Men’s soccer defeat Western Washington to jump to first place in GNAC

Matteo Polisi was the hero with an overtime goal in the 108th minute

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Matteo Polisi is leading SFU this season in goals (8) and points (19). Austin Cozicar / The Peak

In what was arguably the biggest matchup of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) season, Simon Fraser travelled to Western Washington University (WWU) to face the (then) sole leaders of first place in the conference. The Vikings came into this one with a nine-game streak of which they hadn’t loss, while the Clan were riding a three-game winning streak. In the heavyweight matchup, the only thing that could separate the two teams was SFU’s Matteo Polisi.

The two teams went scoreless in regulation time, meaning that the game would be decided in overtime. The 0–0 tie continued through the first period, giving SFU and WWU a final 15 minutes to decide the outcome. Matteo Polisi would score the decider in the 108th minute, heading in a rebound from a shot by Connor Glennon for his eighth goal of the season. Given the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s “sudden-death overtime” rule, this would be the final play of the game.

It was a well-deserved victory for SFU as they led the game in shots, 14 (five on target) to WWU’s seven (one on target), as well as corners 8–0.

This game could not have been bigger for the Clan, who have officially gotten back into good form after a disappointing loss to Concordia University earlier in the season. They are now tied with the Vikings for first place in the GNAC with identical 5–1–1 records with five games to go in the season. The two teams will rematch in the second last game of the season on Terry Fox Field, in a game that could ultimately decide the conference.

Before then, however, SFU will travel to Lacey, Washington to play the Saint Martin’s Saints on Saturday, October 21. The Saints are the only team in the GNAC without a win this season.