SEATTLE, WA—(SPUFalcons.com) Two home games in three days complete the non-conference portion of the schedule for the Seattle Pacific men’s soccer team (1-0-1). The Falcons host Notre Dame de Namur (1-1) on Saturday, Sept. 13 at Interbay Stadium. Kick-off is 7 p.m. as the nightcap of a doubleheader with the women’s team that plays NDNU at 4:30 p.m. The SPU men hold a 6-1 lead in the all-time series against the Argonauts. A rare Monday game on Sept. 15 has the Falcons clashing with Cal State East Bay (0-1-1) at 7 p.m. The Pioneers are winless in six all-time meetings with SPU. This weekend’s contests mark the first home appearances in 2014 for the Falcons men, who have yet to see game action on Interbay Stadium’s new AstroTurf playing surface. Seattle Pacific is vying for its 34th NCAA Division II Tournament berth.
Tickets for SPU soccer games can be purchased on game day at Interbay Stadium (3027 17th Ave. W., Seattle 98119). Ticket windows open one hour prior to kickoff. All seats are general admission and priced at $6 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. SPU students and staff are admitted free. Groups or teams of 10 or more may qualify for reduced ticket rates by calling (206) 281-2085
The Falcons started the season with two games in sweltering Chico, California. They weathered the heat with a win and draw. SPU opened with a 1-0 neutral-site victory over Humboldt State (Sept. 4) that was decided on a 63rd-minute strike by Stephen MacDonald. Cody Lang was credited with the shutout. Thursday’s 100-degree temperature “cooled” to the low 90s for Saturday’s clash at Chico State. The Wildcats went ahead in the 11th minute before Ian Adams netted the equalizer in the 54th minute off a crossing pass from MacDonald. The Falcons compiled an 18-15 shot edge in the hotly contested rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament first-round matchup won 1-0 by Chico. Seven cautions were issued on Saturday, five of them shown to Wildcat players.
SPU moved to 32-8-7 in all-time season-opening games an hopes to improve upon a 32-8-6 record in home openers … Sophomore Stephen MacDonald played a part in both SPU goals to date. He scored the game-winner in the 63rd minute of a 1-0 win over Humboldt State and then assisted on Ian Adams’ tying goal in the 1-1 draw at Chico State … Sophomore ‘keeper Cody Lang boasts an outstanding 0.45 goals against average.
Eight starters are back for SPU, including first-team All-GNAC goalkeeper Cody Lang. The sophomore shot-stopper registered eight shutouts and an impressive 0.76 goals against average in 2013. Returning players accounted for 22 of the team’s 29 goals last season, including four apiece from the trio of Stephen MacDonald, Bryson Pavel and Sean Russell. Sophomore Jordan Kollars was SPU’s best playmaker with five assists while junior Danny Olivas was tops in total points with 10 on three goals and four assists. Pavel was a first-team All-GNAC defender as was sophomore Davis Karaica. Russell and Olivas were honorable mention all-league selections. The impressive list of returning starters is bolstered by six standout freshmen, sophomore midfielder Keenan dePinna who transferred from Oregon State and red-shirt freshman Gabe Kellum from France.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 –
Notre Dame de Namur vs. Seattle Pacific
7:00 p.m. PDT, Interbay Stadium, Seattle, Wash.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 –
Cal State East Bay vs. Seattle Pacific
7:00 p.m. PDT, Interbay Stadium, Seattle, Wash.
This Week’s Opponents
Notre Dame de Namur (1-1-0) — The Argonauts, from the Pacific West Conference, defeated Cal State Monterey Bay 2-0 in the 2014 opener before falling 1-0 to Cal State Stanislaus in their last outing. Esteban Berumen accounted for both NDNU goals. Goalkeeper Jay Tsurouka compiled one shutout and a 0.50 goals against average. SPU owns a 6-1 series lead, including a 2-0 decision on Sept. 14, 2013 in Seattle. Ian Adams and Garrett Jones tallied the Falcons goals in that last meeting.
Cal State East Bay (0-1-1) — The Pioneers, who are members of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, opened with a 4-0 loss to Academy of Art before a scoreless tie with Dominican (Calif.)on Monday. They visit Western Washington on Saturday before playing SPU. East Bay outshot opponents 32-23 despite not finding the back of the net yet in 2014. Goalkeeper Adrian Topete has one shutout and a 1.41 goals against average. The Falcons won all six previous meetings, the last a 1-0 home decision in 2009, against East Bay that was previously called Cal State Hayward.
Seventh-year coach Mark Collings is the third head coach in the 47-year history of Seattle Pacific men’s soccer. He has a 65-32-19 record with the Falcons. Collings led SPU to a 12-4-3 record in 2013 and the team’s third straight playoff berth. The Falcons put together a 14-game unbeaten streak, the longest such single-season stretch in school history. A 10-1-3 GNAC record put SPU in second place. They lost 1-0 to Chico State in the first round of the playoffs. In 2012, Collings directed SPU to a 11-3-5 record and in 2011 a 14-4-2 record was capped by the first playoff appearance in five years. Collings was named the 2010 GNAC Co-Coach of the Year after leading SPU to a 10-6-2 record following records of 11-5-3 in 2009 and 6-10-3 in 2008. Collings replaced Cliff McCrath, who compiled a 512-190-87 mark in 38 seasons (1970-2007). Arnie Aizstrauts was 1-14-1 from 1968-69. The co-captain of SPU’s 1998 Final Four team, Collings was a five-year assistant coach. He avoided a first-year Falcon curse as his predecessors were winless in their inaugural seasons.
The SPU men registered a 12-4-3 overall record in 2013, placed second in the GNAC standings with a 10-1-3 mark and participated in the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive season. They lost 1-0 against Chico State in the opening round of the playoffs in La Jolla, Calif. The Falcons forged a 14-game unbeaten streak, the longest in school history during a single season. Highlighting the season was a 2-1 upset of top-ranked Simon Fraser on Oct 3 in Seattle. Danny Olivas netted a 79th-minute free kick to secure the victory. Three seniors departed, all of them starters: defender Kodiac Gamble, midfielder Anthony Mohammed and forward Blaine Carver. SPU outscored foes 29-15 led by a trio of four-goal scorers in Stephen MacDonald, Sean Russell and Bryson Pavel. First-team All-GNAC goalkeeper Cody Lang played every minute, compiling eight shutouts and a 0.76 goals against average.
Seattle Pacific starts Great Northwest Athletic Conference play on the road, visiting Saint Martin’s on Sept. 20 for a 4 p.m. game in Lacey, Wash.
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