SEWARD, Neb. – Fresh off a 2-0 road victory over Oklahoma City University, the Concordia University men’s soccer team hopes to bottle up a similar performance on Tuesday night when it hosts its 2019 home opener. Rival and neighbor to the west York College will serve as the opponent with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CT from Bulldog Stadium. Concordia went 6-2-1 last season on the home turf.
After a decade of one-sidedness in the Concordia-York series, the Panthers surprised the Bulldogs a year ago by upending them, 2-1, in a matchup in York. That resulted snapped a 10-game Concordia winning streak in the series and marked the first time that now 12th-year head coach Jason Weides had suffered defeat at the hands of the Panthers. Prior to last season, the Bulldogs had outscored York by a combined total of 47-10 over the previous 10 meetings. The rivalry dates all the way back to the 1970s.
Both sides will enter the game with 1-0 records on the young season. Concordia got into the win column immediately with the aforementioned victory at Oklahoma City, which had just renamed its field in honor of longtime head coach Brian Harvey. After a scoreless first half, two freshmen, Renzo Bozzo and Moises Jacobo, making their Bulldog debuts supplied a goal apiece. Joao Pedro Verissimo was credited with a pair of assists. The Bulldogs outshot the Stars, 19-12.
Weides also broke in a new keeper with Katy, Texas, native Eduardo Alba getting the nod. The freshman made four saves while earning the shutout, which were difficult to come by for the 2018 Concordia squad (one shutout all season). Alba, Bozzo and Jacobo were joined by Josue Fernandez and Mauro Figueroa as newcomers to appear in Concordia colors for the first time. Meanwhile, sophomore Decker Mattimoe made his first career start. On the flip side, senior Carlos Ferrer (60 career games) is the most experienced player on the roster.
York has already defeated one Nebraska GPAC school. The Panthers shut out Doane, 3-0, in their season opener last week. Otavio Avila was responsible for two of the York goals. The Panthers had a considerable edge in the shot count, 21-9. Head coach Alex Latorre’s squad is coming off a 2018 campaign during which it went 10-8 overall (6-6 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference).
After playing York, the Bulldogs will wait until Saturday, Sept. 7 to resume the season. On that date, Concordia will host MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) for a 1 p.m. kickoff.