The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
What a weekend of college soccer for the state of Washington! Ranked clubs both local and visiting will play matches from Spokane to Seattle.
The #16 (NCAA III) Whitworth Pirates Men are home against Linfield (Saturday) and Willamette (Sunday). The #2 (NCAA II) Seattle Pacific Falcons Men are home against Souix Falls (Thursday) and U-Mary (Saturday). The Seattle University Redhawks Men host #6 (NCAA) UC Santa Barbra on Sunday. The ranked Washington Husky Men and Women are both away. See more below. You can always see college news on our front page bottom where we have feeds for most schools.
SPOKANE, Wash. – Fresh off of one of the team’s biggest regular-season victories ever, the 16th-ranked Whitworth men’s soccer team will open Northwest Conference play this weekend by hosting Linfield College on Saturday and Willamette University on Sunday.
The Pirates improved to 3-0-1 by winning both games of the Whitworth Soccer Classic last weekend, including a 1-0 victory over 7th-ranked Wheaton (Ill.)
The Pirates: Many thought (hoped) that Whitworth would lose its role as perennial Northwest Conference men’s soccer power this season after graduating nine seniors, including seven starters who all earned either first or second team All-NWC. But it appears that head coach Sean Bushey has the Pirates right back and ready to challenge for the crown again this season. Whitworth has won or shared six of the last eight NWC championships.
The Pirates served notice with their performance last weekend. On Friday afternoon Whitworth defeated NAIA Corban University 2-1. Robbie Ubben scored the match-winner in the second half only seconds after the Warriors had tied it up.
Then came the showdown with 7th-ranked Wheaton on Saturday. Mike Chavez scored the match’s only goal in the 34th minute and the Pirates went on to post their third shutout in four matches this season.
The quality of the victory over Wheaton ranks with a 2-1 win at St. Thomas (Minn.) in 2009, a 2-1 win over Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2008, and a 3-1 win over Redlands played at Linfield in 2005.
Stout Defense: Whitworth has allowed only a single goal in four matches this season, posting a team goals-against average of 0.24 – by far the lowest in the NWC so far this fall. Goalkeeper Kyle Novak has not allowed a single goal to get by yet and has played all but one half of one match for the Pirates. Center defenders Andrew Flint and Balin Larson have clogged up the opponents’ offensive attack.
Nice Debut: Freshman Karl Muelheims has made a nice debut for the Pirates, leading the team offensively so far with a goal and an assist. His goal was the difference win Whitworth’s 1-0 win at Hamline on September 1st and he had the assist on the goal against Wheaton.
Seattle Pacific Falcons Men
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 –
Sioux Falls at (#2) Seattle Pacific
7:00 p.m. PDT, Interbay Stadium (900), Seattle, Wash.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 –
U-Mary at (#2) Seattle Pacific
7:00 p.m. PDT, Interbay Stadium (900), Seattle, Wash.
LiveStats for Both Games: www.sidearmstats.com/spu/msoc
Second-ranked Seattle Pacific (4-0) continues a hectic stretch of four games in nine days with a pair of home contests this week. The Falcons start Great Northwest Athletic Conference play against the league’s two newest members, beginning on Thursday, Sept. 13 against Sioux Falls (0-3). Kick-off is 7 p.m. at Interbay Stadium. SPU won the only previous clash against the Cougars, a 5-1 decision last season. The Falcons host U-Mary (1-2-1) on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. They won all five previous encounters against the Marauders. The SPU men are vying for their 32nd NCAA Division II Tournament berth. They advanced to the West Regional championship game last fall.
The Falcons have won their opening four games of the season for the first time since 1993, which is the same year they claimed their most recent of five national championships. The school record for victories to start a season is six, established by the 1991 and 1985 SPU squads that each lost in their seventh outing that year.
Undefeated Seattle Pacific received its highest men’s soccer ranking in 18 years with a No. 2 listing in the NCAA Division II poll that was released Tuesday by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). The Falcons hold their highest poll position since they were No. 1 nationally on Sept. 20, 1994. Current SPU assistant coach Nate Daligcon was a starting midfielder on that top-ranked team. Fifth-year head coach Mark Collings played for the Falcons from 1995-98, but none of the SPU teams he played on climbed as high in the rankings as the current team he is coaching.
Seattle University Redhawks Men
#6 UC Santa Barbara at Seattle University – Championship Field – Sunday, September 16 – 3:00 p.m. PDT
CHALLENGE AT HOME: The Seattle University men’s soccer team returned home after a tough road trip in which the Redhawks lost matches at Sacramento State and at Nebraska Omaha. The Redhawks have practiced all week in preparation of a challenging non-conference match, as UC Santa Barbara, currently ranked sixth in the national coaches poll, comes to Championship Field this Sunday. This is the first of three teams currently ranked in the NSCAA Top 20 that Seattle U will play this season.
LIVE STATS: Live stats will be available for Sunday’s match. All links can be found on the men’s soccer schedule page on GoSeattleU.com.
LAST WEEK: Seattle University left home last Tuesday for a road trip, starting with Wednesday’s match against former conference rival Sacramento State. The Hornets scored just 36 seconds into the match and then added another goal with just 1:22 remaining in the first half. Sacramento State held off the Redhawks in the second half for the 2-0 victory. Junior goalie Jake Feener tied his career high, first set on the same field, with nine saves, keeping the Redhawks within striking distance. Race Sciabica led Seattle U with five total shots, including two shots on goal, while Hamza Haddadi contributed the other two shots on goal. After spending some time in San Francisco, Seattle U made its way to Omaha, Neb., to face the UNO Mavericks, currently in their second year of men’s soccer varsity competition. After a scoreless first half, UNO’s Devin Diego scored twice within the span of 1:50 to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead five minutes into the second half. A long blast by Brady Ballew found the back of the net in the 60th minute to cut the Maverick lead in half, but Diego assisted on a goal by Vance Rookwood in the 69th minute to reestablish a two-goal advantage for the home team. Sciabica, who led all players with seven total shots in the match, finally converted in the 85th minute to bring the Redhawks back to within one goal, but Seattle U was unable to notch the equalizer before time ran out. Feener was credited with four saves in the contest.
MPSF STATS: Race Sciabica is tied for the lead in the MPSF in total shots with 16. Meanwhile, Jake Feener leads the conference in saves per match, averaging 5.5 saves per contest through four matches.
SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA: The Gauchos come into the weekend with a 3-0-1 overall record and are ranked sixth in this week’s NSCAA coaches poll. UC Santa Barbara will face San Diego Friday before making the trip north to face Seattle U Sunday. UC Santa Barbara has earned victories at WCC schools Loyola Marymount and Gonzaga, plus it played Oregon State to a 2-2 tie. Achille Campion has been the team’s leader offensively, earning three goals and one assist for seven total points, plus he has taken a team-high 13 shots so far this season. Nic Ryan has also scored three goals this year for the Gauchos, while Ema Boateng leads the way with two assists. Austin Mansker started the first three matches for UCSB and came on in relief in the team’s last match against Valparaiso. Mansker has posted a 0.81 goals against average and a .700 save percentage.
SEATTLE U VS. UC SANTA BARBARA: These two teams clashed in Santa Barbara, Calif., to open the 2011 season. David Opoku started the scoring for the Gauchos in the 19th minute off an assist from Peter McGlynn. Opoku struck again three minutes into the second half to increase the Gauchos’ lead to 2-0. Travis Heim assisted on a goal by Kevin Cook in the 71st minute to cut the UCSB lead in half, but the Gauchos held off the Redhawks, with McGlynn earning his second assist of the match on a goal by Peter Schmetz with just over three minutes remaining in regulation. Andre Grandt was credited with two saves for the Gauchos, while Jake Feener finished with six saves on behalf of the Redhawks.