway in its fifth year of existence. The show airs live for a half hour every Thursday beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT on KTMX-FM 104.9 Max Country. The weekly feature can also be heard live via 104.9 Max Country’s website or by downloading the Max Country app. Throughout the 2020-21 season, Bulldog football, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball contests will be aired live on Max Country. Evan Jones serves as the host of the coaches’ show as well as the play-by-play voice for football and basketball. Frank Greene is in his sixth season calling Concordia volleyball.
Concordia Sports Network: Live webcasts for most home varsity contests can be accessed by visiting https://www.cune.edu/athletics/watch-bulldogs at game time. Beginning in 2019-20, Concordia Athletics partnered with PrestoSports for live video and statistical streaming. For more details on this change, click HERE. Check team schedules/results pages for webcast dates. Scrimmages, exhibitions and junior varsity events are not broadcasted.
- These are fun times for the Bulldogs, who have lived on the edge in recent GPAC outings. Concordia moved its conference win streak to three last week with a pair of 1-0 victories – over College of Saint Mary (in overtime) on Oct. 14 and over Hastings on Oct. 17. In terms of overall points, Head Coach Thomas Goines’ squad is in first place with 18 points (6-2 GPAC record). However, Briar Cliff is currently 5-0 in conference play. It appears to be a wide open league in 2020. For more information on Bulldog Women’s Soccer, click HERE.
- During the win streak, all three victories have come by one-goal margins, including the two overtime victories. The run began with the 2-1 overtime win over Jamestown on Oct. 10. Six of Concordia’s nine games have been decided by a single goal. The only exceptions were the 12-0 win at Mount Marty, the 2-0 victory over Northwestern and the 3-0 loss at Morningside. In other words, the Bulldogs have played plenty of games that could have swung either way.
- A different hero has emerged for the game winning goal in each of the past three wins. Mikeila Martinez produced the golden goal versus Jamestown before Cheyenne Smith did the same at College of Saint Mary. Concordia needed only the standard 90 minutes to get it done versus Hastings, although it took until the 83rd minute until Sydney Ross chased down a rebound and knocked in the lone goal of the game. Smith tops the team with two game winning goals this season while Grace Soenksen also has one.
- At this point in the season, it’s clear that the Bulldogs have come to hang their hat on strong defensive play as a unit. Through eight GPAC games, Concordia has allowed a combined five goals with three of them coming in contest alone (at Morningside). Over last week’s action, the Bulldogs allowed the Flames and Broncos a combined two shots on goal over more than 180 minutes of play. Concordia currently ranks third among GPAC squads with an average of 0.67 goals allowed per game.
- Senior goalkeeper Lindsey Carley barely had to break a sweat last week in collecting two more shutouts. She’s now the second goalkeeper in program history to record 20 or more shutouts for a career. Her 21 shutouts rank behind only Chrissy Lind (28) on the all-time list. From a statistical standpoint, Carley and Lind are most certainly the top two keepers in school history. Carley is the only Bulldog to ever earn GPAC Defensive Player of the Year accolades as she did in 2017 when the Bulldogs won the outright conference regular-season title.
- Concordia just may be about as good as anyone in the league now that Tori Cera is back on the field. The two-time first team All-GPAC performer missed this season’s first eight games before starting versus Hastings. Goines indicated that her presence produced a noticeable new energy for his team. Cera figures to play more and more minutes as she re-acclimates herself. The Las Vegas native has played all over the field in her career and can certainly help in the goal scoring department. Her 14 career goals are most of anyone on the current roster.
- Concordia still has a couple of home games left on the regular-season slate, but it decided to use this past Saturday as senior day. The large senior class is nine deep and features the likes of Cera and fellow all-conference performer Michaela Twito. That group knows how significant a victory over Hastings is for the program. The Bulldogs and Broncos met in the 2014, 2017 and 2018 GPAC tournament title games. The latter two matchups resulted in heartbreak for Concordia. The Bulldogs had not beaten Hastings since the 2017 regular season.
- If Concordia is to make a run at a GPAC regular-season title, it will most certainly need a win over Briar Cliff (5-0 GPAC) on Wednesday. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. The Bulldogs will then be on the road Saturday to play at Presentation (0-6-2, 0-4-2 GPAC) at 1 p.m. Presentation first joined the GPAC as a soccer only member in 2018. Since the start of the 2014 season, Concordia owns a combined GPAC record of 50-13-10.
- The Bulldogs knew they would have their hands full with a road trip to Northwestern (now 3-1) on the docket last week. Concordia still has not won in Orange City, Iowa, since 2002 after falling, 31-17, at Northwestern on Oct. 17. The Bulldogs trailed by just six points before the Red Raiders tacked on a touchdown in the final few minutes. A bend-but-don’t-break defense kept Concordia in it for all four quarters despite allowing more than 400 passing yards. Fourth-year Head Coach Patrick Daberkow’s squad is now 4-1 in 2020. For more information on Bulldog Football, click HERE.
- According to @NAIAFBALL (not associated with the NAIA national office), the matchup in Orange City featured two top 25 teams: No. 22 Concordia and No. 10 Northwestern. Considering the presence of quarterback Tyson Kooima, the Red Raiders were a heavy favorite at home. Though Kooima threw for 407 passing yards, the Bulldogs hung tough by buckling down in the red zone. Northwestern reached the red zone seven times, but managed only two touchdowns (three field goals) and twice came up empty. Kooima was also picked off twice (once by both Caydren Cox and Isiaha Conner).
- Northwestern probably felt as though it missed some opportunities when it took a 13-0 lead to the half. Again, the ability of Concordia to keep the Red Raiders out of the end zone was crucial. The Bulldogs kept clawing their way back, getting within 13-7, 16-14 and 23-17 during a very competitive second half. Concordia even had a red zone possession in the fourth quarter when it trailed 23-17. The Bulldogs wound up throwing an interception on fourth-and-seven from Northwestern’s 16-yard line.
- Tight end Garrett Schardt gets a gold star for a career high performance in Orange City. The native of Davenport, Neb., caught seven passes for 132 yards and scored the team’s only two touchdowns. Schardt caught scoring strikes of 16 and 34 yards from quarterback Blake Culbert. Schardt is quickly becoming one of Culbert’s favorite targets. Schardt also caught five passes for 78 yards in the win over Jamestown. On the season, he has 15 receptions for 261 yards and two touchdowns.
- Concordia was happy to get running back Jonah Weyand back on the field last week. The Crete High School product had missed the second half of the week three win at Briar Cliff and then sat out the entire game versus Jamestown. Against the Red Raiders, Weyand ran 26 times for 87 yards. On the year, Weyand has carried the ball 91 times for 491 yards and seven touchdowns. He ranks third nationally with an average of 117.8 rushing yards per game.
- It’s actually quite impressive to hold Northwestern to 31 points. In their previous three games, the Red Raiders put up 31 points on Morningside, 50 on Dakota Wesleyan and 48 on Dordt. Northwestern continues to lead the NAIA in passing yardage with an average of 379.3 per game. Defensively, the Bulldogs were led by the 10 tackles from Conner. All-American linebacker Lane Napier returned from injury and made seven stops. A sack apiece was notched by Karson Dickson and Gerald Morris. The team’s 19 sacks lead the NAIA.
- Schardt has helped Concordia become much more of a threat in the passing game. Culbert has been able to spread the ball around and rack up 1,154 yards and seven passing touchdowns. Four different receivers have at least 12 catches: Cayden Beran (12 for 226), Korrell Koehlmoos (18 for 383), Schardt (16 for 261) and Lane Castaneda (12 for 115). Culbert currently ranks fifth nationally in total passing yards and 25th among NAIA quarterbacks in passing efficiency (119.0).
- According to Massey Ratings, the Bulldogs are the fifth best team in the NAIA. Based on Massey Ratings, Concordia will have plenty more chances to play against highly rated opponents. After taking on Massey No. 8 Northwestern, Concordia is set to play No. 12 Dordt, No. 1 Morningside and No. 19 Midland over its next three games. Like Northwestern, Dordt has been prolific on offense.
- The Defenders (4-1) will be at Bulldog Stadium for a 1 p.m. CT kickoff on Saturday. Dordt has won back-to-back meetings with the Bulldogs with both of those contests having taken place in Sioux Center, Iowa. Concordia is 9-3 all-time versus the Defenders, who began their football program in 2008. Head Coach Joel Penner has transformed the Dordt program, which did not win more than two games in any of its first eight seasons. The Defenders are 18-8 since the beginning of the 2018 season.
- The Bulldogs recently went through a stretch of having three games over an eight-day period (two in three days), but they won’t complain. It certainly beats the alternative that some other men’s soccer programs are facing. In last week’s action, Concordia had a rare Monday (Oct. 12) game that resulted in a 2-2 draw at Mount Marty. Then on Oct. 17, the Bulldogs dropped a 3-1 decision at the hands of perennial league powerhouse Hastings. Thirteenth-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad is now 6-2-1 overall and 4-1-1 in conference play (13 points; third place). For more information on Concordia Men’s Soccer, click HERE.
- The loss to the Broncos snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1) that began immediately following the season opening defeat against Bellevue University. During that seven-game stretch, the Bulldogs earned wins over MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.), Kansas Wesleyan University, Dordt, Northwestern, Dakota Wesleyan and Jamestown. They outscored those six foes by a combined total of 20-3. The streak nearly equaled the seven-game win streak Concordia had to begin the 2019 season.
- Hastings has been a longtime nemesis for the Bulldogs. The matchups between the two sides always seem to heighten the intensity. In last week’s clash, there were a combined seven cards issued – all in the second half. The Broncos have managed to avoid falling victim to Concordia ever since the Bulldogs surprised Hastings in the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game. The two sides went on to meet up in the conference title games of 2016 and 2017. The Broncos placed third in the GPAC regular season in 2019 but went on to reach the national championship game.
- During the six-game win streak, Concordia conceded a combined three goals. Over the past two contests, the Bulldogs have surrendered a combined five goals. It may prove to be just a blip considering Concordia has been a solid overall defensive team. Prior to this week, freshman Iker Casanova had won two GPAC Defensive Player of the Week awards as an anchor at center back. However, the Bulldogs have been without the services of starting center back Decker Mattimoe in recent action. Concordia currently ranks fourth in the GPAC in terms of goals allowed per game (1.22).
- Midfielder Carlos Orquiz has developed into a formidable weapon on attacking end. He put away the team’s lone goal versus Hastings after being played an excellent pass from Garrett Perry. Orquiz has posted three goals and three assists on the year. Orquiz ranks behind only Perry and Moises Jacobo (five goals apiece) for the team lead in goal scoring. The Bulldogs have had nine unique goal scorers contribute to the team’s season total of 24 goals.
- Prior to kickoff versus Hastings, Concordia celebrated a senior class of six: Ethan Doyle, David Moreno, Jackson Myers, Perry, João Pedro Veríssimo and Trenton Williams. That group has helped the program to a combined record of 42-16-8 since the start of the 2017 season. The ’17 campaign was a fun one that saw the Bulldogs go 16-3-1 overall (school record for wins in a season). Perry was an honorable mention All-GPAC choice in 2019. Pedro Veríssimo is a key part of the back line and one of the team’s most respected leaders.
- It’s a challenge to break down the conference race considering the varying numbers of games played within the conference from team to team. Hastings is currently in first place at 6-0 with Briar Cliff (5-0) right behind it. Morningside (2-0) is the only other GPAC squad without a conference loss. The tie and loss last week may have taken Concordia out of the conference regular-season title race. There is often very little margin for error when it comes to pacing the league standings.
- A good start would be earning a win over Briar Cliff (7-0 overall) on Wednesday. Kickoff will be at 8 p.m. CT in Seward. The Bulldogs will then be on the road on Saturday (3:30 start) to play at Presentation (0-4, 0-4 GPAC). The Saints joined the GPAC as a soccer only member prior to the 2018 campaign. A fast rising program over the past few years, the Chargers are 21-5-1 in GPAC games since the beginning of the ’18 season.
- Last week was a mixed bag for the Bulldogs, who knew it would be a critical stretch as far as determining their chances of contending for a GPAC regular season title. Concordia dominated in a pair of straight-sets wins over Mount Marty on Oct. 13. Life on the road wasn’t as kind as the Bulldogs fell in three sets at Jamestown on Oct. 16 and then were clipped in five sets at Dakota Wesleyan the following day. Those results leave third-year Head Coach Ben Boldt’s squad at 7-3 in the GPAC (third place). For more information on Concordia Volleyball, click HERE.
- It says something about how far the program has come that it could enter this season with realistic beliefs of claiming the GPAC title. Such hopes certainly did take a hit last week, although there is a lot of volleyball to be played. In a 16-match regular season, Jamestown (8-0) and Northwestern (8-1) have separated themselves at the top, at least for the moment. The Jimmies graduated a couple of top hitters from last season but have retooled nicely (with the help of an NCAA Division I transfer) and the Red Raiders returned NAIA National Player of the Year Anna Wedel.
- The four-match week was the busiest week so far this season for the Bulldogs, who had no luck in trying to play outside of the conference early in September. Over the four matches (14 sets), five Concordia players accumulated 27 or more kills: Camryn Opfer (39), Gabi Nordaker (38), Arleigh Costello (31), Kara Stark (29) and Kalee Witlfong (27). Among them, Wiltfong was the most efficient as she hit .429 for the week. As a team, the Bulldogs hit .234 while compiling 170 kills on the week.
- Senior Tara Callahan plays a role in the vast majority of the kills that Concordia collects. In last week’s doubleheader with Mount Marty, Callahan surpassed 3,000 career assists. Her current total of 3,118 career assists ranks third in program history behind Stacy Stuckenschmidt (4,949) and Alayna Kavanaugh (4,485). A native of Brady, Neb., Callahan has also produced career numbers of 532 digs, 266 kills, 163 blocks and 32 aces.
- The Bulldogs hosted Mount Marty last week for a rare GPAC doubleheader. Concordia toppled the Lancers by scores of 25-12, 25-12, 25-8, and 25-18, 25-16, 25-12. There was never much doubt about the Bulldogs’ grip on the lead in the latter stages of any of the six sets. As a team, Concordia hit .366 and totaled 69 kills to just 16 errors. Individually, Opfer led the way with a combined 18 kills (.424 hitting percentage). Four other Bulldogs had at least 10 kills on the day: Costello (13), Nordaker (13), Wiltfong (12) and Stark (10).
- An opportunity slipped away from the Bulldogs in the second set at Jamestown when they led 19-17. The 7-0 run that followed by the Jimmies represented the most significant sequence of the night. Three of those points came courtesy of kills by Corina Huff. A kill later on from Opfer got Concordia within 24-22 before Kalli Hegerle responded to make it a commanding 2-0 lead for the home team. Jamestown, a 2019 NAIA national semifinalist, is now 19-1 over its last 20 home matches.
- Dakota Wesleyan (9-6, 5-6 GPAC) is no pushover. It had taken a game from both Jamestown and Northwestern and defeated Midland in four sets earlier this season. The statistics from the Concordia-DWU match were strikingly even. Ultimately, the Tigers were a bit cleaner down the stretch. With the fifth set tied, 12-12, Concordia was bitten by a service error and an attack error. Ady Dwight then polished it off with the match-clinching kill. Nordaker paced the Bulldogs in that match with 19 kills (career high).
- Concordia will be challenged with a trip to College of Saint Mary (7-5, 2-5 GPAC) for a 7:30 p.m. CT first serve today (Oct. 20). The Bulldogs defeated the Flames (2019 national qualifier) twice in 2020. Concordia will then be home to host the GPAC’s two Sioux City residents – Briar Cliff (8-11, 3-8 GPAC) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Morningside (7-6, 6-4 GPAC) at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Only three matches will be left in the regular season (and this fall) at the conclusion of the week.
- Meet No. 4 of the 2020 season transpired on Oct. 3 as the Bulldogs took to the trail at Adams Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, S.D., for the Briar Cliff Invitational. They have had the past two weeks off from competition. In the team races at the BCU Invite, Concordia placed second out of 13 on the women’s side and sixth out of 14 on the men’s side. In terms of sheer number of teams and runners, this was the largest meet of the season so far for Concordia. Fifth-year Head Coach Matt Beisel had also previously traveled his squads to Sioux Center, Iowa, Hastings, Neb., and Crete, Neb., for competition. For more on Bulldog Cross Country, click HERE.
- The NAIA had not released any official national ratings for any fall sports until recently when the first set of cross country rankings were unveiled. Prior to the release of the national rankings, the NAIA posted official conference polls that showed Concordia at No. 3 on the women’s side and at No. 4 on the men’s side. In the national poll, the women appeared five spots outside of the top 25 (30th overall) in the “receiving votes” category. Meanwhile, the men did not garner any votes. As GPAC leaders, Dordt (No. 6) and Morningside (No. 18) were ranked on the women’s side and Dordt (No. 12) was ranked on the men’s side. The next poll releases are scheduled for Oct. 26 at the conference level and Oct. 29 at the national level.
- The Bulldog women will have a strong case for being included in the top 25 next time the ranking comes out on Oct. 29. With a youthful top three at Briar Cliff (sophomore-freshman-freshman), Concordia defeated Morningside and placed behind only Dordt. The Concordia women have not placed lower than third at any meet this season – third at the Dordt Sunflower Open, second at the Bronco Stampede, first at the Dean White Invite and second at the Briar Cliff Invite.
- The men’s team also boosted its standing within the GPAC by beating out Northwestern (which had been rated third in the conference poll) at the Briar Cliff Invite. That means the Bulldogs are looking up at only Dordt (second place at Briar Cliff) and Doane (fourth place) among GPAC rivals. The Concordia men celebrated a meet title at the Bronco Stampede, where they topped Doane (second place).
- It appears the women’s team could get a significant boost from freshman Rylee Haecker of Davenport, Neb. She surprised even Beisel at the Briar Cliff Invite in what was her first career college meet. Haecker’s main focus has been on preparing for track season, but she entered the Briar Cliff Invite and finished with a fine 5k time of 18:43.22 (22nd overall out of 155 runners) and was second on the team behind only Kylahn Heritage (18:32.60) and just ahead of teammate Grace Reiman (18:44.35).
- Heritage picked up GPAC Runner of the Week honors after the Dean White Invite. It was the first such award in the career of Heritage, a native of Nampa, Idaho. Three Bulldogs garnered the weekly honor in 2019: Rebekah Hinrichs, Amie Martin and Bailie Vanarsdall. Heritage has been the team’s top runner at each of the three meets she’s competed at this season. Her time of 18:32.60 in North Sioux City was only two seconds off her personal best of 18:30.48 achieved at the 2019 GPAC Championships.
- The men have been led at all four meets by sophomore Camden Sesna, who seems poised to make a push for the first all-conference placement of his young college career. Sesna’s 8k times this season have come in at 26:34.84, 26:19.15, 27:38.02 and 26:04.63, respectively. At the 2019 GPAC Championships, it took a time of just under 26 minutes to place inside the top 15 of the individual leaderboard. The remainder of Concordia’s top five at Briar Cliff featured senior Jordan Lorenz (26:28.82; 52nd), freshman Calvin Rohde (26:42.01; 60th), sophomore Antonio Blaine (27:00.88; 68th) and sophomore Owen Dawson (27:26.91; 80th).
- The Bulldogs have been in the midst of a three-week training period leading up to their next meet: the Mount Marty Invite this Saturday. It will take place at Fox Run Golf Course in Yankton, S.D. That will mark the final meet prior to the GPAC Championships on Nov. 7. As announced late in the summer, the NAIA national meet has been postponed until April 9, 2021.