PHOENIX, Ariz. - The race for the Pacific West Conference men’s soccer championship heated up this past week with several key games.
Grand Canyon has a narrow lead in the standings over Notre Dame de Namur and Azusa Pacific, with California Baptist and surging Fresno Pacific right behind. Hawai‘i Pacific and Dixie State also are just off the pace.
Grand Canyon now leads the standings with a record of 8-1 after shutting out both Hawai‘i Pacific (1-0) and Dominican (2-0) at home.
Arguably the biggest win for the Antelopes was the midweek victory over defending conference co-champion HPU where Saeed Robinson broke a scoreless tie in the second half to help lead GCU.
With a record of 7-1-1, NDNU also posted a shutout victory with a 2-0 win at home against visiting Holy Names on Saturday, Oct. 13. Armando Garcia had a goal and an assist to lead the Argonauts.
Azusa Pacific had a tremendous week at home, edging HPU 3-2 in double-overtime to start the week, picking up a lopsided 5-2 victory vs. Chaminade, and finishing the week with a 3-0 blanking of BYU-Hawaii. The Cougars now are just three points out of first place with a record of 7-2-0.
Defending co-champion California Baptist dropped to 6-2 on the conference season after suffering a 1-0 overtime setback to BYU-Hawaii on Thursday, Oct. 11. The Lancers sandwiched that loss with victories over Chaminade and Academy of Art.
Fresno Pacific, now 6-3, continued its incredible scoring barrage. The Sunbirds whipped Dominican 6-0 and now have scored a whopping 25 goals in their last four games - all victories.
Hawai‘i Pacific had a tough Mainland road trip, finishing with a mark of 1-2-1 to drop to 5-2-1 on the conference season. The Sea Warriors’ only road victory was a shutout win over Point Loma.
Dixie State, which tied HPU 0-0 in a double-overtime encounter in the rain, also stayed above .500 with a 4-3-2 conference record.
This week’s biggest games include a home-and home series between Grand Canyon and Dixie State. GCU travels to St. George on Tuesday, Oct. 16, while the Red Storm head to Phoenix on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Meanwhile, NDNU has a pair of huge home contests, hosting California Baptist on Thursday, Oct. 18, and Azusa Pacific on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Azusa Pacific begins its two-match northern swing with a big game at Fresno Pacific on Thursday, Oct. 18. The high-scoring Sunbirds host Academy of Art on Oct. 20. CBU finishes its Bay Area swing with a contest at Dominican on Oct. 20.
In the islands, Chaminade hosts HPU and Hawai‘i Hilo, while BYU-Hawaii also hosts the Vulcans before traveling to HPU on Oct. 20.