Saturday’s Hastings-Concordia matchup was the most significant GPAC game so far of the men’s soccer season.
Hastings coach Tim Bohnenkamp wanted to make sure his team was ready.
“We played with energy and passion,” Bohnenkamp said. “The previous game we didn’t work that hard, so we wanted to make sure we were the hardest-working team on the field.”
Hastings controlled play as it outshot Concordia 22-5 and won 3-0. That gave Concordia (9-2-1) its first conference loss and left Hastings as the only team without a league loss. Hastings is seeking its 20th straight regular-season conference title.
The Broncos, 10-0-1 overall and ranked fifth in the NAIA, had three players score goals against Concordia. That’s how Hastings’ offense has operated this season. No one has more than six goals on the season, but eight Broncos have scored at least twice. Callum Watson leads the team with six goals and nine assists.
“It’s been a committee. It’s really been effective,” Bohnenkamp said. “We don’t have a proven goal-scorer, but we have a lot of talent up front.”
Saturday’s win also was Hastings’ eighth shutout of the season. The Broncos have allowed four goals all season.
“The back line takes a lot of pride in getting the shutout,” Bohnenkamp said.
Bohnenkamp returned just five starters from last year’s 17-3 team, but he said the squad worked on team culture over the summer and has meshed well.
Among the returning starters is defender Joe Connolly, a Millard South graduate.
“He’s our most consistent player,” Bohnenkamp said of Connolly. “We get a lot of energy from him. He works so incredibly hard.”
With three weeks left in the regular season, Hastings steps out of conference play to play at Bellevue on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Bruins bring a 7-7-1 record into the match.
In other Midlands notes:
- Wayne State moved up four spots to No. 11 in this week’s NCAA Division II volleyball poll as the Wildcats beat two top-20 teams on the road over the weekend. UNK remained No. 3 and swept fourth-ranked Washburn 25-17, 25-13, 25-16 on Tuesday.
- Western Nebraska Community College moved up a spot to No. 16 in the NJCAA volleyball poll. The Cougars are 21-5 and have won 10 straight.
- The Bellevue men’s golf team, ranked 13th in the NAIA, won the 19-team NAIA Midwest Invitational by 15 strokes Tuesday at the TPC Deere Run course in Silvis, Illinois. Bellevue shot rounds of 284 and 298. Alex Zillig, a Papillion-La Vista grad, finished in a tie for second at even-par after shooting rounds of 70 and 72.