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This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 8

This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 8
Seattle U's Declan McGlynn and California Baptist's Albert Escuin have been named Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for September 30 – October 6.
McGlynn, a sophomore from Kirkland, Wash., totaled four goals on the week to lead the Redhawks to a pair of home wins against Houston Baptist and Kansas City. On Friday against HBU, he scored the middle goal in a 5-0 win over the Huskies, putting two shots on goal. He followed that up with the first hat trick in the WAC this season in a 4-1 win over Kansas City on Sunday. The 2018 WAC Freshman of the Year scored the Redhawks' first goal of the match in just the fourth minute. After a quick equalizer by the Roos, he scored twice in the second half to help lead SU to the 4-1 win. With seven goals overall and give goals in league play, he is tied for the overall lead in goals and holds sole possession of the top spot in WAC-only games. He also leads the league in points with 15 overall and 10 in league play.
Escuin, a senior goalkeeper from Torrent, Valencia, Spain, earned back-to-back shutouts for the Lancers this week, giving him three clean sheets on the year. On Friday, he made five saves to earn the shutout in a double overtime draw with Grand Canyon. He followed that up with four saves in a 4-0 win over UNLV. The Spaniard leads the league with 54 saves in 11 matches played, posting a WAC-best .806 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.13, good for fourth in the conference statistical standings.
Other offensive nominees: Air Force's Lathan Spadafora scored in the Falcons' 3-1 win over Incarnate Word on Friday night … CSU Bakersfield's Ryan Goldsmith posted a pair of game winners for the 'Runners, giving CSUB the win on Friday against UNLV and Sunday against Grand Canyon … Grand Canyon's Calvin Kissi scored his first goal of the season in a 2-1 loss at CSU Bakersfield on Sunday … San José State's Rodolfo Castro tallied three goals and an assist on the week in a blowout win over Kansas City and an overtime loss to Houston Baptist … UT Rio Grande Valley's Kyle Edwards scored each of the Vaqueros' goals this week in a 2-1 loss to Utah Valley and a 2-0 win over Air Force … Utah Valley's Blake Frischknecht scored in each of the Wolverines' wins to push his scoring streak to six matches.
Other defensive nominees: CSU Bakersfield's Detre Bell played a key roll in both of the 'Runners wins on the week, making five saves each in wins over UNLV and Grand Canyon … Grand Canyon's Austin Day played 97 minutes in the Lopes' 0-0 tie at California Baptist and was on the pitch for the full 90 in a 2-1 loss at CSU Bakersfield … San José State's Omar Lemus anchored the Spartans' defense to a 6-0 shutout win over Kansas City on Friday afternoon … Seattle U's Akili Kasim allowed just one goal on the week to help the Redhawks improve to 3-0 in WAC play with wins over Houston Baptist and Kansas City … UT Rio Grande Valley's Andy Rios recorded his fourth shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over Air Force, making four saves against the Falcons … Utah Valley's Aaron Caprio led the Wolverines' back line in a pair of road wins at UT Rio Grande Valley and UIW.
With four days of games, there is plenty of soccer to watch on the WAC Digital Network this week. On Thursday, California Baptist and CSU Bakersfield open up a Rocky Mountain road trip, taking on Air Force and Utah Valley respectively before switching venues on Saturday. San José State and Seattle U head to the desert to take on Grand Canyon and UNLV this weekend while UIW and UT Rio Grande Valley take on Kansas City and Houston Baptist.
One full week into October, Seattle U leads the WAC in shots (207), points (62), goals (22), shutouts (6) and corner kicks (79). Utah Valley, who shares the top spot in the standings with SU, is tops in assists (19). Grand Canyon and UT Rio Grande Valley are tied for the lead in least goals allowed (8) while GCU holds the top goals against average (0.85). California Baptist is the leader in saves (54).
Individually, UVU's Blake Frischknecht and CBU's Rafael Vacas Barba are the co-leaders in shots (39). SU's Declan McGlynn used a hat trick over the weekend to take the lead in points (15) and pull into a tie with Frischknecht for the lead in goals (7). UTRGV duo Angel Lopez and Arthur Rogers share the lead in assists (4) while SU's Noe Meza and Frischknecht have the lead in game-winning goals (4). In net, GCU's George Tasouris holds the top goals against average at 0.85. CBU's Albert Escuin has both the top save percentage (.806) and the lead in saves (54). SU's Akili Kasim and Tasouris are tied for the lead in shutouts with five each.
In WAC only play, Seattle U leads the league in shots (76), points (31) and assists (9). The Redhawks are also tied with San José State for the lead in goals scored (11) and with Utah Valley for the lead in least goals allowed (1). San José State holds the lead in saves (22) while five teams already have two shutouts in WAC play.
Individually, SU's McGlynn is the leader in shots (16), points (10) and goals (5). SJSU's Omar Lemus is the leader in assists (3) while CSUB's Ryan Goldsmith, SU's Meza and UVU's Frischknecht have two game-winners each. In goal, UVU's Joseph Wheelwright has yet to allow a goal to lead the league in goals against average (0.00) and save percenatage (1.000). SJSU's David Sweeney has a WAC-high 22 saves.
UT Rio Grande Valley remains among those in the national polls this week, despite picking up its second loss of the season. In the Top Drawer Soccer Top 25, the Vaqueros round out the poll at 25. UTRGV is also among those receiving votes in the College Soccer News Top 30.
This week's United Soccer Coaches' Far West Regional Rankings feature three teams from the WAC. Seattle U leads the way, moving into the poll at fifth. UT Rio Grande Valley dropped one spot to sixth while Utah Valley appears at eighth.
Utah Valley senior midfielder Alec Felix was announced as one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award®, given annually to a student-athlete who excels both on and off the field. Felix is a three-time Academic All-WAC selection and will graduate next April. Entering his final year of school, Felix has a 3.72 cumulative GPA.A two-time honorable mention All-WAC selection, he has started all but two games in his entire career. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2019 Men's College Cup® in December.
Eight 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 2018-19 academic year. Houston Baptist had the highest team GPA among the WAC teams honored as the Huskies posted an impressive 3.44 grade-point average. Kansas City was next with a 3.40 GPA, followed by California Baptist at 3.34, Grand Canyon at 3.32, Utah Valley at 3.30, UT Rio Grande Valley at 3.21, Seattle U at 3.11 and CSU Bakersfield at 3.01. 345 men's teams across all three divisions were honored, with 255 schools receiving honors for both their men and women's team. Seven of the eight men's teams honored were joined by their women's teams on the list.
Grand Canyon head coach Schellas Hyndman became the fifth Division I men's soccer coach in history to win 500 games after his Lopes earned a season-opening win over Northern Kentucky on Aug. 30. South Carolina's Mark Berson is the only other active coach with over 500 wins.
UNLV junior defender Billy Jones missed some time with the Rebels  in September as he spent time in Fiji competing for his native New Zealand in Olympic Qualifiers. Jones and the Kiwis went undefeated in poll play, defeated host Fiji in the semifinals and won the tournament with a 5-0 win over Solomon Islands in the final. Jones scored New Zealand's final goal in the championship match.
Seattle U is the preseason favorite to win the 2019 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 five of 12 first-place votes and 112 total points to take the top spot. UT Rio Grande Valley was selected second with two first-place votes and 104 points. Air Force and Grand Canyon tied for the third spot with the Falcons earning three first-place votes and the Lopes earning one first-place vote and both teams garnering 88 points. UNLV was just one point back with 87 points to take the fifth spot. San José State, a tournament finalist the last two seasons, received the final first-place vote and 77 points to take the sixth spot. Utah Valley was selected seventh with 75 points, followed by California Baptist in eighth, CSU Bakersfield in ninth, Houston Baptist and Kansas City tied for tenth and UIW in 12th. 
UT Rio Grande Valley's Kyle Edwards and Grand Canyon's George Tasouris were selected as the 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 team or players.
Edwards is joined on the Preseason All-WAC squad by teammate William Akio while Tasouris was the lone representative for GCU. UNLV and Seattle U each had three honored as Tyler Allen, Marco Gonzalez and Timo Mehlich represented the Rebels and Julian Avilia-Good, Declan McGlynn and Thomas Mickoski were the Redhawks' honorees. Air Force's Nick Blessing and San José State's Max Allen rounded out the 11-member team.
UT Rio Grande Valley's Kyle Edwards is the lone WAC representative on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List, released on Aug. 1. The senior scored 14 goals and recorded 33 points during a standout junior season, which saw him earn First Team All-WAC honors, as well as First Team All-Far West Region honors.
UT Rio Grande Valley forward Kyle Edwards was named to the Top Drawer Soccer Preseason Best XI, earning third team honors. Seattle U midfielder Jesse Ortiz was named to the TDS Freshman Best XI after scoring 13 goals for Houston Dynamo U-19 and three goals for Brazos Valley Cavalry FC of USL2 where he played with UTRGV's Edwards.
The WAC has 27 non-conference games against participants from the 2018 NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament. Seattle U and Grand Canyon might have a strong argument for who has the toughest non-conference schedule as the Redhawks are set to take on five NCAA participants (Denver, Indiana (at Notre Dame), at Notre Dame, Portland and Washington) while the Lopes will play four NCAA participants (Oregon State, at Saint Mary's, at UC Riverside and at Virginia Tech). CSU Bakersfield, Houston Baptist and San José State will each take on three NCAA participants. In total, 11 of the 12 WAC men's soccer programs will face a postseason participant in non-conference play.
With 11 men's soccer teams eligible for the postseason in 2019, the WAC tournament field remains at seven teams. The tournament also features an extra rest day between the first round and semifinal 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. 13 at the United State Air Force Academy outside of Colorado Springs, Colo. Semifinals will be played on Friday, Nov. 15 with the championship game set for Sunday, Nov. 17.
WAC Men's Soccer Season Review
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