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Clan Conference Championship Claims Team Of The Week
There was plenty to celebrate for the Clan on Saturday, including a flurry of first-half goals, yet another shutout victory and the program's third consecutive conference championship.
There was plenty to celebrate for the Clan on Saturday, including a flurry of first-half goals, yet another shutout victory and the program's third consecutive conference championship.

Monday, October 22, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – After rolling off a string of seven consecutive victories to open GNAC play, the Simon Fraser men’s soccer team entered Saturday’s match knowing that one more win could clinch a conference championship with two full weeks still remaining.

And just as they have every other time they took the field this season, the Clan got the job done. Using a trio of goals in a seven-minute span early in the first half, the top team in Division II jumped out to a commanding lead and cruised to an eventual 3-0 victory over visiting Saint Martin’s to earn the selection for GNAC Team of the Week.

Head coach Clint Schneider’s team was led by midfielder Matteo Polisi, who tallied two goals against the Saints to put the match on ice. Goalkeeper Luciano Trasolini came up big as well, recording his 14th win of the season while posting his 10th clean sheet.

No goalkeeper in Division II has more shutouts than Trasolini in 2018. The sophomore also leads the GNAC and is ranked second in Division II in goals against average with a 0.286 clip.

As the saying goes, sometimes the best offense is a good defense. That’s often the case for Simon Fraser (the conference leaders in goals and assists) and was again on Saturday.

“I thought our first 30 minutes were very good,” said Schneider. “Our first goal and the pattern of movement was exactly what we’ve been working on.”

Down a man for the final 48 minutes of the match, the fourth-year head coach came away impressed with the way his side controlled the remaining portion of the contest.

“Massive credit to the guys in the second half for managing the game with 10 players,” Schneider said. “We still created opportunities to score and that lesson will be important as we close out GNAC play. I’m very proud of our team for accomplishing one of our goals this year but still believe our best is yet to come.”

The victory clinched the Clan’s third straight conference title and marked their seventh championship in the past nine years. The team currently sits at the top of the United Soccer Coaches Top-25 poll and is at No. 1 in both the NCAA and United Soccer Coaches West Region rankings.

The team will return to action for a pair of matches this week to close out the month of October, hosting Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene two nights later. Both matches are scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m in Burnaby.  

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