WWU faces must wins, hosts Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin's
Oct. 29, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Riding a four-game winning streak, its longest since the end of the 2010 season, Western Washington University plays host to nationally ranked Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, Oct.31 (7:30 p.m.), and Saint Martin's University on Sunday, Nov. 3 (1p.m.), for Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's soccer contests at Orca Field on the Whatcom CC campus.
The Vikings, 7-1-3 in their last 11 outings, are 9-3-3 overall and third in the conference standings at 7-1-3, just four points out of first.
Last week, WWU began its five-game home stand to end the regular seaon with a pair of GNAC victories over Montana State Billings, 1-0, and Northwest Nazarene, 1-0 in overtime.
WWU forward Andrew Weishaar (Sr., Puyallup) scored the game winner, his GNAC- leading fifth of the year, against NNU 5:46 into overtime. Pat Cole (Jr., Bellingham/Sehome) scored his first collegiate goal in the Vikings' win over MSUB.
Weishaar is tied for first among GNAC leaders in goals with nine, and tied for second in points with 20. His 25 career goals are tied for fifth among WWU leaders. He has scored in three of the Vikings' last four games.
Jeremy Wentzel (So., Edmonds/Edmonds-Woodway), who assisted on Weishaar's overtime goal against NNU, has five assists, tying him for fourth in the GNAC.
WWU goalkeeper Keegan Rogers (Jr., Portland, OR/Portland Christian) leads the league in save percentage at .847 and is second in goals against average at 0.74 and shutouts with five. He has made 61 saves in 1,331 minutes.
SPU is riding a 13-game unbeaten streak, suffering its only loss, 1-0, versus Chico State in its opener.
WWU trails 13-47-7 in its series with the Falcons, but have played them even (4-4-3) in their last 11 meetings. The two teams played to a 1-1 overtime tie at Seattle on Oct. 5.
SMU is 5-8-2 overall and 5-4-2 in conference action, being unbeaten (2-0-1) in its last three games. WWU holds an 8-2-1 series edge, tying the Saints 0-0 in overtime at Lacey on Oct. 3.
The Vikings are directed by Greg Brisbon, who is in his first year as head coach at WWU after being the top assistant for 12 of the last 13 seasons.
WWU ends its regular season on Saturday, Nov. 9 (7 p.m.), entertaining Simon Fraser. The game will be the final at home for four Viking seniors. They are Weishaar, defender Bailey Martin (Tacoma/Stadium), defender Dean Byron (Renton/Liberty), and goalkeeper Leo Cohen (Seattle/Roosevelt).
NOTES: Midway through the campaign, WWU had a six-game unbeaten streak (3-0-3), its longest since 2007 ... Three Vikings have earned GNAC Player of the Week honors this season with the offensive award going to Weishaar and defensive accolades to Troy McCarty (Fr., Snohomish) and Martin.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Men's Soccer: Three Premiere Matchups To Close 2013 Season (Oct. 29, 2013)
PORTLAND, Ore. - With just three days of regular season action left on the schedule, the final stretch of the 2013 conference slate has the potential to make or break the playoff hopes of the top three Great Northwest Athletic Conference teams.
Simon Fraser, moving up to No. 3 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll, remains in first place and is the top-ranked GNAC team in the NCAA West Region poll at No. 4. The regional poll will eventually determine the six-team field for the West Regional tournament, with no teams in the West earning automatic bids via conference tournaments.
Checking in just one point behind SFU in the GNAC standings is Seattle Pacific, which was ranked No. 6 in the first West Regional poll. The Falcons have not lost since their first match of the season, keeping pace with SFU over the remarkable 14-game unbeaten streak.
Still in the hunt for postseason contention is Western Washington, which sits in third place in the conference table just four points back of SFU. While the Vikings were not ranked in the first West Region poll, wins in their final three games would likely push WWU into the top six.
The playoff picture should come into focus this week, with two of the biggest matches of the year. On Thursday, SPU puts its steak on the line in Bellingham, Wash., against a WWU team facing a must-win situation. A win for the Vikings would push the team into a tie for second in the GNAC standings, while a loss would more than likely crush their playoff hopes.
As the calendar crosses into November, SPU will cross the border into Burnaby, BC., and take on SFU on Saturday. The head-to-head matchup has the potential to determine the outright conference champion, and SPU is the only team to have beaten SFU this season in a 2-1 result on Oct. 3 that knocked SFU from the top spot in the NSCAA national rankings.
If WWU can defeat SPU and Saint Martin's at home this week, the Vikings will have a chance to make the postseason and will face SFU in their final match of the season on Nov. 9 in Bellingham.
NCAA LEADERS: Simon Fraser displayed its dominance last week, and it has now won three consecutive matches by a score of 7-0. The scoring spree comes at a crucial time in the season, with the most important matches thus far yet to be played.
SFU is the top team in the NCAA in scoring offense (4.0), total goals (60), points (164) and points per game (10.93). The Clan spreads its scoring equally throughout its lineup, as 17 total players have scored for SFU this season, led by Colin Jacques' eight goals. Jacques also leads the team in assists with eight, and ranks 15th in the NCAA in assists and 26th in assists per game with .53.
Defensively, SPU is the top team in the GNAC, ranking No. 11 in the NCAA in goals-against average (.61) and 15th in shutout percentage (.500). Much of the credit for SPU's defensive success goes to Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week Cody Lang, as the freshman goalkeeper leads the GNAC with seven shutouts, ranks 14th in the NCAA in goals-against average (.614) and 23rd in save percentage at (.833).
Western Washington's defense has been the key to its success as well, as the team is right on SPU's heels in many categories in the NCAA ranks. WWU checks in at No. 17 in goals-against average as a team (.76) and at No. 14 - two spots ahead of SPU - in save percentage (.844). The Vikings' junior goalkeeper Keegan Rogers has recorded five shutouts this season, and ranks 19th in the NCAA in goals-against average (.744) and 14th in save percentage (.847).
TOP THREE WIN SIX: The standard was set high last week as first-place Simon Fraser (13-1-1, 9-1-1 GNAC) rolled to a pair of 7-0 victories over Montana State Billings and Northwest Nazarene. The Clan are playing arguably their best soccer of the season to date, outscoring opponents 21-0 over their last three games since scraping out a 2-2 draw over the University of Mary (1-10-2, 1-8-2) two weeks ago. Ryan Dhillon led a quartet of SFU players who recorded multiple goals last week, as the sophomore's three goals earned him Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Seattle Pacific (10-1-3, 8-0-3) proved it was up to the challenge, as it grabbed a pair of shutout wins of its own to keep pace with the conference leaders. SPU took care of Mary 2-0 on Thursday, and Lang kept South Dakota Mines (0-14-0, 0-11-0) quiet on Saturday long enough for an 85th-minute goal from Danny Olivas that would give the Falcons a 1-0 win. Lang earned Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week accolades for the first time this season.
Needing two wins to stay alive in the postseason hunt, Western Washington (9-3-3, 7-1-3) pulled out a pair of 1-0 results to stay in third place. Pat Cole scored on Thursday in the 41st minute against MSU Billings, and Rogers made five saves en route to the shutout. On Saturday, it was another miracle goal from Andrew Weishaar, this time in overtime as his shot into the right corner of the net in the 96th minute gave WWU the 1-0 win over Northwest Nazarene.
Saint Martin's (5-8-2, 5-4-2) pulled off not only an improbable comeback but contributed to a GNAC record in doing so in a 4-4 overtime draw against Mary on Saturday. The Saints scored three goals in the final 11 minutes, and the match marked the first time in GNAC history that eight combined goals were scored in a single half of play.
Both Montana State Billings (3-9-3, 3-6-2) and Northwest Nazarene (3-6-5, 3-5-3) failed to score in a pair of losses each last week.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2013 Men's Soccer Report Week 8 (Oct. 29, 2013)
Conference All W L T GF GA Pts W L T GF GA
LAST WEEK: Thursday - South Dakota Mines 1 at Saint Martin's 2; Mary 0 at Seattle Pacific 2; Montana State Billings 0 at Western Washington 1; Northwest Nazarene 0 at Simon Fraser 7 Saturday - Mary 4 at Saint Martin's 4 (ot); Montana State Billings 0 at Simon Fraser 7; Northwest Nazarene 0 at Western Washington 1; South Dakota Mines 0 at Seattle Pacific 1.
THIS WEEK: Thursday - Northwest Nazarene at Mary, 5 p.m.; Montana State Billings at South Dakota Mines, 5:30 p.m.; Seattle Pacific at Western Washington, 7:30 p.m.; Saint Martin's at Simon Fraser 7:30 p.m. Saturday - Montana State Billings at Mary, 11 a.m.; Northwest Nazarene at South Dakota Mines, 5:30 p.m.; Seattle Pacific at Simon Fraser, 7:30 p.m. Sunday - Saint Martin's at Western Washington, 1 p.m.
POLLS: NSCAA National (Oct. 29) - 3. Simon Fraser NSCAA West Region (Oct. 29) - 1. Simon Fraser 5. Seattle Pacific 9. Western Washington NCAA West Region (Oct. 23) - 4. Simon Fraser 6. Seattle Pacific.
NATIONAL STATISTICS (TOP 30)
TEAM: Scoring Offense - 1. Simon Fraser (4.0) Total Goals - 1. Simon Fraser (60) Goals-Against Avg. - 11. Seattle Pacific (.61) 17. Western Washington (.76) 18. Simon Fraser (.79) Shutout Pct. - 15. Seattle Pacific (.500) 24. Simon Fraser (.470) W-L-T Pct. - 5. Simon Fraser (.900) 10. Seattle Pacific (.821) Assists/Gm. - 3. Simon Fraser (2.93) Saves/Gm. - 2. South Dakota Mines (7.71) Points/Gm. - 1. Simon Fraser (10.93) Save Pct. - 14. Western Washington (.844) 16. Seattle Pacific (.833) Total Assists - 2. Simon Fraser (44) Total Pts. - 1. Simon Fraser (164).
INDIVIDUAL: Assists/Gm. - 26. Colin Jacques, SFU (.53) Total Assists - 15. Colin Jacques, SFU (8) Goals-Against Avg. - 14. Cody Lang, SPU (.614) 19. Keegan Rogers, WWU (.744) 20. Brandon Watson, SFU (.747) Save Pct. - 14. Keegan Rogers, WWU (.847) 23. Cody Lang, SPU (.833) Saves/Gm. - 1. Timothy Tribbett, SDSMT (7.64) Total Saves - 1. Timothy Tribbett, SDSMT (107).
RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offense - Ryan Dhillon, Simon Fraser (M, 5-10, So., North Delta, BC - North Delta) led the GNAC with three goals last week, as No. 4 SFU displayed its offensive dominance with a pair of 7-0 victories. Dhillon twice found the net on Thursday against Northwest Nazarene, and then set the tone on Saturday with the Clan's first goal against Montana State Billings in the 25th minute.
Defense - Cody Lang, Seattle Pacific (GK, 6-4, Fr., Spokane, WA - Lewis & Clark) notched his conference-leading sixth and seventh shutouts of 2013 as SPU collected six points with two wins last week. The Falcon keeper made six saves and faced 15 total shots in the two games. On Thursday, Lang kept the University of Mary's offense quiet for 90 minutes, and then gave SPU the chance for the game winner in the 85th minute on Saturday against South Dakota Mines by silencing the Hardrockers' offense. Lang has not allowed a goal in his last 290 minutes between the posts.
Honorable Mention - Keegan Rogers, WWU (GK, 6-1, Jr., Portland, OR - Portland Christian) made six saves and helped the Vikings to a pair of shutout victories...John DiLulo, NNU (F, 5-8, Sr., Boise, ID - Boise) had three shots in NNU's 7-0 loss at No. 4 Simon Fraser on Thursday, and had a shot off the goal post in NNU's 1-0 overtime loss at Western Washington on Saturday...Daniel Day, NNU (D, 5-11, Jr., Salem, OR - Chemeketa) played two full games on defense as NNU lost 7-0 at No. 4 Simon Fraser and 1-0 in overtime at Western Washington. Against the Vikings, Day had the lone shot on goal for the Crusaders...Andrew Weishaar, WWU (F, 6-1, Sr., Puyallup, WA - Puyallup) scored in overtime against NNU to propel the Vikings to a 1-0 victory and help WWU keep pace with SFU and SPU in the GNAC standings...Magnus Kristensen, SFU (D, 6-3, Fr., Stayenger, Norway) helped anchor the SFU back line in a pair of 7-0 shutouts, while contributing two goals for the Clan. CLAN FINDING THEIR STRIDE: Simon Fraser is peaking at the right time, winning its last three contests by the score of 7-0. Prior to the three consecutive wins, SFU suffered its worst stretch of 2013, going 2-1-1 including its first loss of the season to SPU on Oct. 3.
SPU KEEPING PACE: While the Falcons scored just three goals last week compared to SFU's 14, SPU kept pace with the Clan in the standings with a pair of victories and six points. SPU extended its unbeaten streak to 14 consecutive games, and remains just one point behind SFU in the conference standings.
WHERE THERE'S A WEISHAAR THERE'S A WAY: The Vikings' senior forward continues to will WWU to dramatic victories with late-game heroics. Weishaar put his talents on display again last week, scoring in the 95th minute against NNU to push WWU to the 1-0 victory. Two wins kept WWU just four points back of conference leader SFU and three points behind second place SPU.
SAINTS' MIRACLE: With 11 minutes to play on Saturday, Saint Martin's found itself trailing the University of Mary 4-1 on its home turf. Rene Caro and Kaleb Strawn each provided two assists down the stretch as SMU rattled off three goals in the final 11 minutes of regulation and the teams battled to a 4-4 overtime draw. With a 2-1 victory over SD Mines on Thursday, SMU came away with four points and an overall successful weekend.
TOTALLY TODY TOLO: SMU defender Tody Tolo leads the GNAC amongst field players in minutes played so far this season with 1,407, tied with teammate CJ Chu. The pair has started every game of the season for the Saints.
JACKETS, CRUSADERS SILENCED: Montana State Billings and Northwest Nazarene were each shut out twice last week, with MSU Billings placing just six total shots on frame against WWU and SFU. NNU had an even tougher time against the same two opponents, placing just four total shots on target. Neither team has scored in their last three contests, since MSUB beat SMU 4-0 and NNU earned a 2-2 tie with SPU on Oct. 17.
DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORERS: Of the five players to score more than once last week, four were members of SFU. GNAC Offensive Player of the Week Ryan Dhillon led the way with three goals, while Jacques, Kristensen and Carlo Basso each contributed two goals for the Clan, while Mary's Jordan Pearce found the net twice.
RECORDS: With four points last week, Carlo Basso of SFU moved into second place in the GNAC record books in career points with 104...Basso entered 2013 in 4th place with 88 career points, and his 16 points this season pushed him past Bobby McAlister (SU, 93) and Gibson Bardsley (WWU, 100)...SFU's Colin Jacques leads the GNAC with eight assists, and is approaching the all-time single-season conference mark of 11 held by Thomas Chameraud of MSU Billings, recorded last season...WWU's Weishaar is on pace to break the GNAC single-season records for shots, as he has 76 and is averaging 5.07 per game with three games remaining, and the record standing at 88...with three conference games remaining, SFU is 13 goals behind its record of 73 it set last season with 60 in 2013, but last season's total included four postseason games...SFU is on pace to break its own record of goals per game in a season (3.42) as it is averaging 4.0 in 2013...for the first time in GNAC history, eight goals were scored in a single half in the 4-4 draw between SMU and Mary...the feat was last completed by a now-GNAC team in the 2000 season - twice - when then-PacWest members Hawaii Pacific beat NNU 11-2 (7-1 in the 2nd half) and Seattle Pacific beat NNU 13-1 (7-1 in the 1st half).
PLAYOFF PICTURE: With no automatic bids to the NCAA postseason, the top six ranked teams in the final NCAA West Region poll will advance to the post season. Currently, SFU and SPU fall into that category, ranked No. 4 and No. 6, respectively, but with those two teams playing one other and each facing third-place WWU over the final three matches, all three teams have excellent opportunities to earn a postseason berth.
GNAC TEAM OF THE WEEK: Sept. 2-8 - Simon Fraser (Football) Sept. 9-15 - Northwest Nazarene (Volleyball) Sept. 16-22 - MSU Billings (Men's XC) and Simon Fraser (Women's XC) Sept. 23-29 - Western Oregon (Football) Sept. 30 - Oct. 6 - Seattle Pacific (Men's Soccer). Oct. 7-13 - Central Washington (Women's Soccer). Oct. 14-20 - Western Oregon (Women's Soccer). Oct. 21-27 - Alaska Anchorage (Cross Country
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