Bulldogs to host GPAC quarterfinal for third year in a row

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 28, 2018 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia University men’s soccer program is getting accustomed to earning top four seeds in the conference. The Bulldogs are now getting set to host a GPAC tournament quarterfinal game for the third year in a row. Fourth-seeded Concordia will welcome fifth-seeded Midland to Bulldog Stadium for a 7 p.m. CT kickoff on Thursday for the opening round of the postseason. Pairings were set on Sunday with the close of the regular season.

Thursday’s game can be streamed live via the Concordia Sports Network.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will enter the conference tournament with positive vibes after picking up wins last week at Midland, 3-1, and at home in double overtime over Briar Cliff, 2-1. Had the Bulldogs come away with a tie or loss in either of those contests, they would be going on the road on Thursday. Thus, junior Roger de la Villa’s second golden goal of the season carried added importance. Concordia finished the regular season by going 5-0-2 over its final seven games.

Based on recent action, there is certainly a possibility of a PK shootout being necessary to decide the Bulldogs’ GPAC tournament fate. Concordia has gone to overtime in four of its last six games and in six contests overall this season (10 total overtime periods). It is 3-0-3 in those instances. The latest overtime victory pushed the Bulldogs’ season win count to 10, marking the eighth-consecutive season that the program has reached double figures. Since the start of 2011, Weides has guided the program to a combined overall record of 90-49-16.

Through its 17 regular season games, Concordia outscored its opponents, 43-26. With a two-goal effort versus Briar Cliff, de la Villa took sole possession of the team lead with eight goals on the season. Defensively, the Bulldogs are still looking to tighten things up after recording just one shutout to this point. Senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett made 12 saves in what was a near shutout of Briar Cliff. Bennett has been on the roster for each of the program’s three trips in a row to the GPAC championship game (title in 2015).

In order to make it four in a row, Concordia will first have to get by the rival Warriors. Midland halted a three-game losing streak by defeating Dordt, 4-2, in its regular-season finale. Led by Robert Wiseman (18 goals), the Warriors have averaged more than three goals per game (56 in 18 games). The Bulldogs got past Midland in the GPAC semifinals in both 2015 and 2016 in games that were played in Fremont.

Thursday’s winner will advance to play against either top-seeded Hastings or eighth-seeded Doane in the GPAC semifinals on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The highest seeds host in each round.

2018 GPAC Men’s Soccer Tournament

Thursday, Nov. 1 – Quarterfinals
No. 8 Doane (4-8-2, 4-6-1) at No. 1 Hastings (14-2, 11-0), 7 p.m.
No. 5 Midland (10-8, 7-4) at No. 4 Concordia (10-4-3, 6-2-3), 7 p.m.
No. 6 Northwestern (10-6-2, 6-3-2) at No. 3 Briar Cliff (10-6-2, 7-3-1), 7 p.m.
No. 7 Jamestown (6-7-2, 5-4-1) at No. 2 Morningside (11-5-1, 9-2), 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Nov. 6 – Semifinals
No. 1/8 vs. No. 4/5, time TBA
No. 3/6 vs. No. 2/7, time TBA

Friday, Nov. 9 – Championship
Time TBA