Clan continue to dominate as thoughts turn to NCAA Championship rounds
The NCAA Division 2 action is coming thick and fast for Simon Fraser University, but the Clan are showing no signs of flagging as they continue to dominate the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Two games in three days proved no problem for the Clan this week, winning both with ease and dispatching of their opponents with a combined 11-0 scoreline in the process.
It didn’t matter if they came from North or South Dakota, they were sent on the long journey home on the wrong end of a hammering.
The University of Mary were first up on Thursday evening, in a match played in eerie conditions as thick fog enshrouded the mountain.
It was certainly scary for Mary, as the Clan hit five unanswered goals against the North Dakotans in front of 309 fans.
Mary held their own for the first half, trailing by a single Michael Winter goal at the break, before a four goal second half burst put the Clan out of sight.
Goals from Carlo Basso (his 10th of the season), Justin Wallace, Brazilian Renan Rebelatto (pictured above scoring) and Jovan Blagojevic did the damage, with Whitecaps Residency graduate Alex Rowley having another great game in midfield and earning an assist on Basso’s goal (his 8th assist of the season).
You can see AFTN photographer Christopher Vose’s photo gallery slideshow of the game HERE. There’s some cracking foggy photos in there.
The Cougars from South Dakota’s University of Sioux Falls were the next to try their luck on Saturday afternoon, but they fared worse, going down 6-0 with three goals in each half.
It was great to see the Clan not easing up and going for the jugular late in the game and their pressure paid off with two goals in the final two minutes of the match.
A brace apiece from the impressive Ryan Dhillon and Colby Liston (pictured here scoring), and a goal apiece from Michael Winter and Colin Jacques, saw off a Cougar team who had their own chances but poor finishing and some tremendous defending kept them out.
There were some injury worries for the Clan, with two players being carried off, including goalscorer Jacques. Alex Rowley also missed his first game of the season with a calf injury, but he should be back for the match on Thursday at Northwest Nazarene.
You can see Christopher’s slideshow of the six goal win HERE.
With the scores racking up, the Clan have been able to give a lot of their non regular starters some serious minutes of late and they’ve been keen to show what they can do and are getting the job done. It just shows what depth and talent Head Coach Alan Koch has assembled at the Clan this season.
With most of the Clan being local lads, that will hopefully bode well for the Whitecaps down the road.
With four regular season games remaining, how does Koch feel that the season has gone up to this point?
“It’s been a great season so far meshing a seasoned group of veterans with a lot of talented freshmen.
The sky is the limit for this group.”
With a current record of 12 wins and one loss, SFU are topping the GNAC and were ranked 4th nationally in last week’s coaches rankings.
There is no Conference tournament, so the team topping the final regular season standings will be crowned GNAC Champions.
Thoughts of many are now turning to the 32 team NCAA Division II Championship tournament that will get underway in the second week of November.
The NCAA tournament selection show on November 6th determines who makes it to the post-season, and seedings will be based on the season’s results.
If the Clan can win out the rest of the regular season, hopes are high that SFU will host the first two regional rounds of the knock-out competition between November 8th and 11th. The winners will then move onto the third round/quarter finals the following week.
The Clan still need to round off their regular season and they now have three straight road games, before returning to Terry Fox Field on Saturday November 3rd to face Western Washington Vikings.
Kick off is at 3pm, admission is free, as is parking, so get along and cheer the guys on. As we’ve said before, you won’t be disappointed by the action you see on display and it could be a chance to see a couple of future Whitecaps out there.
But most of all, you’ll see some great football and support the local game.