SEWARD, Neb. – Seventh-year head coach Jason Weides is ready to showcase a Concordia men’s soccer squad that he says is likely the “deepest team I’ve had here.” The Bulldogs host Bethany College (Kan.) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and then William Penn University (Iowa) at 4 p.m. on Saturday in a pair of non-conference tilts. Following the weekend, Concordia will go on the road for five-straight matches before returning home Sept. 23 to play Waldorf College.
While the Bulldogs have key seniors like goalkeeper Brendan Buchanan and midfielders Chris DeFeyter and Rajan Kooner, the 2014 season may go as far as a large and experienced junior class can take them. At the head of that class is midfielder Gideon Soenksen, a blossoming star. Other juniors such as Mark Anderson, Sean Doran, Will Gabbert, Justin Lawrie, Jake Sells and Dean Stevens are no strangers to the starting lineup.
Concordia hopes to break into the top four of the conference after finishing fifth and again ending the season in the GPAC quarterfinals in 2013. With one of the more veteran teams in the GPAC, the Bulldogs believe they are more than capable of out-performing their preseason placement of fifth in the league.
Both Bethany and William Penn are opponents Concordia has seen in recent years. The Bulldogs opened the 2012 season by topping William Penn 3-0 on the road. Last year Bethany tagged Concordia with a 3-0 defeat just before the start of conference action. Bethany, a member of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, went 5-1-3 on the road last season on the way to a 9-5-4 overall. Meanwhile, William Penn, a member of the Midwest Collegiate Conference, is 1-0 this season following an 8-11-1 (2-6-1 away mark) season in 2013.
After playing back-to-back days this weekend, Concordia has a week off before another similar stretch next Friday and Saturday with two neutral contests in Hastings, Neb.