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Undefeated Vikings Climb the Polls On Successful Road Trip
Western Washington is ranked No. 23 in the United Soccer Coaches Division II poll after their 2-0 road trip to Colorado.
Western Washington is ranked No. 23 in the United Soccer Coaches Division II poll after their 2-0 road trip to Colorado.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSIVE
Sullivan Smith, Northwest Nazarene

F • 6-0 • Sophomore • Fall City, Wash.

Smith scored in both games for Northwest Nazarene to wrap up their non-conference schedule. He tallied his first goal of the season on Tuesday against Chaminade to extend the Nighthawks lead to 2-0 on the way to a 3-0 win. On Saturday he scored the game-winning goal against then No. 14 West Texas A&M to lead NNU to a 1-0 victory.

Also Nominated: Ryan Hanley (MSUB), Alan Soto (SFU), Albin Jonsson (WWU)

DEFENSIVE
Lorenzo Valentini, Northwest Nazarene

D • 6-7 • Senior •Saarbrücken, Germany

Valentini was a key member of the Nighthawks offense which allowed only three shots on goal in two matches including no shots on goal against Chaminade. Valentini played all but three minutes of both matches. He also scored the Nighthawks’ game-winning goal against the Silverswords.

Also Nominated: Patrick Restum (WWU), Juan Suarez (WOU)

AROUND THE GNAC
MONTANA STATE BILLINGS

• Montana State Billings started its week at home on Thursday against No. 18 Colorado Mesa and dropped the match 5-1. The Yellowjackets were able to turn things around Saturday, however, taking their first win of the season 1-0 at Fort Lewis.

Ryan Hanley scored for MSUB in both matches, with his game-winner against Fort Lewis coming in the 26th minute.

• The Yellowjackets defense held Fort Lewis to just seven shots with goalkeeper Jeremi Campagnolo only being forced to make one save in the shutout win.

• Montana State Billings will play one last non-conference match on Wednesday at home against South Dakota Mines.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene captured a pair of shutout wins to wrap up its non-conference schedule. The Nighthawks took a 3-0 win over Chaminade on Tuesday in Nampa before claiming an upset victory, 1-0, over then No. 14 West Texas A&M on Saturday. The Nighthawks strong performances earned them GNAC Team of the Week honors.

Sullivan Smith scored in both matches for NNU with the second goal against Chaminade and the game-winner against West Texas A&M in the 33rd minute. Lorenzo Valentini and Daniel Brendel also scored for the Nighthawks against Chaminade.

• Smith earned GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his two-goal week and Valentini was awarded GNAC Defensive Player of the Week with NNU only allowing three shots on goal between both matches.

• The two matches last week are the only two that NNU has played at home this year.

• Northwest Nazarene will take a week off before the start of conference play when they take on Saint Martins at home on Saturday, Sept. 24.

SAINT MARTIN'S
• Saint Martin’s took on a pair of CCAA opponents last week, facing Stanislaus State on Friday and Cal State Dominguez Hills on Sunday.

•The Saints fought hard against the Warriors with both teams nearly even on shots until a late goal from Stanislaus broke the stalemate to win the game 1-0.

•Saint Martin’s was once again unable to find the back of the net against No. 10  Cal St. Dominguez Hills, dropping the match 4-0 to the undefeated Toros.

•Saint Martin’s will have a week off to rest and recover before beginning conference play against Northwest Nazarene on the road in Nampa on Saturday, Sept. 24.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific is still looking to find its scoring consistency as it dropped both of its matches this week. The Falcons fell 2-1 at Regis on Thursday before taking a 1-0 loss at Colorado Mines on Saturday.

• The Falcons were forced to play from behind for the vast majority of Thursday’s game against Regis when the Rangers scored in the fourth minute. Even while behind, Seattle Pacific outshot Regis 19-12. Demian Alvarez scored his second goal of the season late in the match.

• Seattle Pacific’s lack of goals hasn’t been due to lack of effort as the Falcons lead the GNAC in shots with 58 with an average 11.6 per match.

•The Falcons will be one of just three teams in action this week with a pair of matches against Point Loma on Thursday and Concordia on Saturday.

SIMON FRASER

• Simon Fraser split their matches while on its Colorado road trip. The Red Leafs opened the week with a 1-0 win over Fort Lewis with Alan Soto scoring his first goal of the season in the 19th minute to give SFU the win.

• On Saturday, the Ref Leafs fell 3-1 to No. 10 Colorado Mesa. Soto was once again the only player for SFU to find the back of the net and is tied for the most goals on the team after his two-goal week.

• Red Leafs goalkeeper Justyn Sandhu leads the GNAC and is ranked 15th in Division II with his .875 save percentage.

• Simon Fraser will have the week off as they prepare for conference-play against Montana State Billings on Thursday, Sept. 22.

WESTERN OREGON
• As its inaugural season continues, Western Oregon wrapped up its first non-conference schedule with two matches against CCAA competition. On Friday, the Wolves fell to No. 7 Cal St. Dominguez Hills but didn’t surrender the Toros’ lone goal until the second half.

• On Saturday, the Wolves battled to a 0-0 draw against Stanislaus State with goalkeeper Juan Suarez making four saves in net.

• Suarez continues to lead the GNAC and ranks seventh in Division II with 30 saves.

• As with many teams, Western Oregon will take the upcoming week off from competition before returning to the pitch for its GNAC opener at Seattle Pacific on Thursday, Sept. 22.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington took a pair of road wins in Colorado last week to remain undefeated. The Vikings opened the week with a 2-1 victory over Colorado Mines on Thursday. Eric Bunnell scored his first goal of the season to tie the game just before the half and Albin Jonsson netted the game-winner in the 84th minute.

• On Saturday at Regis, the Vikings went down by two goals early in the match, with the Rangers scoring in the sixth and 24th minutes. Western Washington showed its grit, however, and came all the way back with three goals in the second half to take the match, 3-2.

• The Vikings received goals from Kaydin Wall, Jonsson, and Andrew Rotter who was assisted by Dakota Stamnes and younger brother Ryan Rotter.

• Western Washington’s strong week on road saw it climb up the United Soccer Coaches Division II poll to No. 23. The Vikings also rose drastically up the West Region rankings to fourth from seventh the previous week.

• The Vikings won’t be letting off the gas pedal heading toward conference play with matches at home against Concordia on Thursday and Point Loma on Saturday to round out the non-conference schedule.

 

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