Monday, September 30, 2013

Lower Division Five Stars: Week Twenty-Six

A weekly list of the top five players or performances of each round in NASL, USL Pro and MLS Reserves in all competitions…

ROUND TWENTY-SIX (September 23-29)

Player – Club (5 Star Selections)

Quincy Amarikwa - Chicago Fire Reserves (2)
Trailing by two at home, he scored twice in a five minute span to pull even with Montreal in a 3-2 victory.

Lower Division Power Rankings - September 30

The New York Cosmos have captured that elusive defining victory to prove the one-loss start to the season is not a mirage, downing Tampa Bay to switch places with them near the top of the list. Several other switches took place, though they were among the four sides that lost this week.

Lower Division Recap: Round 26

The logjam in the NASL continues with only three points separating second and sixth, but the New York Cosmos (5-1-3) used a thrilling comeback victory at home over Tampa Bay in a battle for first to move ahead of the pack by four points. Meanwhile, MLS Reserve League action is winding down for the season with three contests in the past week, including an exciting rally at home by Chicago against Montreal.

Whitworth splits homestand doubleheader against Pacific University

The Whitworth men had plenty to celebrate while the Pacific women won the other match | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
The Whitworth men and women each saw a rally Sunday afternoon in home contests against Pacific University, but experienced them from different sides of the story. Tiara Pajimola's fantastic tally in the first half was not enough as the ladies fell 2-1 while the men rebounded from an early deficit - on a goal from Spokane native Ian Farley - to pull even and, after a Pacific red card, pull away in a 4-1 victory.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gonzaga men close out successful non-conference slate with 2-1 win over Seattle U

The Zags had plenty to celebrate in the wet conditions Saturday | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
Back home after nearly a month on the road in which the Bulldogs enjoyed their greatest success in quite some time, the Gonzaga men, ranked 23 by Soccer America, found some freedom from the wind in the second half Saturday afternoon to build a two-goal lead against Seattle University en route to a 2-1 victory on a very wet and blustery afternoon.

Friday, September 27, 2013

INW 2013 College Preview - Big Sky Conference at a Glance

INWsoccernews rounds out its series of conference previews with the Big Sky Conference, which currently features three teams in the region and is kicking off conference play this weekend. A year ago, the conference was a wide-open race with plenty of parity. Judging by the preseason conference poll, the coaches expect that to be the case again.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

INW Best XI - Week 5: Surprise results land Whitman's Tsuji, Linfield's McCool top honors

Each week INWsoccernews will release lists of the week’s best performances for men’s and women’s soccer in the region, recognizing players at schools in the region or those from the area that play elsewhere in the nation.

INW College Recap - Week 5: Walla Walla & Spokane proving only hopes for NWAACC East

As the inter-divisional play continues in the NWAACC between the East and North, it is becoming increasingly clearer each game day that the CC Spokane and Walla Walla CC men and women are the best sides as they are the only programs continually registering positive results outside of the division. They were a combined 6-0-1 on the week with the only other victories for the East coming via the Wenatchee Valley men and Columbia Basin women as the North came out on top with an 11-8-1 mark for the week between the two divisions.

INW College Recap - Week 5: UGF Men's four-win week highlights Frontier, Cascade Conference results

The Argonauts had an excellent week, posting big victories over visiting Walla Walla twice midweek before traveling to Utah and posting two more, including one against conference foe and host Westminster. Meanwhile, the lady Argos were able to avenge their preview Red Lion Challenge loss to the College of Idaho, but fell at Westminster.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

INW College Recap - Week 5: Mixed results for INW teams amidst start of GNAC, NWC conference play

Conference powers Simon Fraser men and Western Washington women were tough opponents for MSU-Billings and Northwest Nazarene in the first week of conference play in the Division II GNAC while the Whitworth and Whitman men and women ended up with a mixed bag of results on the road as they kicked off conference play in the Division III NWC.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

INW College Recap - Week 5: DI round-up; Gonzaga men top another ranked foe on the road

Fresh off of receiving their highest ranking since 1997, No. 19, the Gonzaga men continued their lengthy road series in Chicago, suffering a 1-0 setback before rebounding to defeat 21st-ranked and unbeaten Wisconsin. Meanwhile, the Washington State women remain unbeaten by adding a pair of non-conference victories in California to their ledger heading into conference play, and the ladies of Boise State finished their non-conference slate unbeaten against PAC-12 opposition (2-0-1) with a win at Arizona State before falling at 13th-ranked Baylor.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lower Division Five Stars: Week Twenty-Five

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A weekly list of the top five players or performances of each round in NASL, USL Pro and MLS Reserves in all competitions…

ROUND TWENTY-FIVE (September 16-22)

Player – Club (5 Star Selections)

Hans Denissen - San Antonio Scorpions (4)
Set up the equalizer and later converted from the spot in stoppage time to sting visiting Carolina 2-1.

Lower Division Power Rankings - September 23

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Tampa Bay and New York headline the top sides among the NASL in the rankings, and one could make a serious jump up the list with a commanding performance when the two meet this week after having previously played to a scoreless draw in the second week of the Fall campaign. The top five of the NASL have firmly entrenched their place in the top 10, barring any poor run of form, but it was San Antonio making a big jump up the list thanks to a win over Carolina.

Lower Division Recap: Round 25

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It took eight weeks, but teams are beginning to separate into tiers in the NASL with the New York Cosmos and Tampa Bay Rowdies pulling a handful of points clear of the pack. Meanwhile, the MLS Reserve League saw a light week of action with only two contests.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Scoreless stalemate for Gonzaga women and Nevada

Gonzaga women now hit the road for five consecutive over the next month | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
In a mostly lackluster afternoon, the Gonzaga women played to a scoreless draw Sunday versus visiting Nevada in a game in which neither team really assumed full control, though the Bulldogs began to show some life near the conclusion and into overtime.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

CC Spokane women top Green River, tie Whatcom; men edge Whatcom 1-0

The Bigfoot men and women remain after going combined 2-0-1 on the weekend | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
The CC Spokane men and women finished the weekend unbeaten with the ladies kicking things off with a 4-0 victory over visiting Green River CC on Friday and continuing their two-day outing with a 1-1 draw against Whatcom CC in a Saturday doubleheader that saw the men come away victorious 1-0.

Friday, September 20, 2013

INW 2013 College Preview: WAC, PAC-12 and MWC at a Glance

With conference play kicking off in the Western Athletic Conference this week, INWsoccernews continues its series of conference glances with the WAC, the Mountain West Conference and the PAC-12, each featuring one school in the region (series concludes with Big Sky next week).

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

INW Best XI - Week 4: Caballero shutout leads Zags, Castain double-brace leads Cougs

Each week INWsoccernews will release lists of the week’s best performances for men’s and women’s soccer in the region, recognizing players at schools in the region or those from the area that play elsewhere in the nation.

INW College Recap - Week 4: CC Spokane, Walla Walla CC showing strength in NWAACC

The NWAACC East Division teams continued their early season slate against the North Division over the last week with the men's teams going 3-3-2 against their western foes and the ladies only finding wins via Spokane and Walla Walla at home among a 2-5-5 record. The Sasquatch men and women were 2-0-2 on the week while their counterparts from division power Walla Walla were 2-0-1.

After visiting CC Spokane Saturday, Shoreline ventured over the border and played a doubleheader with North Idaho College, splitting on the day. The women's side posted a narrow 1-0 victory while the men's side, winless on the year, fell 2-0 to the Cardinals.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Johnson brace leads Gonzaga women to 3-0 win against Eastern Washington

Local foes Eastern Washington and Gonzaga squared off once again Tuesday | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERY
In a showdown of area foes, Gonzaga rolled a 3-0 victory on a blustery and cool afternoon against visiting Eastern Washington, led by the duo of sophomore Heather Johnson, who tallied twice, and freshman Karley Baggerly.

INW College Recap - Week 4: Eastern Oregon women continue hot start with two more wins amidst GNAC, NWC & NAIA action

In the GNAC, it was a tough trip to California for MSU-Billings, who suffered a pair of 2-1 overtime losses. On the other side of that scoreline though was Central Washington women, taking a 2-1 extratime win at Eastern New Mexico. The NWC saw the Whitworth and Whitman women split a pair of 2-0 contests with one another while the Whitworth men split a pair in Oregon.

In a trip to Vegas, the Frontier Conference saw some tough competition with the Rocky Mountain men posting the only victory, a 2-1 win over Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and their female counterparts earning a scoreless draw against 15th-ranked CSU San Marcos. The Great Falls men came close to a win, falling to CSUSM 3-2 in overtime.

In the CCC, the Eastern Oregon women continue to impress under second-year coach Jennifer Simonetti with the best start in program history, blanking Point Park University (PA) 2-0 and Walsh University 1-0 in overtime, both on the road.

Monday, September 16, 2013

INW College Recap - Week 4: Big wins for Gonzaga men, women highlight area DI results

The Gonzaga men continue to roll with another surprising road result and it may have rubbed off onto the women's side as the Bulldog women posted their first victory over a PAC-12 school since 2007, ending a 15-game losing streak against the conference. Also on the women's side, Eastern Washington won against future Big Sky foe Idaho for the second straight year; Boise State picked up a pair of wins in North Dakota; and Washington State had a pair of good results.

Lower Division Five Stars: Week Twenty-Four

LD Soccer News on Facebook
A weekly list of the top five players or performances of each round in NASL, USL Pro and MLS Reserves in all competitions…

ROUND TWENTY-FOUR (September 9-15)

Player – Club (5 Star Selections)

Andre Akpan - New York Red Bulls Reserves (3)
Trailing by one, he scored both goals as the Red Bulls rallied to a 2-1 win against Reserve League East Division leader Toronto.

Lower Division Power Rankings - September 16

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The New York Cosmos have only been scoring at a rate of one goal per game, but with everyone else playing to draws they have been able to climb the NASL table and into first. While compilation of points has them at the top, the results still are not quite impressive enough (no wins against the three NASL teams above them) to warrant a move up the rankings… yet.

If you remember where everyone was last week, don't bother looking because nothing changed.

Lower Division Recap: Round 24

USL Pro crowned it’s champion a week ago, but at the midway point of the NASL Fall campaign, the top seven of the eight clubs are separated by only four points.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Gonzaga women post first win against Oregon State, PAC-12 since 2007

The Bulldogs dominated in a rare win against PAC-12 opposition | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERY
A corner kick goal from Tori Lee in the first half led the Gonzaga women to a 1-0 victory over visiting Oregon State Sunday afternoon to end a three-game losing skid.

Perhaps most importantly, though, it was the lady Zags first victory against a PAC-12 opponent since they defeated the Beavers October 5, 2007 by the same scoreline. The Bulldogs, who fell at Oregon State 2-0 a year ago, had gone 15 consecutive games without even earning a draw against opponents from the high-profile conference.

Sasquatch roll to easy 4-0, 6-0 wins against Shoreline CC Saturday

The Sasquatch had plenty to celebrate Saturday with 10 goals on the day | Photos: Gerald Barnhart 
The most difficult thing facing the CC Spokane Bigfoot Saturday afternoon at Spokane Falls Community College was the oppressive summer heat with temperatures in excess of 90 on the day as the ladies rolled to a 4-0 victory and the men cruised to  6-0 win against visiting Shoreline CC.

The defending NWAACC East Division champion Spokane women improved to 3-0-2 on the season and kept pace in the division, at 1-0-1, with the victory on the day with long-time division power Walla Walla CC (5-0-1 overall), which dominated in an 8-0 victory against Shoreline's fellow North Division member Green River. On the men's side, the Sasquatch, also 1-0-1 in the division, are 5-0-2 overall, making them one of three unbeatens remaining in the entire NWAACC.

Both sides got off to quick starts with the ladies scoring five minutes in and the men besting that with a strike in the first minute of action.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

INW Best XI - Week 3: Hamer, McDevitt lead Bulldogs & Broncos to big results

Each week INWsoccernews will release lists of the week’s best performances for men’s and women’s soccer in the region, recognizing players at schools in the region or those from the area that play elsewhere in the nation.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

INW College Recap - Week 3: Walla Walla CC shines as season nears for JC schools

As the preseason action winds down at the junior college level, Walla Walla CC is beginning to show its prowess in both the men's and women's programs with big victories on the week representing the NWAACC East. The CC Spokane men played their home opener Saturday in a 3-3 draw that was highlighted by a fantastic bicycle kick goal.

INW College Recap - Week 3: Frontier domination highlights DII, DIII & NAIA action

The NAIA's Frontier Conference duo of Rocky Mountain and Great Falls posted some dominating wins in the Red Lion Challenge against their counterparts from the Cascade Collegiate Conference as their conference won eight of ten games in the event. Meanwhile, the CCC's Concordia women rolled to a big win over quality DIII side Whitworth. The Whitworth men, however, completed a successful road trip to Texas with a draw and a victory.

Monday, September 9, 2013

INW College Recap - Week 3: Road wins for Gonzaga men highlight regional DI results

The headline makers in the region at the Division I level this week were underdog sides Gonzaga and Boise State. The Bulldog men claimed a pair of stunning road victories in California, including one against a well-ranked opponent, and the Broncos played to a scoreless draw against Washington State as well as Weber State.

Lower Division Five Stars - Week Twenty-Three

LD Soccer News on Facebook
A weekly list of the top five players or performances of each round in NASL, USL Pro and MLS Reserves in all competitions…

ROUND TWENTY-THREE (September 3-8)

Player – Club (5 Star Selections)

Andre Akpan - New York Red Bulls Reserves (2)
Scored a goal in a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas early in the week but went on to score four on the road in a 7-2 win at Houston.

Lower Division Power Rankings - September 9

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With only the championship game wrapping up the USL Pro season, most of the list goes into stationary mode with only the form the NASL clubs determining shifts. This week, Tampa Bay beat Carolina to move up the list list as they also jumped over the RailHawks in the league table courtesy of the result. The only other movement was a one-spot drop for Fort Lauderdale with their hot streak hitting a blip with a scoreless draw at home against pointless San Antonio.

Lower Division Recap: Round 23

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One old sports adage certainly was not descriptive of the USL Pro Championship game Saturday as very little defense was to be found in an 11-goal thriller. Sporting Kansas City prospect Dom Dwyer made a triumphant return to Orlando City, where he spent the first half of the season on loan, in leading them to a 7-4 victory with four goals and an assist against the Charlotte Eagles, who did not back down and took the game to the break even at two goals each.

Meanwhile, plenty of action among the rest of the lower divisions finished even in low scoring contests. Three of the four NASL matches finished 1-1 or scoreless and two of the four MLS Reserve League matches finished even. Tampa Bay used a win over Carolina to move atop the table amid the NASL headlines while New York Red Bulls striker Andre Akpan was the highlight of the MLS reserves this week, scoring in a loss to Dallas and tallying four times in a 7-2 win in Houston.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Red Lion Challenge concludes heavily in Frontier Conference's favor

It was a wet afternoon as the Red Lion Challenge concluded Saturday | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERIES
Frontier Conference coaches
The second day of the Red Lion Challenge finished nearly the same as it did the day before between the Frontier Conference and the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Frontier sides took four of the five games - eight of ten for the event - with the men sweeping in convincing fashion.

The ladies nearly wrapped up the event with six one-goal decisions were it not for Carroll College posting a two-goal victory in the nightcap Saturday evening.

On the men's side the four-game series over the weekend saw a total of 24 goals with Frontier registering all but four and posting a pair of shutouts Saturday.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Frontier Conference dominates opening day of Red Lion Challenge

The Frontier Conference dominated the first day of competition | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERIES
The Frontier Conference won four of the five games Friday afternoon in Spokane, Washington at the Red Lion Challenge against competition from the Cascade Collegiate Conference. Action on the day included a pair of rather one-sided, eight-goal men’s contests while the ladies battled to three one-goal decisions with five total goals, including one that finished in overtime.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

INW Best XI - Week 2: Spokane duo lead Whitworth, Pacific to multiple wins

Each week INWsoccernews will release lists of the week’s best performances for men’s and women’s soccer in the region, recognizing players at schools in the region or those from the area that play elsewhere in the nation.

With a limited number of games on the men’s side, the list for the second week is combined for men and women. The week includes the full holiday weekend, including Monday (Aug 26-Sept 2).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

INW Collegiate Recap - Week 2: Around the Division I Leagues

The Washington State Cougars were the big winners on the week among the region's Division I teams, posting shutout victories over nearby foes Idaho and Eastern Washington that were led by senior striker Micaela Castain.

The narrow 1-0 loss by the Eagles, however, was a bit of a moral victory; just as was the same scoreline as Gonzaga men fell to the University of Washington. Boise State, meanwhile, registered a real quality victory by downing the Huskies in Seattle, 1-0, two days after falling in overtime, 2-1, to Seattle University.

INW Collegiate Recap: NWAACC Friendlies & More

The defending East Division champions CC Spokane off to another good start
The Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges held its annual kick-off event at the Starfire Sports Complex last week, bringing in 22 of the 24 soccer programs in its membership for a series of preseason out-of-division contests. The East Division teams on the women's side performed extremely well at the event with a combined 7-3-1 record while on the men's side went 5-4-0.

INW 2013 College Preview - Great Northwest Athletic Conference at a Glance

Often overlooked because it is the Division II level, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference represented the region quite well in 2012 with men's champion Simon Fraser reaching the national semifinals and women's champion Western Washington taking the national championship game to overtime before coming up short.

INW Collegiate Recap - Week 2: NWC & GNAC

Whitworth was a hub of action over the second week of preseason non-conference action as they played host to the Whitworth Classic featuring fellow Northwest Conference member Pacific Lutheran facing Southwestern and nationally-ranked Cal Lutheran. The Spokane school also played host on behalf of NWC's Whitman College as they played Carroll University (Wisc.), who stayed to play the Pirates the next day to wrap up the holiday weekend.

Meanwhile, in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference teams are just getting under way with a handful of exhibitions in the past week and their first set of official non-league contests this coming week.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

INW 2013 College Preview - Frontier & Cascade Collegiate Conferences at a Glance

As the two conferences continue to square off in the preseason highlighted by this week's upcoming Red Lion Challenge in Spokane September 6-7, the two NAIA conferences are preparing for their upcoming campaigns and bids for the the national tournament at the end of the year.

Not only were the Concordia men picked to win the Cascade Collegiate Conference, but they were also voted number 11 in the preseason NAIA poll where they were joined by the Frontier Conference's Rocky Mountain College, which came in at 22. On the women's side Concordia was even higher in the NAIA poll, coming in at number five while Rocky Mountain was 24.

INW Collegiate Recap - Cascade & Frontier Conferences in full swing entering Red Lion Challenge

The Red Lion Challenge returns for a second year to Spokane's Dwight Merkel Sports Complex Sept 6-7
Competition between the two northwest NAIA conferences, the Cascade Collegiate Conference and Frontier Conference, is already underway as the two leagues head into the second edition of the Red Lion Challenge this weekend. On Friday and Saturday four men's teams and six women's sides will square off in a series of neutral site matches at the Dwight Merkel Sports Complex in north Spokane.

The two conferences have already begun to clash with the Great Falls women falling 3-2 on the road against Eastern Oregon on Labor Day and Carroll College defeating the visiting College of Idaho 2-1. The Rocky Mountain College women topped Evergreen State 3-1 while on the men's side RMC played to a 1-1 draw with the Geoducks

Monday, September 2, 2013

Whitworth rally on Pajimola brace for 2-1 win over Carroll University

Eliane Sauve (L) put Carroll up early, but Pajimola (C) proved too much | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERY
After falling 1-0 to Whitman the day before under oppressive heat and a resolute Missionaries defense, the Carroll University Pioneers came out against the host Pirates Monday for a strong first half to take the lead before succumbing 2-1 in the second half to a resurgent Whitworth led by two goals from Tiara Pajimola (Spokane, WA).

Lower Division Five Stars - Week Twenty-Two

LD Soccer News on Facebook
A weekly list of the top five players or performances of each round in NASL, USL Pro and MLS Reserves in all competitions…

ROUND TWENTY-TWO (August 26-September 1)

Player – Club (5 Star Selections)

Pablo Campos - Minnesota United
After falling behind on the road, he rallied Minnesota to the lead with two goals in route to a 3-2 victory at San Antonio.

Lower Division Power Rankings - September 2

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For the first time in well over a month, there is a major shakeup at the top of the rankings following the surprising losses suffered by regular season USL Pro champion Richmond and the NASL's Carolina RailHawks.

USL Pro finalists Orlando City and Charlotte were the major benefactors while Fort Lauderdale, who downed Carolina, continue their rise from the bottom.

Lower Division Recap: Round 22

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After a year in which they lost only one game, including the US Open Cup where they were eliminated in penalties, the Richmond Kickers saw their campaign come to a surprising end Saturday when fifth-seeded Charlotte recorded a stunning 2-1 semifinal upset that was the story of the weekend in the lower divisions.

Other items of note included Fort Lauderdale picking up a third consecutive victory and the MLS Reserve League returning to action after a two-week break.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Whitman College finds late winner to down Carroll University 1-0

Carroll plays Whitworth Monday, Whitman returns to face Pirates Sept 15 | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERY
Playing host to Carroll University of Wisconsin away from home in Spokane, the Missionaries of Whitman College avoided a scoreless draw in a game they thoroughly controlled with a strike from Jade Anderson with slightly less than five minutes remaining at Whitworth University.

Whitworth men roll 5-1 in exhibition with North Idaho College

It was just a friendly, but things got a bit physical at times as the Cardinals of North Idaho College gave Whitworth their best Saturday afternoon in an exhibition before falling 5-1 in north Spokane.

Sam Engle scored three times for the Pirates, but the most impressive strike on the day was a nearly 30 yard laser from NIC's Adam Talley (Newman Lake, WA) in the 48th minute of the contest to make it 2-1. He received the ball from Adam Garman (Coeur d'Alene, ID) on the right side and from just inside the touchline he surprised everyone when he zipped the ball into the upper back corner of the net.