SEWARD, Neb. – A 17-game 2018 slate has been locked in for the Concordia University men’s soccer program. The 11th year of head coach Jason Weides’ tenure is set to officially get started on Aug. 25 with a home game against Tabor College (Kan.). Eight total contests are scheduled to take place inside Bulldog Stadium throughout the fall.
The Bulldogs are coming off a record-breaking 2017 campaign that saw them finish 16-3-1 overall and reach the GPAC postseason championship game for the third year in a row. Weides will be tasked with replacing a talent rich senior class, which included three first team All-GPAC selections in Florian Caraballo, Marcelo Hernandez and Micah Lehenbauer.
The GPAC schedule will expand to 11 games with the additions of the University of Jamestown and Presentation College as GPAC members. The conference slate will open up at Northwestern on Sept. 22 in a rematch of a GPAC semifinal clash last season. The nonconference schedule includes additional home dates with Bellevue University (Sept. 1) and McPherson College (Kan.) (Sept. 12). A much anticipated matchup with Hastings will take place in Seward on Oct. 3. The regular season will end with a visit from Briar Cliff on Oct. 27.
Weides will return 2017 all-conference honorees in Jack Bennett (second team), Carlos Ferrer (second team), Angel Alvarez (honorable mention) and Kevin Sanchez (honorable mention). The loss of the 2017 senior class means subtracting 41 of the team’s 51 goals last fall. The leading returning goal scorer is Ferrer (four).
Dates for the GPAC tournament are Nov. 1 for the quarterfinals, Nov. 6 for the semifinals and Nov. 9 for the championship. The opening round of the national tournament is set for Nov. 17 with play at the final national championships site in Irvine, Calif., beginning Nov. 26. Due to conference expansion, the GPAC will receive two automatic bids to the men’s soccer national championships beginning this fall.