SEWARD, Neb. – Two teams that have perennially competed for spots near the top of the GPAC standings will go head-to-head on Saturday in Orange City, Iowa. The Concordia University men’s soccer team has waited a little bit longer than most to get conference play underway. The Bulldogs will be at Northwestern for a 5 p.m. CT kickoff. It will be a rematch of a 2017 GPAC semifinal battle.
Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad has been idle since a 4-3 win at Friends University (Kan.) on Sept. 15. Saturday’s action at Northwestern can be streamed live via the Red Raider Stretch Internet Portal.
Concordia rides a three-game win streak into the weekend. Each of those nonconference victories were decided by one-goal margins while challenged by foes from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs (4-2) trailed at some point in all three of those victories. Their offensive balance has been enough to come out more often than not. Five Concordia players have notched at least two goals this season, including three apiece from Jack Arra, David Carrasco and Konrad Sinu. Carlos Ferrer has piled up a team best five assists. The Bulldogs are averaging 2.67 goals per game (fourth in the GPAC).
The key now is for Concordia to eliminate some of its defensive gaffes. Last season’s squad the broke the program record for wins in a season (16) allowed only 16 goals over 20 games. So far this season, Bulldog opponents have found the back of the net 13 times through six games. Weides hopes senior goalkeeper Jack Bennett will soon return to the lineup. In his place, freshman Callum Goldsmith got his first career start as part of the win at Friends. No matter who is in goal, Concordia’s aim is to put its first clean sheet on the board.
Northwestern (5-3, 1-0 GPAC) has also won three games in a row. The Red Raiders opened up conference action on Wednesday with a 4-0 win over new GPAC member Jamestown. That victory came after a successful stay in California. Head coach Dan Swier’s squad earned a 3-2 victory over then 14th-ranked Marymount California University on Sept. 13. Five days earlier, Northwestern dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to No. 2 Baker University (Kan.). The Red Raiders possess a dangerous attacker in Tyler Limmer (45 career goals), named the GPAC Offensive Player of the Year. The Raiders have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 31-9 this season.
Coming up next week, the Bulldogs will travel to Sioux City, Iowa, to play Morningside on Wednesday, Sept. 26 before hosting Dordt on Saturday, Sept. 29.