SEWARD, Neb. – At least based on the current GPAC standings, the Concordia University men’s soccer team has already played the top two teams in the conference, with losses in those games by one and two goal margins, respectively. Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides hopes that last week’s 7-0 rout of Presentation College will be the start of winning streak on the back half of the conference slate. The Bulldogs will be at Doane on Wednesday and then host Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.
Wednesday, Oct. 10 at Doane (1-7-1, 1-5 GPAC)
Saturday, Oct. 13 vs. Dakota Wesleyan (4-7, 1-4 GPAC)
It was an overall solid week for Weides’ squad, which dropped a 2-0 decision to fourth-ranked Hastings and then throttled Presentation. Concordia (6-4-1, 2-2-1 GPAC) settled in against the high-powered Broncos after conceding two goals less than four minutes after the opening kickoff. The Bulldogs held Hastings to just four shots on goal as part of a stellar week of defensive work. In the process of earning the victory over the Saints, Concordia recorded its first clean sheet of the fall. It was a positive sign for a team that has conceded more goals than the 2017 squad did all season.
There were seven unique goal scorers for the Bulldogs in the win over Presentation: Konrad Sinu (8’), Roger de la Villa (37’), David Carrasco (51’), Carlos Ferrer (57’), Daniel Campbell (66’), Ryan LeTourneau (78’) and Miguel Munoz (87’). That display fit with a season long theme of balanced offensive production. Twelve Concordia players have notched at least one goal this season. The team leader is Sinu (six goals), who is followed closely by Carrasco (five), Jack Arra (four) and de la Villa (four). The team’s average of 2.73 goals per game ranks fourth best among GPAC squads.
In the GPAC ratings posted on NAIA.org on Monday, the Bulldogs checked in tied for third with Northwestern with Hastings and Morningside holding down the top two spots. With the addition of Jamestown and Presentation to the conference this season, the GPAC will now receive two automatic bids to men’s soccer national tournament. Automatic berths are awarded to the conference regular-season and tournament champions. If the same team wins both, then the second automatic bid goes to the squad that finishes second in the regular-season standings. At this point, it appears Concordia’s only shot to get to nationals will be to win the conference tournament.
The Bulldogs have engaged in many close battles with Doane in recent years, including a 2-1 Concordia win in 2017. The Tigers will enter Wednesday having lost four in a row since a 2-0 win at Dordt. Doane has managed to score only six goals over its nine games. Meanwhile, Dakota Wesleyan has dropped three-straight GPAC outings since a 4-1 win at Presentation. DWU has been outscored 31-10 through its first 11 games.
Concordia will be headed to the Dakotas next week to take on Mount Marty on Tuesday, Oct. 16 and then Jamestown, another new GPAC member, on Saturday, Oct. 20.