Wild Start To GNAC Play Sets The Stage For Big Matchups
Concordia tied its only match this week, finishing 3-3 against Montana State Billings.
Concordia tied its only match this week, finishing 3-3 against Montana State Billings.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

PORTLAND -- A pair of 3-3 draws finished an unpredictable first week of conference play in the GNAC, which started with a 2-1 upset by Saint Martin’s over Western Washington. The win saw the Saints go from last place in the conference all the way to first place.

Later on Thursday, Montana State Billings picked up its first road victory with a 3-0 win against Northwest Nazarene, which was ranked in the top 10 in the West Region the week before.

On Saturday night, the conference that was defined by solid defenses last year showed another side when the Yellowjackets tied Concordia before Seattle Pacific and Western Washington also tied both ending at 3-3.

The one constant was Simon Fraser, which registered a pair of 2-1 victories to improve its record to 7-0-0 this year.

The Clan’s lone match this week is in Burnaby, B.C., where SFU will host Concordia. Meanwhile, MSUB will take its five-match winning streak to Seattle to face the defending conference champions.

Western Washington won’t be in action on Thursday, but on Saturday the Vikings will host Concordia. Western Washington has already defeated a nationally-ranked team this year, but the Vikings are looking to bounce back from a slow start to conference play.

Concordia’s offense enters the week with the most goals per match in the conference this year, including 11 goals in the last three matches. The Cavaliers, however, will face two defenses whose goals against average is below one.

The last match of the week will feature Seattle Pacific and Northwest Nazarene, which were picked to finish second and fourth respectively in the preseason coaches poll. The two teams currently find themselves in the bottom two spots of the conference standings.

In the NSCAA Coaches Poll, Simon Fraser moved up to the No. 4 position after both the top two teams in the poll lost this week. In the regional rankings, Montana State Billings entered the top 10 for the first time at No. 7. Simon Fraser remained No. 1 and Concordia remained No. 10. The GNAC has three schools in the top 10 and each of the remaining seven are from the CCAA. The GNAC went 3-7-2 against the CCAA in non-conference play.


Adam Jones, Simon Fraser
M • 5-7 • Junior • Coquitlam, B.C.
Jones scored two goals and added an assist as the Clan won two matches and improved to 7-0-0 on the season. He scored a pair of goals in the Clan’s 3-1 win over Seattle Pacific on Thursday and assisted on the opening goal in SFU’s 2-1 victory at Saint Martin’s.

Also Nominated: Julien Dragomir (Montana State Billings), Matt Paine (Concordia), Will Eldred (Saint Martin’s), Keon Jones (Northwest Nazarene).

Guillaume Kremer, Montana State Billings
D • 5-7 • Sophomore • Metz, France
Kremer played a critical role as the holding midfielder as the Yellowjackets picked up two shutouts over Mary (6-0) and Northwest Nazarene (3-0) and played to a tie at Concordia. In addition to helping MSUB limit their three opponents to 13 shots on goal, Kremer also finished with a goal and two assists.

Also Nominated: Grant Alcorn (Concordia), Jake Zimmer (Saint Martin’s).


Brandon Watson (SFU) - Watson recorded his 25th career shutout earlier this year, 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. Against on Thursday, Watson has a chance to become the first player in conference to reach 20 shutouts in conference matches.

Cody Lang (SPU) -
Lang 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 Montana State Billings. In that match he also will have the chance to tie the record for shutouts in conference matches, which is currently is held by Watson at 19. He is seven saves away from cracking the top 10 for most career saves in the GNAC.

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 the 38th player in conference history to score six game-winners in their career.

Stephen MacDonald (SPU) -
MacDonald didn’t play in either match last week. The senior has a conference-best seven goals this year giving him 22 career goals and 56 career points, which rank 21st and 22nd all-time respectively. He also scored both of Seattle Pacific’s game-winners this year, giving him 10 career game-winners, becoming the ninth player in conference history to score double-digit game-winning goals.

Ryan Foo (NNU) -
Foo has recorded 45 saves already this season for 185 career saves. That is second among active goalkeepers and is 14th all-time in conference history. He also ranks 12th in saves per match this year in all of NCAA Division II. Foo needs five more save to tie Cody Lang for most saves among active goalkeepers and 12 more to move into the top 10 for most saves in GNAC history.

Matt Paine (CU) -
After missing the first two games, Paine has had a fantastic season, scoring a goal in every game he has played. He now has 10 career multi-point matches becoming the 10th player to have double-digit multi-point matches. He now has 16 career goals and 41 career points, which rank 40th and 45th respectively, in the GNAC all-time leaders. He has also scored a point in seven consecutive matches in which he has played going back to 2015.

Simon Fraser -
The Clan has opened the season with seven consecutive wins, scoring a total of 16 goals. The Clan has won all of its last 13 matches, scored a goal in all of its last 14 and scored multiple goals in each of the last 11 games. Simon Fraser needs three more victories to tie the conference recorded for longest winning streak. Following the win against Seattle Pacific, the Clan has a 13-match home unbeaten streak, which is four away from the conference record.


• The Cavaliers tied their lone match this week, 3-3, against Montana State Billings.
• Concordia remained the No. 10 team in the NSCAA West Region rankings.
• Matt Paine has scored five goals in four matches this season, scoring one goal in each match after scoring two in his return from injury. Paine has two multi-point matches this year giving him 10 in his career, which is the best among active players.
• The Cavaliers will travel to Simon Fraser this week, looking to knock off the No. 1 team in the West Region and end its 13-match winning streak.
• Concordia will wrap up the week just on the other side of the border playing at Western Washington.
• Grant Alcorn had 12 saves in the 3-3 tie against Montana State Billings, which is the most saves in a single game this year in the GNAC.

• Montana State Billings won its first road match this year with a 3-0 win at Northwest Nazarene and then tied Concordia 3-3 on the road.
• Since dropping the first two matches of the season, the Yellowjackets have gone unbeaten in six matches, including a five-match winning streak. Each win was a shutout.
• The Yellowjackets outscored opponents 16-0 during the five-match winning streak.
• The streak of five shutout victories tied the longest in program history, which was originally set in 2007. During that streak, the Yellowjackets outscored opponents 14-0.
• After being shutout in the first two matches of the year, MSUB has scored 19 goals in the last six matches, giving the ‘Jackets the 31st best scoring offense in the country.

• Northwest Nazarene dropped its only contest of the week 3-0 against Montana State Billings.
• The Crusaders have played all but one match at home this year.
• Northwest Nazarene will be on the road this week, playing at Saint Martin’s on Thursday before taking on defending conference champion Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

• Saint Martin’s went from last place to first place with its 2-1 upset of Western Washington in the first conference match of the year.
• Saint Martin’s scored one goal against Simon Fraser, ending the team’s run of five consecutive home matches with multiple goals scored.
• Griffin Small led the conference in saves last week with 15, while his 1.50 goals against average ranked third in the conference.
• Saint Martin’s will host Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and then host Montana State Billings on Saturday. The Saints defeated Montana State Billings 2-0 the last time the Yellowjackets were in Lacey, Wash.

• The Falcons lost their conference opener at Simon Fraser 3-1. On Saturday, SPU tied Western Washington 3-3 on the road.
• Stephen MacDonald leads the conference in goals with seven this year. He now has a total of 22 career goals, which ranks 21st in conference history.
• The Falcons will put its 22-match unbeaten streak at home conference matches to the test against Montana State Billings on Thursday. Then on Saturday, the Falcons will host Northwest Nazarene.
• 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 seven consecutive matches.

• The Clan improved its start to the 2016 season to 7-0 with a pair of wins to open conference play against Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s.
• Seattle Pacific scored one goal, ending Brandon Watson’s streak of 10 consecutive shutouts at home. The shutout streak lasted 1061 minutes. Watson is two shutouts away from tying the all-time conference record for career shutouts.
• Simon Fraser remained No. 1 in the West Region and  moved up to No. 4 in the nation in the latest NSCAA Division II Coaches Poll.
• The Clan has scored a goal in each of the last 14 matches and is now on a 13-match winning streak, which is the longest active streak in the conference. The GNAC record for longest winning streak is 16.
• The Clan has scored at least two goals in each of its last 11 matches and hasn’t allowed multiple goals once during the 13-match winning streak.
• SFU has not been beaten at home in 13 matches, which is just four away from tying the conference record, which Simon Fraser set two years ago.
• Mamadi Camara has scored five of the team’s 16 goals this season, while Adam Jones has scored three and Kyle Jones two.
• The Clan has taken nearly twice as manys shots as its opponents, 91-46.
• In its only match this week, the Clan will host Concordia on Thursday.

• Western Washington dropped its conference opener 2-1 and then tied Seattle Pacific 3-3 at home on Saturday.
• The Vikings ranked in the top 10 in the nation in goals against average, but after allowing four goals this week, WWU is now 40th in the nation.
• Anthony Dean leads the Vikings offense with three goals and two assists for a total of eight points.
• Brady Ulen was named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week last week, and against Saint Martin’s he scored his first goal of the season.
• Among players in the conference with at least 20 saves, Tyler Visten has the best save percentage at .759.
• Western Washington is the only team not in action on Thursday. On Saturday, WWU will host Concordia.
• The Vikings 17.86 shots per match leads the conference, but the team ranks sixth in goals per game with only 1.57.