Seattle University to Host WAC Men’s Soccer Tournament: After closing the regular season on the road with a 1-0-1 record last weekend, Seattle U men’s soccer (11-5-2, 6-2-2 WAC) earned the No. 2 seed and a crucial first round bye in this weekend’s Western Athletic Conference tournament at Championship Field. The Redhawks welcome the other top five eligible regular season finishers to the Emerald City for two matches each on Thursday and Friday and the championship match on Sunday, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Tournament. A season ago, the Redhawks won the 2013 WAC tournament title to advance to their first NCAA DI tournament. Links to available live stats and the WAC Digital Network broadcast are on the men’s soccer schedule page at http://www.GoSeattleU.com.
WAC Tournament All-Session Tickets Now on Sale: All session tickets are now on sale for the Western Athletic Conference men’s soccer tournament hosted by Seattle U. Pricing and links for all-session tickets can be found on http://www.goseattleu.com/sutickets. Single game tickets can be purchased at the ticket gate as well as by calling the Redhawk ticket office at (206) 398-GOSU(4678).
Scouting No. 1 UNLV (13-4-2, 7-2-1 WAC): UNLV wrapped up their regular season title, the program’s first in 27 years, earning the No. 1 seed, with a 2-1 win at Grand Canyon on Sunday, Nov. 9. The Rebels’ conference losses came at the hands of UMKC and Bakersfield two weeks apart, both on UNLV’s home field. Salvador Bernal leads the team in offensive production while, in goal, Ryan Harding has recorded 8.1 shutouts in 19 games. Jason Khamvongsa earned the final WAC Defensive Player of the Week nod of 2014 after anchoring a defense that held GCU scoreless through 89:20 as well as adding a goal and assist in the regular season finale. Earlier this season in their only regular season meeting, the Rebels handed the Redhawks a 3-1 loss on Oct. 10 in Seattle.
Scouting No. 3 Utah Valley (9-6-2, 5-3-2 WAC): The Wolverines’ Karson Payton earned the final WAC Offensive Player of the Week honor of the season after scoring the game-winner at Bakersfield on Nov. 7, also assisting the game-winner at San Jose State on Nov. 9. The No. 3 seed is especially impressive for Utah Valley in their first season as a program. Offensively, Matt Gay leads the league in shots per game and ranks in the top two in total shots in the WAC going into the league tournament. In goal, Collin Partee leads the conference in GAA (0.80), giving up just 12 goals in 15 games. In the teams’ 2014 WAC opener, SU and UVU played to a 1-1 draw in Orem on Oct. 4 before Kyle Bjornethun’s second career goal propelled Seattle U to a 1-0 win in the 2OT thriller in Seattle on Oct. 18.
Scouting No. 4 Kansas City (7-9-2, 5-4-1 WAC): The ‘Roos five-game win streak was snapped on Nov. 9 by Incarnate Word in a 3-0 loss in the regular season finale. Nick Cramer leads UMKC offensively with four goals while, in goal, Chris McGaughey has played every minute this season, making 80 saves and allowing 25 goals for a 1.36 GAA. The Redhawks dropped a heartbreaker in Kansas City during the regular season (Oct. 24), leading by 2-0 late in the game before ultimately falling, 3-2.
Scouting No. 5 San Jose State (6-10-2, 4-4-2 WAC): Offensively for San Jose State, Greg Harte ranks in the top three in league goals (9) and points (19) while Rory Knibbs will also be a factor going into the conference tournament. Felix Petermann is the Spartans’ starting goalie with a 1.46 GAA and 46 saves (eighth in WAC for both). In SU’s regular season meeting with SJSU, just last weekend (Nov. 7), the Redhawks came from behind to earn an important 3-2 victory on Hamza Haddadi’s late game-winner. Last season, the Redhawks topped the Spartans both in the regular season finale (1-0 on Nov. 9) to claim the 2013 regular season title as well as in the WAC tournament final (2-1 on Nov. 17) to claim the WAC tournament title.
Scouting No. 6 Bakersfield (9-7-3, 3-5-2 WAC): Bakersfield, by virtue of Incarnate Word’s ineligibility for postseason play due to Division I reclassification, was able to play Seattle U to a scoreless draw on Nov. 9 in the regular season finale and earn the final spot in the WAC Tournament. Julian Zamora leads the league in goals (10) heading into the weekend while Simon Doherty (17 points) and Christian Duarte (45 shots) also rank in the top 10 in league standings. In goal, Nicolas Clever ranks in the top four in the league in GAA (1.11), saves (66), and shutouts (5.1).
Best of the West: In the Nov. 11 edition of the NSCAA/Continental Tire Men’s Soccer West Regional rankings, four of the top 10 teams are members of the Western Athletic Conference. Seattle U is ranked second while UNLV (1st), Utah Valley (7th), and Bakersfield (9th) round out the top 10.
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