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Senior Days Start As Regular Season Winds Down
Midfielder Mamadi Camara is one of five Simon Fraser seniors playing his last collegiate home match this week.
Midfielder Mamadi Camara is one of five Simon Fraser seniors playing his last collegiate home match this week.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

CLAN ARE CHAMPS: The No. 1 team in Division II clinched a GNAC championship last week as Simon Fraser shutout Saint Martin's for a 3-0 victory on Saturday night.

The Clan have yet to drop a match this season, sitting at 14-0-0 with two weeks remaining before postseason play begins. The program has now won three consecutive conference titles.

SENIOR MOMENTS: With the regular season winding down, Saint Martin's and Simon Fraser will be holding their Senior Days on Saturday. Each team will be saying goodbye to five seniors on their rosters.

Elsewhere in GNAC action this week, two of the conference's three longest winning streaks will be on the line when Montana State Billings travels to Portland to meet Concordia. In total, there are six all-GNAC affairs on the slate as the regular season begins to wind down.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OFFENSE
Ricardo Palomino
(Montana State Billings, F, 6-2, Senior, Puebla, Mexico)

Palomino scored the last three goals of the match, including the game-winner, to lead the Yellowjackets to a 4-2 come-from-behind victory at Northwest Nazarene. He scored the three goals in five shots for his ninth multi-goal match of his career.

Also Nominated: Nicholas Denley (Concordia), Matteo Polisi (Simon Fraser), Drew Barker (Western Washington).

DEFENSE
Grant Alcorn
(Concordia, GK, 5-10, Senior, Vancouver, Wash.)

Alcorn played all 183 minutes and recorded 16 saves in a pair of wins for the Cavaliers. Alcorn made six saves, including one stop on a penalty kick, to record his third shutout of the season in a 1-0 win at Seattle Pacific on Thursday. Alcorn then made 10 saves against 22 total shots as the Cavaliers prevailed in a 3-2 overtime victory at Northwest Nazarene.

Also Nominated: Samuele Folla (Montana State Billings), Stephen Jinneman (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC

CONCORDIA
• Concordia went 2-0 last week, going on the road to record a pair of one-goal victories at Seattle Pacific and Northwest Nazarene.  
• The highlight of the road trip came on Thursday night, when the Cavaliers got a 70th minute goal from Nicholas Denley before ultimately holding on for a 1-0 shutout of Seattle Pacific.
• Goalkeeper Grant Alcorn came up big both in that match and the one two days later at Northwest Nazarene. The senior recorded 16 saves en route to GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors.  
• Concordia returns home now for a three-match homestand to finish the season. Just one of those will be played this week as MSUB comes calling on Thursday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings exploded for seven goals in two matches while posting a pair of road victories last week.
• After posting a 4-2 win at Northwest Nazarene on Thursday, the Yellowjackets went over to Seattle and topped SPU in a 3-2 decision. Defender Pascal Pisarek tallied his team’s final two strikes to help MSUB earn its second straight victory.  
• Senior Ricardo Palomino tallied a hat trick in the NNU win en route to GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Palomino’s five goals on the season ranks second on the team behind fellow senior Dana Kowachek (6).
• Montana State Billings stays on the road this week to wind down its stretch of four consecutive road contests. The trip continues Thursday afternoon in Portland against Concordia before concluding on Saturday at noon at Saint Martin’s.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene dropped both of its matches last week, falling 4-2 against Montana State Billings and 3-2 against Concordia.  
• Forward Jake Levine led an explosive Nighthawks offense, tallying two goals and an assist in the two matches.
• It’s forward Rafael Junqueira who leads NNU in most major categories, including points (16), goals (7) and shots on goal (16) through 14 matches.
• After a stretch that featured four of five matches in Nampa, the team now embarks on a three-match road trip.   
• The journey begins this week with a pair of contests, starting on Thursday night at Western Washington before traveling up to Burnaby to face SFU on Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN'S
• Saint Martin’s finished its eighth week of play without a positive result in two challenging road matches.
• The Saints fell in a 2-0 decision at Western Washington on Thursday before suffering a 3-0 defeat at No. 1 Simon Fraser two nights later.
• Despite the two losses, the team still sits in a tie for second place on the GNAC table with two weeks remaining.   
• Forward Brandon Madsen leads SMU with 17 points on seven goals through 15 matches.   
• The Saints are back in action this week with just a single match. The club will host Montana State Billings on Saturday at Noon in what will be the final home match for the team’s five seniors.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific fell in both of its matches last week, dropping a pair of one-goal decisions to Concordia and Montana State Billings.
• Saturday’s match against the Yellowjackets featured five total goals, with sophomore Titus Grant and senior Reid Baez tallying the strikes for the Falcons. Grant’s performance came on the heels of a GNAC Offensive Player of the Week award last Monday.
• Seattle Pacific now hits the road for a pair of matches this week. It will face Simon Fraser in Burnaby on Thursday and travel to Bellingham for a date with Western Washington on Saturday at 7 p.m.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser sits on top of the GNAC table and is ranked No. 1 nationally after finishing week eight with a win its only match. The team also tops the United Soccer Coaches and NCAA West Region rankings and now sits at 14-0-0 on the season.
• The Clan recorded three early goals and cruised the rest of the way in Saturday’s victory over Saint Martin’s. The win clinched the program’s third consecutive GNAC title and earned them GNAC Team of the Week honors.
• The shutout was goalkeeper Luciano Trasolini’s 10th of the season. That has him ranked second in Division II and first in the conference.
• Offensively, forward Matteo Polisi has led the way for SFU. The sophomore has totaled 44 points on the year, ranking him No. 3 throughout the Division II ranks.
• Simon Fraser is back in action for a pair of matches this week, starting with a visit from Seattle Pacific on Thursday. The club will then honor its five seniors in its final home match of the season against Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington emerged victorious in its only match of the week, shutting out Saint Martin’s for a 2-0 victory on Thursday afternoon.
• Defenders Louis Genty and Stephen Jinneman tallied the team’s two goals. Genty’s strike from 17 yards out in the match’s seventh minute proved to be the game-winner.
• Sophomore Georg Cholewa leads the team in points through 14 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 50th nationally with 15.43 shots per match.
• Western Washington four-match homestand continues this week with a pair of matches. The Vikings will host Northwest Nazarene on Thursday night before Seattle Pacific comes calling two days later.

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