Saints knock off Vikings in GNAC opener

saints_logoLACEY, WA ––(SMU release)  The Saint Martin’s University men’s soccer team opened Great Northwest Athletic Conference play Thursday afternoon with a 2-1 win over Western Washington University at the SMU Soccer Field.

The Saints recorded two goals in the first half to seal the win. The first goal was by McKray Kohn at 5:01 into the game. Kaleb Strawn had a corner kick to the middle and Kohn kicked the ball into the back of the net over the Viking goalkeeper.

rp_primary_menssoccerwwu2
#3 McKray Kohn reacts after putting the Saints ahead with an early goal on Thursday afternoon in Lacey, WA. (SMU photo / Paul Dunn)

The second goal of the game for SMU was at 21:20 after Will Eldred received a ball after a blocked shot by the keeper. The first kick came from Strawn and Eldred got the ball into the back of the net.

The Vikings got on the scoreboard in the second half but Griffin Small was back in the net for SMU and had nine saves for the game.

gnac-logoWin-Loss Record
Saint Martin’s moves to 2-4-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, while Western Washington falls to 3-2-1 overall and 0-1-0 in GNAC. This is just the fifth win overall for SMU against WWU with the last coming on Oct. 15th at home.

Goals
SMU got on the scoreboard early in the first half at 5:01 by McKray Kohn. That was his first goal of the season. He received the ball off a corner kick by Kaleb Strawn and Kohn was able to get it over the goalkeepers head.

The second goal of the game for SMU came at 21:20 after Will Eldred scored his second goal on the season and in his career. Strawn had the ball and took the kick that went off the goalkeepers foot and to Eldred was there after the deflection to kick the ball into the back of the net.

The Saints had a 2-0 lead headed into the half and gave up a goal in the second half. Brady Ulen of WWU hit the ball into the middle of the net but that was the only goal and SMU took the 2-1 win.

Goalie Stats
Griffin Small was back in the net for SMU and recorded nine saves. He picked up his second win for the season.

Tyler Visten was in the net for WWU and recorded five saves.

Team Stats
SMU recorded 12 shots for the game with seven on goal. WWU had 19 shots with 10 on goal.

Coaches Comments
“Our first half performance really helped earn the victory,” said Director of Soccer Rob Walker. “I felt we scored two good goals and then had another chance with the ball being on the line. After the break, we thought that Western played with great pressure for great spells in the second half. It was good for us to see the game out and to get our problems solved. We will now get ourselves directed for Simon Fraser, who we play at home on Saturday.”

What’s Next
Saint Martin’s is back in action on Saturday at 3 p.m. to continue with GNAC play. SMU will face Simon Fraser at the SMU Soccer Field.

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