Concordia-Avila set for rematch of 2016 season opener

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

SEWARD, Neb. – With two weeks of practice and a pair of scrimmages under its belt, the Concordia women’s soccer program is ready to open up the 2017 campaign. After hosting the Bulldogs in the 2016 opener, Avila now makes the return trip to Seward for Saturday’s 1 p.m. kickoff. The Eagles upset Concordia by a 2-0 score last season in a contest played in Kansas City, Mo.

Avila (0-0) at Concordia (0-0)
Saturday, Aug. 26, 1 p.m.
Bulldog Stadium | Seward, Neb.
Webcast: Concordia Sports Network

Head coach Greg Henson’s squad will unveil a new goalkeeper on Saturday. Three goalkeepers, sophomores Lindsey Carley and Jessica Knedler and senior Abby Goeckeler, have battled for the job throughout spring and fall camps. Despite the uncertainty at goalkeeper, Henson believes he has his deepest and most talented team yet at Concordia. Led by standouts such as Sami Birmingham, Maria Deeter and Esther Soenksen, the Bulldogs captured the 2016 GPAC tournament championship. Now one of the powers in the GPAC, Concordia received three first-place votes in the preseason coaches’ poll.

A member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference, Avila struggled last season after defeating Concordia. The Eagles finished the season with a 3-13-2 mark. They were outscored by a combined total of 48-20 last fall. Head coach Sara Matthews’ leading returning goal scorer is sophomore Kristina Young, who found the back of the net five times as a freshman.

Under Henson, Concordia is 29-12-3 in nonconference games. Over the past three seasons, the Bulldogs have been nearly unbeatable at home, going a combined 26-5-1 at Bulldog Stadium during that stretch. Only one of those five home defeats has come against a nonconference opponent.

Concordia will also host York College next Tuesday (Aug. 29) before shifting focus to a trip to the Windy City for games against Concordia University-Chicago (Sept. 1) and Concordia University-Wisconsin (Sept. 2). Both weekend contests will be held on the campus of Concordia-Chicago.