Burnaby, BC – On the heels of a first overall ranking in the NCAA Division II soccer polls, the SFU Clan men’s soccer team notched another victory this evening, defeating Northwest Nazarene University by a score of 5-2. SFU and NNU stand at opposite ends of standings as the Clan is undefeated at 6-0 (13-0-0 overall) in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play while NNU now sits in last place with a 0-8 (5-9-1 overall) GNAC record.
The opening goal came with the 13th minute of action drawing to a close, when NNU's Daniel Starbuck scored the first goal of the game and his 2nd of the season to give NNU the early lead.
During the 29th minute of play, the Clan pulled even. Josh Bennett had the assist on the goal, executing a good pass to Basso who scored to tie up the game, 1-1.
With one minute left to play in the first half, SFU's Justin Wallace gave the Clan the lead. After breaking through three defenders he attempted to get a shot on goal but was tripped up by NNU's Sal Sanches, who received the yellow card. Wallace received a penalty kick which he put past Engemen, giving SFU a 2-1 at the half.
“We certainly showed some rust in the first half after a long layoff between the Hawaii trip and tonight’s game,” said Head Coach Alan Koch. “It was the first time this season we allowed the first goal of the game but our players didn’t panic. They showed good character and battled hard."
Engeman experienced a lot of traffic for the first 15 minutes of the second half, as he blocked two headshots by Basso early on to keep the Crusaders within a goal.
His luck ran out when Basso received the ball from Bargholz in the 55th minute and netted it for his second goal of the evening, expanding the Clan lead to 3-1.
Engeman stayed busy as SFU forced him to make three saves in the following 10 minutes of play before SFU solved the Crusaders keeper once again.
With 12 minutes left in the game, Bennett found Justin Wallace with a pass and Wallace knocked it past Engeman to give SFU a comfortable 4-1 lead.
The teams traded another goal on each side, with NNU scoring seconds after the Wallace goal and Marco Voegelli scoring his first of the season for the Clan in the 82nd minute, making the final 5-2 in favour of SFU.
Neither team’s starting goalkeeper finished the game this evening. Hide Ozawa started for SFU, allowing two goals in just over 78 minutes of action before being relieved by Sheldon Steenhuis. Engeman allowed four goals, also in just over 78 minutes of play. He was relieved by Mitch Rice who allowed one goal in his 11:30 on the pitch.
“I’ve said it all season and I think tonight’s game proved once again that there are no easy games in the GNAC. It’s a very competitive conference and we have to be ready to play every game. We’ll train tomorrow and be ready for another battle on Saturday against a very good team.”
The Clans next game will be at home against Montana State University Billings this coming Saturday, October 22nd on Terry Fox Field at 12:00 PM. Admission is free.