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This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Sept. 3
Courtesy: Grand Canyon
The 2013 season continues this week with several non-conference matches.  UNLV hosts the UNLV Nike Invitational on Friday and Sunday and will face Bradley and Georgia State.  Air Force hosts Army on Saturday in the only other home contest for a WAC team this week.  All of the rest of the WAC teams are on the road this weekend, while Houston Baptist is off until Monday when it travels to Butler.

OFFENSIVE – Grand Canyon’s Kyle Ciliento, a senior forward from Phoenix, Ariz. (Pinnacle), scored both of Grand Canyon’s goals in its season-opening 2-1 victory over Nebraska-Omaha.  He placed all three of his shots on goal and collected four total points in the game, his first for GCU after missing the past two seasons due to injury.

DEFENSIVE – Joshua Zehring, a junior goalkeeper from Gilbert, Ariz. (Hamilton), played the entire 90 minutes in the victory over Nebraska-Omaha.  Zehring recorded four saves and allowed just one goal which came via a penalty kick in the second half, for an .800 save percentage.

Others nominated on offense:
Tobenna Uzo, Fr., F, Houston Baptist - scored his first collegiate goal to give HBU a 1-0 lead as he headed in a centering pass. He came off the bench to play 52 minutes and scored on his lone shot attempt.
Derek Schrick, So., MF, Kansas City - scored on a header in the 18th minute for a 1-0 lead over Wisconsin. It was his first career goal in his first regular season game for the ‘Roos, who settled for a 1-1 tie with the Badgers. He took two shots in the game and played 96 out of 110 minutes.

Also nominated on defense:
George Kelley, So., D/GK, Kansas City - usually playing as a defender, Kelley was put into the goalkeeper role due to an injury to the Huskies’ goalkeeper. Kelley made three saves in his goalkeeping debut.
Kevin Corby, Sr., GK, Kansas City - played all 110 minutes and made two saves en route to a 1-1 tie against Wisconsin on Saturday night. His one-handed save in the 20th minute on a header kept UW off the scoreboard until just before the half.
Making their transition into NCAA Division I, Grand Canyon opened their inaugural year in the WAC with a 2-1 defeat of Nebraska-Omaha. In his first game for the ‘Lopes after missing the past two seasons due to injury, forward Kyle Ciliento was an offensive force, accounting for both of GCU’s goals in the contest. Ciliento put GCU’s first shot on goal via a header ball in the 30th minute, but UNO goalkeeper Matt Grosey picked up his first save of the game. Ciliento then broke the scoreless tie in the 34th minute on an assist from Kyle Summerhill following a GCU free kick. UNO knotted the score at one with a penalty kick in the 66th minute, but not 20 seconds later, Ciliento once again found the back of the net on a shot from the right side, assisted by Gerrit Thomes. The Mavericks took five shots in the game’s final 10 minutes in an effort to equalize the score once again, but were unsuccessful as the ‘Lopes defense blocked two of those attempts.

In a span of two days, Houston Baptist began its season with a pair of double overtime matches.  The Huskies dropped its opener at Central Arkansas, 2-1, giving up the deciding goal nearly halfway through the second overtime.  HBU rebounded with a win at Oral Roberts, winning by the same score, 2-1.  Gustavo Alvarado scored the winning goal in the 108th minute for the Huskies.

For the first time since 1999, the WAC is sponsoring men’s soccer.  The league is made up of eight teams divided into two divisions and includes both full time members of the WAC and affiliates.  The East Division is comprised of Air Force (affiliate), Grand Canyon, Houston Baptist (affiliate) and Kansas City.  The West Division consists of Bakersfield, UNLV (affiliate), San Jose State (affiliate) and Seattle U.  Six of the eight teams competed together in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) the past few years while Kansas City comes to the WAC from the Summit League and Grand Canyon is transitioning from Division II to Division I.  Air Force and UNLV competed in the WAC from 1996-98 while San Jose State participated in men’s soccer from 1996-99.

Regular-season play consists of a double round-robin format within each division and a single round-robin against the other division for a total of 10 matches. The points system is as follows: each team will receive three points for a win and one point for a tie.

The WAC Men’s Soccer Tournament will be held at the Air Force Academy, November 14-15 and 17.  Every team except Grand Canyon will participate as the Antelopes are ineligible due to their transition from Division II to Division I.

The WAC will expand its men’s soccer league over the next couple of years with new programs from some of its full-time members.  Utah Valley will begin play in 2014 while it is also expected to add Chicago State and Texas-Pan American in 2015.

Air Force Falcons
Plays four of its first five matches on the road with the only home contest coming this Saturday against Army ... senior Brian Klazur took a pass from Zachary Modly and scored less than three minutes into its season opener against Saint Mary’s before losing, 3-1 ... after a scoreless first half at San Francisco, Air Force dropped the match, 2-0, on Saturday night ... the Falcons had a 6-5 advantage in shots on goal ... Modly has taken nine shots in his first two matches including four shots on goal in the San Francisco game ... AFA played men’s soccer in the WAC for three seasons from 1996-1998 ... is coming off its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1997 after winning the MPSF tournament last year.

Bakersfield Roadrunners
Lost its season opener, 4-0, at Denver ... it was the first time since 2009 that the Roadrunners have dropped the first match of the season ... Anthony Perez started in goal for Bakersfield against Denver, marking the first time since the 2010 season someone other than Eric Shannon started in between the pipes for the Roadrunners ... Bakersfield continues its five-game road trip to open 2013 this weekend at UC Davis and Sacramento State ... both are former Division II foes for the Roadrunners ... Bakersfield has played Davis and Sac State a combined 27 times (16-UCD, 11-Sac State) entering the weekend ... CSUB and UC Davis have played two consecutive scoreless ties (2011 and 2012 seasons) entering this weekend’s game.

Grand Canyon Antelopes
Opens the season with eight consecutive road matches and does not host a non-conference home game (9 matches) ... in its season-opening win, Grand Canyon was outshot, 18-6, by Nebraska-Omaha ... GCU outshot Loyola-Chicago, 19-12, but lost the match,1-0, on Monday ... the ‘Lopes had back-to-back scoring opportunities in the 65th minute, when a Gerrit Thomes shot hit the crossbar and just eight seconds later, a Kyle Ciliento shot was just wide of the goal ... is making the jump up to Division I this season but is ineligble for the WAC’s and NCAA’s postseason due to the transition ... in 1996, GCU won the NCAA Division II National Championship ... the ‘Lopes have posted eight consecutive winning seasons.

Houston Baptist Huskies
Opens the season nine of its first 10 matches on the road including the first six ... plays just one non-conference home match when it hosts Oral Roberts on Oct. 1 ... including its two exhibition matches, HBU has been tied at the 90-minute mark in all four of its games ... in the loss at Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist outshot UCA, 13-12, and led the Bears in corner kicks, 11-5 ... had 25 shots in its match at Oral Roberts, the most in a game by a WAC team this past weekend and leads the WAC with 38 shots on the year ... Tobenna Uzo is the only WAC player to open the season with one goal in his team’s first two games.

Kansas City Kangaroos
UMKC opened its season with a 1-1 tie against Wisconsin ... Derek Schrick scored in the 18th minute while the Badgers responded right before the half ... it was the second ever meeting between the two schools with Wisconsin winning in 2012, 2-0, in Madison ... it was also the first time Kansas City has hosted a Big Ten team ... Jordan Rideout, the preseason WAC Offensive Player of the Year, had seven shots against Wisconsin, the most by a WAC player this year ... plays its next four games on the road (and six of its next seven away from home) with matches this weekend against Memphis (UMKC leads series 2-1) and Central Arkansas (UMKC leads series 6-1) ... leads the WAC with a 0.82 GAA.

UNLV Rebels
Was held to just seven shots in its opener at Delaware while the Blue Hens had 23 ... senior Joaquin Rivas scored the only goal for the Rebels in the game in the 73rd minute ... UNLV outshot UMBC, 12-9, but lost 3-1 for the second straight game on the East Coast ... only one shot was on goal and came from Corey Ackley when he scored the only goal for the Rebels in the match ... last Friday, it was announced that Liam Connors was promoted to associate head coach, while Dan Schell had been hired as assistant coach and Frank D’Amelio would be a volunteer assistant for the Rebels ... both Schell and D’Amelio are making a return to the coaching staff ... UNLV played men’s soccer in the WAC for three seasons from 1996-1998.

San Jose State Spartans
Opened the season against Sacramento State in a match that combined for nine yellow cards, 26 fouls and a 1-0 decision for the Hornets in double overtime ... Eric Mendez led the Spartans with four shots, two on goal in the match ... SJSU was shut out again in its second game, dropping a 2-0 decision against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville ... the Spartans had a total of nine yellow cards against them in their first two matches ... San Jose State played men’s soccer in the WAC for four seasons from 1996-1999 and in two of those years – 1997 and 1999 – produced the conference’s Freshman of the Year.

Seattle U Redhawks
The Redhawks opened up the first weekend of play with a pair of losses on the East Coast, at UMBC and Delaware ... Jeff Rose scored his first career goal to give the Redhawks the early lead at Delaware ... eight different Redhawks saw their first collegiate playing time - Kyle Bjornethun, Shane Mahvi, Ian Hines-Ike, Jeff Rose, Jonathan Massimino, Brandon Marquez, Jordan Bingham, and Darrell Hannah ... GK Jake Feener had seven saves against UMBC and eight against Delaware, the top two save totals in the WAC thus far ... after two on the road this past weekend, SU continues with four more road games before their home opener versus Georgia State on September 20.
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