Men's soccer to make first appearance since national tourney

By Jacob Knabel on Aug. 30, 2016 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – The last time the Concordia University men’s soccer team played an official game was at the opening round of the 2015 national tournament. The Bulldogs are finally ready to return to the field this week with a pair of home games. Concordia opens up 2016 by hosting York College (1-0) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Graceland University (1-0) at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

While several key seniors from last year’s GPAC tournament championship team have graduated, head coach Jason Weides welcomes in an impactful group of newcomers that includes transfer Marcelo Hernandez (Quito, Ecuador) and freshman Carlos Ferrer (Chula Vista, Calif.). Their arrival combined with the return of the likes of Carlos Acosta, Tyler Jensen and Lewis Rathbone mean the Bulldogs expect to extend their active streak of five-consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins overall.

While Concordia has produced a solid home mark of 10-5-2 over the past two years, it would love to duplicate its Bulldog Stadium success from 2011 when it went a perfect 8-0 at its friendly surroundings. The 2015 Bulldogs made their tournament run by bouncing each of the GPAC’s top three seeds – all on the road. Concordia hopes to better protect its home turf in 2016 in order to secure a home GPAC tournament game in November.

York has been a long-time rival for the Bulldogs. Last season Concordia trounced the Panthers by a 7-2 score in a contest played in York, which finished 2015 with an overall record of 9-8. On the other hand, Graceland, a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, completed last year with an 8-10 record. Graceland topped Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.), 2-0, in its 2016 season opener.

Both of this week’s games will be shown live on the Concordia Sports Network.