SEWARD, Neb. – Based on the rating released on Thursday (Aug. 9), the Concordia University men’s soccer program is expected to continue its string of GPAC championship game advancements. In the newly unveiled GPAC preseason men’s soccer coaches’ poll, the Bulldogs checked in second behind perennial favorite Hastings with 108 points. Head coach Jason Weides’ squad pulled in two first-place votes.
The bar was raised in 2017 by a Bulldog squad that went 16-3-1 overall while shattering the program record for most victories in a single season. Concordia placed in a tie for second place in the final conference regular-season standings and finished as the postseason runner up in what was its third-consecutive appearance in the GPAC tournament title match. All that came after the Bulldogs were pegged third in the 2017 conference preseason poll.
This preseason Weides is tasked with answering questions as to how the program will replace last season’s accomplished senior class that included top goal scorers Marcelo Hernandez, Micah Lehenbauer and Lewis Rathbone. However, Weides retains a strong nucleus in the form of standouts such as Angel Alvarez, Jack Bennett and Carlos Ferrer. A consistently strong program, Concordia has won at least 10 games in each of the past seven seasons. The 2015 squad broke through with a GPAC tournament title and national tournament appearance.
New to Weides’ staff this year is goalkeeper coach Adam Lewis, who steps into the role formerly held by Dan Ball. Jan Chvojan enters his second season working under Weides.
The Bulldogs will officially open the season on Saturday, Aug. 25 when they host Tabor College (Kan.) at 4:30 p.m. CT.
2018 GPAC Preseason Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll
*First-place votes in parenthesis
1. Hastings – 120 (10)
2. Concordia – 108 (2)
3. Midland – 92
4. Northwestern – 88
5. Briar Cliff – 79
6. Morningside – 75
7. Jamestown – 67
8. Doane – 50
9. Dordt – 46
10. Dakota Wesleyan – 34
11. Mount Marty – 18
12. Presentation – 15