21 ST YEAR AS HEAD COACH
2012 SEASON: 11-8-2
FOLLOW OUR JOURNEY
W E L C O M E Concordia University Wisconsin extends a hearty welcome to all guests visiting our campus for this athletic competition. It is our desire that this activity be an enjoyable, wholesome event for all of us. “Winning isn’t everything, but the desire to win motivates us to achievement.” This is a more accurate quotation from a famous football coach of the past than the quote that is actually used. To an extent, it also describes the Christian philosophy of Concordia University Wisconsin. To be more precise, it is our desire to strive for excellence in all that we do, with God’s Law and Gospel giving us direction. Our academic programs at Concordia are of the highest quality, as we strive for excellence in Christian education. Our athletic program is the same. With the context of Christian faith, we attempt to achieve these same heights in our spritual life. Athletics at Concordia provide a variety of opportunities for our students to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The program is directed by faculty of the university and is governed by The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) with a Christian philosophy. We invite our friends to visit us often and to take advantage of the opportunity to prepare for a career in Education, Nursing, Pastoral Ministry, Pharmacy, Business, Social Work, Sports Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, or any of the 70 major disciplines offered along with a doctorate in physical therapy, pharmacy or nursing practice. CUW grants AA, BA, BS, and MS degrees. May God richly bless you in all your endeavors and thank you for being with us today!
Dr. Patrick T. Ferry
President, Concordia University Wisconsin
A Q U A L I T Y E D U C A T I O N I N A N I D E A L S E T T I N G Since its beginning in 1881, Concordia University Wisconsin has prided itself on “Excellence in Christian Education.” Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) has succeeded in becoming a progressive institution, while retaining the Lutheran, Christian tradition on which it was founded. Concordia is a four-year, co-educational, liberal arts college offering 70 undergraduate majors and over 20 graduate level programs. It’s the largest Lutheran University in the United States with over 7,900 undergraduate, traditional, and nontraditonal students attending 16 different locations. The university has many co-curricular programs including all major sports, drama, music, spiritual life, student government, intramurals, and social activities and has one of the largest field houses of any private college in Wisconsin with an indoor track and soccer surface. The educational and athletic facilities available to Concordia soccer players are unparalleled in NCAA Division III soccer in the Central region of the United States. Over the past six years, Concordia has invested millions of dollars into renovations and upgrades that are so impressive that the St. Louis Rams professional football team used the CUW campus for its summer training camp. Located in Ozaukee County, Concordia is situated on the north shore of Lake Michigan. Cities of interest within a ten minute drive of Concordia are Cedarburg, which has a historic downtown area (Cedar Creek Settlement) filled with an array of specialty stores, art exhibits and museums, restaurants and inns; Grafton, with a thriving downtown area located on the Milwaukee River, and Mequon which boasts of majestic lake bluffs, stately homes, lush farmland and expansive open space. A short fifteen minute drive from Concordia’s campus is the city of Milwaukee. With a population of over 500,000, Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and the 22nd-largest city in the nation. Milwaukee is a fun and exciting place to experience with music festivals throughout the summer, a vibrant downtown night life throughout the year, and professional sports teams to follow such as the Milwaukee Wave Indoor soccer team, the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, and the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. Other cities of interest, such as Madison and Chicago, are a ninety minute drive from the city of Mequon.
CONCORDIA FALCONS SOCCER
C A M P U S
H I G H L I G H T S
The newly renovated soccer venue is one of the most stunning soccer facilities in the Midwest. It features a one and a half million dollar synthetic turf field with seating capacity for over 800 soccer fans.
STRENGTH & CONDITIONING/SPORTS MEDICINE FACILITIES
Concordia’s seven million dollar sports fitness center features a world class athletic training facility with a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy room and three separate workout rooms.
Situated 135 feet above majestic Lake Michigan on the southeast Wisconsin shoreline, the Concordia Center for Environmental Stewardship or CCES, is the primary study center at CUW for a variety of environmentally-oriented academic, outreach and research areas.
SCHOOL OF PHARMACY BUILDING
Concordia University Wisconsin’s state-of-the-art, $12 million School of Pharmacy was officially dedicated in September, 2011. The SOP currently houses nearly 250 pharmacy students, including 85 in this year’s class. The doctorate program is only the second of its kind in Wisconsin, the other being at UW-Madison. Curt Gielow serves as Executive Dean, while Dean Arneson is the school’s Academic Dean.
Completed in 2008, the five story, $22 million Coburg residence hall features individual, private bedrooms, semi-private bathrooms, and a central living room space. Coburg Hall is located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan which provides residents with an astonishing lakeshore view.
In 2007, Concordia spent over eight million dollars to reshape and stabilize the lakeshore bluff so that it could be better utilized by the community. The newly designed shoreline features a private beach, an amphitheater, coastal wetlands and a breathtaking view of Lake Michigan.
The new five-story, 274 bed residence hall is being built on the east side of campus, south of the athletic fields, in the open space between Coburg and Augsburg Halls and will include eight parking stalls and a turnaround for emergency vehicles. According to CUW administrators, Chemnitz Hall is intended to house students who currently live offcampus and will accommodate a projected growth in students, as well as eventually replace some of the Universityâ€™s older housing. A majority of the construction is expected to be completed in time for the start of the fall 2013 semester. The reminder of the construction will conclude in late 2013, according to CUW officials.
A state-of-the-art, 3.4 million dollar baseball facility that opened in April, 2012. It is intended to serve Concordia University Wisconsin, the local community and be the home of the Lakeshore Chinooks. Kapco Park has a maximum capacity for 3,000 fans in various seating areas throughout the facility including reserved seats, fan decks, general admission and grass seating, all with beautiful views of Lake Michigan. This ballpark has a synthetic turf field, except the pitchers mound, for consistent play throughout the year. It also has a fully functioning press box, dugouts, concession area and restrooms. Kapco Park is a combined effort between Concordia University Wisconsin, private companies and community-minded individuals.
H I S T O R Y
From its inception in 1984, Concordia men’s soccer has been a model for success and excellence in NAIA and NCAA Division III soccer. Over the past 28 years the men’s soccer team has won over 348 matches, has been crowned conference champions 11 times, and has participated in post-season play on 8 different occasions. Falcon soccer players have been tremendously successful on the field, receiving numerous All Conference (120), All Region (8), All America (8) and Academic All America (4) awards., and 6 Conference Players this past year. Off the field, CUW soccer graduates perform their duties in a wide variety of career fields such as education, business, and medicine. The 2013 campaign promises to continue this rich tradition as it celebrates its 30th soccer season. HALL OF FAME: The accomplishments of the men’s soccer team can be directly attributed to the outstanding coaches and athletes that have participated in the program. In 2003, Dan Harris, a former CUW coach who was instrumental in establishing the foundation of excellence for the program, was the first person associated with the soccer team to be chosen for the Hall of Fame. Other players who were selected in subsequent years were Kou Seying (2005), Rob Morrison (2006), Ryan Unger (2007), the leading scorer in CUW soccer history, Dan Schmitz (2008), Max Bluemel (2009), Darren Werner (2010), Robin Dorschner (2011) and Steve Dziatkiewicz (2012).
S U C C E S S
C U W
A L U M N I Former CUW soccer star Darren Werner (2000 Concordia graduate, pictured on left), a practicing Chiropractor in Grafton Wisconsin, recently had the chance to mentor another former Falcon, Steve Samuel (2009 Concordia graduate, pictured on right) during a “hands-on” Chiropractic internship. According to Coach Saleska, “Both Darren and Steve were outstanding soccer players who earned All-Conference honors. More importantly, they’re both outstanding young men. Their new working relationship is a great story about members of the Concordia family helping each other out.”
O U T S T A N D I N G
P E R F O R M E R S
Pat Goolsby 1988, 1989 Dan Schmitz 1988 Robin Dorschner 1989 Djuro Stojsavljevic 1991 Jeff Mierow 1991 Jason Papp 1996 Peter Schreiber Jr. 2004
Steve Meteisis 1997, 1998 Darren Werner 1998 Ryan Middendorf 2000, 2001 Jon Gridley 2001 Steve Dziatkiewicz 2001, 2002 Jake Banas 2002 Peter Schreiber 2003, 2004, 2005 Travis Moulton 2004, 2005, 2006 Brian Nord 2006, 2007 Mike Bruckner 2007 Jon Waldhart 2008 Brad Dent 2008 Tom Anderson 2009 Trevor Hess 2009 Jacob Pope 2010 Kyle Sytsma 2011 Kyle Sytsma & Jacob Pope 2012
ACADEMIC ALL AMERICA John Born Jr. 1991 Andreas Batiansila 1996 Travis Moulton 2006 Tom Anderson 2010
ALL REGION Rob Morrison 1987 Robin Dorschner 1988 Pat Goolsby 1988 Dan Schmitz 1990 Djuro Stojsavljevic 1991 Jason Papp 1996 Ryan Unger 1996, 1997 Mike Martinich 1996
CONFERENCE PLAYER OF THE YEAR Djuro Stojsavljevic 1991 Max Bluemel 1992 Jason Papp 1996 Ryan Unger 1997, 1999 Steve Dziatkiewicz 2002 Peter Schreiber Jr. 2004 Brian Nord 2007 (Offensive POY)
TOP 10 ALL TIME LEADING SCORERS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
Ryan Unger Peter Schreiber Brian Nord Steve Dziatkiewicz Matt Sumner Robin Dorschner Kyle Sytsma Pat Goolsby John Vojta Joel Rockemann
80 goals, 48 assists, 208 points 69 goals, 27 assists, 165 points 64 goals, 27 assists, 155 points 53 goals, 26 assists, 132 points 35 goals, 33 assists, 103 points 30 goals, 42 assists, 102 points 37 goals, 20 assists, 94 points 37 goals, 18 assists, 92 points 32 goals, 27 assists, 91 points 31 goals, 28 assists, 90 points
YOUTH INDOOR SOCCER TOURNAMENT For the past 16 years, the team has hosted an indoor soccer tournament for the local soccer community. Youth soccer teams from all over the area visit the CUW field house to compete for trophies and awards. The men’s team organizes and runs the event and is involved in working the concession stand and officiating the games.
SERVANT EVENT Every year the men’s soccer team performs community service. In these photos team members are reading children’s books at an inner city elementary school as part of the America Scores Project.
N A C C
C O N F E R E N C E
The Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference began its first season of competition in the fall of 2006. The NACC consists of 13 colleges and universities from the shared-border states of Illinois and Wisconsin. Many have shared traditional rivalries dating back to the NACCâ€™s predecessor conferences, the Lake Michigan Conference and the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference. Charter members include: Alverno College, Aurora University, Benedictine University, Concordia University Chicago, Concordia University Wisconsin, Dominican University, Edgewood College, Lakeland College, Marian University, Rockford College and Wisconsin Lutheran College. Milwaukee School of Engineering joined the NAC in the fall of 2007. The Northern Athletics Conference is the third largest conference in NCCAA Division III.
senior jacob pope
junior diego campos
sophomore paul stuebs
line up before a match
Keegan Van Dusseldorp
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R E V I E W
The 2012 campaign was another notable season in which the Falcons finished with an overall record of 11-8-2 and 8-2-1 in conference play, good enough for a second place tie in the NACC. The men’s team battled all season long registering several stirring victories while also suffering some frustrating losses. The roller coaster season of ups and downs helped the team grow closer and rely on each other as they battled their way into the conference tournament final match before losing a tightly fought battle to DU by a score of 2-1. The season began in Michigan with two tightly contested victories against Adrian and Albion College. The Falcons played great defense throughout the opening weekend to go along with opportunistic offense to come away with the two wins, a 1-0 triumph over Adrian on a penalty kick goal by Kyle Sytsma and a 3-1 victory over Albion on goals by Arturo Vera, Mo McCrone and Ryan Carey. The excitement over these two triumphs was short lived as the men’s team returned home and lost the next three non-conference matches to Beloit College, Augsburg College, and North Park University. The Beloit loss was especially frustrating since the home team outshot their opponents by a 28-11 margin but was still defeated by a devastating overtime goal. The team rebounded nicely from the three consecutive losses by overpowering conference opponent Concordia Chicago 4-1 on the back of three goals by Jacob Pope. The Falcons followed their first conference victory with a 3-0 shutout of Rockford College with GK Sam Ische recording his second shutout of the year. Unfortunately, the problems with non-conference opponents continued as the men’s team dropped a 1-0 OT match to UW-Oshkosh as well as tightly contested 2-1 loss to Elmhurst. Freshman Keegan Van Dusseldorp’s hat trick helped crush NACC opponent Maranatha 4-1 and despite playing with only 10 men for most of the match, the Falcons still registered a 3-1 win over Lakeland College to improve their conference record to 4-1-0.
Defeating the Lakeland Muskies while down a man for most of the match seemed to energize the Falcon’s for the stretch drive. The team next shutout Benedictine 2-0, beat Marian University 3-2, and held on to a 1-0 win over Edgewood College. Team leaders, Kyle Sytsma, Diego Campos, and Jacob Pope, led the way with their quality passing and timely goal scoring. Despite a 2-1 loss to DU, the team had several chances to secure a win over the highly rated Stars. By the end of the season, it was the defensive back four of Mitch Boehm, Jake Barnes, Jim Kroll, and Zach Lemler with Sam Ische in goal that held the team together and kept the Falcons in every match until the final whistle. The team closed out the conference season with a 1-0 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran and a 1-1 tie with MSOE. The NACC tournament began with a thrilling 2-0 shutout of Wisconsin Lutheran on goals by Kyle Sytsma and Keegan VanDusseldorp. The Falcons needed every ounce of energy, team work, and defense to defeat a strong Aurora squad in a penalty kick shootout in the tournament semifinal. Freshman Ryan Carey nailed the final PK to put the team over the top. In the tournament final, the men’s team jumped out to an early lead on an incredible goal by Tyler Harris but couldn’t hold on before the losing to the DU Stars by a score of 2-1. In wrapping up the 2012 season, Diego Campos, Kyle Sytsma, and Jacob Pope were selected First Team All-Conference, Zach Lemler and Sam Ische were chosen Second Team AllConference and Keegan Van Dusseldorp made the All-Freshman team. Along with All Conference honors, Jacob Pope and Kyle Sytsma also were selected All-Region. Another indication of his outstanding four year career, Kyle Sytsma ended up the NACC career leader in game winning goals.
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P R E V I E W
In 2012, much of the Falcons success could be attributed to their experienced and talented senior group composed of Sam Ische, Kyle Sytsma, Tyler Harris, Jim Kroll, Arturo Vera, and Zach Lemler. Even though the team returns several key starters such as Diego Campos, Jacob Pope and Paul Stuebs, for the 2013 season to be successful, the team will have to depend on the younger players to lead the squad. According to Coach Saleska, the sophomores and incoming freshmen will really have to play well for the Falcons to be competitive in 2013. One of the major keys to any successful team is the strength of the defense. This year’s team will have a new goalie along with an inexperienced back four. Sophomore Alec Brew and Junior Eric Vogel, both substitutes last year, will challenge newcomers Dillon Pallex and Austin Schroeder for the starting goalie position. “Both freshmen goalies are outstanding and will really push Eric and Alec for time in the net,” states Coach Saleska. “It will be an interesting battle during training camp and throughout the season to identify the best keeper.” Sophomores Mitch Boehm and Jake Barnes who played intermittently last season will return to help anchor the center back position along with Junior David Kulberg, sophomore Nick Hopper, and sophomore Mark Samuel who also earned substitute minutes on the back line last season. Incoming freshmen who will compete for time on defense include Jon Rieth, Drew Lewis, Marshall Sprangers, Luis Mena, Joe Carpenter, and Collin French. According to Saleska, developing a strong back line will be a major focus of training camp and the early season practices.
In the midfield, three potential All Conference players return to solidify the center of the field. All Region selection Jacob Pope, who has the talent to play any position on the field, will either be an attacking midfielder, center forward, or even a center back when needed. Coach Saleska states that “we want to feature Jacob in a position that’s best for the team but also allows him to have a big impact on the game’s outcome.” The other two important midfield pieces include Juniors Diego Campos, one of the most technically talented players the team has seen in several years, and Paul Stuebs who was the most consistent performer for the Falcons last year. Other central players who will contend for playing time include veterans Adrian Vargas and Blake Edler and incoming freshmen such as Nick Bocanegra, Justin Clayton, and Sean Cropper. “I like our depth in the midfield,” states Saleska. “We like to play through our central players and I think we will have the technical ability to accomplish this tactical approach.” The Falcons also have excellent returning players up top to help the team score goals. Sophomores Keegan Van Dusseldorp, Ryan Carey, and UW-Green Bay transfer Bobby Russ all should see playing time right away. Highly touted recruits Josiah Ochoa and Jordan Moehn also will challenge the returners for playing time as forwards. Rounding out the front line is Junior Mo McCrone. The team certainly will need these front line players either to finish their chances or to set up the midfielders for their goals in order for the team to win consistently this year. The Falcons are led by captains Jacob Pope, Paul Steubs and Diego Campos.
Janesville, WI Evansville
Fond du Lac, WI Fond du Lac
Mundelein, IL Mundelein
Nicolas Bocanegra Grafton, WI Grafton
Justin Clayton Crete, IL Illinois Lutheran
Yorkville, IL Yorkville
Park Forest, IL Rich East
Kenosha, WI Kenosha Bradford
Sean Cropper Green Bay, WI Pulaski
Chicago, IL Chicago Bulls College Prep
Neenah, WI Fox Valley Lutheran
David Kulberg Osseo, MN Wayzata
Green Bay, WI Green Bay Southwest
Pulaski, WI Pulaski
Colgate, WI Germantown
Brookfield, WI Catholic Memorial
Fort Atkinson, WI Cambridge
Wauwatosa, WI Wauwatosa East
Menomonee Falls, WI Menomonee Falls
Keegan Van Dusseldorp Burlington, WI Burlington
Appleton, WI St. Mary Central
Iron Mountain, WI Kingsford
Appleton, WI Appleton North
Diego Campos Milwaukee, WI Hamilton
Plymouth, MI Lutheran Westland
Neenah, WI Fox Valley Lutheran
Janesville, WI Janesville Craig
Mequon, WI Prepa Tech Valle Alto
Eric Vogel Itasca, IL Lake Park
Jacob Pope Muskego, WI Muskego
St. Charles, MO St. Charles Lutheran
H E A D
C O A C H
Coach Tom Saleska came to Concordia in 1993 after a successful 14-year high school coaching career in which his teams won several conference, district, regional, and even a state championship in 1987. During his 20-year tenure at Concordia, the Falcons have won six Lake Michigan Conference championships, three conference tournament championships, and have earned an NCAA tournament appearance in two of the previous eight seasons. Included in Saleska’s list of accomplishments are a USSF National Coaching License, a Michigan High School State Championship, a Michigan State Coach of the Year award in 1987, and Lake Michigan Conference Coach of the Year in 1997, 2002, and 2004. His overall coaching record of 408178-49 includes 233 collegiate victories at Concordia.
C O A C H I N G 1993 - 95 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 - 01 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
27-25-5 18-4-0 16-4-0 16-4-1 14-6-0 24-12-2 17-4-2 14-7-1 15-4-1 11-5-5 13-5-4 12-7-1 12-7-1 12-4-5 12-6-3 13-6-1
T O M
S A L E S K A
Concordia’s soccer program also has an excellent reputation around the central part of the country, demonstrated by its regional ranking in the coaches’ poll in seven of the past eleven seasons. During his 34-year career, Saleska has coached a variety of recreational, club, high school, and collegiate teams. One of the main reasons for this coaching diversity is that Tom has been able to coach many of the teams for which his two sons, John (Concordia graduate) and James (Concordia graduate), have played. He also provided plenty of coaching advice to his daughter, Jenna (Concordia graduate), who played high school soccer. Tom and his wife Vanessa recently celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary. Along with coaching, Tom also teaches at Concordia and was promoted to the rank of Full Professor. In the past 20 years Tom has taught two different biology courses, one life science course, a zoology course, a soccer coaching course and a secondary methods course.
R E C O R D
LMC Champion LMC Champion/LMC Tournament Champion LMC Tournament Champion LMC Champion LMC Champion, NCAA Tournament, At Large LMC Champion/LMC Tournament Champion, NCAA Tournament LMC Champion/LMC Tournament Final LMC Tournament Final NAC Tournament Final
NAC Tourney Final (Lost 2-1 to Domincan)
A S S I S T A N T JOHN SALESKA
John Saleska was hired as the full-time Director of Soccer Operations for both the men’s and women’s soccer programs in March, 2012. He previously was the graduate assistant coach and played four years, three as the starting right back, of varsity soccer as a member of the Falcons. His playing resume includes three-consecutive conference championships and bac k-to-back second round appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Prior to that he was a three-year varsity defender at West Bend East High School and part of that school’s first-ever Little 10 championship squad. He most recently played for FC Brewers in the Majors division of the Wisconsin Adult Soccer Association. Saleska’s coaching experience includes three years coaching both boys and girls at West Bend United SC, a year coaching girls soccer at Milwaukee Lutheran High School, and three years as boys and girls varsity assistant at Homestead High School. Saleska holds both an NSCAA Advanced and USSF National ‘D’ Coaching Diplomas, and currently coaches with the Bavarian Soccer Club. Saleska is married to Tara and the couple has a son, Owen and two twin boys, Micah and Luke.
C O A C H E S MARTY LATAILLE,
A 2007 graduate of Concordia Wisconsin, is a first year assistant coach for the men’s team. Marty’s playing background includes a four year career as a defender for the Falcons. During his senior season, the team won a Concordia record nine straight games without giving up a goal. Over the past five years since his graduation, Marty has been the varsity coach for Nathan Hale High School, a volunteer assistant coach for UW-Milwaukee Panthers, a youth coach for Parkland Soccer Club, the MK Alliance, and the Croatian Eagle Soccer Club and a camp counselor for several collegiate soccer camps such as University of Wisconsin, UW-Milwaukee, and Akron University. Included in his coaching resume are a USSF “D” and “C” License and an NSCAA National and Advanced National Diploma. Marty, who majored in Public Relations and minored in Marketing during his undergraduate years, also completed the Graduate Teacher Certification Program at CUW and received his Wisconsin Teaching License in Elementary Education in 2012.
INT ER N A TI O N AL EXP ERIEN CE S JANUARY, 1999 – RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
In January of 1999, the men’s soccer team traveled to Rio De Janeiro for a 10 day South American adventure. During the trip, the team visited sites such as Christo Redentor, Sugar Loaf Mountain, Maracana (the world’s largest soccer stadium), and relaxed on the world renown Copa Cabana beach. Along with the cultural experience, the men’s soccer squad played four matches against quality competition.
AUGUST, 2002 – GERMANY & HOLLAND
In the summer of 2002, the Falcons completed an elevenday excursion to Holland and Germany. This unique educational experience included both famous cultural sites along with friendly matches against soccer clubs from the two countries. During their visit to the fabulous Ajax stadium, the home field of Amsterdam’s top professional soccer club, American national team player John O’Brien met the team for an impromptu photo session.
AUGUST, 2005 – GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND & ITALY
For a preseason learning and soccer training experience the men’s and women’s soccer teams traveled to Europe for ten action packed days of sightseeing and soccer playing. In Germany, the student/athletes visited Dachau prison camp, toured the city of Munich on bikes, dined at the famous
Hofbrau Haus, attended a professional soccer match and played soccer against the local club, TSV Pfersee. After experiencing Germany, the teams traveled to Salzburg, Austria where they toured the Schloss Hohensalzburg, the largest preserved fortress in central Europe, played a soccer match against USC Eugendorf, and visited the Durrnberg salt mines. At the end of the trip, the party traveled to Milan, Italy for a guided tour of the historic city that included a visit to DaVinci’s “Last Supper” located in the refectory of the Church of Santa Maria Della Grazie.
MAY 2009 – BARCELONA, SPAIN
In May, 2009 the men’s soccer team traveled to Barcelona, Spain for an eight day European soccer and cultural experience. The team stayed in a resort hotel located on the beach of the Mediterranean Sea and spent considerable time enjoying the sunny, Spanish environment. Each day the players traveled to memorable locations such as the world famous cathedral La Sagrada Familia (the only cathedral in Europe still under construction), Tossa De Mar, a quaint and cozy resort village, and the Ramblas, a unique shopping district in the heart of Barcelona where the Falcons enjoyed hunting for souvenirs. The highlight of the trip came when the team visited Nou Camp Stadium and watched FC Barcelona play Osasuana from field-level seats. The energy and passion displayed by the Barcelona fans was overwhelming and unforgettable.
Along with the daily cultural experiences, the Falcon squad also was able to play against some of the most talented soccer teams they have ever witnessed. The Spanish club players were fine tuned for their league playoffs and put on a dazzling display of soccer technique. Even though the men’s team was able to win only a single match during the tour, the young players gained valuable experience for seasons to come. According to Coach Saleska, “The entire tour was unbelievably successful. It was a fabulous learning experience and I think the players will remember the sights and sounds of the Barcelona area for the rest of their lives. They played soccer against incredible competition which will only help them in their future soccer careers. The Concordia soccer program tries to provide a meaningful and memorable international experience every three or four years but this trip to Spain will be difficult to match.”
MARCH 2013 – PARIS, FRANCE/LONDON, ENGLAND
For the fifth time in the past 15 years, the Concordia men’s soccer team traveled internationally during their 2013 spring break. Their destinations were the historically and culturally world renown cities of Paris and London. According to Coach Saleska, it was one of the most educational as well as enjoyable trips the team has ever experienced. The entire tour from the plane ride, to the daily excursions around these two amazing cities, to the soccer matches played against quality competition, to the professional soccer matches they attended, was
well planned and very well organized. Each day was packed with a tremendous variety of activities and jaw dropping events. On the first day after landing, the Falcons were lucky enough to attend, along with thousands of Parisians, the ringing of the bells at the 850th anniversary of the Notre Dame cathedral. The Paris experience included a walk to the Arc de Triomphe, located on the Champs-Elysees where the final stage of the Tour de France occurs, and a visit to other tourist attractions such as the Louvre, the Palace of Versailles, and the Eifel Tower. At each location, the team learned about the history and cultural significance of these famous sites. After crossing the English Channel by ferry the team made their way to London where they toured sites such as Windsor Castle and Wembley Stadium, and even had the chance to watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. The highlight of the trip, for most of the student athletes, was attending the professional soccer matches which allowed them to experience the excitement and emotion of European professional soccer. Not only did our team see an EPL match (West Ham United “forever blowing bubbles” against West Brom), the Falcons also watched the France versus Spain World Cup qualifying match, a once in a lifetime experience. Coach Saleska already is looking forward to their next European tour in four years when the team will travel to Athens Greece or Rome Italy.
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