SEWARD, Neb. – It’s an understatement to say that the men’s soccer programs at Concordia and Hastings are familiar with each other. They are now getting set to go head-to-head in GPAC postseason action for the fifth year in a row. The Bulldogs and Broncos will tussle in the conference semifinals beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Tuesday (Nov. 6).
Hastings will provide a live webcast of the contest via its Stretch Internet portal. The game will be staged at Lloyd Wilson Field on the Hastings campus.
Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides has now led his program to at least the GPAC semifinals for the fifth-straight season. Fourth-seeded Concordia kept hopes of a fourth-straight conference championship game appearance alive by getting past fifth-seeded Midland in penalty kicks, 4-3, following a 1-1 stalemate after 110 minutes of action inside Bulldog Stadium on Thursday night. The shootout came down to Warrior leading goal scorer Robert Wiseman versus Concordia keeper Jack Bennett, who dove to his left and made the game-clinching save.
The Bulldogs (10-4-4) have been living on the edge for the past month with five of their last seven games going to overtime. However, they have not suffered a loss since their 2-0 home defeat at the hands of the GPAC champion Broncos on Oct. 3. A crucial pair of wins in the final week of the regular season gave Concordia the opportunity to host in the GPAC quarterfinals. It wasn’t without drama, but the Bulldogs have made it here with the help of Carlos Ferrer, who achieved a new single-season career high with his sixth goal coming on Wednesday. He needs one more assist to equal a program single-season record.
Concordia will have to get out to a better start than it did the first time it played Hastings. The Broncos (15-2) got two quick goals and then coasted to victory. The 2-0 final was actually the tightest contest Hastings has had this season within conference play. Head coach Tim Bohnenkamp’s squad had little trouble getting out of the quarterfinal round. It took care of eighth-seeded Doane, 7-0. The Broncos have outscored their opponents 68-8 and are led by prolific goal scorer Daniel Whitehall (90 career goals).
In the previous four years of Concordia-Hastings get togethers in the conference tournament, each meeting has been decided by a margin of two goals or less with three of them being one-goal decisions. After suffering an overtime defeat at Hastings in the semifinals in 2014, the Bulldogs upset the Broncos 1-0 the following year in the championship.
Concordia-Hastings GPAC tournament meetings, previous four years
2017 – Hastings won, 2-1 (championship)
2016 – Hastings won, 3-1 (championship)
2015 – Concordia won, 1-0 (championship)
2014 – Hastings won, 2-1 – OT (semifinals)
Tuesday’s winner will advance to the GPAC championship game and take on either second-seeded Morningside or third-seeded Briar Cliff on Friday, Nov. 9.
Thursday, Nov. 1 – Quarterfinals
No. 1 Hastings 7, No. 8 Doane 0
No. 4 Concordia 1, No. 5 Midland 1 (Concordia advances on PK’s)
No. 3 Briar Cliff 2, No. 6 Northwestern 1 (OT)
No. 2 Morningside 2, No. 7 Jamestown 0
Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Semifinals
No. 4 Concordia (10-4-4) at No. 1 Hastings (15-2), 7 p.m.
No. 3 Briar Cliff (11-6-2) at No. 2 Morningside (12-5-1), 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 9 – Championship