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This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 2

This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 2

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AF'S BONE, CSUB'S SARMIENTO NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Air Force's Tucker Bone and CSU Bakersfield's Rodrigo Sarmiento have been named Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for Sept. 24 - 30.
 
Bone, a senior forward from Granite Bay, Calif. (Jesuit HS), helped the eighth-ranked Falcons extend their program-record winning streak to 10 matches with a pair of home wins. On Thursday against Incarnate Word, he recorded two goals in a 30-second span to give Air Force a 3-0 lead heading into the halftime break. He then assisted on Saturday's first goal in a 2-1 double-overtime win over UT Rio Grande Valley. He was previously named WAC Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10, becoming this season's first repeat winner. 
 
Sarmiento, a junior goalkeeper from Oceanside, Calif. (Oceanside HS), earned his first two career shutouts in important WAC matches on the road. On Friday against Grand Canyon, he made a pair of saves to preserve the clean sheet in a 2-0 win over the Lopes. He followed that up with four saves over 110 minutes to earn the shutout in a scoreless tie at UNLV on Sunday. 
 
Other offensive nominees: Grand Canyon's Marco Afonso scored his first goal of the season on Sunday night in a 2-0 win over California Baptist … Kansas City's Lorant Lettner scored the game-winner on Sunday in a 1-0 win over San José State … Seattle  U's Declan McGlynn played a big role in Sunday's win at Houston Baptist, scoring twice and assisting on another scored in a 5-2 victory … UT Rio Grande Valley's Kyle Edwards scored the Vaqueros' lone goal in a 2-1 loss at Utah Valley … Utah Valley's Blake Frischknecht scored both goals for the brace in Thursday's 2-1 win over UT Rio Grande Valley.
 
Other defensive nominees: Air Force's James Sims anchored the Falcons defense to a pair of home wins and recorded the game-winning goal in Sunday's double-overtime victory over UT Rio Grande Valley … Grand Canyon's Sam Gardner helped the Lopes earn their fourth shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over California Baptist on Sunday … Kansas City's Filippo Errico had four saves on Sunday to earn the clean sheet in a 1-0 win over San José State … UNLV's Enrique Adame earned his third and fourth shutouts of the season in a win over California Baptist and a draw with CSU Bakersfield … Utah Valley's Joseph Wheelwright earned the shutout on Saturday in a 3-0 win over UIW.
 
UP NEXT
With 11 of the 12 teams in the WAC having already recorded a win this season, it's going to be another exciting week around the conference. Seventh-ranked Air Force will look to stay undefeated in conference play when they visit CSU Bakersfield on Friday and California Baptist on Sunday. Utah Valley will also make the trip to CBU and CSUB. Seattle U is back in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 and the 25th-ranked Redhawks will play host to UNLV and Grand Canyon this weekend with the Rebels and Lopes also visiting San José State. Kansas City and Houston Baptist complete the Texas two step this week, playing at UT Rio Grande Valley and UIW.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
While Seattle U leads the WAC in shots (187), it's Air Force holding the top spot in points (87), goals (30), assists (27), least goals allowed (7), goals against average (0.62) and shutouts (5). San José State holds the top spot in saves (51).
 
Individually, UNLV's Marco Gonzalez is the shots leader (43) while CBU's Preston Judd holds the lead in points (24) and goals (11). Five players are tied for the lead in assists with five each while UTRGV's William Akio and AFA's Tucker Bone share the lead in game-winning goals with three each. AFA's Andrea Seazzu holds the top goals against average at 0.64 and GCU's George Tasouris has the best save percentage at .822. SJSU's Alex Clewis is the leader in saves (47). 
 
In WAC-only play, Air Force is tied with Utah Valley for the lead in shots (51) and the Falcons are the sole leader in points (32), goals (10) and assists (12). Air Force is also tied with UNLV, CSU Bakersfield and Grand Canyon for least goals allowed at two.  CSUB and UNLV are tied for the lead in goals against average (0.62) while UIW has the lead in saves (22). GCU, UNLV and CSUB each have two shutouts already in conference play. 
 
Individually, UNLV's Gonzalez is the shots leader (13) and AFA's Bone is tops in points (7) and goals (3). AFA's Luis Martinez and HBU's Gianluca Natera are tied for the lead in assists (3) while both UNLV's Enrique Adame and CSUB's Rodrigo Sarmiento hold a 0.62 goals against average to lead the WAC. Sarmiento also has a WAC-best .846 save percentage and UIW's Carlos Mercado has the lead in saves with 20.
 
ON THE MAP
Riding a program-record 10-match winning streak, the Air Force Falcons are up to seventh in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25. The Falcons are also eighth in the College Soccer News Top 30 and 10th in the Top Drawer Soccer Top 25. Seattle U is also back in the rankings, sitting at 24th in the CSN Top 30 and 25th in the USC Top 25 and TDS Top 25.
 
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 continues to sit atop the rankings for the third straight week. Seattle U is also in the poll, moving up one spot to fourth.
 
REPPING THE RPI
The WAC continues to have three teams in the top 50 and five in the top 100 of the NCAA RPI rankings. Air Force leads the way at 17. Seattle U is 38th and UT Rio Grande Valley sits at 48th. Houston Baptist is 78th and Kansas City is 90th.
 
BRING ON THE BEST
The WAC played 10 Top 25 opponents from the coaches poll in non-conference play and has gone 8-1-1 in those games. Air Force, Grand Canyon and Seattle U have two of those wins each, San José State has a win and a tie and UNLV has the final Top 25 win. 
 
CLIMBING THE CAREER CHARTS
A number of players have cracked the WAC top-10 in several career categories. Air Force's Austin Dewing is tied for seventh all-time in points with 63 while teammate Tucker Bone is ninth with 59. Dewing's 23 career goals puts him in a tie for eighth on the career list. Bone and SU's Sergio Rivas are now tied for third on the all-time assists list while Rivas is fourth in shots (208). Kansas City's Filippo Errico moved into second on the career saves list with 186.
 
SOARING HIGH
Air Force head coach Doug Hill recorded his 100th career victory on Sept. 22 as his 10th-ranked Falcons earned a 4-1 win at Kansas City to open WAC play.
 
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 9/10ist 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 9/10ist 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 9/10 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. Semifinals 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.