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This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 22

This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 22

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SU'S MORRIS, GCU'S TASOURIS NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Seattle U's James Morris and Grand Canyon's George Tasouris have been named Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for October 14 - 20.
 
Morris, a freshman forward from Doncaster, England, recorded his first career collegiate hat trick in a 3-2 win at CSU Bakersfield on Saturday. He scored his first goal of the match in the 11th minute and secured the brace less than four minutes later to put the Redhawks up 2-0 after 15 minutes. He earned the hat trick with his sixth goal of the season in the 40th minute to give SU the 3-1 lead heading into the half. On the year, he is tied for fifth in the WAC in points with 14 and is among seven players in the league with six goals scored.
 
Tasouris, a sophomore goalkeeper from Nicosia, Cyprus, earned his sixth shutout of the season, making three saves in a double-overtime draw at UT Rio Grande Valley. Two of the saves came in the final overtime period as he held the Vaqueros scoreless on their home pitch. He leads the WAC with a 0.85 goals-against average this season and his .814 save percentage ranks second in the league.
 
Other offensive nominees: Grand Canyon's Marios Andreou played 99 minutes of a scoreless draw at UT Rio Grande Valley, directing the Lopes' midfield effort … Kansas City's Aiden Cavanaugh scored the first goal in a 2-1 win over Utah Valley, playing all 90 minutes in the victory … UNLV's Marco Gonzalez scored the golden goal in a 1-0 overtime win at UIW on Sunday … San José State's Rudy Castro had two shots on goal for the Spartans in a 2-1 loss at California Baptist.
 
Other defensive nominees: UNLV's Billy Jones organized the Rebel defense in a 1-0 overtime win at UIW, blocking several shots and limiting the Cardinals to just four shots on goal … San José State's Angel Farias scored the Spartans' lone goal in a 2-1 loss at California Baptist while also directing the Spartans' back line … UT Rio Grande Valley's Andy Rios recorded his sixth shutout of the season with four saves at home against Grand Canyon.
 
UP NEXT
We could see the first tickets punched for next month's WAC tournament with a busy schedule of games. UT Rio Grande Valley and UIW head to the west coast to take on California Baptist and CSU Bakersfield. UNLV and Grand Canyon play host to Kansas City and Houston Baptist. Finally, Air Force and Utah Valley travel to San José State and Seattle U.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
Seattle U continues to lead the WAC in shots (240), points (82), goals (28), assists (26), shutouts (7) and corner kicks (101). UT Rio Grande Valley has the least goals allowed (10) while Grand Canyon holds the top goals against average (0.85). California Baptist is the leader in saves with 73.
 
Individually, UVU's Blake Frischknecht is the leader in shots (54), goals (9) and game-winning goals (5). SU's Declan McGlynn is the leader in points (19) while UTRGV's Angel Lopez is the assists leader (6). In net, GCU's George Tasouris holds the top spot in goals against average (0.85) and is tied with SU's Akili Kasim and UTRGV's Andy Rios for the lead in shutouts (6). CBU's Albert Escuin is the leader in both saves (73) and save percentage (.820).
 
In WAC-only play, Seattle U holds the top spot in shots (109), points (51), assists (17) and corner kicks (43) and is tied with Air Force for the lead in goals (17). Utah Valley has the least goals allowed (3) and also leads in goals against average (0.50). California Baptist is the leader in saves (37). 
 
Individually, UVU's Frischknecht is the leader in shots and game-winning goals (3). SU's James Morris holds the lead in goals (6) and is tied with teammate McGlynn for the lead in points (14). McGlynn is also tied with AF's Tristan Trager for the assists lead with four each. In goal, UVU's Mitch Jensenholds the top goals against average (0.25) and save percentage (.917). CBU's Escuin is the saves leader (37) and UTRGV's Rios has a league-best four shutouts in WAC play.
 
REPPING THE RPI
The WAC has three teams in the top 100 of the first RPI rankings released by the NCAA. UT Rio Grande Valley leads the way at 48th, followed by Seattle U in 66th and Utah Valley at 70th.
 
BEST IN THE (FAR) WEST
This week's United Soccer Coaches' Far West Regional Rankings feature three teams from the WAC. Seattle U moved up one spot to fifth, Utah Valley fell three spots to eighth and UT Rio Grande Valley dropped one spot to 10th.
 
HEADING TO THE HALL OF FAME
Grand Canyon's Schellas Hyndman's historic year at the helm of the GCU men's soccer program is being followed with his induction into the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame.
 
Hyndman, now in his 42nd year as a collegiate or professional head coach, will be inducted in January alongside New York prep coaching legend George Herrick and Ohio Wesleyan coaching great Dr. Jay Martin. The United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame, established in 1991, selects up to three members per year for induction. Honorees are chosen with an emphasis on success in the game, work with the association and lifetime contributions to soccer.
 
Hyndman has coached at Eastern Illinois, SMU and GCU, as well as spending six seasons as an MLS head coach for FC Dallas. He holds the fifth most wins by a Division I men's soccer coach after reaching the historic 500-win mark for his collegiate career in this season's Aug. 30 opener against Northern Kentucky. Only South Carolina's Mark Berson has more wins among active Division I coaches.
 
TOP OF THE CLASS
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 SQUADS EARN TEAM ACADEMIC AWARD
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.
 
HYNDMAN JOINS 500-WIN CLUB
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.
 
FROM NEW ZEALAND TO VEGAS AND BACK
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 PICKED TO WIN 2019 TITLE
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. 
 
AUNE, RIVAS HIGHLIGHT PRESEASON ALL-WAC SQUAD
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.
 
UTRGV'S EDWARDS NAMED TO MAC HERMANN WATCH LIST
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.
 
DUO EARNS PRESEASON 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.
 
PLAYING THE BEST
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.