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This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Sept. 4

This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Sept. 4

Complete Release (PDF)

 
CBU'S JUDD, AFA'S SEAZZU NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
California Baptist's Preston Judd and Air Force's Andrea Seazzu have been named Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for Aug. 27-Sep. 2.
 
Judd, a sophomore forward from Henderson, Nev. (Coronado HS), scored his second hat trick of the season in a 5-2 win at Gonzaga on Friday night. The striker scored his fourth goal of the season in the 23rd minute and quickly added his fifth of the season and second of the night in the 25th minute. After a CBU penalty kick goal and two second half Gonzaga goals, he scored his third of the night and sixth of the season in the 61st minute and then assisted on the final goal in the final minute of the match for his seventh point of the game.
 
Seazzu, a junior goalkeeper from Albuquerque, N.M. (Albuquerque HS), was a brick wall in net for the Falcons, earning a pair of shutouts in Maryland. Against rival Navy on Friday, he made a pair of saves in a 2-0 win and followed that up with three more saves in a 2-0 win at UMBC on Sunday. Through four games in net, he has a 0.48 goals against average and an .846 save percentage to go with a 3-1 record. 
 
Other offensive nominees: Air Force's Austin Dewing notched goals in each of the Falcons' wins on the weekend and leads the team with three goals on the season … CSU Bakersfield's Sebastian Mentel  scored against both Pacific and Sacramento State and earned an assist against UC Davis … Grand Canyon's Jaime Delor scored the game-winning goal against No. 20 Creighton for his first goal as a Lope … UT Rio Grande Valley's William Akio assisted in 3-of-4 goals on the week as the Vaqueros split the weekend at home … Utah Valley's Luis Vargas scored twice and assists on another as the Wolverines went 2-1 on the week.
 
Other defensive nominees: Grand Canyon's Malik Smith was key in holding No. 20 Creighton scoreless, playing all 90 minutes on the back line … Seattle U's Josh Adachi claimed a pair of home wins over the weekend, making four total saves in wins over Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara … UT Rio Grande Valley's Antone Jarvis was named the RGV Invitational Defensive MVP after helping the Vaqueros to a 3-2 win over Northern Illinois on Sunday … Utah Valley's Joseph Wheelwright made three saves and earned wins against Florida Atlantic and UC Irvine in his two appearances on the week.
 
UP NEXT
The WAC will be tested this week with a number of intriguing matchups. Undefeated Grand Canyon hits the road for the first time, traveling to Evansville and SIUE. Seattle U plays host to national-power Akron while Air Force returns to the academy to host North Florida and Colgate.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
Two weeks into the regular season, Seattle U leads the league in shots (67) while Utah Valley and CSU Bakersfield are tied for the lead in goals (11). CSUB is also tied with California Baptist for the lead in points (32) while CBU is alone at the top when it comes to assists (12). UNLV and Grand Canyon are tied for the lead in least goals allowed (1) while UNLV's 0.33 goals against average is tops in the WAC. San José State is the leader in saves (24) while Air Force holds the top spot in both shutouts (3) and corners (24).
 
Indvidually, Houston Baptist's Gianluca Natera is the leader in shots (20) and CBU's Preston Judd is tops in both points (15) and goals (7). CBU's Chris Heckenberg is the leader in assists (3) while UNLV's Marco Gonzalez and UVU's Zach Maas hold the lead in game-winning goals (2). In net, GCU's George Tasouris holds the top goals against average (0.00) and save percentage (1.000) while SJSU's Alex Clewis is the leader in saves (23). Air Force's Andrea Seazzu is tops in shutouts (3),
 
ON THE MAP
After knocking off two Top-25 programs to open the year, Grand Canyon is now a Top-25 team itself according to the three polls released at press time. In the United Soccer Coaches Top 25, the Lopes rank 24th, one spot ahead of defending national champion Stanford. GCU is 17th in the Top Drawer Soccer Top 25 and 25th in the College Soccer News Top 30. In the USC Top 25, both Air Force and UNLV were among those receiving votes while Seattle U held the 24th spot in the CSN Top 30.
 
REGIONALLY RANKED
The United Soccer Coaches switched up the regional ranking system for 2018 and the WAC is now in the Far West Region with the Pac-12 and Big West conferences. Air Force is the top WAC school ranked, taking second, while Grand Canyon is third. UNLV is ranked seventh, followed by Utah Valley in eighth and Seattle U in ninth. 
 
MAN OF MANY HATS
California Baptist's Preston Judd has made quite the introduction for himself in the Lancers' move to NCAA Division I. The sophomore forward has already recorded two hat tricks this season, scoring three goals in CBU's season-opening win at Saint Peter's and then repeating the feat, and adding an assist, in the Lancers' win at Gonzaga on Aug. 31.
 
LOTS OF LOPES
Grand Canyon recorded its first ever win over a United Soccer Coaches Top 25 team when they earned a 2-1 victory over 12th-ranked Wisconsin on opening night and there were a lot of fans in attendance to witness the feat. GCU set a new attendance record with 6,648 on Aug. 24, breaking the old mark of 6,402 from opening night of GCU Stadium in 2016.
 
A LOT FOR THE LANCERS TO CELEBRATE
California Baptist earned a 3-0 win over Saint Peter's in its first-ever Division I men's soccer game and the victory also happened to be the 100th career win for head coach Coe Michaelson.
 
SEATTLE U PICKED TO WIN 2018 TITLE
Seattle U is the preseason favorite to win the 2018 Western Athletic Conference men's soccer title in a vote of the league's 12 head coaches, who could not vote for their own team.
 
The Redhawks collected nine of 12 first-place votes and 119 total points to take the top spot after winning the 2017 WAC Tournament and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament. UNLV was selected second with 105 points, just one tick ahead of defending regular season champion Air Force, who earned the remaining three first-place votes and 104 points overall. Tournament Through 9/3ist San José State was selected fourth with 84 points, followed by Utah Valley in fifth with 79 points and Grand Canyon in sixth with 75 points. CSU Bakersfield was selected seventh with 55 points, followed by UT Rio Grande Valley in eighth, Kansas City in ninth, newcomer California Baptist in 10th, Houston Baptist in 11th and UIW in 12th. 
 
AUNE, RIVAS HIGHLIGHT PRESEASON ALL-WAC SQUAD
Seattle U midfielder Sergio Rivas and defender Nathan Aune were selected as WAC Preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year respectively in a vote of the league's 12 head coaches, who could not vote for their own players. 
 
Rivas and Aune are joined on the Preseason All-WAC squad by teammates Anthony Ayala and Josh Adachi. UNLV has three players as forward Marco Gonzalez, midfielder Timo Mehlich and defender Adam Musovski were honored. Air Force had two selected as forwards Tucker Bone and Austin Dewing represented the Falcons. Grand Canyon midfielder Josh Drack and San José State defender Andy Rios rounded out the 11-member team.
 
AUNE, BONE NAMED TO MAC HERMANN WATCH LIST
Seattle U's Nathan Aune and Air Force's Tucker Bone are among those on the watch list for the 2018 Missouri Athletic Club's (MAC) Hermann Trophy. Aune was the 2017 WAC Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team All-American as a junior. Bone was a semiThrough 9/3ist for the 2017 MAC Hermann Trophy as he earned first-team All-American honors as a junior.
 
QUARTET EARNS PRESEASON HONORS
Air Force forward Tucker Bone and Seattle U midfielder Sergio Rivas were both named to the Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Best XI First Team. Seattle U defender Nathan Aune was a second-team selection while teammate Declan McGlynn was named to the TDS Best XI Freshman Team. In addition, both Aune and Bone were named to the Soccer American Preseason Men's College Best XI.
 
WELCOME TO THE WAC
California Baptist joins the Western Athletic Conference as a full-time member in 2018-19. The Lancers won the NCAA Division II Learfield Cup in 2017-18. They will begin their four year transition process to Division 1. This will make them ineligible to compete in post season tournaments (WAC and NCAA) until 2022-2023 season. 
 
THE SEATTLE SEVEN
With 11 men's soccer teams eligible for the postseason in 2018, the WAC tournament field remains at seven teams. The tournament also features an extra rest day between the first round and semiThrough 9/3 round. The regular season champion and top seed will receive the only bye in the tournament, with the other teams beginning play on Wednesday, Nov. 7 in Seattle. SemiThrough 9/3s will be played on Friday, Nov. 9 with the championship game set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11.
 
PLAYING THE BEST
The WAC has 19 non-conference games against participants from the 2017 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament including rematches of all three games the WAC played in the national tournament last season. Air Force is among those with a rematch, facing Virginia Tech in a neutral-site match on opening night at James Madison. Seattle hosts its second-round opponent Akron on Sep. 7 and then takes on rival and first-round opponent Washington on Sep. 23. Opening night will also feature San José State traveling to defending national champion Stanford and Grand Canyon hosting Wisconsin. Akron will also make the trip to Phoenix on Sep. 20 to take on the Lopes.  
 
ON THE AIR
The WAC Digital Network will broadcast 97 regular season games and all six games of the expanded 2018 WAC Men's Soccer Tournament in Seattle.