Veteran Bulldogs kick off 2017 at home Saturday

By Jacob Knabel on Aug. 24, 2017 in Men's Soccer

SEWARD, Neb. – A team well-stocked with seniors familiar with postseason glory, the Concordia men’s soccer team is now two days away from opening the 2017 campaign. Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference member Sterling College will serve as the visitor for Saturday’s contest inside Bulldog Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

Sterling (0-0) at Concordia (0-0)
Saturday, Aug. 26, 3:30 p.m.
Bulldog Stadium | Seward, Neb.
Webcast: Concordia Sports Network

There should be few butterflies for a Concordia squad that features nine seniors, several of whom are either starters or key players. Two of those seniors, Florian Caraballo and Marcelo Hernandez, garnered first team all-conference accolades last fall. Two additional seniors, Micah Lehenbauer and Lewis Rathbone, serve as team captains for head coach Jason Weides’ squad. This program has been remarkably consistent over the past six years, winning either 10 or 11 games each season.

The Warriors finished 7-9-3 overall in 2016 and were picked eighth out of 12 teams in the KCAC preseason coaches’ poll. Sterling is transitioning under first-year head coach Nic Martinez, a 2010 Warrior graduate. He replaces Brandon Ponchak. Under Ponchak, Sterling played in plenty of low scoring affairs. The Warriors were outscored by a combined total of 30-21 over their 19 games in 2016.

Concordia joins Hastings and Midland as the only GPAC teams to post 10 or more wins in each of the last six seasons. The Bulldogs met the Broncos in the conference tournament championship game in both 2015 and 2016. Since the start of the 2011 season, Concordia owns a home record of 31-17-2.

After concluding play on Saturday, the Bulldogs will look ahead to hosting York College next Tuesday (Aug. 29). That will serve as the appetizer for a three-game week that will finish with a trip to the Windy City for battles with Concordia University-Chicago (Sept. 1) and Concordia University-Wisconsin (Sept. 2). Both matches will be contested on the Concordia-Chicago campus.