2012 GNAC Men's Soccer Preview
Aug. 14, 2012
PORTLAND, Ore. - Simon Fraser, which is newly eligible for the NCAA post-season, will seek its third straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's soccer title this fall.
The Clan is a near unanimous selection to repeat as conference champion after going 18-0-1 last season, including 9-0-1 in the GNAC. The only blemish on its record was a late season 2-2 draw with Western Washington.
SFU received seven of eight first-place votes in the annual coaches poll in outpointing runner-up Seattle Pacific 62-57. The Falcons earned one first-place vote.
Both teams are highly regarded nationally - and for good reason.
Simon Fraser, which returns 16 letter winners and nine starters, earned a No. 9 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) pre-season national poll.
Seattle Pacific, coming off its 31st NCAA post-season appearance last season, is ranked 11th in the pre-season national poll. A year ago, SPU posted a 14-4-2 overall record and finished second in the GNAC with a 7-2-1 record.
Both teams return six all-stars including a pair of All-Americans.
Among the players returning for the Clan is Carlo Basso, who shared GNAC Player-of-the-Year honors last season with Tyler Schultz of SPU.
Basso ranked second in the conference with 32 points (15 goals, 2 assists), trailing only Schultz who scored 35 points and finished his career as the fourth leading scorer in GNAC history with 84 points.
Basso was a first team NSCAA All-American. SFU defender Matt Besuschko was a third team All-American selection.
Seattle Pacific's returning All-Americans are Jon Pearman, the 2011 GNAC Defender of the Year award winner, and goalkeeper Zach Johnson.
Pearman, who contributed seven points (3 goals, 1 assist) offensively, earned second team NSCAA honors and was a first team Daktronics selection.
Johnson was an honorable mention Daktronics selection after finishing second in the GNAC with a 0.88 goals against average and posting 11 shutouts.
Johnson is one of six starting goalkeepers returning from last year.
Also back in the net is Simon Fraser's Sheldon Steenhuis, who led the GNAC with a 0.67 GAA and had six shutouts.
Back for Montana State Billings, which finished third in the coaches poll, is Eoin Hurley, who had a 1.68 GAA and two shutouts.
Keegan Rogers returns in the net for Western Washington, which finished fourth in the poll. He had a 1.52 GAA last season.
He'll be challenged by Leo Cohen who had a 1.08 GAA and four shutouts in 2011.
GNAC affiliate member U-Mary also returns its starting goalie. Last year Michael Frenzel had a 2.30 GAA and one shutout.
Only Northwest Nazarene and Sioux Falls begin the 2012 season without an incumbent keeper.
The Crusaders, however, recruited goalie Alfredo Ontiveros, who was the NSCAA JC National Player-of-the-Year at Mt. San Antonio College (Calif.).
Both U-Mary and Sioux Falls begin their first season in the GNAC this fall.
Sioux Falls also is beginning its first season as a full-fledged NCAA member as is Simon Fraser.
The eight GNAC soccer teams will all be seeking one of the six available berths for the NCAA West Regional playoffs.
Last year, the West Region received just four berths, but the NCAA has increased the men's soccer field from 32 to 35 teams, awarding the West Region two of the three additional berths.
All six berths will be awarded on an at-large basis as their are no automatic berths for Division II men's soccer.
SIMON FRASER Clan
Alan Koch begins his fifth season as Simon Fraser coach with a spectacular won-loss record of 68-11-2 including 37-2-1 in the Clan's two seasons in the GNAC.
Forward Carlo Basso (6-4, Jr., Coquitlam, BC - Archbishop Carney) has been a key ingredient on both SFU championship teams scoring 25 goals.
With two seasons of eligibility remaining he already ranks 21st in the conference in career scoring with 53 points.
Basso and defender Matt Besuschko (5-10, Sr., Port Moody, BC) , who had five points (2 goals, 1 assist), each earned GNAC first team all-star honors a year ago in addition to claiming NSCAA All-American honors.
Four other returnees were second team all-conference selections including midfielders Chris Bargholz (5-10, So., Fuessen, Germany), Justin Wallace (5-11, Jr., Kamloops, BC - Thompson Rivers) and Michael Winter (6-0, Sr., Vancouver, BC - Capilano) and goalkeeper Sheldon Steenhuis (6-2, Sr., Morgan Hill, CA - Notre Dame de Namur).
Bargholz was the GNAC's fifth leading scorer last season, netting 17 points on seven goals and three assists, while Wallace (2 goals, 8 assists) and Winter (3 goals, 2 assists) had 12 and eight points, respectively. Wallace's assist total ranked third in the GNAC a year ago.
Steenhuis' GAA of 0.67 matched the lowest of any GNAC goalkeeper since Emerson DeOliveira of Seattle University led the conference with a 0.60 GAA in 2007.
Three other starters are also back for the Clan including midfielder Juan Sanchez (5-9, Jr., Armenia, Columbia), who led the GNAC in assists with 10 and had a total of 14 points.
Also back are two starting defenders - Marco Voegeli (5-9, Jr., Lenzerheide, Switzerland) and Helge Neumann (6-4, Sr., Oslo, Norway).
Several other players were also key performers last season including forwards John Hodnett (5-8, Sr., Wolverhampton, UK), who had 10 points (4 goals, 2 assists) and Lucas Ferritto (5-6, Jr., Hamilton, ON - St. Jean De Brebeuf) who had seven points (2 goals, 3 assists) and midfielders Roman Doutkevich (5-10, Sr., Saskatoon, SK - M.A. Riffel), who had 10 points (3 goals, 4 assists) and Jovan Blagojevic (6-0, So., Coquitlam, BC - Centennial) who netted nine points (3 goals, 3 assists).
Also back is Hide Ozawa (6-2, Sr., Victoria, BC - Parkland) who led the GNAC in goals against average in 2010 with a 0.67 average.
SEATTLE PACIFIC Falcons
Seattle Pacific graduated the GNAC's top point producer in Tyler Schultz (35 points), but head coach Mark Collings (41-25-10, 4 years) has six returning 2011 all-stars, though most are back on defense.
Defenders Jon Pearman (6-2, Sr., Glendale, AZ - Cactus) and Caleb Nyone (6-1, Sr., Happy Valley, OR - Portland Christian), who was credited with two assists, and goalkeeper Zach Johnson (6-3, Sr., Snohomish, WA) were all first team selections.
Three other players - midfielder Christopher Morris (6-0, Sr., Mercer Island, WA) and defenders Kodiac Gamble (5-9, Jr., Tucson, AZ - Ironwood Ridge) and Brandon Kuenzi (6-2, Sr., Silverton, OR) - were all honorable mention selections.
The three combined for 11 points, five by Morris (1 goal, 3 assists) and three each by Gamble (1 goal, 1 assist) and Kuenzi (3 assists).
Also back from last year's starting unit are defender Evan Robicheau (6-0, So., Puyallup, WA), who had one goal and three assists, and midfielder Richie Evoy (5-11, Sr., Bend, OR), who had three points (1 goal, 1 assist).
Helping offset the loss of Schultz on offense could be Elliot Morton and Kyle Peterman.
Morton (6-4, Sr., Tacoma, WA - Bellarmine Prep) is back after missing the 2011 season. He was a three-time GNAC first team all-conference selection, including the 2010 season when he had five goals and five assists.
Morton, however, is listed as a defender - a position he played as a freshman and sophomore - on the pre-season roster.
Peterman (5-8, Sr., Boise, ID - Centennial) scored 10 goals and had four assists in three seasons (2008-10) at Seattle University before redshirting last season for SPU.
Other returnees who saw significant playing time a year ago include forward Blaine Carver (5-10, Jr., Soldotna, AK, 2 goals, 2 assists), midfielders Sean Russell (5-11, So., Seattle, WA - Garfield, 3 goals, 1 assist), Connor Meppen (5-9, Jr., Boise, ID, 2 goals) and Anthony Mohammed (5-7, Jr., Litchfield Park, AZ - Agua Fria) and defenders Kyle Smurdon (6-2, Sr., Sherwood, OR, 3 goals, 1 assists).
MONTANA STATE BILLINGS Yellowjackets
Montana State Billings finished with a flourish last season posting a 6-1-2 record in its final nine games with the lone loss a 1-0 decision to Simon Fraser.
The Yellowjackets, who ended up with a record of 8-8-2, have seven returning starters including three all-stars.
Connor Moe (6-1, Sr., Snohomish, WA - Bellevue CC) is back to lead the defense after earning first team all-conference honors a year ago.
Two players - forward Thomas Sheets (5-9, Sr., Snohomish, WA - Edmonds CC) and midfielder Thomas Chameraud (6-0, Sr., Poitiers, France) - were second team all-league picks.
Sheets ranked seventh in the GNAC in scoring with 19 points (8 goals, 3 assists), while Chameraud had seven assists to rank fifth in that category.
Four other starters are back, three of who are sophomores - midfielder Kyle Emerick (5-8, Billings, MT, 4 goals, 1 assist), defender Matt Brink (5-10, Billings, MT, 2 assists) and goalkeeper Eoin Hurley (6-3, Dublin, Ireland). Emerick's four goals ranked third on the team.
Also back from last year's starting lineup is Cory Champney (5-10, Sr., Billings, MT - Billings Skyview).
Other key returnees from the 2011 Yellowjacket squad include midfielders Blair Stevenson (5-11, Sr., Edinburgh, Scotland - James Gillespies), Clifton Thomas (5-6, Sr., Boise, ID - Timberline, 3 assists) and Joshua Marocchi (5-7, Sr., Perth, Australia, 3 assists) and defender Chris Hawkins (6-0, Sr., Boise, ID - North Idaho).
Three JC transfers are among a strong recruiting class for eighth-year head coach Dan McNally (60-58-8).
Forward Chad Ward (Jr., Bozeman, MT) was the leading scorer and team captain last season at North Idaho.
Forward Legofi Crawford (Jr., Lakeland, Fla.) had 12 goals and four assists in two seasons at Northwest Community College and midfielder Landon Horst (Jr., Greeley, CO) had three goals and six assists in two seasons at Laramie County CC. Both players were honorable mention selections.
WESTERN WASHINGTON Vikings
A pair of honorable mention all-stars are among 14 returning letter winners this fall for the Vikings.
Moore is one of four seniors on the squad along with defenders Bryan Hall (6-1, Sr., Tacoma, WA - Stadium), and Trinity Western transfer Jake Jorgenson (5-11, Sr., Bellingham, WA - Meridian) and midfielder Sujinda Dangvan (5-10, Sr., Vancouver, WA - Mountain View).
Moore has started 29 games over the past two seasons after starting his career as a forward. Hall has started 22 games over the past two seasons.
Dangvan had two assists last season after having four goals and six assists as a sophomore.
Rogers made 12 starts last season, while Leo Cohen (6-2, Jr., Seattle, WA - Roosevelt) made six and posted a 1.08 GAA as a freshman when he posted three consecutive shutouts.
Weishaar (3 goals, 2 assists) made 10 starts and is the team's top returning scorer. Byron (1 assist) started 11 games.
Other returning players include midfielders Tye Hastings (6-0, Jr., Mill Creek, WA - Jackson, 3 goals, 1 assist), Caden Sowers (5-7, So., Ferndale, WA, 1 goal), Matt Sanchez (5-6, So., Bellingham, WA, 1 assist) and Pat Cole (5-8, So., Bellingham, WA - Sehome).
Hastings had a goal and an assist in WWU's tie with Simon Fraser.
SAINT MARTIN'S Saints
The Saints return just four starters, however three were GNAC honorable mention all-star selections.
Forward Dylan Gadosh (6-1, Jr., Federal Way, WA - Stadium) scored three goals and tallied two assists in being selected to the honorable mention list.
Also honored with an honorable mention selection was midfielder CJ Chu (5-11, Jr., Des Moines, WA - Mt. Rainier, 1 assist) and defender Brandon Scott (5-7, Sr., Tacoma, WA - Wilson, 1 assist).
Goalkeeper JJ Olson (5-10, Jr., Lakeville, MN - Shattuck), who led the GNAC in saves with 75 (4.69 per game) also is back from last year's starting 11.
Eight other lettermen return including four who played in nine or more games - forwards Matt Olson (5-6, Jr., Bremerton, WA) and Nate Barber (5-10, So., Mt. Vernon, WA), midfielder Spencer Salvador (5-8, Sr., Seattle, WA - Blanchet, 1 assist) and defender Devin Peterhans (5-8, So., Seattle, WA - Kennedy).
Coach Rob Walker (32-56-3, 5 years) added three players from NWAACC champion Chemeketa including midfielder Ivan Gonzalez (6-0, Jr., Salem, OR - South Salem) and defenders Jovanny Centeno (5-7, Jr., Woodburn, OR) and Josh Noonkester (6-1, Jr., Salem, OR - South Salem).
Noonkester was a first team NWAACC all-region selection.
Another transfer is Luke Chouinard (6-2, So., Boise, ID), who played in four games at Westminster College.
NORTHWEST NAZARENE CRUSADERS
Defenders Stephen Marshall (5-10, Sr., Palm Springs, CA - Desert Chapel) and Jose Oregon (5-9, Sr., Nampa, ID - Skyview) are among six starters back for Northwest Nazarene head coach Coe Michaelson (29-37-4, 4 years).
Both players were second team selections a year ago. In addition to their defensive contributions, Marshall (4 goals) and Oregon (3 goals, 1 assist) also combined for seven goals and one assist.
Also returning from last year's starting unit are forward John DiLulo (5-8, Jr., Boise, ID, 1 goal), midfielders Sal Sanchez (6-0, Sr., Ontario, OR, 3 goals, 1 assist) and Daniel Clark (6-0, Jr., Littleton, CO - Fort Range Christian, 1 assist) and defender Zane Meehan (6-2, So., Corvallis, OR, 1 goal).
Other returnees who made significant contributions a year ago were Chris Voth (6-1, Sr., Boise, ID - Timberline, 2 goals), Dylan Coffee (5-11, So., Syracuse, UT, 1 goal, two assist) and Evan Horwood (5-9, Jr., Salt Lake City, UT - Intermountain Christian, 1 assist) and defender Weston Patrick (5-10, Sr., Wasilla, AK).
Among NNU's newcomers are two former NCAA Division I players and the NSCAA Junior College National Player-of-the-Year.
Midfielder Jon Curry (5-8, Sr., Sacramento, CA) played 63 games in three seasons (2006-08) at UC Santa Barbara. Curry had four goals and eight assists for the Division I program.
Midfielder Derrick Brown (5-9, Jr., Dublin, CA) played 25 games at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Goalkeeper Alfredo Ontiveros (6-1, Jr., La Puente, CA) was the National Player-of-the-Year last season at Mt. San Antonio.
In 25 games, Ontiveros allowed only 11 goals and recorded a 0.54 goals against average, while posting a 90.4 percent save percentage and leading his team to its third straight California state JC championship.
Sioux Falls begins its first season in the GNAC and as a full-fledged NCAA member this fall.
Second-year coach Paul Bennett returns 16 players, including six starters off last year's team that compiled a 7-9-1 record while competing as an independent.
Bennett returns his top two scorers from last year's team in midfielders Ryan Keohane (6-0, Sr., Rapid City, SD - Central), who netted 17 points (5 goals, 7 assists) and Connor Shefte (5-11, Sr., Omaha, NE - Millard West), who scored seven goals and had two assists.
Also back are midfielders Mark Tollefsrud (5-11, So., Spearfish, SD, 2 goals) and Matt Wolfe (6-0, Sr., Rapid City, SD - Stevens, 1 goal) and defenders Jared Dean (6-3, Jr., Roanoke, TX - Northwest) and Ryan West (5-10, So., Sioux Falls, SD - Lincoln).
Other lettermen include goalkeeper Kyle Simons (5-10, Sr., Colorado Springs, CO - Rampart), who played in five games and had a 2.02 goals against average, forward Brice Holliday (5-11, Sr., Colorado Springs, CO - Coronado, 2 goals) and defender Brady Stenzel (5-10, So., Sioux Falls, SD - Washington).
Among 13 newcomers are 12 freshmen. The lone upperclassmen among the recruits is defender Juan Pablo Duque-Delgado (5-11, Jr., Cartagena, CO), who was a two-time second team JC all-conference selection at Cowley College in the Jayhawk Conference.
UNIVERSITY OF MARY Marauders
Five of Mary's top six point producers return this fall for the Marauders, including midfielder Aaron McElwee (5-8, So., Sion Mills, Northern Ireland), who netted four goals and had three assists in his freshman season.
Also back is forward Ryan Buchholtz (6-4, Jr., Bismarck, ND - Century, 2 goals, 4 assists), midfielder Joe Wood (6-1, So., Anchorage, AK - Bartlett, 2 goals), defenders Jake Meyer (5-11, So., Gillette, WY - Campbell County, 2 goals, 1 assist) and Kyle Roesler (5-9, Jr., Fargo, ND - South, 2 goals, 1 assist),.
Two other starters are back for fifth-year head coach Dave Cook (16-50-5) - defender Brenan Millot (5-10, Jr., Rhinelander, WI, 1 assist) and goalkeeper Michael Frenzel (6-3, Jr., Bismarck, ND - Century) who had a 2.30 GAA and posted one shutout.
Two other players played 10 or more games last season, midfielder Logan Christensen (5-11, So., Minot, ND) and Nedad Skenderovic (6-1, Sr., Subotica, Serbia).
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