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This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 16

This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 16

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USAFA'S BONE, CBU'S ESCUIN NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Air Force's Tucker Bone and California Baptist's Albert Escuin have been named Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for Oct. 8 - 14.
 
Bone, a senior forward from Granite Bay, Calif. (Jesuit HS), scored twice as the 15th-ranked Falcons earned a 4-0 win at home over Houston Baptist. He gave Air Force the early lead in the 13th minute when he was able to get a head on a cross and direct the ball into the lower right corner. After two more Air Force goals, he scored his second goal of the match in the 66th minute, firing from straight in for his ninth score of the year and the 4-0 Air Force win.
 
Escuin, a junior goalkeeper from Torrent, Valencia, Spain (Santa Teresa de Jesus HS), made 10 saves to earn his second shutout of the season in a 1-0 win at San José State on Sunday afternoon. He faced 21 shots from the Spartans, stopping all ten that were on frame. In 12 matches played, he holds a 1.47 goals against average over 733:52.
 
Other offensive nominees: California Baptist's Preston Judd scored his 12th goal of the season to lift CBU to a 1-0 win at San José State … Grand Canyon's Justin Rasmussen scored his first collegiate goal in his first collegiate start in a 2-1 overtime loss to UT Rio Grande Valley … UT Rio Grande Valley's Kyle Edwards scored his seventh goal of the season in overtime to earn a 2-1 win at Grand Canyon … Utah Valley's Alex Felix scored in the Wolverines' 2-0 win over Kansas City.
 
Other defensive nominees: Air Force's Andrea Seazzu made four saves to help secure the Falcon's sixth shutout of the season in a 4-0 win over Houston Baptist …. UT Rio Grande Valley's Andy Rios made a career-high seven saves in a 2-1 overtime win at Grand Canyon … Utah Valley's Samuel Krommenhoek anchored the back line that held Kansas City without a shot on goal in a 2-0 win.
 
UP NEXT
It's shaping up to be a big week in the WAC with 15th-ranked Air Force and Utah Valley, both in first place, hosting third-place Seattle U and fifth-place San José State. UT Rio Grande Valley, who is tied with SU for third place, hosts CSU Bakersfield and California Baptist, with the 'Runners and Lancers also playing at UIW. Grand Canyon and UNLV are also on the road, visiting Houston Baptist and Kansas City.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
While Seattle U leads the WAC in shots (257), it's Air Force holding the top spot in points (107), goals (37), assists (33), least goals allowed (9) and goals against average (0.63). The Falcons are tied with Seattle U for the lead in shutouts with six. Houston Baptist has the lead in saves with 63. 
 
Indvidually, UNLV's Marco Gonzalez holds the lead in shots (51) while CBU's Preston Judd has the lead in points (26) and goals (12). UTRGV's William Akio leads the league in assists (9) while AFA's Tucker Bone is the leader in game-winning goals (4). In goal, AFA's Andrea Seazzu is tops in goals against aveage (0.59) and GCU's George Tassouris is the leader in save percentage (.831). HBU's Jorge Cabrera is the saves leader (58) while SU's Josh Adachi has the most shutouts (6).
 
In WAC play, Seattle U leads in shots (117) and Air Force leads in points (52), goals (17), assists (18), goals against average (0.65) and are tied with Utah Valley for least goals allowed (4). Houston Baptist has the lead in saves (35) while four schools are tied for the lead in shutouts (3). 
 
Individually, UNLV's Gonzalez is the leader in shots (21) and AFA's Bone is the leader in points (11) and goals (5). UTRGV's Akio is the asssists leader (6). AFA's Seazzu has the best goals against average (0.54) while CBU's Albert Escuin has the league's top save percentage (.852). HBU's Cabrera is the leader in saves (34) while three players have three shutouts each.
 
ON THE MAP
The national rankings stayed pretty much the same this week with Air Force remaining 15th in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 and 11th in the College Soccer News Top 30. The Falcons did move up one spot in the Top Drawer Soccer Top 25, coming in at 19th this week. Seattle U is also in the national discussion, receiving votes in the USC Top 25 and ranking 24th 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 remains second in the ranking, trailing on three-time defending national champion Stanford. Seattle U moved up a spot to four while Utah Valley jumped two spots to eighth.
 
REPPING THE RPI
The WAC has five teams in the top 100 of the latest NCAA RPI Rankings. Air Force leads the way at 32nd, followed by UT Rio Grande Valley at 50 and Seattle U at 62. Utah Valley is 83rd with Houston Baptist just inside the top-100 at 99.
 
BRING ON THE BEST
The WAC played 10 Top 25 opponents from the coaches poll in non-conference play and went 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. 
 
AMONG THE BEST
As a conference, the WAC ranks third nationally in goals (230), assists (221) and shutouts (43). The league is second nationally in saves (582) and wins (74).
 
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 fifth all-time in points with 67 while teammate Tucker Bone is tied for eighth with 63. Dewing's 25 career goals puts him sixth on the career list. SU's Sergio Rivas is third on the all-time assists list with 22 with AFA's Bone just one spot behind. Rivas is also third in shots with 216. Kansas City's Filippo Errico is second on the career saves list with 191.
 
EXTRA TIME
The WAC has seen 20 overtime matches this season, including four in conference play. Overall, the league is 6-9-9 in extra time.
 
SMART GUYS
Four men's soccer teams from the Western Athletic Conference have earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for exemplary performance in the classroom as a team during the 2017-18 academic year. 
 
To qualify for the award, the team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the entire academic year. The team GPA is determined by adding every player's GPA, then dividing by the number of players.
 
UT Rio Grande Valley had the highest team GPA among the WAC teams honored as the Vaqueros posted an impressive 3.50 grade-point average. Grand Canyon was next with a 3.34 GPA, followed by CSU Bakersfield at 3.10 and Seattle U at 3.08. 
 
289 men's teams across all three divisions were honored, with 191 schools receiving honors for both their men and women's team. All four men's teams from the WAC that were honored were joined by their women's programs as well.
 
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 semifinalist 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.