An automatic berth into the NCAA post-season tournament is still within the grasp of the Simon Fraser University Clan men’s soccer team, thanks to the scoring heroics of Coquitlam’s Matteo Polisi.
The freshman midfielder out of Dr. Charles Best secondary scored his second straight game-winning goal to give the 13th-ranked Clan a 3-2 win over Saint Martin’s University last Saturday in Lacey, Wash.
The win lifted SFU into sole possession of first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, three points ahead of Western Washington University and Seattle Pacific, with four games left in the season. One of those four was played yesterday (after the Tri-City News’ deadline) in Billings against Montana State University Billings. If they’re able to retain their position atop the table, the Clan will have an easier road to an NCAA championship as they’ll have secured their place in the post-season tournament.
Polisi’s winner came in the 77th minute when he took a pass from substitute Dzenan Bezdrob, dribbled past a pair of defenders and fired a winner from 15 yards out. It was his second goal of the game, after he connected on a penalty kick in the 41st minute to tie the match 1-1.
Saint Martin’s, which the Clan had defeated 5-1 earlier in the season and has only one win all season, gave SFU all it could handle, firing the first six shots of the match and keeping the visitors away from their own net until the 38th minute.
SFU took their first lead of the match in the 64th minute, but Saint Martin’s equalized 10 minutes later, setting the stage for Polisi’s heroics.
The Clan play Northwest Nazarene University on Saturday in Nampa, Idaho, before returning home to play the two teams chasing them in the GNAC standings. They host Western Washington on Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. and then Seattle Pacific on Nov. 4.
Willett wins for Clan
Coquitlam’s Olivia Willett, a grad of Riverside secondary school, was recognized as the freshman of the year at last weekend’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s cross-country championships in Bellingham, Wash.
Willett finished ninth in the race and helped her Simon Fraser University team to second place in the conference championship behind the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, who placed all five of their runners in the top-10.
Junior Addy Townsend, a Dr.Charles Best grad, finished 27th. But she was hobbled by an asthma attack two kilometres into the run, costing her a full minute-and-a-half behind the time she ran the same course two weeks ago.
Townsend’s sister, Dana, finished 70th.