SEWARD, Neb. – In terms of rankings, the Concordia University men’s soccer team has its biggest challenge coming up on Wednesday when sixth-ranked Hastings makes its way to Bulldog Stadium. Eleventh-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad will also host new GPAC soccer member Presentation on Saturday. The Bulldogs are fresh off their first win of the conference season – a dominant 5-1 decision over Dordt.
Wednesday, Oct. 3 vs. No. 6 Hastings (7-2, 4-0), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6 vs. Presentation (0-10, 0-6), 8 p.m.
Both of this week’s games will be featured live on the Concordia Sports Network with Frank Greene calling the action. Although Wednesday’s match comes against a conference powerhouse, Weides is hoping to get his team to approach the game with the same process the program has regularly employed.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got to be at our best,” Weides said. “If we’re going to get results against the best teams in the conference and hold ourselves in that area, we’ve got to perform at our best. We have to be better in every area with the first being set plays. We’ve given up too many set piece goals recently. Every (conference) point is important to us and Wednesday’s points are just as important as this win (over Dordt).”
At 1-1-1 in conference play, Concordia (5-3-1 overall) has a long way to go with eight GPAC regular-season games remaining on the slate. This past Saturday’s performance was a good start in what was the team’s most dominant outing of the season. After getting down 1-0, five different Bulldogs found the back of the net to make it a comfortable victory over the Defenders. Concordia has been balanced offensively with its top three goal scorers each having either four or five goals this season. Konrad Sinu (five goals) leads the way with Jack Arra (four) and David Carrasco (four) close behind.
This week could see the return of senior Jack Bennett in goal. He continues to recover from an injury he suffered at the end of regulation in the 3-2 overtime win over McPherson College (Kan.) on Sept. 12. In his place, freshman Callum Goldsmith has started four-straight games. The Bulldogs have gone 2-1-1 in those contests. No matter who is at keeper, Concordia will give itself a better chance on Wednesday if it can carry over results like it had over the final 68 minutes against Dordt. During that stretch, the Defenders managed only four shots.
The two losses suffered this season by Hastings both came against top 25 opponents. Since a 3-2 defeat at No. 3 Oklahoma Wesleyan University on Sept. 15, the Broncos have cruised by their first four GPAC foes, winning by a combined total of 23-0. There are few goal scorers as dangerous as senior Daniel Whitehall, who has a Hastings program record 83 goals over 66 career games. The Broncos are adept in just about all facets. They have scored 37 goals and allowed only seven in 2018 for new head coach Tim Bohnenkamp.
Meanwhile, Presentation has found the going to be tough in its first season in the GPAC. The Saints have been outscored 40-3 over their six conference games. The Saints fell by a 1-0 score against of University of Mary on Monday (Oct. 1). They will now be off until Saturday’s game in Seward.
Conference play will continue next week with the Bulldogs playing at Doane on Wednesday, Oct. 10 before coming home to host Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday, Oct. 13.