Goalies Garner GNAC POTW Honors
SMU's Ali Campigotto registered two shutouts last week.
SMU's Ali Campigotto registered two shutouts last week.

Monday, October 16, 2023
by Evan O'Kelly

PORTLAND, Ore. – Massive efforts by Simon Fraser goalkeeper Justyn Sandhu and Saint Martin’s goalkeeper Ali Campigotto highlighted the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week selections.

Sandhu propelled the Red Leafs to a pair of victories last week, including a 3-0 shutout of Western Oregon that pushed his team to the top of the GNAC standings. Campigotto meanwhile played a crucial role in SMU’s two shutouts last week, as the Saints gained traction by earning two points on the road.

Earning his second GNAC Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week award of the season, Sandhu started his week with a pair of saves in SFU’s 3-1 triumph over Seattle Pacific on Thursday. He followed that with a five-save effort against the Wolves on Sunday, picking up his GNAC-leading fifth shutout of the season. The big effort helped SFU improve to 7-2-2 overall and 4-0-1 in GNAC play for 13 total points. “Justyn has been our number one goalkeeper for two years and we are fortunate to have him,” said SFU head coach Clint Schneider. “He is a player we coveted out of high school and is someone we always thought had tremendous talent and upside. He’s someone we know can change the game in a positive way, and that happened in our last game.”

Saint Martin’s (3-3-6, 1-2-5) climbed into a tie for fifth place thanks to its last line of defense, with Campigotto commanding the back line and totaling nine saves in a pair of 0-0 draws. Her week started with five saves in the Saints’ draw at Northwest Nazarene, a match in which she faced a season-high 18 shots. Two of those saves came in rapid succession in the 72nd minute, as Campigotto made back-to-back reaction saves to keep the Nighthawks out of the net. Saturday’s match against Western Oregon was one of her top performances of the season as she again faced a barrage of 17 shots. Campigotto’s biggest moment came with just two minutes left against the Wolves, as she reached up to nudge a powerful, 30-yard shot by WOU’s Raeanne Jones just over the crossbar. “We have been pretty good defending the past couple of weekends, but she was called in and had to make some big saves both Thursday and Saturday,” said SMU head coach Derek Faulkner. “Ali had a lot of big moments that kept both games at 0-0, and she gives confidence to everyone around her.”


Offensive Player of the Week – Jim Wagenaar, Northwest Nazarene

Second-career player of the week award, second of 2023.

One hat trick wasn’t enough for Wagenaar, who became the first player in GNAC history to achieve the feat in back-to-back games when he netted three goals in NNU’s 4-0 blanking of Montana State Billings on Thursday. The reigning GNAC Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week doubled down on the award adding a fourth goal for good measure in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Saint Martin’s. Wagenaar bolstered his case for GNAC Freshman of the Year by upping his goals total to a conference-leading 11 – eight of which have come in the Nighthawks’ five conference matches this fall.

Also Nominated: Jim Wagenaar, NNU; Arjun Gill, SMU; Cameron Yriondo, SPU; Devin O’Hea, SFU.

Defensive Player of the Week – Justyn Sandhu, Simon Fraser

Third-career player of the week award, second of 2023.

Perhaps the league’s top statistical goalkeeper, Sandhu leads the conference in goals-against average (0.73), save percentage (.849) and shutouts with five. With his seven stops last week the senior upped his season save tally to 45 and 4.09 per game, which both rank third in the conference. “In the way we want to play, you need somebody in goal who is technically proficient and can play out of the back,” said Schneider. “We like to take risks and go forward, and we want our guys to be free to go score. If you don’t have the confidence in your goalkeeping and defenders, that changes. Justyn is that kind of guy - he is very even-keel and he has high demands for himself as we have high demands for him. We talk about the different areas he can improve upon every week, because his aspirations for playing are far beyond SFU. His focus is here, but it’s our job to make sure we are preparing him for the next level.”

Also Nominated: Nick Mueller, SMU; Cam Welty, SPU.


Offensive Player of the Week – Morgan Manalili, Western Washington

First-career player of the week award.

The reigning GNAC Freshman of the Year hasn’t missed a beat in 2023, and her first-career brace propelled the Vikings to a vital 2-1 result at Simon Fraser on Saturday. Manalili put her team in front in the 58th minute with a header finish in front of goal coming off a throw-in. She followed that eight minutes later with a 24-yard free kick that curled into the upper corner of the net. “She is a real versatile player and helps our team in so many different ways,” said WWU head coach Travis Connell. “It’s exciting because you never know which way she’s going to go in a game, and she looked goal-dangerous throughout both the games last week. The goals she scored were both off of restarts which she works really hard at in training every week. She really showed her versatility scoring with her head and off the set piece.”

Manalili also contributed on the scoresheet in WWU’s 3-1 win at Montana State Billings on Thursday, supplying the assist on Mie Cairns’ opening goal against the Yellowjackets. Halfway through her second collegiate season, Manalili has already accumulated 13 goals and seven assists for 33 total points in her 38 matches played. “She is one of the hardest workers, is out there early and stays late, and she does all the things coaches want,” said Connell. “Free kicks are something she has added to her game this year. She spent a lot of time on them in the offseason, and we enjoyed the dividends of that on Saturday. Morgan had a great freshman year, but she is never content.”

Also Nominated: Emily Darcy, CWU; Taylor Copeland, SMU; Sophie Beadle, SPU; Sarah Caravatta, SFU.

Defensive Player of the Week – Ali Campigotto, Saint Martin’s

Second-career player of the week award, first of 2023.

The active GNAC leader in career saves, Campigotto moved into a tie for No. 17 on the all-time list with 263 across her five seasons with the Saints. Campigotto’s three shutouts this fall are the most she has had in a season during her career, and she upped her career count to eight shutouts. The senior enters the week ranked fourth in the conference in goals-against average at 0.80. “Ali specifically emulates everything we want players in this program to be about,” Faulkner said. “She competes as hard as she can, and she challenges and asks a lot of others. Our goalkeeping group has improved a lot because of her. She knows she is also getting better, is a true competitor, and it’s awesome to see her get rewarded with this. She works really hard at it.”

Also Nominated: Danika Galbraith, CWU; Tuva Sallvin, MSUB; Mercedes Cullen, SPU; Sarah Loewen, SFU; Hannah Rispler, WOU; Gracen Crosby, WWU.


Offensive Player of the Week – Brooke Dexter, Simon Fraser

Fourth-career player of the week award, second of 2023.

Simon Fraser (11-6, 6-3) made it an undefeated weekend at home thanks in large part to Dexter’s performance offensively. Dexter led all GNAC players with an average of 3.67 kills per set, which helped SFU move into a three-way tie for second place in the GNAC standings. Dexter kicked off her big week with 11 kills in the Red Leafs’ sweep of Western Oregon on Thursday, adding six digs and three total blocks. She followed that up with 11 more kills in Saturday’s sweep of surging Saint Martin’s while adding nine digs, four service aces and a block assist. “She has been a big part of our offense all season and throughout her career here,” said SFU head coach Gina Schmidt. “She carries a big load for our team. In this weekend’s games it was a whole team effort, and Brooke did what we expect her to do. She does a great job of consistently showing up every night. A lot of teams key on her as one of our main hitters, and she always has a tough job as other teams prepare for her.”

Dexter single-handedly put the finishing touches on Saturday’s sweep, starting off a match-ending 8-0 run with her 10th kill of the night. That put the ball in her hands to serve, and she ended the match on a string of seven consecutive serves including three service aces. “Defensively, from the serving line – she finds ways to contribute in a lot of ways other than just her offense,” said Schmidt. “As a team in general when we have a lot of others playing well and contributing offensively, that helps as well. Teams can’t just key on her because we have a lot of other players who will hurt them.”

Also Nominated: Leilani Elder, UAA; Ella Bines, UAF; Ellie Marble, CWU; Emily Garten, SMU; Gabby Kepley, WWU.

Defensive Player of the Week – Emma Daoud-Hebert, Central Washington

Fourth-career player of the week award, first of 2023.

The NCAA’s second-leading blocker (1.48 bps) was up to her usual standard of play last week, racking up 11 total blocks in the Wildcats’ two matches. Daoud-Hebert racked up six total blocks in Thursday’s 3-1 win at Alaska Anchorage, and was a major contributor offensively with eight kills in the match. On Saturday against Alaska, Daoud-Hebert made it five straight matches with at least five total blocks as she was once again a force at the net. In addition to her defensive efforts, Daoud-Hebert’s hitting percentage of .357 was sixth-best among GNAC players last week. “Emma has been there for us in a lot of ways her whole career,” said CWU head coach Mario Andaya. “Her mindset is always about what she can do for the team right now. Blocking wise she has shown that she hasn’t lost a step since having major surgery last spring. It is an art to be able to block at this level, and she continues to work on her craft while helping our team in lot of ways. Her work ethic has made our team a lot better and we are blessed to have her.”

Also Nominated: Madison Galloway, UAA; Cynphany Henderson, UAF; Abbey Halstead, SMU; Kalyn Hartmann, SFU; Emily Vossenkuhl, WWU.


Co-Player of the Week – Dana Smith, Simon Fraser

First-career player of the week award.

True freshman Dana Smith did not disappoint in her first collegiate tournament, tying for third place at the Western Washington Invitational last week in Bellingham, Wash. Smith rebounded from a 4-over-par 76 in her first round as a collegiate player with a 1-under-par 71 to jump up the leaderboard and finish with a two-round score of 3-over-par 147. Smith’s second-round score was tied for the lowest by any GNAC player so far this fall. “As a freshman playing in her first tournament, she looked like a veteran,” said SFU head coach Matthew Steinbach. “She was calm, collected, and controlled her emotions, and looked like she belonged as one of the top players in the field. It is exciting for me as a coach for her to have that finish in her first event, and I’m excited to have her carry that on into next week in Hawaii. She is a very solid ball striker, but her putting really stands out. She was really solid last week and made the key putts she needed to make.”

Co-Player of the Week – Dani Bailey, Western Washington

First-career player of the week award.

Nothing separated SFU’s Smith from WWU’s Dani Bailey, who matched the former’s score also shooting a 147 (73-74) to tie for third at her home event. The reigning second-team all-GNAC pick was one stroke off her collegiate single-round best of 72, which she recorded at the NCAA DII West Region Championships during the spring of the 2022 season. “Dani has always been one of the better ball strikers I have ever seen,” said WWU head coach Luke Bennett. “This week what showed was her mental toughness and her ability to move on from the previous shot, which I was extremely proud of her for doing. This week her mental toughness and staying in the moment was unlike I have ever seen, and it translated into a couple of great rounds. She has always put a ton of pressure on herself to play great, and I’m hopeful this year she is enjoying the process and her final year of collegiate golf.”

Also Nominated: Orraya Tipasathien, MSUB; Ashley Bruland, SMU