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This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Nov. 6

This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Nov. 6

Complete Release (PDF)

 
UTRGV'S EDWARDS, RIOS NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
UT Rio Grande Valley's Kyle Edwards and Andy Rios have been named Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for Oct. 29 – Nov. 4.
 
Edwards, a junior forward from St. Vincent & The Grenadines (Ranger JC), scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season in a 3-0 win over UIW to help UTRGV clinch the number two seed in the upcoming WAC Tournament. It was his third multi-goal match of the season and the second most scored in a season in the program's Division I history. He also led the WAC in goals during conference play with 10.
 
Rios, a redshirt junior goalkeeper from Highlands, Texas (Goose Creek Memorial HS), made three saves against UIW to earn his second shutout of WAC play. He posted a 1.00 goals against average in conference play and his .805 save percentage ranked third in the WAC this season as the Vaqueros finished second in the standings.
 
Other offensive nominees: CSU Bakersfield's Ryan Goldsmith picked up his third and fourth assists of the season in a 2-1 win over California Baptist on Saturday night … Grand Canyon's Marco Afonso scored his second goal of the season in the Lopes' 2-1 win over UNLV … Seattle U's Noe Meza scored in the final minute to give the Redhawks a 2-1 win at San José State on Friday night
 
Other defensive nominees: Grand Canyon's Esai Easley helped hold UNLV to just one goal on a penalty kick in the Lopes' 2-1 win over the Rebels to clinch the number four seed in this week's WAC tournament. 
 
TOURNAMENT TIME
It's time to play for the trophy and trip to the NCAA Tournament as the top seven teams in the WAC head to Seattle this week. Air Force is the top seed and will rest until Friday before playing the winner of the opening match between fourth-seed Grand Canyon and fifth-seed Utah Valley at 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday. UT Rio Grande Valley is the second seed and will face seventh-seed UNLV at 4 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Host Seattle U earned the third seed and will face sixth-seed San José State at 7 p.m. PT. Friday's semifinals are set for 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. with Sunday's championship tilt set to begin at 1 p.m. PT. All matches are scheduled to be broadcast by the WAC Digital Network on ESPN+.
 
WASHED, SNOWED 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. Mother nature wasn't done as the Utah Valley at Air Force match on Nov. 3 was snowed out after a brief storm hit the academy. Because of the disparity in matches played, the WAC standings and seeding for the WAC Tournament were based on winning percentage instead of points.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
While Seattle U leads the WAC in shots (349), it's regular season champion Air Force holding the top spot in points (136), goals (48), least goals allowed (13), goals against average (0.71) and shutouts (7). UT Rio Grande Valley leads the league in assists (44) while San José State is tops in saves (89).
 
Individually, UNLV's Marco Gonzalez leads the league in points (72). CBU's Preston Judd is the leader in points (32) and goals (15) while UTRGV's William Akio has the most assists (10). AFA's Tucker Bone and SU's Noe Meza are tied for the lead in game-winning goals (5). In net, AFA's Andrea Seazzu is the leader in goals against average (0.68) while GCU's George Tasouris has the top save percentage (.831) and is tied with SU's Josh Adachi for the lead in shutouts (6). SJSU's Alex Clewis is the saves leader (85).
 
In WAC-only play, Seattle U led the league in shots (209). Air Force was the leader in points (81), goals (28), least goals allowed (8) and goals against average (0.79). UT Rio Grande Valley held the lead in assists (29) while CSU Bakersfield was the leader in saves (58). Utah Valley, Grand Canyon and UNLV all tied for the lead in shutotus with four.
 
Individually, UNLV's Gonzalez was the leader in shots. UTRGV's Kyle Edwards held the lead in points (22) and goals (10) while teammate Akio had the lead in assists (7). GCU's Jackson Jellah, UTRGV's Edwards and SU's Meza tied for the lead in game-winning goals with three each. AFA's Seazzu posted the top goals against average (0.73) while GCU's Tassouris held the top save percentage (.822). SJSU's Clewis was the leader in saves with 51 while UVU's Joseph Wheelwright and GCU's Tasouris tied for the lead in shutouts (4).
 
ON THE MAP
After getting snowed out , Air Force remained prominent in the national rankings. The Falcons are ranked ninth in the College Soccer News Top 30, 13th in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 and 24th 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 remained at number two, UT Rio Grande Valley moved up one spot to seventh and Utah Valley rejoined the poll at eighth.
 
REPPING THE RPI
The WAC has six teams in the top 100 of the latest NCAA RPI Rankings. Air Force moved up two spots to 22nd while UT Rio Grande Valley dropped seven spots spots to 43rd. Seattle U continued to climb, moving up to 49th while San José State dropped one spot to 90th. Grand Canyon and Utah Valley both moved into the top 100, coming in at 91 and 99 respectively. 
 
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 304 and is third in goals with 318.  The league is also second in saves (844) in wins (102).
 
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 25 and Bone is fourth with 22. Rivas moved into the top shot in shots with 236, 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.