Men's Soccer Goalkeepers Continue To Shine
Simon Fraser goalkeeper Aidan Bain has 24 total saves, most in the GNAC and third-most in Division II.
Simon Fraser goalkeeper Aidan Bain has 24 total saves, most in the GNAC and third-most in Division II.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Through the first two weeks of the season, GNAC men’s soccer teams are more than holding their own with programs from around the country. The conference placed two teams in the Top-25 after starting the year with zero and a big reason why has been the goalkeeping.

Simon Fraser’s Aidan Bain and Seattle Pacific’s Lars Helleren, who each have a GNAC Defensive Player of the Week Award under their belt, rank 21st and 22nd in goals against average, while Bain and MSUB’s Georgios Theodoudolis are both top-ten nationally in total saves.

All three will get new challenges and chances to excel this week. The matches kick off on Wednesday as MSUB faces South Dakota Mines. Helleren and No. 11 Seattle Pacific will take on No. 22 Regis and Colorado Mines, who received votes in the national poll this week but were ranked No. 4 as recently as last week. Western Washington will play the same opponents in reverse.

Three GNAC teams will be spending the week in Texas. Bain and No. 19 Simon Fraser will have their hands full with No. 10 Colorado Mesa in a Thursday neutral-site battle before SFU plays hosts Midwestern State. Northwest Nazarene and Saint Martin’s will each play a pair of Lone Star State programs on Thursday and Saturday.


Sebastian Cotrau, Northwest Nazarene
F • 5-10 • Sophomore • Aurskog, Norway
Cotrau scored all of NNU’s goals for the week, with one in both games. On Thursday against Westminster, he netted the game-winner in the 39th minute of a 1-0 victory. On Saturday against No. 16 Colorado Mesa, he found the equalizer in the 55th minute before NNU fell 2-1.  

Also Nominated: Jason Fairhurst (SMU), Connor Glennon (SFU)

Aidan Bain, Simon Fraser
GK • 6-3 • Senior • Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Bain registered a pair of shutouts, making five saves in a 2-0 win over Sonoma State and seven saves in a 1-0 win over Chico State, which featured several highlight-reel saves in the second half to preserve the lead. Bain pushed a rocket over the bar in the 44th minute, deflected a low screamer towards the post in the 64th minute, dove to his left to parry away a try in the 68th minute and then let the rebound attempt slip just wide.

Also Nominated: Stephen Murray (SMU)


• Montana State Billings failed to win either of its two matches this week, losing 2-1 to No. 10 Colorado Mesa on Thursday and 3-0 to Westminster (Utah) on Saturday.
• Junior forward Austin Shafer found the net for the Yellowjackets against Mesa. It was Shafer’s first goal of the season and fifth of his career.
• Georgios Theodoulidis has been a continued bright spot for Billings. Faced with a barrage of 16 shots on goal this week, the MSUB keeper made five saves against Colorado Mesa and six against Westminster. Theodoulidis’s 22 total saves this season are second-most in the conference and tied for ninth-most in the nation.
• Montana State Billings will take the pitch at midweek, facing off against South Dakota Mines on Wednesday before taking the rest of the week off.

• The Nighthawks maintained their .500 record with another 1-1 week, defeating Westminster (Utah) 1-0 on Thursday and falling 2-1 to No. 10 Colorado Mesa on Saturday.
• Sebastian Cotrau provided all of NNU’s offense for the week. The Norwegian sophomore forward scored the goals on both Thursday and Saturday to bring his season total to 3. For his multi-goal week, Cotrau earned the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week award.
• Northwest Nazarene has excelled at putting pressure on the opponent’s goal. They lead the GNAC with 9.50 shots per game and are tied for the most goals in conference with 5.
• The Nighthawks climbed their way into the United Soccer Coaches West Region Poll for the first time, coming in at No. 10.
• The Nighthawks will travel to Texas for two matches this week, taking on Texas Permian Basin on Thursday and West Texas A&M on Saturday.

• Saint Martin’s was at home for both matches this week, getting in the win column for the first time with a 2-1 triumph over Chico State on Thursday before losing 4-1 to Sonoma State on Saturday.  
• Saint Martin’s benefited from the combination of a Jason Fairhurst goal and a Jose Marquez assist for the second straight week, as Fairhurst’s 42nd-minute strike put the Saints up 2-0 against Chico State. Fairhurst is one of four GNAC players with multiple goals, and Marquez is one of only two players with multiple assists.
• Stephen Murray scored the first goal against Chico State. Murray’s seven shots were the second-most of any GNAC player over this past week.
• Saint Martin’s will play two games in Lubbock, Texas this week, against Northeastern State on Thursday and Lubbock Christian on Saturday.

• Seattle Pacific did not play this past week, but currently have a sterling 2-0-0 record after opening week wins vs. Chico State and Sonoma State.
• Thanks to the heroics of Aug. 30-Sept. 5 GNAC Defensive Player of the Week Lars Helleren, Seattle Pacific ranks 4th in saves per match (8.00) and 22nd in goals against average (0.478). Individually, Helleren’s .943 save percentage is 10th-best in Division II.
• Senior forward Alex Mejia has two of SPU’s three goals this year, while fellow senior forward Titus Grant, who led the team with nine goals in 2019, has the other, scoring the overtime winner against Chico State.
• Despite not playing a match, the Falcons rose three spots to No. 11 in the Sept. 14 United Soccer Coaches poll. They remain at No. 2 in the West Region Poll.
• Seattle Pacific will host a pair of RMAC schools this week, welcoming No. 22 Regis on Thursday and Colorado Mines (receiving votes) on Saturday. Regis has a 5-0 win over GNAC team Saint Martin’s this season.

• Simon Fraser enjoyed a 2-0 week that propelled them into second place in the overall GNAC standings, defeating Sonoma State 2-0 last Thursday followed by Chico State 1-0 on Saturday.
• Senior goalkeeper Aidan Bain was the hero in both of last week’s contests, winning the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week award. Bain kept two clean sheets and had to earn them, making five saves against Sonoma State and seven saves in the 1-0 game against Chico State. His 24 saves on the season are the third-most in Division II, all while allowing less than half a goal per game and maintaining a .923 save percentage. Bain’s two shutouts also give him the GNAC lead in that category.
 • After missing the first two matches of the season, senior forward Connor Glennon made his presence felt this week for Simon Fraser, factoring on all three goals. In the win over Sonoma, Glennon set up Nico Papakyriakopoulos for the first goal and scored the second himself. Against Chico State, Glennon found Brody Thomas for the winner for his second assist of the week.
 • Glennon’s four points were tied with Sebastian Cotrau for most in the conference this week, and Glennon is already tied for the season conference lead in assists with SMU’s Jose Marquez.
• Despite their 2-0 week, Simon Fraser fell one spot to No. 19 in the Sept. 14 United Soccer Coaches Poll. They remain at No. 3 in the West Region Poll.
• Simon Fraser is the third GNAC team that will be spending this week in Texas. They will battle No. 10 Colorado Mesa, who had two head-to-head wins over GNAC opponents last week, on Thursday in a neutral-site contest, followed by a match against host Midwestern State on Saturday.  

• Western Washington did not play this past week, but currently have an 0-2-0 record after dropping opening-week matches to Chico State and Sonoma State.
• Junior forward Gilbert de la Cruz has managed to put 100% of his shots on target so far in the young season.
• Junior goalkeeper Brandon Wolter has seemingly grabbed the starting job in goal, playing every minute of the two matches last week. Wolter appeared in two games last season, starting none, as the Vikings gave three keepers over 50 minutes in net in 2020 despite playing only five games.
• Wolter’s 5.00 saves per game is tied for 38th-best in Division II and third-best in the GNAC.
• Western Washington will host two matches this week, as RMAC schools Colorado Mines and Regis will alternate between playing in Bellingham and at Seattle Pacific. The Vikings’ Thursday opponent, Colorado Mines, fell all the way from No. 4 in the Sept. 7 poll to simply receiving votes in the Sept. 14 poll after losing 2-1 to Regis, who subsequently climbed to No. 22 in the rankings.