Conference Play Begins With Falcons Going To Canada
Tyler Visten leads the conference in goals against average (0.38) and ranks 14th in the nation in the category.
Tyler Visten leads the conference in goals against average (0.38) and ranks 14th in the nation in the category.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

PORTLAND -- Defending GNAC champion Seattle Pacific will open 2016 conference play at Simon Fraser, which has started the season with five consecutive wins to earn the No. 1 ranking in the West Region.

The matchup pits two goalkeepers, Cody Lang of Seattle Pacific and Brandon Watson of Simon Fraser. The two enter their senior seasons, ranked near the top of the list in several GNAC career goalkeeping categories. Lang is the the all-time conference leader in goals agaisnt average and holds a share of the record for shutouts. Watson has recorded the most shutouts in conference games in conference history and has already recorded three shutouts in non-conference matches.

Elsewhere in the GNAC, Montana State Billings will look to improve on its four-match winning streak at Northwest Nazarene, which had a fast start to the season, and is looking to rebound from a loss in its first game away from home. Saint Martin’s and Western Washington will open GNAC play at 3 p.m., Saturday, in Lacey, Wash.

On Saturday, Western Washington hosts Seattle Pacific. The in-state rivals faced the same teams in non-conference play with the Falcons defeating Metro State, but losing to Chico State and  Fort Hays State. In contrast, the Vikings defeated Chico State and Fort Hays State, but lost to Metro State. Both teams defeated Colorado Christian and tied Sonoma State.

Concordia is the only team that will have to wait until Saturday for its conference opener. The Cavaliers will host Montana State Billings at 6 p.m. It will be the Yellowjackets’ eighth match this season.


Christian Thyron, Concordia
F • 5-11 • Freshman • Vancouver, Wash.
Thyron scored three goals in two matches. He notched two goals in the Cavaliers’ 6-1 rout of Academy of Art on Friday and tallied a late first half goal in Concordia’s 3-2 double overtime loss at Notre Dame de Namur. The freshman now has four goals on the season.

Also Nominated: Jeremiah Lee (Western Washington), Ricardo Palomino (Montana State Billings), Mamadi Camara (Simon Fraser), Rafael Junquiera (Northwest Nazarene).

Brady Ulen, Western Washington
D • 5-11 • Senior • Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Ulen anchored a Western Washington defense that held No. 18 Fort Hays State scoreless in a 1-0 victory in Bellingham. In five matches, the Vikings have allowed just two goals against 52 shots.

Also Nominated: Linus Mansson (Northwest Nazarene), Joe Scott (Montana State Billings), Fernando Alvarez (Northwest Nazarene)


Brandon Watson (SFU) - Watson recorded his 25th career shutout last week, surpassing Zach Johnson of Seattle Pacific (2009-12) for third most shutouts in conference history. Watson is now just two shutouts away from the all-time conference record, but one of the players who holds a share of the record is also in his senior season. In the conference opener on Thursday, Watson has a chance to become the first player in conference to reach 20 shutouts in conference matches. He also needs only 27 more shutout minutes to move into third place all-time in goals against average.

Cody Lang (SPU) - Once again, Lang narrowly missed out on setting a record this week, allowing two goals to No. 18 Fort Hays State. The senior goalkeeper holds a share of the conference record for shutouts. With his next shutout, he will become the first player in GNAC history to record 28. The senior’s next chance to break the record is on Thursday against Simon Fraser. In that match he also will have the chance to tie the record for shutouts in conference matches, which is currently being held by his opposing goalkeeper.

Ricardo Palomino (MSUB) - The 2015 Newcomer of the Year had limited playing time early in the season, but is now the Yellowjackets’ leading scorer. He now ranks 28th all-time in goals scored with 19. He also ranks 45th in total points scored with 41. He also has one game-winning goal this year, making him just the 38th player in conference history to score six game-winners in their career.

Kyle Witzel (SMU) - The junior midfielder scored his second goal this season, moving him into the top 50 in the GNAC all-time in career goals scored with 14. He also ranks third among active players. He also ranks in the top 100 all-time in points with 31, which is tied for 74th most.

Ryan Foo (NNU) - Foo has recorded 39 saves already this season for 179 career saves. That is second among active goalkeepers and is 14th all-time in conference history. He also ranks fifth in total saves this year in all of NCAA Division II. Foo needs one more save to tie Cody Lang for most saves among active goalkeepers and 18 more to move into the top 10 for most saves in GNAC history.

Matt Paine (CU) - After missing the first two games of the season, Paine has had a fantastic season, scoring two goals against George Fox and then scoring and assisting a goal against Academy of Art. He now has nine career multi-point games becoming the 15th player to record that many multi-point games. He now has 15 career goals and 38 career points, which rank, 47th and 50th respectively, in the GNAC all-time leaders. He has also scored a point in five consecutive games in which he has played going back to 2015.

Simon Fraser - The Clan has opened the season with five consecutive wins, scoring a total of 11 goals. The Clan has won all of its last 11 matches, scored a goal in all of its last 12 and scored multiple goals in each of the last nine games. Simon Fraser needs five more victories to tie the conference recorded for longest winning streak. The Clan will finally return to Canada, where it has a 12-match unbeaten streak from 2015.


• Despite winning both of this week’s matches against regional opponents, Concordia dropped to No. 10 in this weeks NSCAA West Region rankings.
• Matt Paine scored three goals this week, meaning he has recorded a point in five consecutive games. He has also scored goals in six straight matches that resulted in wins.
• The Cavaliers put five shots on goal within a 25-minute span in the first half against Academy of Art and all five shots resulted in goals. Essam Nicola scored two of the goals, Erick Urzua assisted two of the goals, and Matt Paine scored one and assisted another. Christian Thyrone also scored one of those five goals and then scored again in the second half.

• Montana State Billings bounced back from a tough opening week on the road with four home victories. This week the Yellowjackets will get back on the road with matches at Northwest Nazarene and Concordia.
• Notably absent during the first week was Ricardo Palomino. The 2015 GNAC Newcomer of the Year has made an impressive return, however, leading the team in goals (3), points (7), and shots (18) in just 357 minutes of play.
• MSUB is averaging 2.17 goals per game, which ranks 46th in the nation. The team also ranks 33rd in goals against average, allowing only four in six games.
• Julian Toenges has four assists this season. Only 13 players in the nation have more assists.

• The Crusaders dropped out of the top 10 in the NSCAA West Region rankings following a 3-1 loss to Dixie State.
• 11 different players have scored goals this year for the Crusaders and three have scored multiple goals.
• Rafael Junqueira is tied for the team lead in goals this year with three despite having played in less than 45 minutes per match and not having any starts
• Five different NNU players have recorded multiple assists this season, including Alex Mitrovic and Michael Mollay who both have three.
• Ryan Foo has tallied 39 saves in the saves this season, pacing the conference. He ranks fourth in save percentage (.765) and sixth in goals against average (1.93).

• The Saints did not play last week. They will open conference play at home against Western Washington.
• Kyle Witzel has two goals and an assist this season. He ranks third among active players in career goals (14) and career points (31).
• Saint Martin’s scored two goals in each of its first three games. The Saints rank fourth in the conference in goals scored this season.
• The Saints had scored multiple goals in each of their last three home matches last year and this year scored two goals in  each of their first three matches, including a 2-1 victory at home against Notre Dame de Namur.

• Seattle Pacific dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 18 Fort Hays State in its only match this week.
• The lone goal was scored by Stephen MacDonald and assisted by Jordan Kollars. MacDonald now has seven goals this season and Kollars has five assists. Both of those are conference-bests.
• The Falcons 28-match unbeaten streak at home in the regular season came to an end with the loss to Fort Hays State. The last time the Falcons lost at home before that was the 2013 season opener against Chico State.
• Cody Lang is still one shutout away from breaking the GNAC all-time record. He tied the record with his 27th career shutout in the 2015 regular season finale, but has allowed goals in six consecutive matches. His next chance to break the record will be at Simon Fraser on Thursday.

• The Clan improved its start to the 2016 season to 5-0 with a pair of wins on the Hawaiian islands.
• Simon Fraser remained No. 1 in the West Region and No. 6 in the nation in the latest NSCAA Coaches Poll.
• BYU-Hawaii scored in the final minutes of the first game in Hawaii, which was the first goal SFU had allowed all season. It also ended the teams streak of seven consecutive matches with wins with leads of two or more.
• The Clan has scored a goal in each of the last 12 matches and is now on a 11-match winning streak, which is the longest active streak in the conference. The GNAC record for longest winning streak is 16.
• The Clan will test its 11-match winning streak against defending champion Seattle Pacific in the GNAC opener. The Clan and Falcons split the season series in 2015 with Seattle Pacific winning 3-2 at Interbay Stadium, while the Clan won 1-0 in Terry Fox Field.
• Simon Fraser has 11 goals this season and all 11 have been scored by nine different players. Mamadi Camara is the only player with multiple goals after he scored two in Hawaii for a total of three this year.
• The Clan returns home where Brandon Watson has shutout 10 consecutive opponents and hasn’t allowed a goal in 986 minutes.

• Western Washington defeated No. 18 Fort Hays State, becoming the second team in the conference this season to defeat a nationally-ranked team.
• Last year, WWU ranked sixth as a team in goals against average, but after three weeks, the Vikings now rank in the top 10 in the nation and lead the conference in goals against average at 0.38.
• Anthony Dean leads the Vikings offense with three goals and two assists for a total of eight points.
• Jeremiah Lee scored his first goal of the season in the 24th minute against Fort Hays State. That goal held on as the lone goal scored in the 1-0 victory.
• Tyler Visten leads the conference in goals against average at .394, which ranks 14th in the nation. He also leads the conference in shutouts with three.