Simon Fraser Leads Way in Men's Soccer Top 25 Poll
2012 GNAC leading scorer Carlo Basso
2012 GNAC leading scorer Carlo Basso

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - Three-time defending GNAC champion Simon Fraser has been ranked third in the 2013 NSCAA NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer preseason poll. The Clan, which made an unprecedented Final Four appearance last season, are the lone men’s team representing the GNAC.

In the women’s poll, Western Washington checked in at No. 12 and Seattle Pacific marked the GNAC’s third and final school in the preseason soccer polls at No. 21. Both polls were released Tuesday afternoon.

SFU has been a dominant force the last three seasons, posting an overall cumulative record of 56-4-2 and a stellar conference mark of 32-2-2 since joining the GNAC in 2010.

After losing 3-1 to Saginaw Valley State in the 2012 Division II semifinals and graduating 2012 GNAC Player of the Year Michael Winter, head coach Alan Koch has the Clan revamped for another championship run with a recruiting class that includes five international players.

SFU will look to 2012 GNAC scoring leader and senior Carlo Basso to drive an offense that scored 73 goals last season and averaged more than three per contest.

On the women’s side, it is the defending conference champion that leads the way for the GNAC in the national poll as Western Washington looks for a repeat performance in 2013.

The Vikings edged Seattle Pacific by a single point in last season’s conference standings (36-35) and are tasked with filling the void left by 2012 GNAC Player of the Year Jamie Arthurs, who graduated.

SPU will be on the hunt to reclaim the conference crown from WWU, with the memory of 2012’s title combined with its inclusion in the 2013 top-25 providing motivation for the Falcons.

Sophomore defender and first team all-GNAC selection Shayla Page returns to anchor the back line for SPU, which allowed less than one goal per game in 2012.

Other schools from the West Region represented in the national polls include No. 3 UC San Diego and No. 18 Sonoma State on the women’s side, and No. 21 Cal State Los Angeles on the men’s side.