Close Competition Characterizes Conference Play
Northwest Nazarene tied Simon Fraser, ending the Clan's 14-match winning streak.
Northwest Nazarene tied Simon Fraser, ending the Clan's 14-match winning streak.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

PORTLAND - Little has been able to separate any of the seven teams in the GNAC in the 2016 season. In a stretch of 12 matches, 11 went to overtime and seven resulted in ties.

As a result, only four points separate second place from last place in the conference standings five matches into the season and five teams have exactly one win.

Up until this week, No. 3 Simon Fraser had stayed above the battle that had the six remaining teams in a virtual tie for second place, but Northwest Nazarene changed that on Thursday.

The Crusaders earned a point against Simon Fraser at home with a 2-2 tie and then defeated Western Washington with a golden goal to move into second place in the conference standings.

Concordia got its conference first win of the season with a golden goal by Matt Paine off a free kick, beating Saint Martin’s 2-1. Defending GNAC Champion Seattle Pacific then narrowly beat Concordia 3-2 for its first conference win in 2016.

In a battle of the last two teams with unbeaten records in GNAC play left, Simon Fraser went on the road to defeat Montana State Billings 1-0.

The two most inseparable teams in the conference have been Seattle Pacific and Western Washington. After playing identical non-conference opponents, both teams have tied each other twice in conference play, including a 1-1 draw on Thursday.

This week, Simon Fraser will go to Portland to face Concordia, which is led by GNAC Offensive Player of the Week Matt Paine, who has a conference-best eight goals.

Montana State Billings will host Western Washington and Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week Northwest Nazarene. The Yellowjackets loss to the Clan last week ended a four-match winning streak at home.

Saint Martin’s opens the week at Interbay Stadium, playing Seattle Pacific before returning the Lacey, Wash. to host Concordia after falling to the Cavaliers in overtime the previous Saturday.

Simon Fraser will play just its third home match this year on Saturday, hosting Western Washington in a battle of the conference’s two leading defenses. The two teams won’t meet again until November in the Vikings’ regular season home finale.


Matt Paine, Concordia
F • 6-0 • Senior • Portland, Ore.
Paine scored two goals as Concordia split its weekend matches. He scored the game-winner two minutes into overtime for the Cavaliers’ 2-1 victory over Saint Martin’s on Thursday. Paine also had a goal in Saturday’s loss to Seattle Pacific.

Also Nominated: Michael Mollay (Northwest Nazarene), Kyle Witzel (Saint Martin’s), Carlos Franco (Seattle Pacific).

Ryan Foo, Northwest Nazarene
D • 5-9 • Senior • Seattle, Wash.
Foo finished with 17 saves in two matches as the Crusaders tied No. 2 Simon Fraser, 2-2, and beat Western Washington, 1-0. He finished with seven saves against the Clan and then made 10 stops, including one in a penalty kick, in the shutout victory over the Vikings.

Also Nominated: Christian Caro (Saint Martin’s).


Brandon Watson (SFU) - Watson recorded his 26th career shutout against Montana State Billings, reclaiming the record for shutouts in GNAC matches with his 20th. Watson is now just two shutouts away from tying the all-time conference record. Watson’s goals against average this season is 0.68, which leads the conference and ranks 18th in Division II. His career goals against average is 0.78, which ranks fourth all-time, which is two-hundredths behind third place.

Ryan Dhillon (SFU) -
Dhillon has assisted five goals this season, which is tied for most in the conference this year. Dhillon now has 19 career assists, needing just one more to crack the top 10 all-time in the GNAC for career assists. He also has 22 goals and 63 points in his career which rank 21st and 17th all-time in the GNAC, respectively. Dhillon has taken 127 career shots breaking into the top 25 all-time in that statistical category.

Matt Paine (CU) -
After missing the first two games, Paine has had a fantastic season, scoring a goal in seven of the eight games he has played. He now has 10 career multi-point matches becoming the 10th player to have double-digit multi-point matches. He has 19 career goals and 47 career points, which rank 34th and 29th respectively, in the GNAC all-time leaders.

Cody Lang (SPU) -
Last Saturday, Lang broke the all-time GNAC record for career shutouts with his 28th career shutout in a 0-0 draw with Northwest Nazarene.This week in a 1-1 draw against Western Washington, Lang recorded seven saves. He now has 210 career saves, which ranks 11th all-time.

Ricardo Palomino (MSUB) -
The 2015 Newcomer of the Year ranks 27th all-time in goals scored with 20. He also ranks 38th in total points scored with 44. Palomino has one game-winning goal this year, making him the 38th player in conference history to score six game-winners in their career.

Ryan Foo (NNU) -
Foo has recorded 71 saves already this season for 211 career saves, which leads active players and places Foo in the top 10 in GNAC history for career saves. He also ranks eighth in saves per match this year in all of NCAA Division II. Foo was the 11th goalkeeper in GNAC history to reach 200 career saves.

Simon Fraser -
The Clan has opened the season with eight consecutive wins, scoring a total of 21 goals. The Clan’s 14-match winning streak came to an end in a 2-2 tie against Northwest Nazarene. Then the Clan’s 16-match streak of two goals or more came to an end in a 1-0 win over Montana State Billings. Simon Fraser needed just two more victories to tie the conference record for longest winning streak. The Clan still has a 14-match home unbeaten streak, which is three away from the conference record.


• Concordia defeated Saint Martin’s 2-1 in overtime on Thursday and lost to Seattle Pacific 3-2 on Saturday.
• Matt Paine scored the golden goal in the 2-1 win against Saint Martin’s, scoring directly on a free kick. He also scored on a penalty kick against Seattle Pacific to earn this week’s GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honor.
• Paine has scored eight goals in eight matches this season, scoring at least once in seven of the matches. He leads the conference in goals scored. Paine has two multi-point matches this year giving him 10 in his career, which is the best among active players.
• The Cavaliers will host Saint Martin’s on Thursday and then travel on Saturday to Seattle Pacific. Concordia defeated Saint Martin’s both times last year, while tying eventual conference champion Seattle Pacific in both matches in 2015.
•Concordia will host Simon Fraser on Thursday after falling 5-1 to the Clan on the road two weeks ago. Then on Saturday, the Cavs will face Saint Martin’s.

• Montana State Billings dropped its only match this week, falling 1-0 to No. 3 Simon Fraser.
• The loss ended an eight-match unbeaten streak and a four-match winning streak in Billings, Mont.
• The Yellowjackets outshot Simon Fraser 16-4.
• Montana State Billings will host Western Washington and Northwest Nazarene this week. Those are the only two GNAC schools that the Yellowjackets have not yet faced in 2016.

• Northwest Nazarene tied No. 2 Simon Fraser on Thursday and beat Western Washington in double overtime.
• The Crusaders have gone to overtime in each of their last four matches.
• Ryan Foo became the fourth goalkeeper this year to make 10 saves in a match, doing so against Western Washington, including saving a penalty kick. Against Simon Fraser, he made seven saves and was named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week. Foo became the 11th player in GNAC history to reach 200 career saves.
• Linus Mansson assisted on both goals against Simon Fraser, becoming the 11th player this year to assist on multiple goals in a match.
• The Crusaders lead the conference in assists with 21.
• Northwest Nazarene will play at Montana State Billings on Saturday.

• Saint Martin’s went to overtime for a third match in a row, but eventually lost to Concordia in it’s only match last week.
• Kyle Witzel scored the only goal for the Saints against Concordia. He has five goals and his 34 shots this season ranks second in the GNAC.
• Griffin Small averages 4.8 saves per match, which ranks 49th in Division II and second in the GNAC.
• Saint Martin’s will travel to Seattle Pacific on Thursday and then play a rematch at home against Concordia on Saturday.
• The Saints are still looking for their first road victory of 2016.

• After tying Western Washington for a second time this season, the Falcons earned their first conference win of 2016, beating Concordia 3-2.
• Carlos Franco had a goal and an assist against Concordia and was nominated for GNAC Offensive Player of the Week.
• Stephen MacDonald scored seven goals in five matches, but has not returned to the field since then.
• The Falcons improved their home unbeaten streak in conference matches to 26 with the tie against WWU and win against Concordia.
• Cody Lang broke the all-time conference record for career shutouts with 28 and ranks 11th in the all-time saves list with 210, which is the second most among active players.

• The Clan tied Northwest Nazarene 2-2 on the road and then defeated Montana State Billings 1-0.
• Brandon Watson recorded his 26th career shutout against MSUB and became the first goalkeeper in GNAC history with 20 shutouts in GNAC matches.
• Simon Fraser remained No. 1 in the West Region and  dropped to No. 3 in the nation in the latest NSCAA Division II Coaches Poll.
• The tie to NNU ended the Clan’s 14-match winning streak, which was two away from tying the conference record. It was also the first time since the streak started that the Clan gave up multiple goals.
• The Clan has scored a goal in each of the last 17 matches and had scored at least two goals in each of its last 13 matches before the 1-0 win against MSUB.
• Simon Fraser has not been beaten at home in 14 matches, which is just three away from tying the conference record, which Simon Fraser set two years ago.
• Mamadi Camara has scored seven of the team’s 21 goals this season, while Adam Jones has scored four.
• The Clan has taken nearly twice as many shots as its opponents, 145-80.
• This week, the Clan goes to Concordia before returning to Burmaby to host Western Washington.

• Western Washington tied Seattle Pacific for a second time this year and lost in overtime to Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.
• The Vikings have been to overtime in all of their last four matches and are 1-1-3 in matches that go to overtime this year.
• The Vikings are one of 40 teams in the nation with a goals against average of under 1.00.
• Anthony Dean leads the Vikings offense with four goals and two assists for a total of 10 points, which ranks eighth in the conference.
• The Vikings 19.60 shots per match leads the conference and ranks fifth in the nation, but the team has just 1.4 goals per match, which is tied for lowest in the conference.
• Western Washington will travel to Montana State Billings and Simon Fraser this week, meeting both teams for the first time this season.