Men’s soccer produces six all-team GNAC stars

SPU falls short in final meeting, six players added to the GNAC all-team

Despite a tough season ending loss for the Falcons men’s soccer, the team was able to put six members on the All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference squad.

The Seattle Pacific University men’s soccer team came into last week’s matchup against Simon Fraser University ranked No. 1 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, while Simon Fraser was ranked No. 2. At the end of the game, SPU was unable to hold the No. 1 seed, losing to SFU 2-0.

SFU came out of the game firing, scoring early in the first half. Despite their early effort, they were unable to capitalize on a scoring opportunity again until late into the second half. SPU, meanwhile, was unable to capitalize on any scoring opportunities. 

“We were caught sleeping for a second in the first half,” forward Gabe Kellum said. “We didnt mark up in time and they crossed it in for an easy tap in.”

The win moved the Simon Fraser Clan just one point ahead of the Seattle Pacific Falcons, seizing the No. 1 spot in the GNAC, giving them their second straight title. 

“Its very hard to score at Simon Fraser,” Kellum said. “They have a really small and narrow field which makes things harder for us, especially when we try to use the width when we go forward. Theyre also very good in the back. They stay compact and make it difficult for us to get in behind their defenders.”

Despite the loss, the Falcons were still able to put six players on the All-GNAC soccer team. Senior defender Chaz Jenkins was recognized as an all-conference performer for the third time in his GNAC career. He was a first-team All-GNAC selection in 2015 and a second-team selection in 2014.

Two SPU players were placed the second all team: Kellum and Jess Cayentano. Finally, the other three players were Jóse Benavidas, Mori Tsuchiya and Gabriel Weber made it as honorable mentions. 

Although SPU was unable to come up with the league title and a chance at the NCAA Division II tournament, the team still ended their season as one of the toughest teams in the GNAC as the No. 2 seed. 

“Im proud of how the team was able to bounce back at multiple times during the season,” Kellum said. “Weve been led during some games but managed to come back, and have also won three games in double overtime. Those arent easy things to do, but our team fought hard to get a positive result out of those games.”

Kellum was the Falcons most productive offensive player, leading the team with seven goals, eight assists and 22 total points The prolific forward completed his collegiate career with 18 goals and 18 assists.

“A highlight for me personally was our game against Concordia,” Kellum said. “We were down 2-1 with two seconds to go and we managed to tie the game with a penalty kick. Then in second overtime, with just over three minutes left, we scored a third goal to win it. For the team, I think winning almost all of our games on the road was huge, and also winning three double overtime games was incredible, especially after last season when we couldnt win any of the six games that went into overtime.”

This article was posted in the section Sports.

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