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This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 30

This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 30

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GCU'S JELLAH, TASOURIS NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Grand Canyon's Jackson Jellah and George Tasouris have been named Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for Oct. 22 - 28.
 
Jellah, a senior from Phoenix (Sandra Day O'Connor HS), had a pair of game-winning goals to clinch a tournament berth for GCU. The striker gave the Lopes the win on Friday in the 100th minute, getting ahold of a corner kick in the middle of the box and putting it in for the 2-1 extra-time win over Utah Valley. He then scored in the 27th minute on Sunday against Air Force and GCU held on for the 1-0 win over the eighth-ranked Falcons. 
 
Tasouris, a freshman goalkeeper from Nicosia, Cyprus (The English School Nicosia), made 13 saves on the week and allowed just one goal in nearly 190 minutes to help the Lopes clinch a tournament berth. On Friday against Utah Valley, he made six saves and allowed just one goal to earn the win. He followed that up with seven saves on Sunday to earn the shutout against eighth-ranked Air Force. On the week, he led all WAC goalkeepers with a 0.47 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and 13 saves.
 
Other offensive nominees: Air Force's Tucker Bone scored twice in the Falcons' 5-2 win at UNLV on Friday … California Baptist's Preston Judd scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season in a 2-1 overtime win over Houston Baptist on Sunday … UNLV's Marco Gonzalez had two goals, including a PK game-winner in the 102nd minute, to help the Rebels earn a 2-1 win over Utah Valley … Seattle U's Hal Uderitz scored the equalizer on Friday against UT Rio Grande Valley and the eventual game-winner on Sunday against UIW … UT Rio Grande Valley's Kyle Edwards scored against both Seattle U and San José State as the Vaqueros went 1-1 on the road.
 
Other defensive nominees: Air Force's Andrea Seazzu made 12 saves on the weekend as the Falcons went 1-1 on the road … California Baptist's Albert Escuin earned a pair of wins on the weekend, making four saves.
 
UP NEXT
It's the final week of the regular season and while the seven teams who are headed to Seattle next week for the 2018 WAC Tournament have been set, there is a lot to play for this week. Air Force, who has already locked up the top-seed in next week's tournament, will be defending Cadet Soccer Field against visiting Utah Valley as the Falcons try to clinch sole possession of the regular season title. UT Rio Grande Valley will be hoping for the UVU win as the Vaqueros can earn a share of the regular season title with a win over UIW and an Air Force loss. On Friday night, a quartet of tournament teams will be in action as Seattle U visits San José State and Grand Canyon heads to UNLV with all four teams playing for seeding. The final games match Houston Baptist at Kansas City and California Baptist heading to CSU Bakersfield.
 
WASHED OUT
After a lengthy lightning delay and storm that left Sorel Field unplayable, the match between Grand Canyon and Houston Baptist on Oct. 19 was abandoned in the 64th minute and will not be made up. Because of the disparity in matches played, the WAC standings and seeding for the WAC Tournament will now be based on winning percentage instead of points.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
While Seattle U leads the WAC in shots (332), it's Air Force holding the top spot in points (136), goals (48), least goals allowed (13), goals against average (0.71) and shutouts (7). The Falcons are tied with UT Rio Grande Valley for the lead in assists with 40. San José State has the lead in saves with 85. 
 
Individually, UNLV's Marco Gonzalez holds the lead in shots (66) while CBU's Preston Judd has the lead in points (32) and goals (15). UTRGV's William Akio is tied with UNLV's Nico Clasen for the lead in assists (9) while AFA's Tucker Bone is the leader in game-winning goals (5). In goal, AFA's Andrea Seazzu is tops in goals against average (0.68) and GCU's George Tasouris is the leader in save percentage (.831). SJSU's Alex Clewis is the saves leader (81) while SU's Josh Adachi and GCU's Tasouris are tied for the most shutouts (6).
 
In WAC play, Seattle U leads in shots (192) and Air Force leads in points (81), goals (28), goals against average (0.79) and are tied with UT Rio Grande Valley in assists (25). Air Force is also tied with Grand Canyon for the lead in least goals allowed (8). Houston Baptist and CSU Bakersfield are tied for the lead in saves (52) while Grand Canyon, UNLV and Utah Valley are tied for the lead in shutouts (4).
 
Individually, UNLV's Gonzalez and SU's Sergio Rivas are tied for the lead in shots (36) and AFA's Bone and UTRGV's Kyle Edwards are tied for the lead in points (18) and goals (8). UTRGV's Akio is the assists leader (6). AFA's Seazzu has the top goals against average (0.73) and GCU's Tasouris has the top save percentage (.822). HBU's Jorge Carberera is the leader in saves (50) while GCU's Tasouris and UVU's Joseph Wheelwright share the lead for shutouts in WAC play with four each.
 
ON THE MAP
Despite a 1-1 week on the road, Air Force remained prominent in the national rankings. The Falcons are ranked 10th in the College Soccer News Top 30, 12th in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 and 18th in the Top Drawer Soccer 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 fell one spot to number two, switching positions with Stanford. UT Rio Grande Valley also fell, moving from fourth to eighth.
 
REPPING THE RPI
The WAC has four teams in the top 100 of the latest NCAA RPI Rankings. Air Force fell seven spots to 24th while UT Rio Grande Valley moved up three spots to 36th. Seattle U moved up 13 spots to 55 while San José State dropped two spots to 89th.
 
GIANT KILLERS
Exactly half of Grand Canyon's wins in 2018 have come against top-25 programs. The Lopes opened the season with wins over then 12th-ranked Wisconsin and 20th-ranked Creighton. GCU then earned a 1-0 road win at 24th-ranked Seattle U and most recently knocked off eighth-ranked Air Force in Phoenix. It wasn't just GCU earning big wins though as 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 had two of those wins each, San José State had a win and a tie and UNLV had the final Top 25 win. 
 
AMONG THE BEST
As a conference, the WAC leads the nation in assists with 285 and is third in goals with 295.  The league is also tops in saves (765) and is second in wins (96).
 
PETER THE GREAT
Seattle U head coach Pete Fewing earned his 300th win on Oct. 26 against UT Rio Grande Valley. He is the 21st active coach to reach the 300-win mark, joining GCU's Schellas Hyndman and SJSU's Simon Tobin on the list.
 
CLIMBING THE CAREER CHARTS
A number of players have cracked the WAC top-10 in several career categories. Air Force's Austin Dewing is fifth all-time in points with 74 while teammate Tucker Bone is sixth with 70. Dewing's 28 career goals puts him sixth on the career list. SU's Sergio Rivas moved into second on the all-time assists list with 24 and Bone is fourth with 22. Rivas moved into the top shot in shots with 235, passing UNLV's Danny Musovski (231). Kansas City's Filippo Errico is second on the career saves list with 206. Errico also holds the top mark in saves in conference play with 122, recently passing CSUB's Nicolas Clever (117).
 
EXTRA TIME
The WAC has seen 23 overtime matches this season, including seven in conference play. Overall, the league is 9-12-9 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.