GAME NOTES: Men's soccer to host Bethel College, Benedictine College to kick off season

By on Aug. 25, 2015 in Men's Soccer

GAME NOTES: Men’s soccer to host Bethel College, Benedictine College to kick off season

SEWARD, Neb.—The Concordia men’s soccer team will open the season at home when it hosts Bethel College on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 8 p.m. and Benedictine College Saturday, Aug. 29  at 8 p.m. Both games will take place at Bulldog Stadium.

Bethel College (Kan.) (0-0-0) at Concordia University (0-0-0)
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 8 p.m. CT
Site: Bulldog Stadium
Webcast: Concordia Sports Network

Benedictine College (0-0-0) at Concordia University (0-0-0)
Saturday, Aug. 29, 8 p.m. CT
Site: Bulldog Stadium
Webcast: Concordia Sports Network

Experienced returners
The Concordia men’s soccer team will be returning a large senior class of 11 athletes. All 11 of those seniors saw action last season in at least six contests. The Bulldogs have three returning All-Conference players: Gideon Soenksen (first team); Mark Campbell (second team); and Justin Lawrie (honorable mention). Soenksen led the team in goals scored with six last season, leaving the goals spread out pretty evenly among the rest of the team. Of the twelve Bulldogs who scored at least one goal, nine are returning this year.

GPAC preseason rankings
In the preseason coaches’ poll announced Wednesday, Aug. 19, Concordia University was picked fourth while receiving one first place vote and 74 points. This ranking ties the highest preseason pick dating back to 2006 in the GPAC. Hastings, defending GPAC champion, was picked first followed by Midland and Doane.

Motivation fuels the Bulldogs
Last season, the Bulldogs ended the season in a frustrating, overtime defeat against Hastings in the GPAC semifinal game. Ending a game in that fashion helped fuel the motivational fire that has carried the Bulldogs through the offseason and into this year. Finishing games in overtime was no new occasion for Concordia last season. The semifinal game was the eighth overtime that the Bulldogs faced in the 2014 season. After finishing the year 10-6-4 (5-2-3 GPAC), coach Jason Weides was impressed with how his team carried itself after some of the close losses or ties. “Rather than sulking, our team pick themselves up and kept on moving and believed that we could get continue to get better and win and eventually we did. Hopefully those lessons will carry into this year,” Weides said.

Scouting Bethel College
The Threshers of Bethel College ended last season 7-8-3 overall and 1-6-2 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). Bethel College finished ninth in the KCAC. Returning all-conference honorable mention recipient, Travis King is the lone returner with post-season awards. King led the Threshers in goal scoring with six. Bethel College is led by head coach Brennan Peacock who is in his fourth season with the Threshers. Peacock is assisted by Clark Oswald.

Scouting Benedictine College
The Ravens of Benedictine College ended last season with an overall record of 7-8-2 and a 3-4 record in the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC). The Ravens finished fifth in the HAAC. Returning all-conference third team honoree is Ryan Dickerson who is the only returner for Benedictine who received a post-season award. The Ravens are led by head coach Rob Herringer who is in his 11th season at Benedictine College. Herringer is assisted by Terry Denker, Jon Shaad and Kenneth Clarizio.

“For me, I just want to at least match what I did last season and hopefully just be more consistent. I’m sure the rest of the team agrees with me, a GPAC championship is the only thing we’ll be satisfied with, anything less than that isn’t worth it.”

--Gideon Soenksen

“It’s great to have young players, but it it’s even better to have great players that are now seniors, I mean they’ve been through the fire, they’ve been tested, they’ve had tons of challenges that they’ve either failed from those challenges and overcome and now they’re better prepared to face new challenges and overcome them. I think it’s huge. I think that obviously we’ve got a wide variety of different years and talents on our team, but this group of seniors will play a huge role in the success of our season and I think again, they’re one of the driving forces in some of that motivation in the off season and I think they’re going to do a great job this season.”

--Jason Weides