Posted in Sports

SFU men’s soccer wins GNAC Championship

The number one-ranked Clan team ends their home games in style with a 4–0 win over Northwest Nazarene

With the win, SFU won their first GNAC championship since 2013.
With the win, SFU won their first GNAC championship since 2013.
Image Credits: SFU Athletics

Is SFU’s men soccer team the new Leicester of the GNAC? It seems like it with the historical season they’ve had.

The Clan gave an impressive performance for their last home game and dismantled the Northwest Nazareth’s Crusaders with four goals. This victory extended the Clan’s unbeaten streak to 18 matches. SFU is now one of the only three unbeaten teams in NCAA Division II, and number one in the NCAA West Regional Ranking.

“What a result,” said head coach Clint Schneider after the game. “The players are over the moon. [We] said that is a goal for us to win the GNAC championship. We did it at home and it’s special. We now have two games in hand so two more to go in the GNAC.”

SFU’s midfield was decisive in the contest. Midfielders Adam Jones, Kyle Jones, and Brendan Shaw each scored a goal. Defender Magnus Kristensen also notched a goal.

Midfielder Adam Jones opened the box score for SFU with a late goal in the first half. Jones was assisted by teammate Mamadi Camara with a long, smooth pass. The ball found the path of Jones, who scored his seventh goal of the season.

It did not take long for the Clan to overwhelm NNU’s goalkeeper Aleja Basulto-Merito. At 65 minutes into the contest, defender Magnus Kristensen netted his third goal of the season off a free kick from the right side, finishing an assist from Robert Hyams, who has been very efficient in his assists attempts in the last three games.

Less than four minutes later, Kyle Jones gave the Clan a 3–0 margin. Jones fired a Messi-like free kick that found the back of the net from 25 yards.

With only 45 seconds left, midfielder Brendan Shaw showed off his soccer abilities and finished off SFU’s victory with a free ball in the box.

Goalkeeper Brandon Watson, who broke the GNAC record for the most shutouts in the previous game, recorded his 30th clean sheet in his career. Watson commented on his accomplishment for The Peak. “I owe to my team mates more than anything. That’s the biggest thing I would say about it. It’s the backline in front of me, and again it’s a huge credit to these guys. Now we got the GNAC [championship] and that’s one of the biggest things.”

“We still have two games left in the GNAC. I’m proud of the guys’ result today” noted head coach Clint Schneider. “Northwest Nazarene is a very good team; they caused us some problems today. I thought we responded pretty well. There is a frustration in the way the game ended. We don’t want to end the game that way — but we got through it, which is good.”

Schneider also commented on the contribution of newcomers Freddie Gard and Riley Pang. “Freddie [Gard] and Riley Pang are both two freshmen. I think they’re both excellent and to step into a team like ours, start and play a lot of minutes is a big credit to those guys. I don’t know if it is surprising though because we recruited them for that purpose. I’m happy that they are part of our team.”

The Clan will be on the road to take on Western Washington University on November 3.