Oct. 26, 2011
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Looking to break out of a slump, the Western Washington University men's soccer team travels to Saint Martin's University on Thursday (1 p.m.) and then to nationally ranked Seattle Pacific University on Saturday (7 p.m.) for a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference counters.
The Vikings, who are 5-8-0 overall and fourth in the GNAC standings at 3-4-0, are home Monday (2 p.m.) to host Trinity Lutheran College at Orca Field on the Whatcom CC campus.
WWU has lost its last two games and four of its last five. Last week, the Vikings dropped two home contests, 3-1 to Montana State Billings and 2-1 in overtime to Northwest Nazarene.
Saint Martin's is 4-9-2 overall and third in the GNAC at 3-3-1. The Saints have lost two straight and are 1-6-2 in their last nine contests.
Seattle Pacific, ranked No.15 in the latest NCAA Division II Coaches Top 25 Poll and No.1 in the West Region, are 11-2-2 overall (host Simon Fraser on Thursday) and lead the conference standings at 5-1-1. The Falcons are 5-0-1 in their last six games.
Trinity Lutheran, a member of the National Christian Colleges Athletic Association, is 10-4-1. The Eagles, who are in the hunt for a NCCAA regional playoff berth, are riding a three-game winning streak. They defeated Saint Martin's, 1-0 in overtime, in their last outing on Oct. 17.
Honorable mention All-America senior forward Kellan Brown (Tacoma/Bellarmine Prep) leads Western with six goals and 14 points this season. His four-year career total of 26 is fourth among school leaders. Brown also ranks fourth in assists (15) and fifth in points (67).
Senior midfielder Oscar Jimenez (Mount Vernon) paces WWU with four assists and has 21 during his four-year career. The career total is one shy of the WWU record held by Dennis Lapchis (1986-87, 1989-90) and three short of the GNAC standard of 24 held jointly by Seattle University's Pat Doran (2002-05) and Montana State Billings' Chris Andre (2007-10).
Sophomore forward Andrew Weishaar (Puyallup), who is tied with Jimenez for second on the team in points with eight, suffered a season-ending ankle injury at Dixie State on Oct. 11.
Goalkeeper Keegan Rogers (Portland, OR/Portland Christian) has a 1.39 goals against average and .723 save percentage. Both figures rank third in the conference.
WWU, coached by Travis Connell (13th year, 117-112-14), split home games with Saint Martin's and Seattle Pacific earlier this season. The Vikings defeated Saint Martin's, 3-1, on Oct. 1 and lost 1-0 to Seattle Pacific on Sept. 28.
WWU trails 7-28-5 in its series with Seattle Pacific, but is 4-3-2 in the last nine meetings. The Vikings have won their last four meetings with Saint Martin's and are 8-1-0 overall.
WWU and Trinity Lutheran have not met previously.
The Vikings end their season at home on Thursday, Nov. 3 (7 p.m.). The game will be the last for five seniors - Tyler Bjork (Kirkland/Juanita), Brown, Sean Connor (Mount Vernon), Keith Ferris (Richland) and Jimenez.
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