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This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 29

This Week in WAC Men's Soccer - Oct. 29

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HBU'S FALETTO, GCU'S SWEENEY NAMED PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Houston Baptist's Dominick Faletto and San José State's David Sweeney have been named Western Athletic Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for October 21 - 27.
 
Faletto, a senior forward from Forney, Texas, set a new WAC mark for goals in a league match with four tallies in a 4-3 overtime win at Grand Canyon on Friday night. The senior opened up the scoring for the Huskies in the 12th minute and scored again in the 26th minute to give HBU the 2-0 lead. He earned the hat trick in the 56th minute to put the Huskies up 3-1 and after a GCU comeback, he scored the game-winner in the 99th minute for the important league win. He becomes the fourth player in WAC history to score four goals in a match and the first to do it against a league opponent. 
 
Sweeney, a freshman goalkeeper from Morgan Hill, Calif., collected a pair of shutouts for the Spartans in home wins against Utah Valley and Air Force. Against UVU, the first-year keeper made 11 saves, tied for the most in the WAC this season, to earn the clean sheet in a 3-0 win. He followed that up with four saves against Air Force for his third shutout this season. The true freshman leads the WAC in saves per game at 5.67 and his .785 save percentage ranks third.
 
Other offensive nominees: CSU Bakersfield's Mikey Vogel scored a goal each in wins over UIW and UT Rio Grande Valley … Grand Canyon's Bert Wilton scored his third goal of the season on Friday night against Houston Baptist … Seattle U's Noe Meza scored in each of the Redhawks' wins over Air Force and Utah Valley, adding an assist in the overtime win over UVU … San José State's Rudy Castro scored twice in a 3-0 win over Utah Valley on Friday … UT Rio Grande Valley's Angel Lopez scored his third-goal of the season in a 1-0 win at California Baptist … Utah Valley's Zach Maas scored the Wolverines' lone goal of the week in a 2-1 overtime loss at Seattle U.
 
Other defensive nominees: CSU Bakersfield's Detre Bell pitched a pair of home shutouts for the 'Runners, making four total saves in wins over UIW and UT Rio Grande Valley … Grand Canyon's Austin Day played strong defense for the Lopes in an overtime loss to Houston Baptist and a tough match with Kansas City … UT Rio Grande Valley's Andy Rios recorded his 12th career shutout, and seventh of the 2019 season, in a 1-0 win at California Baptist on Friday.
 
UP NEXT
The extremely competitive schedule continues this week as squads battle for one of seven spots at the upcoming WAC tournament. Grand Canyon and UNLV head to the mountains to take on Air Force and Utah Valley in important games for all four schools. Seattle U and San José State head to Texas for games at UIW and UT Rio Grande Valley. Finally, CSU Bakersfield and California Baptist head east for games at Kansas City and Houston Baptist.
 
TICKET PUNCHED
Seattle U became the first school to clinch a spot in next month's WAC Tournament at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
 
BY THE NUMBERS
Seattle U continues to lead the WAC in shots (288), points (95), goals (32), assists (31), corners (116) and are tied with UT Rio Grande Valley for the tie in shutouts (7). UTRGV also leads the league in goals allowed (11) and goals against average (0.82). California Baptist holds the lead in saves (87).
 
Individually, UVU's Blake Frischknecht is the leader in shots (61), game-winning goals (5) and is tied with UNLV's Timo Mehlich for the scoring lead (9). SU's Declan McGlynn is the leader in points (23) and assists (7). In goal, UTRGV's Andy Rios holds the top goals against average at 0.82 and is tied with SU's Akili Kasim for the lead in shutouts (7). CBU's Albert Escuin is tops in saves (87) and save percentage (.837).
 
In WAC-only play, Seattle U holds the top spot in shots (157), points (64), goals (21), assists (22) and corner kicks (58). UT Rio Grande Valley is the leader in least goals allowed (5) and goals against average (0.61) and shutouts (5). California Baptist is tops in saves (51).
 
Individually, SU's McGlynn holds the lead in shots (35), points (18) and assists (6). SJSU's Rudy Castro is the leader in goals scored (7) while UVU's Frischknecht holds the lead in game-winning goals (3). UTRGV's Rios has the top goals against average (0.61) and leads in shutouts (5) while CBU's Escuin is the leader in save percentage (.895) and saves (51).
 
REPPING THE RPI
The WAC has three teams in the top 100 of the latest RPI rankings released by the NCAA. Seattle U jumped 20 spots to 46, UT Rio Grande Valley fell to 72 and Utah Valley sits at 93.
 
BEST IN THE (FAR) WEST
This week's United Soccer Coaches' Far West Regional Rankings feature a pair of teams from the WAC. Seattle U stayed idle at fifth while Utah Valley dropped one spot to ninth.
 
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.