FREMONT, Neb. – Two perennially strong GPAC programs met up on an unseasonably warm Wednesday (Nov. 4) evening in Fremont, Neb. The Concordia University Men’s Soccer team made a 42nd-minute goal from Matt Schultz stand up in a 1-0 win over 2019 NAIA national qualifier Midland. In an evenly-matched battle, both sides attempted eight shots.
At least on paper, this goes down as the most impressive win this season for 13th-year Head Coach Jason Weides’ squad. The Bulldogs have moved to 6-1-1 in GPAC play (8-2-1 overall) with three games remaining on the slate this fall.
“It was a pretty even game,” Weides said. “The first 15 minutes we came out and played really well. We didn’t create a lot of chances, but we were dominating possession. The game got a little more even after that. It was a game with not a ton of chances for either team. Neither keeper was really tested to make a great save. It was a scrappy box-to-box battle that was about winning challenges and winning the second ball.”
Call it a workmanlike victory for Concordia. In other words, it may have been fitting that a defender knocked in the game’s only goal. Schultz put away his second goal this season following a corner kick off the foot of Yessine Bessaïes. Schultz also helped goalkeeper Federico Andrea Simonetti notch a clean sheet. Simonetti collected five saves in the process of the Bulldogs picking up their fourth shutout of the season.
Concordia was able to keep top Midland striker Mario Bueso (eight goals this season) quiet. He put one shot on frame. It was a strong collective effort for the Bulldogs, who tagged the Warriors (5-3, 5-3 GPAC) with their first shutout defeat of 2020. Midland lost only one GPAC game in all of 2019 while making its way to the national tournament.
“To me what today showed was a great competitive nature in our team,” Weides said. “Because it was such a grind-it-out game. The play wasn’t always brilliant, but it was very physical and about winning the first and second ball. Ultimately if we can do that, we should be able to compete with anybody.”
On the attacking end, senior Garrett Perry was most active for Concordia with three shots (two on goal). Daniel Campbell made his second-straight start and registered two shots. Four Bulldogs started for the 11th-straight time to begin the campaign: Iker Casanova, Moises Jacobo, David Moreno and João Pedro Veríssimo.
The Bulldogs will have this weekend off while preparing for next Wednesday (Nov. 11)’s matchup at Morningside (5-2, 4-1 GPAC). The rescheduled contest is set to kick off at 8 p.m. CT from Sioux City, Iowa. The Mustangs won the 2019 GPAC regular-season title and own a win this season over Hastings (2-1 on Oct. 28).