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Falcons Continue To Feel At Home On The Road
Titus Grant has three game-winning goals this season, tied for second in Division II. Grant's Seattle Pacific Falcons are 6-1-0 overall.
Titus Grant has three game-winning goals this season, tied for second in Division II. Grant's Seattle Pacific Falcons are 6-1-0 overall.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Led once again by the prolific goal-scoring of senior forward Alex Mejia, Seattle Pacific swept through their Hawaii road trip with a 3-0-0 record, pushing them to 5-0-0 overall on the road this season. The Falcons enter GNAC play with a 6-1-0 record and a No. 16 national ranking. Seattle Pacific defeated Hawaii Hilo 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday, Chaminade 4-0 on Saturday, and Hawaii Pacific 2-1 on Monday.

Mejia scored three goals last week to bring his season total to seven and keep up his goal-per-match pace, but the Falcons got contributions from plenty of others. Alden Massey scored twice for the Falcons and Nik Reierson provided a goal from his right back position while also helping hold Hawaii Hilo to five shots and Chaminade to two shots on goal, earning Reierson the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week award.
Western Washington, the only other GNAC team in action this past week, faced the same three opponents and went 1-2-0, defeating Hawaii Pacific on Friday but falling to Chaminade in double overtime Tuesday and Hawaii Hilo on Sunday. Despite the Vikings’ 1-2 record, Drew Farnsworth came to play in all three matches. The senior midfielder tallied two goals and two assists, earning him the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week selection.

Now that SPU and Western Washington have returned home, all teams have completed their non-conference schedules. The GNAC season kicks off on Thursday with Simon Fraser traveling to Saint Martin’s and Western Washington going to Northwest Nazarene. Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific will open their conference seasons against each other at Interbay Stadium on Saturday.

GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

OFFENSE
Drew Farnsworth, Western Washington
M • 5-9 • Senior • Auckland, New Zealand
Farnsworth tallied two goals and two assists on the Vikings’ three-match Hawaii road trip. He opened the trip by scoring the equalizing goal in the 53rd minute and recording an assist in Tuesday’s 4-3 double-overtime loss to Chaminade. He assisted on the game winner in Friday’s win over Hawaii Pacific and also scored against Hawaii Hilo.

Also Nominated: Alden Massey (SPU)

DEFENSE
Nik Reierson, Seattle Pacific
D • 5-11 • Senior • Duvall, Wash.
Reierson anchored a Seattle Pacific defense that posted wins in the first two matches of a Hawaii road trip. On Wednesday, the Falcons held Hawaii Hilo to just five shots in a 3-2 overtime win. On Saturday, the defense only allowed two shots on goal in a 4-0 win over Chaminade. Rierson also contributed one of the goals in the match, scoring in the 51st minute.

Also Nominated: Gus Diehl (WWU)

AROUND THE GNAC

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings has not played since beating South Dakota Mines 5-2 on Sept. 15. They enter GNAC play with a 2-3-1 record.
• The Yellowjackets have received monster performances in each of their two wins. Against Texas A&M-International on Sept. 2, redshirt junior forward Halil Yilmaz scored a hat trick to lift MSUB to a 3-2 win. Against South Dakota Mines, senior midfielder Paul Cuevas scored two goals and assisted on another. Yilmaz’s six points and Cuevas’s five points are the top two individual single-game performances this season in the GNAC.
• Junior midfielder Jeremie Briquet leads the GNAC with three assists, two of which came in the win against South Dakota Mines.
• Montana State Billings will travel to No. 17 Seattle Pacific on Saturday in the GNAC opener for both teams. The Yellowjackets were picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene has not played since falling 2-1 to No. 3 West Texas A&M on Sept. 18. They enter GNAC play with a 3-3-0 record.
• Sophomore goalkeeper Sawyer Price has been a standout performer for the Nighthawks. Price’s 25 saves rank third in the GNAC, while his 1.50 goals against average is tied for second in the GNAC. Against No. 3 West Texas A&M, Price made 11 saves, a single game-high for the GNAC this season.
• Sophomore forward Sebastian Cotrau is NNU’s leading scorer with three goals, which puts him in a six-way tie for second in the conference. Freshman midfielder Nils Knosala is the NNU’s other multi-goal scorer with two, while freshman forward Jimmy Koufidakis leads the team with two assists.
• Northwest Nazarene will open GNAC play by hosting the two teams at the top of the preseason poll. The Nighthawks host Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday. NNU tied for fifth in the preseason poll.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s has not played since losing 4-3 in overtime to UC-Colorado Springs on Sept. 17. They enter GNAC play with a 1-5-0 record.
Jason Fairhurst has scored three goals to lead the team, including SMU’s game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Chico State on Sept. 9. Fairhurst’s three goals are tied for second in the GNAC and his seven points are tied for fifth.
• Freshman midfielder David Settle and senior defender Jose Marquez both have two assists to lead the Saints. Settle’s assists came in the same match against UC-Colorado Springs.
• Saint Martin’s will open GNAC play by hosting the two teams at the top of the preseason poll. The Saints host Simon Fraser on Thursday and Western Washington on Saturday. Saint Martin’s tied for fifth in the preseason poll.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific had a 3-0 road trip in Hawaii, defeating Hawaii Hilo 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday, Chaminade 4-0 on Saturday, and Hawaii Pacific 2-1 on Monday. They enter GNAC play with a 6-1-0 record.
• The team came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to beat Hawaii Hilo with second half goals from Alden Massey and senior midfielder Travis Swallow. Senior forward Alex Mejia scored the game-winner eight minutes into the first overtime.
• Senior forward Titus Grant, senior defender Nik Reierson, Mejia and Massey all found the net against Chaminade. For his role in the SPU defense holding Hawaii Hilo to five shots and Chaminade to two shots on goal, Reierson was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week.
• Mejia and Swallow also scored against Hawaii Pacific. With three goals this week, Mejia now has a conference-leading seven on the year, four ahead of the next bunch of GNAC scorers. His seven goals rank seventh in Division II and his 2.71 shots on goal per match rank fifth.   • Grant and Massey are among six players tied for second with three goals. Grant has three game-winning goals, which ranks second in Division II.
• Seattle Pacific rose one spot to No. 16 in the United Soccer Coaches national poll and held steady at No. 3 in the West Region Poll.
• Seattle Pacific plays once this week, opening GNAC play at home against Montana State Billings. The Falcons were picked third in the preseason poll.

SIMON FRASER

• Simon Fraser was last in action against No. 12 Midwestern State on September 18, losing 3-0. They enter GNAC play with a 3-3-0 record.
• Senior goalkeeper Aidan Bain leads the GNAC in total saves and saves per match. His 31 total saves rank 23rd in Division II, while his 5.17 saves per match rank 21st in Division II.
• Senior forward Connor Glennon leads the team with two assists and 14 shots while scoring one of the team’s five goals.
• Simon Fraser has been one of the most disciplined teams in Division II. Their 8.33 fouls per match are the 11th-fewest in Division II.
• The team’s 3-3-0 record could possibly be deceiving based on SFU’s strength of schedule. Their three losses are to No. 5 Azusa Pacific, No. 12 Midwestern State and Colorado Mesa, who was ranked No. 16 at the time of the match. Simon Fraser is ranked No. 8 in the West Region Poll.
• Simon Fraser opens GNAC play on the road against Saint Martin’s on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday. Simon Fraser was picked to win the conference in the preseason poll, receiving four of six first place votes.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington went 1-2 on their Hawaii trip, losing 4-3 in double overtime to Chaminade on Tuesday, defeating Hawaii Pacific 2-0 on Friday and falling to Hawaii Hilo on Sunday, 3-2. They enter GNAC play with a 2-5-0 record.
• Senior midfielder Drew Farnsworth earned GNAC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his six points across three matches. Farnsworth’s eight total points for the season are tied for second in the GNAC with SPU’s Titus Grant and Alden Massey.
• Against Chaminade, WWU came back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to tie the game before losing in the 105th minute. Sophomore defender Gus Diehl, sophomore midfielder Alec Zimmerman and Farnsworth scored for Western Washington. Diehl and Farnsworth also scored the goals in the 3-2 loss at Hawaii Hilo.
• Forwards Alessandro Tomasi and Johan Espinoza scored their first goals of the year in the win over Hawaii Pacific.
• The Vikings have been rotating at goalkeeper between juniors Brandon Wolter and Patrick Restum. Wolter has conceded six goals while making 18 saves in 360 minutes. Restum has let in eight goals while making five saves in 284 minutes.
• Western Washington opens GNAC play on the road against Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Saint Martin’s on Saturday. The Vikings were projected to finish second in the preseason poll, receiving two of six first-place votes.

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