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Home Stretch Begins In Earnest With Six Matches This Week
Simon Fraser's Luciano Trasolini is the leading goalkeeper in Division II and the reigning GNAC Defensive Player of the Week.
Simon Fraser's Luciano Trasolini is the leading goalkeeper in Division II and the reigning GNAC Defensive Player of the Week.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

NO. 1 ON NO. 1: Simon Fraser is the No. 1 team in Division II and the Clan's goalkeeper now leads all others in shutouts.

Sophomore Luciano Trasolini recorded his eighth and ninth shutouts of the season last week to put him at No. 1 on the Division II list. His heroics also resulted in being named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week.   

STREAKS ON THE LINE: Simon Fraser and Saint Martin's currently own the conference's longest winning streaks, and both of those could be on the line when the two teams meet on Saturday night in Burnaby. The Clan sit at the top of the GNAC table, while the Saints are currently tied for second with Seattle Pacific.

Elsewhere in GNAC action this week, the Falcons will look to continue their winning ways with a pair of home matches against Concordia and Montana State Billings. In total, there are six all-GNAC affairs on the slate as the home stretch of the season begins in earnest.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OFFENSE
Titus Grant
(Seattle Pacific, F, 5-10, Sophomore, Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Grant scored four goals in the Falcons’ two wins, opening the week with what became the game-winning goal in the 72nd minute of a 4-2 win over WWU on Thursday. Grant then scored a hat trick in a span of nine minutes, accounting for all of SPU’s scoring in a 3-2 win over NNU.

Also Nominated: Brandon Madsen (Saint Martin’s), Connor Glennon (Simon Fraser).

DEFENSE
Luciano Trasolini
(Simon Fraser, GK, 6-1, Sophomore, Burnaby, B.C.)

The sophomore recorded his eighth and ninth shutouts of the season as the Clan continues to build a big lead on the rest of the conference. Trasolini made one save as the SFU defense limited Concordia to four shots in a 3-0 shutout on Thursday. He then made five saves en route to a 3-0 shutout of Western Washington on Saturday.

Also Nominated: Cayman John (Saint Martin’s).

AROUND THE GNAC

CONCORDIA
• Concordia went 0-2 last week, suffering a tight one-goal defeat at Saint Martin’s after falling on the road against No. 1 Simon Fraser.
• Saturday’s meeting with the Saints in Lacey featured a heroic effort from goalkeeper Grant Alcorn. The senior made three saves while facing 12 shots to keep his team close for the duration of the eventual 1-0 defeat.
• Alcorn’s five saves per match leads the GNAC and ranks him No. 31 nationally.
• Concordia returns to the pitch for a pair of matches this week. The team will hit the road for its final contests away from home this season, traveling north to face Seattle Pacific on Thursday before capping the week against Northwest Nazarene in Nampa.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings tallied two goals but was unable to come away with a positive result in its only match of the week.
• The defeat came in 3-2 fashion at the hands of Saint Martin’s on Thursday. Two goals in an 11-minute span in the first half (one fumbled by the keeper across the goal line, the other finished by Guillaume Marneau) were not enough as the Saints tallied the game-winner with just over three minutes remaining.  
• Midfielder Dana Kowachek leads MSUB with 14 points on six goals this season, while fellow midfielder Guillaume Kremer follows closely behind at 13. Kremer’s five assists ranks him fourth in the conference in that category.
• Montana State Billings takes to the road now, lifting the lid on a four-match road trip with a pair of contests this week. A date with Northwest Nazarene on Thursday afternoon is up first, followed by a trip to Washington to face Seattle Pacific on Saturday at 7 p.m. (PDT).

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene dropped its only match of the week, coming in a tight 3-2 defeat at Seattle Pacific.
• Bookend goals from upperclassmen Alex Mitrovic and Rafael Junqueira kept their team in the contest, but a hat trick by SPU’s Titus Grant proved to be too much to overcome.
• Junqueira leads NNU in most major categories, including points (14), goals (7) and shots on goal (14) through 12 matches.
• The team is now on the latter portion of a stretch that features four of five matches inside the friendly confines of NNU field.   
• Northwest Nazarene will host Montana State Billings on Thursday afternoon before facing off with Concordia in Nampa two days later.

SAINT MARTIN'S
• Saint Martin’s finished its seventh week of play with a perfect 2-0 record.
• The highlight came in a 3-2 victory at Montana State Billings on Thursday. A pair of goals from defender Cayman John and an 87th minute game-winner off a free kick by Sebastian Navarro keyed the victory.
• The Saints returned home and shutout Concordia on Saturday, leading SMU to GNAC Team of the Week honors. They now sit in a tie for second on the GNAC table, trailing only No. 1 Simon Fraser.  
• A pair of matches are on tap for the Saints this week as they will travel north to Bellingham and Burnaby. The Western Washington match will kickoff at 4 p.m. on Thursday, while Saturday’s date with the Clan is set for 7 p.m.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific prevailed in both of its matches last week, exploding for four goals in a 4-2 victory against Western Washington before tallying three in a win over Northwest Nazarene.
• Sophomore Titus Grant recorded all of his team’s goals in the victory against the Nighthawks, posting a hat trick in just a nine-minute span. Grant’s heroics led to GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors on Monday.
• Seattle Pacific’s six-match homestand comes to a conclusion this week with a pair of contests. It will welcome Concordia to Interbay Stadium on Thursday night before taking on Montana State Billings on Saturday.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser sits on top of the GNAC table and is still ranked No. 1 nationally after finishing week seven with another perfect 3-0 record. The team also tops the United Soccer Coaches and NCAA West Region rankings and now sits at 13-0-0 on the season.
• The Clan went on the road and won their 10th match away from home this season to start the week, shutting out Concordia for a 3-0 victory. They then returned home and topped Western Washington by the same scoreline.
• The shutouts were goalkeeper Luciano Trasolini’s eighth and ninth of the season. That has him ranked first in Division II and earned him GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors.  
• Offensively, forward Matteo Polisi has led the way for SFU. The sophomore has totaled 40 points on the year, ranking him No. 3 throughout the Division II ranks.
• Simon Fraser is back in action for a single match this week, hosting second-place Saint Martin’s on Saturday at 7 p.m.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington went 0-2 last week, dropping a pair of tough road matches against Seattle Pacific and No. 1 Simon Fraser.
• Junior forwards Christian Rotter and Taylor Allen tallied the team’s pair of goals, coming early in each half against the Falcons. Allen’s 64th minute strike evened that match at 2-2 before the Vikings conceded a pair of late goals to leave Seattle empty-handed.
• It’s sophomore Georg Cholewa who leads the team in points through 13 matches. The midfielder has totaled 18 points on a team-high seven goals in 2018.  
• Cholewa has been the key to a high-powered WWU offensive attack this season, one that is second in the GNAC and 49th nationally with 15.23 shots per match.
• Western Washington will open up a four-match homestand with a single match this week against Saint Martin’s. The showdown with the Saints is set for a 4 p.m. kickoff at Harrington Field on Thursday.

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