Clan make historic appearance in the NCAA Final Four
By Bryan Scott
The Simon Fraser men’s soccer team was in action last week trying to nab a spot in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. They faced the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals from San Antonio, Texas in their quarter-final match up.
The game, as expected, was a tight defensive battle that had its fair share of excitement. In the first half, Clan goaltender JD Blakley made two saves within a minute of each other to keep the game scoreless. To keep things exciting, Cardinal’s midfielder Alex de la Garza knocked a shot off the crossbar, but it did not make it past the goal line. The Cardinals outshot the Clan 5–4 in the first half, but neither team found the back of the net.
The second half started much like the first, with action going both ways and no goals being scored. It wasn’t until the 81st minute that the tie was broken. Clan midfielder Chris Bargholz crossed the ball over to an unlikely teammate, defender Marco Voegeli, for a timely first goal of the season. The Clan defense blocked several shots in the last few minutes of the game to seal the 1–0 victory. “It wasn’t our best performance tonight, and the game winner wasn’t the prettiest goal, but we’ll take it,” admitted head coach Alan Koch.
The win pushes the Clan’s record to 19–1–1 sends the Clan to Evans, Georgia to play some different Cardinals, these ones from Saginaw State University in Michigan. The Clan are the only team with a number one ranking left in the tournament. You can check out the Clan’s progress on the NCAA website.
Later in the week, Sports Information Directors across the region voted for the Daktronics West Region teams. SFU had the most athletes on the list with six. On the First All-Region Team was Michael Winter, Ryan Dhillon, Matt Besuschko, and Carlo Basso. The other two; Quante Abbott Hill Smith and Helge Neumann were named to the Second All-Region Team. On this year’s team, Koch said, “We have athletes from different years and positions winning awards, which represents the depth we have this season.”