With a title under its belt, the Simon Fraser University men’s soccer team is setting its sights high as the No. 1 seed in the West Region in the NCAA Div. 2 men’s soccer championships.
Simon Fraser (first overall, 9-1-2, in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference) sits atop the West Region bracket with their opening match 1 p.m. Saturday at Seattle Pacific’s Interbay Stadium against the winner of No. 4 Sonoma State and No. 5 Cal Poly Pomona.
Being ranked as high as No. 2 nationally during the season, the Clan return to the postseason for the fourth time in five years of playoff eligibility.
“We played well all season long and we deserved the No. 1 seed,” said head coach Clint Schneider. “We accomplished our goals of starting the season strong and winning the GNAC championship and now it’s on to the next one – winning the national championship.”
Simon Fraser, who had a 15-game unbeaten streak during the season, will get a first-round bye. Although the GNAC title earned them the right to host, the NCAA requires all playoff matches be played in the U.S. SFU is the only Canadian school in the NCAA.
This season, midfielder Adam Jones led the team in scoring with 10 goals and nine assists while midfielder Mamadi Camara counted nine goals and four assists. Senior goalkeeper Brandon Watson set the GNAC record with 30 career shutouts .
“We have played Sonoma State and Cal Poly in the past two years and we are familiar with them,” said Schneider. “We are excited to play them in the northwest in an environment we are comfortable in, where it will be cold and wet.”
On the strength a Jones hat trick, SFU ended the regular season with a 4-2 triumph over Seattle Pacific last week.
“We think we can beat anyone on any given day, that’s how confident our group is,” added Schneider. “Our philosophy is to always schedule the best teams. We are ready.”
Sonoma State, seeded fourth, and No. 5 Cal Poly Pomona will play on Thursday at 1 p.m. in Seattle.