Hat's Off To This Week's GNAC Players Of The Week
Ricardo Palomino's second hat trick of the season single-handedly led Montana State Billings to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Concordia.
Ricardo Palomino's second hat trick of the season single-handedly led Montana State Billings to a 3-2 come-from-behind win over Concordia.

Monday, October 19, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – A game-winning hat trick by Montana State Billings’ Ricardo Palomino and a pair of game-winning goals for Concordia’s Amanda Klep leads this week’s selections for GNAC Player of the Week.

Palomino was named Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week after scoring his second hat trick of the year. The three goals all came in the second half to single-handedly lead the Yellowjackets back from a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 win over the Cavaliers. Palomino enters the week leading Division II with 16 goals on the season. His hat trick was the 42nd in GNAC history.

Klep, meanwhile, was named Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week as she turned her first two collegiate goals into game-winners. Entering both matches in the second half, Klep scored the game-winner in the 48th minute in Thursday’s 2-0 shutout of Simon Fraser. She then notched the game-winner in the 57th minute in Saturday’s 2-0 blanking of Western Oregon.

Montana State Billings’ Robert Peterson and Northwest Nazarene’s Sierra Manser received the final Cross Country Runner of the Week awards for the 2015 season. Peterson won his fourth race of the season as he crossed first in the Yellowjackets’ dual against Rocky Mountain. Manser, a freshman, finished fifth to lead the Crusaders at the Lewis & Clark Invitational. Both runners will race in the GNAC Cross Country Championships on Saturday in Bellingham, Wash.

A total of 14 student-athletes from eight different schools are honored in this week’s GNAC Player of the Week Awards. Concordia, Northwest Nazarene, Saint Martin’s and Western Washington each had two selections.

Offensive: Trent McKinney
(South Dakota Mines, QB, 6-0, 198, Sr., Mililani, Hawaii): McKinney finished with 347 yards of total offense and had a role in both touchdowns in the Hardrockers’ 19-0 shutout of Simon Fraser. He completed 29 of 38 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown and also rushed 11 times for 119 yards and rushed for a touchdown. It was South Dakota Mines’ first shutout since 2008. Also Nominated: Malik Braxton (Western Oregon), Ja’Quan Gardner (Humboldt State), Justln Lane (Central Washington), Kurt Scoby (Azusa Pacific), Nate Stephens (Dixie State).

Defensive: Shane Kuenzi (Western Oregon, LB, 6-0, 215, Sr., Salem, Ore. – West Salem) Kuenzi led Western Oregon with 11 tackles in the Wolves’ 31-25 win over Central Washington. He made a key play in the fourth quarter, tackling Quincy Carter on fourth down that stunted the Wildcats’ potential winning drive. Also Nominated: Cameron Buell (Humboldt State), Myles Carelock (Central Washington), Sam Flemming (Azusa Pacific), Troy Kurtz (South Dakota Mines), Colton Olson (Dixie State).

Special Teams: Tarik Myles (Azusa Pacific, PR, 5-6, 150, Jr., Fontana, Calif.): Myles had three punt returns for 58 yards, which included a 57-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter of Azusa Pacific’s 61-14 win over Dixie State. Also Nominated: Earl Anderson (Simon Fraser), Robbie Joe Geranden (South Dakota Mines), Dominique Harrison (Western Oregon), Jonathan Kuhn (Central Washington).

Ricardo Palomino (Montana State Billings, F, 6-2, So., Puebla, Mexico – Northeastern State Univ.): The leading goal scorer in Division II scored a hat trick against Concordia on Saturday, leading the Yellowjackets back from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Cavaliers 3-2. He scored all three goals in the second half. The effort was the 42nd hat trick in GNAC history and was his second of the season. Also Nominated: Erik Anderson (Northwest Nazarene), Adam Jones (Simon Fraser), Gabe Kellum (Seattle Pacific), Jordan Potts (Concordia), Kyle Witzel (Saint Martin’s).

Defensive: Jake Zimmer (Saint Martin’s, F, 6-2, Jr., Auburn, Wash. – Thomas Jefferson): Zimmer played a critical role in the Saints’ defensive effort that allowed just two goals (one on a penalty kick) in two matches, including a 2-1 victory over Western Washington. Also Nominated: Chaz Jenkins (Seattle Pacific), Garret Robinson (Montana State Billings).

Amanda Klep (Concordia, F, 5-5, Fr., Marysville, Wash. – Marysville Pilchuck): Klep scored her first two collegiate goals, both game-winners, in Concordia’s 2-0 shutouts over Simon Fraser on Thursday and Western Oregon on Saturday. She entered both matches as a second half substitute. The goals helped Concordia improve to 9-2-2 overall, 6-1-1 GNAC. Also Nominated: Lexi Fesenbek (Northwest Nazarene), Caitlyn Jobanek (Western Washington), Mackenzie Nolte (Central Washington), Alycia Wright (Montana State Billings).

Defensive: Ashley Haden (Western Washington, GK, 5-8, Sr., Brush Prairie, Wash. - Hockinson): Haden did not allow a goal in 166 minutes in goal as the Vikings shut out Central Washington 1-0 and beat Seattle Pacific 3-1. She had four saves in the two matches as the No. 2 Vikings improved to 13-1-0 overall. Also Nominated: Martha Heaps (Concordia), Kaitlyn Lokay (Montana State Billings).

Offensive: Lindsey Dorsey
(Concordia, OPP, 5-9, So., Salem, Ore. - Sprague): Dorsey finished with 31 kills (an average of 4.43 kills per set) to lead the Cavaliers to road victories over Western Oregon and Montana State Billings. She finished with 15 kills against the Wolves and added a team-high 16 against the Yellowjackets. Also Nominated: Lexi Biondi (Seattle Pacific), Danielle Curtis (Simon Fraser), Linden Firethorne (Central Washington), Rachel Roeder (Western Washington), Jenessa Taylor (Concordia), Katelynn Zanders (Alaska Anchorage).

Defensive: Kayleigh Harper (Western Washington, MB, 6-3, R-Fr., Oak Harbor, Wash. – Oak Harbor): Harper finished with 10 blocks and added 21 kills with a .408 hitting percentage to lead the Vikings in road wins at Alaska Anchorage and Alaska, their 15th and 16th wins in a row. She enters the week ranked second in the GNAC and No. 6 in Division II with 1.37 blocks per set. Also Nominated: Christie Colasurdo (Western Oregon), Vicky Gajda (Concordia), Linnea Phillips (Northwest Nazarene).

Robert Peterson (Montana State Billings, Sr., Billings, Mont. - Skyview): Peterson won his fourth race of the season and had his sixth top-five finish, winning the Yellowjackets’ dual meet with Rocky Mountain College. He covered the four-mile course in 20:03, averaging 5 minutes per mile. Also Nominated: Chase Cunningham (Northwest Nazarene).

Women: Sierra Manser (Northwest Nazarene, Fr., Melba, Idaho - Melba): Manser led NNU with a collegiate-best fifth place finish at the Lewis & Clark Invitational. She covered the 6,000-meter course in 22:36.1.

Men: Kenyan Fanslow
(Northwest Nazarene, Sr., Tacoma, Wash. - Fife): Fanslow won the two-day College of Idaho Invitational last Monday and Tuesday, shooting a school record 9-under-par 207. The performance beat NNU’s previous record for 54 holes of 211. His performance was led by a 5-under-par 67 in the opening round, tying the school record.

Women: Jennifer Liedes (Saint Martin’s, Sr., Olympia, Wash. - Olympia): Liedes won the Western Washington Invitational with a two-round score of 1-under-par 145 to lead the Saints to a second place team finish. She shot a first-round score of 71. Also Nominated: Samantha Miller (Northwest Nazarene), Jenn Paul (Western Washington).