SEWARD, Neb. – It’s the stretch run of nonconference play for the Concordia University men’s soccer team, which is getting set to host McPherson College (Kan.) (0-2-1) at 7 p.m. CT on Wednesday. It will mark the Bulldogs’ first home appearance since a 2-1 loss to Bellevue University on Sept. 1. Then on Saturday, 11th-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will head to Wichita, Kan., for a matchup with Friends University (Kan.) (2-1).
Wednesday, Sept. 12 vs. McPherson, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 15 at Friends, 2:30 p.m.
Weides’ Bulldogs had to wait a week to return to action after that Sept. 1 battle with a Bellevue squad that remains undefeated. Concordia came back from a second half deficit and evened up its overall record (2-2) with a 3-2 win at Kansas Wesleyan University on Sept. 8. As a result of that victory, junior forward David Carrasco earned GPAC Offensive Player of the Week accolades. Carrasco notched the game-tying goal and later assisted on the game winner scored by freshman Daniel Campbell (first career goal).
Carrasco has blossomed in his junior season after seeing action in a combined 17 games over his first two seasons at Concordia. His three goals lead the team. On the other end of the field, Weides would like to see his team tighten things up defensively. The Bulldogs have conceded exactly two goals in every game following a season in which they allowed a total of 16 goals over 20 games and recorded nine shutouts. The next clean sheet should just be a matter of time for a team employing senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett, a second team All-GPAC honoree in 2017.
Weides himself is nearing a milestone. One more victory will mark the 100th in his head coaching career at Concordia. Previously a three-year assistant coach for the Bulldogs, Weides was elevated to head coach prior to the 2008 season. The most memorable victory during his tenure was an upset of Hastings in the 2015 GPAC tournament championship game. His career record entering the week sits at 99-80-18.
Wednesday’s opponent, McPherson, is still in search of its first win. However, it opened some eyes over the weekend by earning a 0-0 double overtime draw with 16th-ranked Bellevue. Also nicknamed the Bulldogs, McPherson dropped a 4-1 decision against Midland in its season opener. McPherson went 12-7 last season. Friends should also be a worthy foe. The Falcons topped Midland, 3-1, in their most recent outing. Friends went 10-7 in 2017 (including 9-2 in conference play) and returns leading goal scorer Luis Vidal Pla (11 goals in 2017). Their top threat so far in 2018 has been Leo Sosa, who has five goals in three games.
After this Saturday, Concordia will have a week off before traveling to Orange City, Iowa, on Saturday, Sept. 22 for the start of GPAC play.