BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- The playoff-bound Western Washington men's soccer team was honored with six All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference selections and head coach Greg Brisbon was named GNAC Co-Coach of the Year, announced by the conference office Tuesday afternoon.
The Vikings, headed to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in program history, had one All-GNAC First Team selection, a trio of All-GNAC Second Team honorees and a pair of honorable mention picks along with Brisbon's recognition.
The Western Washington selections to the 2016 GNAC Men's Soccer All-Conference Team, as voted on by the head coaches.
- Co-Coach of the Year: Greg Brisbon
- All-GNAC First Team: Luke Olney
- All-GNAC Second Team: Anthony Dean
- All-GNAC Second Team: Eleazar Galvan
- All-GNAC Second Team: Tyler Visten
- Honorable Mention All-GNAC: Jeremiah Lee
- Honorable Mention All-GNAC: Brady Ulen
Brisbon shared Coach of the Year honors with Simon Fraser's Clint Schneider. In his fourth season leading the Vikings, Brisbon earned the honor for the first time in his career. He has guided Western Washington to a 9-4-4 record in the regular season, including a 6-3-3 GNAC record to tie for second place in the final conference standings. The Vikings were picked to finish sixth in the GNAC Preseason Coaches Poll and the second-place finish was the highest for the Vikings since the 2009 season.
Western Washington began the season 3-1-1, the best start to a season for the program since 2010 and then concluded the regular season with a 5-0-1 finish. During the closing span, the Vikings outscored opponents 14-2 and moved from fifth to second in the conference standings. One of the final-stretch wins came against GNAC champion Simon Fraser, a team ranked No. 3 nationally and previously unbeaten before the Vikings topped the Clan 1-0 at Harrington Field on Nov. 3.
Olney (Jr., M, Enumclaw, WA) earned All-GNAC honors for the third straight season with his first selection to the All-GNAC First Team. He has scored 3 goals to go along with 1 assist for the Vikings and ranks third on the team with 15 shots on goal. A captain, Olney also ranks third on the team in minutes played with 16 starts and has aided a Western Washington defense that tied for the GNAC lead with 8 shutouts and posted a .83 goals-against average. He was an All-GNAC Second Team selection in 2014 and an honorable mention choice in 2015.
Dean (Jr., F, Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Bellevue College) was a unanimous selection to the All-GNAC Second Team. In his first year with the Vikings, he leads Western Washington with 21 points and ranks fifth among GNAC leaders in that category. Starting 16 games and appearing in all 17, he has scored 8 goals and added 5 assists, including 3 game-winning goals. Twice during the season Dean has totaled 2 goals and 1 assist in a single game.
Galvan (Sr., M, Chelan, WA/Skagit Valley College), an honorable mention choice last season, was named to the All-GNAC Second Team. Galvan is second on the team in points with 14 via 4 goals and 6 assists, a team-leading total, while starting 16 games. Over the last 7 games of the regular season, he has totaled 3 goals and 5 assists, including a current streak of 5 consecutive games with an assist. He earned GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors on October 31 and his assist total ranks in a tie for fifth in the GNAC.
Visten (Jr., GK, Mount Vernon, WA/Skagit Valley College), a team captain, was also a unanimous selection on the All-GNAC Second Team after earning honorable mention accolades last season. Starting every game for the Vikings, he ranks second among GNAC leaders in shutouts (7), save percentage (.783) and goals-against average (.84), as well as fourth in total saves (54). Visten and the Western Washington defense allowed only 1 goal over the last 5 games of the regular season and surrendered only 15 goals during the regular season as a whole, the second-lowest mark in the conference. Dating back to 2000, the 8 shutouts for Western Washington this season rank in a tie for second-most in a season with the 2007 Vikings. Visten was the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week on September 6.
Ulen (Coeur d'Alene, ID/Post Falls/North Idaho) was named an All-GNAC Honorable Mention selection. Starting 12 games and appearing in 13, he has been a valuable member of the Western Washington defense posting impressive numbers while also scoring 3 goals to go along with 1 assist offensively. He was twice named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week during the regular season.
Lee (Fr., M, Marysville, WA/Grace Academy) also earned All-GNAC Honorable Mention honors. He has scored 2 goals for the Vikings while making important defensive contributions, starting 10 games and appearing in 13 overall.
The Vikings travel to UC San Diego this week to face Dixie State on Friday (noon) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of Friday's game will advance to face UC San Diego on Sunday at noon in the second round.
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