Vikings host U-Mary and South Dakota Mines in GNAC counters
Sept. 24, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Off to a great start in conference play, the Western Washington University men's soccer team is at home this week to host Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests against University of Mary ND on Thursday, Sept. 26 (7:30 p.m.) and South Dakota School of Mines on Saturday, Sept. 28 (7 p.m.) at Orca Field on the campus of Whatcom CC.
The Vikings, 3-2-1, opened GNAC play last week on the road, winning 2-1 at Northwest Nazarene and playing to a 0-0 overtime tie at Montana State Billings. They began their season by splitting four non-league games.
South Dakota Mines, which plays at NCAA Division II nationally No.1- ranked Simon Fraser on Thursday, is 0-5-0 overall and 0-2-0 league following losses to Seattle Pacific 2-1 and Saint Martin's 4-2.
WWU midfielder Gabriele Zaccagnini (Jr., Olympia/Capital) and defender Uche Ugwoaba (So., Burien/Highline) earned GNAC Player of the Week honorable mention for their performances during last week's road trip.
Zaccagnini assisted on both goals against NNU, giving him a team-leading three for the season.
Forward Andrew Weishaar (Sr., Snohomish), who leads WWU with eight points, scored his third goal of the season against the Crusaders and midfielder Tye Hastings (R-Jr., Mill Creek/Jackson) scored the game winner in the 88th minute.
Hastings and defender Troy McCarty (Fr., Snohomish) each have two goals for the Vikings this fall.
WWU goalkeeper Keegan Rogers (Jr., Portland, OR/Portland Christian) posted his first shutout of the year against MSUB, making six saves. He has a 0.95 goals against average with 23 saves in five games.
Greg Brisbon is in his first year as head coach at WWU after being the Vikings' top assistant for 12 of the last 13 seasons.
Earlier this season, McCarty earned GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Weishaar has received GNAC Offensive POW honorable mention twice and defender Bailey Martin (Sr., Tacoma/Stadium) received GNAC Defensive POW honorable mention once.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Men's Soccer: Clan Ranked No. 1 For Second Straight Week
PORTLAND, Ore. - Four combined wins last week by Simon Fraser and Seattle Pacific were decided by a single goal, as both schools grabbed six points and SFU maintained its No.1 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll.
The Clan is now 6-0 on the young season and holds the top spot in the NSCAA poll for the second consecutive week.
Nationally, SFU ranks fifth in scoring with an average of 3.5 goals per game, and sixth in total points with 56.
SPU's stellar defense thus far is reflected in its No. 10 rank in the nation in goals-against average at 0.4 and its No. 16 mark in shutout percentage at .600.
John DiLulo (F, 5-8, Sr., Boise, ID - Boise) of Northwest Nazarene and Gabriele Zaccagnini (M, 5-8, Jr., Olympia, WA - Capital) of Western Washington have been the GNAC's most productive passers this season, as the two are tied for 24th in the nation with three assists so far.
THREE WIN TWICE: SFU, SPU and Saint Martin's each won both of their GNAC opening games last week.
The Clan (6-0-0, 2-0-0 GNAC) preserved their perfect record, but not without significant stress and uncertainty. On Thursday, SFU fell behind 1-0 in the first half against Montana State Billings on the road before notching a pair of second-half goals to win the match. SFU pulled off a nearly identical feat on Saturday, conceding a goal in the 11th minute at NNU before goals from Johannes Hallman (D, 6-3, Jr., Lidkoping, Sweden - Hawaii Pacific) and Carlo Basso (F, 6-4, Sr., Coquitlam, BC - Archbishop Carney) in the second period sealed the second-straight comeback victory.
SFU has maintained its distance thanks to its explosive offensive output, but has not been the most efficient GNAC team in terms of defense. The Clan has notched 21 goals through six games, but has allowed seven, which has made for several tight finishes.
SPU (4-1-0, 2-0-0 GNAC) goalkeeper Cody Lang (GK, 6-4, Fr., Spokane, WA - Lewis & Clark) allowed just his second goal of the season on Thursday, but the Falcons never trailed South Dakota Mines or the University of Mary in 2-1 and 1-0 GNAC victories last week. Stephen MacDonald (F, 6-2, Fr., Phoenix, AZ - O'Connor) scored the game-winning goal in each game, and earned GNAC Player of the Week honors for his effort.
SPU's stingy defense has led to it's 4-1-0 overall mark and wins in its first two conference games of 2013, as the back line has conceded two goals and the offense has put away seven.
SMU (2-4-0, 2-0-0 GNAC) entered last week winless in preseason play, and having given up a conference-worst 12 goals. The Saints took their game to a new level by taking down Mary and SD Mines on the road, and scoring five goals and allowing just two in doing so.
Goalkeeper JJ Olson (GK, 5-11, Jr., Lakeville, MN - Shattuck-St. Mary's) was the heart and soul for the Saints against Mary, as he made 11 saves and held his ground for more than 107 minutes to allow for CJ Chu (M, 5-10, Sr., Des Moines, WA - Mount Rainier) to score the game-winner in the second overtime period. Olson was named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week for his effort.
Western Washington (3-2-1, 1-0-1 GNAC) returned from last week's road trip with four points in its pocket after downing NNU and battling MSU Billings to a scoreless draw.
Gabriele Zaccagnini (M, 5-8, Jr., Olympia, WA - Capital) proved to be instrumental for the Vikings, supplying assists on both of WWU's goals in the win.
MSU Billings (0-4-2, 0-1-1 GNAC) has continued a trend of needing more than 90 minutes to decide its matches, but has yet to emerge victorious in extra time. Playing a man down for more than 80 minutes after a red card in the first half, the Yellowjackets kept pace with the Vikings and put seven of their 12 shots on target.
The draw came two days after a bitter loss to SFU, a game in which MSU Billings held a 1-0 lead for more than 40 minutes.
Fredy Razo (F, 5-10, Jr., Irvine, CA - Irvine Valley) did his best to give NNU a chance to win as the forward scored in both of the Crusaders' games last week. Two goals wasn't enough however, as NNU (0-3-2, 0-2-0 GNAC) suffered a pair of 2-1 home losses and remains winless in 2013.
AHEAD: SMU will carry the momentum from winning its first two conference games back to Lacey, Wash. as it hosts MSU Billings Thursday and NNU Saturday.
The Yellowjackets and Crusaders, who also visit SPU, are both in search of their first win of the season and will be further motivated to win by the opportunity to break their upcoming opponents' current string of victories.
Mary (0-4-0, 0-2-0 GNAC) and SD Mines (0-5-0, 0-2-0 GNAC) prepare for a tough road trip, as the schools will face SFU and WWU this week.
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