GCU's Saeed Robinson selected 2012 PacWest Men’s Soccer Preseason Player of the Year
PHOENIX - After racking up 36 points on 16 goals and four assists in 2011, the head coaches of the Pacific West Conference have selected Grand Canyon University senior forward Saeed Robinson (Portmore, Jamaica/Wolmers Boys School) as the 2012 PacWest Men's Soccer Preseason Player of the Year.
The conference announced the honor along with the entire Preseason All-PacWest Team and Predicted Order of Finish live on Sept. 6 during the PacWest Men's Soccer Media Day on KQCK in San Tan Valley, Ariz.
Robinson, an All-PacWest First Team choice in 2011, was named to the 2012 Preseason Team in addition to earning the Preseason Player of the Year award. He saw action in 18 games last year that featured 15 starts and was responsible for tallying five game-winning goals for the Antelopes.
Grand Canyon and California Baptist each registered 182 points in the predicted order of finish voting by the league's head coaches to share the honor as the team to beat in 2012.
GCU actually finished with six first-place votes compared to five for the Lancers, while five PacWest teams garnered at least one first-place vote in the balloting.
Newcomer Azusa Pacific, making its debut in the PacWest this year, totaled 153 points and a first-place vote to rank third in the balloting, while Hawaii Pacific posted 146 points and Fresno Pacific nabbed 140 to rank fourth and fifth , respectively. Both HPU and FPU each scored a first-place vote.
Notre Dame de Namur (132), Dixie State (115), Point Loma (95) and BYU-Hawaii (74) were tabbed to finish sixth through ninth, respectfully, while Holy Names (72) is predicted to finish 10th.
Academy of Art (65), Dominican University of California (61), Hawaii Hilo (38) and Chaminade (15) rounded out 11th through 14th in the rankings.
California Baptist junior goalkeeper Joey Pacheco (Riverside, CA/Martin Luther King) was named to the preseason squad and also was selected the PacWest Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year.
In 2011, Pacheco posted a 15-5-1 mark with eight shutouts and a 0.71 goals against average as he led the Lancers to the National Christian College Athletic Association title. He recorded 70 saves while playing almost 1900 minutes in net and was named the PacWest Goalkeeper of the Year and to the All-PacWest First Team.
Pacheco was one of four California Baptist players who earned a roster spot on the preseason team.
Sophomore forward Michael Salazar (Cayo, Belize/Canyon Springs, CA), the 2011 PacWest Freshman of the Year and Second Team member, was one of four forwards on the 2012 Preseason Team.
Salazar had 28 points on 11 goals and six assists over 20 games and seven starts. He also posted four game-winning goals.
Junior midfielder Alex Anderson (Palmdale, CA/Palmdale), an Honorable Mention last season, made the preseason team after starting 23 games and totaling 13 points on three goals and seven assists. He also had two-game-winners.
Senior defender Tyler Aagard (San Jose, CA/The King's Academy) who made Honorable Mention in 2011, landed a spot on the preseason team as well for the Lancers. He scored a pair of goals and finished the season with four points.
Grand Canyon totaled three preseason selections in 2012. In addition to Robinson, senior defender Brian Green (Phoenix, AZ/Thunderbird) and sophomore middie Yared Solscheid (Eagle, ID/Eagle) also were picked by the coaches.
Solscheid posted seven points on two goals and three assists in 18 games and 17 starts, while Green started 16 of the 17 games in which he played.
Fresno Pacific and Hawaii Pacific each earned two All-PacWest Preseason selections. HPU's picks occurred on defense with senior Kainoa Kahui (Kona, HI/Kamehameha School-Kapalama) and sophomore Truls Henrik Lystad (Snaroya, Norway). Kahui is a two-time All-PacWest First Team selection in 2010 and 2011, while Lystad claimed an Honorable Mention last year.
Lystad contributed nine points on two goals and five assists, while Kahui scored twice, including a game-winner for HPU.
Fresno Pacific is embarking on its inaugural PacWest season and already has the high regards of the PacWest coaches after senior midfielder Fabricio Nazare (Belo Horizonte, Brazil/Tiradentes) and senior forward Paul Islas (Fresno, CA/Bullard) earned spots on the preseason squad. Islas had an outstanding 2011 campaign, tallying 44 points on 16 goals and 12 assists that featured five game-winners. Nazare totaled 19 points on five goals and nine assists.
A pair of two-time All-PacWest veterans rounded out the 2012 preseason team. Notre Dame de Namur junior forward Armando Garcia (Redwood City, CA/Sequoia) and Dominican senior middie Pedro Guevara (Santa Rosa, CA/Montgomery) each were selected by the head coaches of the league for the preseason squad.
Guevara, a 2010 First Team choice and 2009 Second Team selection, missed all of the 2011 campaign; however, the coaches remember his 20-point performance of 2010 that featured eight goals, four assists and two game-winners. He also was 2 for 2 in penalty kick attempts.
Garcia posted 16 points on six goals and four assists last year and also was responsible for a pair of game-winners.