The Simon Fraser University Clan men’s soccer team is the top-seeded team heading into the West Region playoffs of the NCAA Div II national championship tournament.
That’s earned the Clan, who lost only once all season and amassed 16 wins in a row to capture its third consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship, a bye into the second round, which will be played Saturday at Interbay Stadium in Seattle, Wash.
SFU will meet the winner of fourth-ranked Fresno Pacific and the fifth seed, Cal Poly Pomona.
The latter is a bit of a nemesis for the Clan as the Broncos have ousted SFU from the NCAA playoffs the past two seasons. Earlier this season, the Clan defeated the Broncos 3-0 in a regular season match.
The Clan’s offense has been powered by Coquitlam sophomore Matteo Polisi, who’s scored 18 times and totalled 47 points. In fact, the team’s offense that averaged 3.39 goals a match is third best in the NCAA and it was just one of four to score more than 60 goals.
Defensively, keeper Luciano Trasolini and backup Aidan Bain, from Port Coquitlam, have conceded just seven goals. Bain earned a clean sheet in his only starting appearance.
“I thought we put together a very good regular season and we were rewarded for it,” said Clan head coach Clint Schneider of his side’s top ranking. “But none of that means anything unless we win games in the national tournament.”
The NCAA Div II national championship tournament will be held Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 at Slippery Rock University in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Local women lead SFU cross-country
Coquitlam’s Olivia Willett finished fourth and teammate Addy Townsend was seventh to lead the SFU Clan women’s cross-country team to second place at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships, last Saturday in Monmouth, Or.
Willett, a sophomore out of Riverside secondary school, ran the course in 21:49.1 while Townsend was only 4,5 seconds behind.
The women’s team, along with the men who also finished second in the conference championship meet, will participate in the West Region championship Nov. 17 at Montana State University Billings.
Local swimmers make splash for Clan
Riverside secondary school grad Sara Whelan was part of the SFU women’s 400 m freestyle relay team that finished third and the 400 m medley relay team that was second at the Colleges Cup Pacific swim meet at the University of British Columbia last weekend.
The result, along with another third place by the men’s 400 m freestyle team that included Pinetree grad Rolando Hernandez, helped the Clan to a third place overall standing in their first full swim meet of the season.