NNU Men's Soccer Awarded Red Lion Team Of The Week
The No. 22-ranked Crusaders are 5-1-1 overall on the season and tied for first in the GNAC through three matches.
The No. 22-ranked Crusaders are 5-1-1 overall on the season and tied for first in the GNAC through three matches.

Monday, September 28, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Northwest Nazarene men’s soccer team shutout No. 3-ranked Seattle Pacifc on the road in a 0-0 draw in front of a crowd of 900 to earn the Red Lion Team of the Week. The Crusaders finished with a 1-0-1 record, which also included a road win over Saint Martin’s 2-1 on Saturday.

“These awards show that you’re heading in the right direction to the ultimate destination,” said head soccer coach Coe Michaelson. “We are very appreciative to be recognized and we’ll hopefully use it as a reminder that the path we are taking is a good one and that there could be bigger things that lay ahead.”

The Crusaders ranked No. 22 in the NSCAA Division II Top-25 Poll with a 5-1-0 record coming into the week. They paired up with the No. 3-ranked Falcons in one of the top Division II matches in the nation last week. The Crusaders came in having allowed three goals on the season, while the Falcons had not allowed one goal. The match played out as expected between the conference’s stingiest defenses, ending in a 0-0 double-overtime tie. The Crusaders held a shot advantage of 17-14 and 6-3 in shots on goal over Seattle Pacific. Goalkeeper Ryan Foo picked up his fourth shutout of the season after making two saves over the 110 minute match.

“The guys rose to the challenge and for large periods of the game they really controlled it,” said Michaelson. “I’m really proud of the performance they put in.”

In their second match, the Crusaders defeated Saint Martin’s 2-1 to improve to 6-1-1 overall and sit tied for first in the conference with a 2-0-1 record. Alex Mitrovic scored both goals for NNU in the victory, the first coming in the fifth minute to give the Crusaders a 1-0 lead. After the Saints tied it up in the first half, Mitrovic netted his second of the match and the eventual game-winner in the 75th minute.

“Every team in our conference has quality and can beat anyone else on any given day,” said Michaelson. “We went in with the mentality that the Seattle Pacific game was done and that it’s important that we focus on this game.”

Defender Abraham Placito earned GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after playing all 200 minutes for NNU, holding opponents to just seven shots on goal in three games. Placito also took three shots to help chip in offensively.

The Crusaders were not only ranked No. 22 in the nation, but also No. 3 in the NSCAA West Region Poll. Northwest Nazarene returns to their home pitch, hosting Mary on Thursday and Montana State Billings on Saturday.