WWU begins crucial stretch of five road games with stops at SMU and SPU
Sept. 30, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - With its best eight-game start since 2004, the Western Washington University men's soccer team begins a crucial stretch of five road games this week before closing its regular season with five home contests.
The Vikings, who are 5-2-1 overall and tied for second in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings at 3-0-1, travel to Saint Martin's on Thursday, Oct. 3 (3:15 p.m.), and to Seattle Pacific on Saturday, Oct. 5 (7 p.m.), for a pair of league counters.
The Vikings opened their season by splitting four non-league contests. Forward Andrew Weishaar (Sr., Snohomish) received GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors as he scored three goals in last week's victories, one against U-Mary and two versus South Dakota Mines. That gave him a team and conference leading 14 points and six goals.
"Andrew (Weishaar) has been very sharp in the final third," said Greg Brisbon, who is in his first year as head coach at WWU after being the Vikings' top assistant for 12 of the last 13 seasons. "Both goals against South Dakota Mines were fantastic." Weishaar's 22 career goals put him eighth among WWU leaders. He needs one more to move into a tie for seventh place.
WWU goalkeeper Keegan Rogers (Jr., Portland, OR/Portland Christian), who received GNAC Defensive POW honorable mention, has a 0.96 goals against average with 27 saves in seven games. He made six saves in the overtime shutout against Montana State Billings.
Troy McCarty (Fr., Snohomish) and Jeremy Wentzel (So., Edmonds/Edmonds-Woodway) are tied for second among Viking scoring leaders this season with seven points each. Wentzel had a goal and two assists in WWU's wins over U-Mary and South Dakota Mines, and McCarty had one goal and one assist.
Saint Martin's is 3-5-0 overall and fourth in the GNAC at 3-1-0. The Saints are led by Dylan Gaydosh with four goals and C.J. Chu with three.
WWU holds a 10-2-0 series advantage, winning both meetings last year.
Seattle Pacific, which hosts NCAA Division II No.1-ranked and GNAC-leading (4-0-0) Simon Fraser on Thursday, is 5-1-1 overall, going unbeaten since a 1-0 season-opening loss to Chico State, and is 3-0-1 in league play. Goalkeeper Cody Lang has a 0.69 goals against average for the Falcons and Stephen MacDonald has three goals, all of them game winners, which leads the GNAC.
WWU split with Seattle Pacific last season, each winning on the others' field. The Falcons hold a 42-14-6 series advantage.
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 on the road trip to Northwest Nazarene and Montana State Billings. Zaccagnini assisted on both goals against NNU and has three this season tying him for the team lead.
Earlier this season, McCarty earned GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Weishaar has earned 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: No. 1 SFU Leads Nation In Goals (Oct. 1, 2013)
PORTLAND, Ore. - Simon Fraser's 11 goals last weekend not only solidified its No. 1 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll, but made SFU the top-scoring team in the country with 32 goals scored so far in 2013.
As a team, the Clan is averaging four goals per game, the second-best total in the country behind Lander University's 4.4 average in five games played. SFU leads the nation in total assists with 23 and total points with 87.
Seattle Pacific, ranked No. 6 in the NSCAA west region poll released Tuesday morning, and Western Washington are in a close battle in the GNAC standings as the Falcons and Vikings currently share second place with 10 points each.
Individually, Fredy Razo (F, 5-10, Jr., Irvine, CA - Irvine Valley) of Northwest Nazarene and Andrew Weishaar (F, 6-1, Sr., Puyallup, WA - Puyallup) of WWU are the top GNAC scorers in the nation, as the two are tied for 16th in total goals with six apiece. Razo's pace of one goal per game is the eighth-best rate in the country, while SFU's Colin Jacques (F, 5-10, So., Richmond, BC - R.A. McMath) ranks 19th in total assists with four.
Brandon Watson (GK, 6-1, Fr., Victoria, BC - Coastal Carolina) of SFU ranks No. 15 in the nation in save percentage at a mark of .870, while South Dakota Mines' keeper Timothy Tribbett (GK, 6-1, Fr., Centennial, CO) leads the nation with an average of 7.86 per contest.
WEEKLY RECAP: With an opportunity to gain ground on Seattle Pacific, Western Washington (5-2-1, 3-0-1) didn't falter as it won both games and moved into a tie with the Falcons for second place in the conference standings.
Seattle Pacific (5-1-1, 3-0-1) battled Northwest Nazarene to a 1-1 double-overtime draw on Thursday, while WWU beat Mary at home 3-1. Both teams won on Saturday as Weishaar, the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week, scored both of the Vikings' goals in a 2-1 win over SD Mines and SPU's defense withstood a late two-goal rally from Montana State Billings to hold on for the 3-2 triumph. With 10 points apiece, the two Washington schools sit within striking distance of SFU's total of 12.
Simon Fraser (8-0-0, 4-0-0 GNAC) easily handled its two matches at home, dealing losses to South Dakota Mines (0-7-0, 0-4-0) and University of Mary (0-6-0, 0-4-0) on Thursday and Saturday to remain undefeated through the first third of the season.
The Clan was efficient with their shots on target, reaching double figures in that category in both of their games. Simon Fraser displayed a dynamic offense and proved that its lineup is dangerous from top to bottom, as eight different players scored and seven had assists in the two games.
With a draw against Seattle Pacific on Thursday followed by its first win of the season over Saint Martin's on Saturday, Northwest Nazarene (1-3-3, 1-2-1) picked up four points and established its first burst of momentum so far this season. Razo, the Crusaders' catalyst, scored in both games to continue his steak of scoring in every game he has played in 2013. Defensively, Ryan Foo (GK, 6-1, Fr., San Jose, CA - Archbishop Mitty) was a big reason the Crusaders battled SPU to a draw, as his nine saves and 110 minutes between the pipes on Thursday earned him GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
One of NNU's victories came at the expense of Saint Martin's (3-5-0, 3-1-0), but not before the Saints won their third straight game over MSU Billings on Thursday. The strong start has SMU in fourth place with nine points in the GNAC standings, within a single victory of SFU's 12.
MSU Billings (0-6-2, 0-3-1) fell on more hard luck last week, conceding the go-ahead goal to Dylan Gaydosh (F, 6-1, Sr., Federal Way, WA - Stadium) of Saint Martin's in the 82nd minute on Thursday in a 2-1 loss, and then coming up a goal short in a comeback effort against SPU on Saturday, losing 3-2. Five of the Yellowjackets' six losses have been by a single goal, as MSUB has consistently battled its opponents to tight finishes but is still in search of its first win of the season.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Seattle Pacific and Western Washington will each have a chance to challenge top-ranked Simon Fraser in the next two weeks, with the Falcons getting the first shot at the powerhouse at home on Thursday. The Falcons will then turn around to host WWU on Saturday, in what promises to be a pair of outstanding matches under the lights. SPU's lone loss of the season came on its home turf, while the Clan has won four games apiece at home and on the road.
Saint Martin's also has the task of hosting SFU and WWU, as the Saints will look to keep pace with the conference leaders and could leapfrog a team or two with an upset victory.
Meanwhile, Northwest Nazarene will look to coast off its current momentum as it returns to Nampa for a home stand versus SD Mines and Mary. MSU Billings returns to Montana where it will also face the other two winless teams this week.
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