Men's soccer to celebrate six seniors on Saturday

By Jacob Knabel on Oct. 20, 2016 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – Saturday will mark the final regular-season home game in the careers of six seniors on the Concordia University men’s soccer roster. The Bulldogs will complete their home slate against Briar Cliff (8-7, 2-5 GPAC). Saturday’s kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. CT as the third home event of the day inside Bulldog Stadium.

Ninth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad is right in the thick of the race for a top-three finish in the GPAC regular-season standings. Currently tied with Northwestern for third place, the Bulldogs have won three of their last four conference games and are 4-2 overall. Dating back to last season, Concordia has gone 8-2-2 over its past 12 contests against conference opponents.

“Every single team that we play will be challenging from here on out,” Weides said. “If you don’t come with your best, you’re going to walk away disappointed. We need to make sure that we outwork every team and that we do the simple things.”

The Bulldogs are seeking their sixth-straight winning season, which would mark a first in program history. Since the start of the 2011 season, Weides has led Concordia to a combined record of 60-40-12. Weides now stands at 77-73-17 in his nine seasons as head coach.

Concordia has put together a solid season despite a multitude of lineup adjustments necessitated by injuries and other unforeseen circumstances. The Bulldogs rank 22nd nationally with an average of 0.86 goals allowed per game. They possess a seasoned goalkeeper in Mark Horsburgh, who played a starring in last season’s GPAC tournament title run. On the attacking end, the production has been spread out. Micah Lehenbauer tops the team with six goals. He’s followed by the five goals apiece from Marcelo Hernandez and Carlos Ferrer.

Meanwhile, Briar Cliff has been outscored by a combined total of 8-1 by Midland and Northwestern over its last two games. The Chargers possess a dangerous goal scorer in Christopher Nkoghe, who leads the team with 11 goals. Briar Cliff has won just three of its last 10 contests after jumping out to a 5-0 start during nonconference play.

The six Concordia seniors that will be honored on Saturday are Carlos Acosta, Hernandez, Horsburgh, Andrew Mussell, Dan Stephens and Ray Villegas.  Of them, Acosta and Horsburgh have made the biggest contributions from an on-field perspective. Acosta, a native of Cali, Colombia, has played in 63 games since beginning his career in 2013. Horsburgh, who hails from Edinburgh, Scotland, has 14 career shutouts to his credit. The four-year seniors have posted a combined record of 38-27-9 and were part of the 2015 GPAC tournament championship and national qualifying team.

The Bulldogs will conclude regular-season play next week with trips to Doane (Oct. 26) and Dakota Wesleyan (Oct. 29). The opening round of the GPAC tournament is set for Thursday, Nov. 3.