Conference play heats up vs. Mustangs, Defenders

By Jacob Knabel on Sep. 24, 2018 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – After getting conference play started in last week’s only outing, the Concordia University men’s soccer team will play twice this week against GPAC competition. The Bulldogs got on the board with one point in the standings via their 1-1 double overtime draw at Northwestern on Sept. 22. According to the latest GPAC ratings, that battle was a matchup between the league’s second and third best squads.

This week
Wednesday, Sept. 26 at Morningside (4-3-1, 2-0), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 29 vs. Dordt (5-3, 1-1), 3:30 p.m.

Wednesday night’s contest can be viewed live via Morningside’s YouTube channel. On Saturday, the Concordia Sports Network will have live coverage.

Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad enters the week at 4-2-1 overall (0-0-1 GPAC) and is 3-0-1 over its past four games. The unbeaten run has included three wins over opponents from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Concordia came away from last week’s GPAC opener feeling as though it missed an opportunity to knock off a Northwestern team that is receiving votes in the NAIA national poll. Over the two overtime periods, the Bulldogs outshot the Red Raiders, 7-2. Concordia’s lone goal was delivered by Roger de la Villa, assisted by Derek Eitzmann (first career assist).

A native of Barcelona, Spain, de la Villa is one of four Concordia players with exactly three goals (team high) this season. Others with three goals include Jack Arra, David Carrasco and Konrad Sinu. The Bulldogs rank fourth amongst GPAC teams with an average of 2.43 goals per game. Defensively, Concordia conceded a season low goal total at Northwestern (averages 3.56 goals per game). The Bulldogs continue to seek their first clean sheet of 2018.

In place of senior Jack Bennett, who continues to recover from injury, freshman Callum Goldsmith has started the past two games at goalkeeper. Goldsmith made his first collegiate appearance in the 3-2 overtime win over McPherson College (Kan.) on Sept. 12. Concordia has now won each of the three games Goldsmith has appeared in. He’s been credited with three saves. Bennett’s status this week remains questionable.

Neither Morningside nor Dordt appeared inside the top five of the teams listed in this week’s official GPAC rankings. The Mustangs have begun GPAC action by claiming wins over Presentation, 5-1, and over Mount Marty, 5-2. Morningside has a nearly even goal differential of plus-one (16-15). On the other hand, Dordt is fresh off a 2-0 home loss to Doane over the weekend. The Defenders also own a 5-1 conference victory over Presentation. Through eight games, Dordt has outscored its opponents by a combined total of 15-11.

A showdown with seventh-ranked Hastings is coming up at Bulldog Stadium next Wednesday, Oct. 3. Next week’s slate also includes a home game versus new GPAC member Presentation (soccer only) on Saturday, Oct. 6.