GNAC Insider Podcast: Smith, Ferguson, Adams & Connell
Head coach Arne Ferguson has led Western Oregon to six straight wins heading into the regular season finale.
Head coach Arne Ferguson has led Western Oregon to six straight wins heading into the regular season finale.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Episode 74 of GNAC Insider aired Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Pacific time and featured Humboldt State head football coach Rob Smith and Western Oregon head football coach Arne Ferguson as their teams oppose each other this week. Also appearing on the show will be Seattle Pacific men’s soccer forward Ian Adams and Western Washington head women’s soccer coach Travis Connell.

Smith is in his eight year as head football coach at Humboldt State. The Lumberjacks are 8-1 this season led by Smith and finished the conference season undefeated at 6-0. With a 57-14 victory over Dixie State last week, they clinched the GNAC championship. The ‘Jacks are also ranked No. 3 in the NCAA Division II West Region Poll, looking to make the national tournament as one of the top-seven teams from the region. Humboldt State has been the most dominant team in the GNAC this season, outscoring opponents 416-160. This week, the ‘Jacks travel to Western Oregon in non-conference play in both teams’ regular season finale. The two teams played their conference counter in week one, which Humboldt State won 29-20. Smith spoke about winning the GNAC title, the chance to represent the GNAC in the national tournament and the upcoming game against Western Oregon.

Ferguson is in his 11th season as head football coach at Western Oregon, leading the Wolves to a 7-3 overall record. After starting the season 1-3, Western Oregon has rolled off six straight wins, with five in conference. The Wolves ranked No. 10 in the latest NCAA Division II West Region Poll, but will need to move up to the top-seven to reach the postseason. The Wolves take on Humboldt State this week in a big non-conference game. Both teams eye a postseason berth, with this game having potential ramifications in the rankings with both teams in the top-10. Over the win streak, the defense has continued to improve, allowing 21 points per game and forcing key turnovers in each contest. Ferguson spoke about the team's six-game winning streak, the Humboldt State game and the team's chances at making the national tournament.

Adams is a senior midfielder for the Seattle Pacific men’s soccer team that was just announced as the No. 2 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Championships. Adams is tied for the team lead with five goals and 14 points during the regular season for the Falcons, who won the GNAC championship for the second year in a row with a 10-1-3 conference record and 14-1-3 overall record. The Falcons will be in the national tournament for the fifth straight season, with Adams in it all four years of his collegiate career. Seattle Pacific receives a first round bye in the national tournament and will host the winner of Cal State Dominguez Hills and Fresno Pacific in the second round on Sat., Nov. 14. Adams talked about winning the GNAC championship, the team's strength on defense and being able to host their first NCAA tournament match at home.

Connell is in his 13th season as head coach for the Western Washington women’s soccer team, leading the Vikings to their fourth straight national tournament appearance. The Vikings won the GNAC regular season and tournament titles with an 11-0-1 conference record. Western Washington is also 18-1-1 overall and enter the tournament on a 17-match unbeaten streak. The Vikings are the No. 1 seed in the West Region and will host the winner of UC San Diego and Seattle Pacific on Sat., Nov. 14. Connell received the GNAC Coach of the Year award for the third straight season. Connell spoke about winning the GNAC Championships, the strength of the West Region and the possibility of winning the national title.

GNAC Insider is hosted by Rob Lowery airing live at 7 p.m. Pacific every Tuesday and is produced by the conference office. All episodes become available as free podcasts via iTunes. To listen to archived episodes go to GNAC.TV.