PORTLAND, Ore. – Warner Pacific’s men’s soccer team, which has not yielded a goal in almost a month, has been named the Verizon Team of the Week in the Cascade Collegiate Conference for the period ending Sept. 25.
The Knights posted a pair of shutouts vs. CCC opponents over the weekend, blanking College of Idaho 3-0 on Friday and Oregon Tech 4-0 on Saturday.
The Knights improved to 5-1-1 overall and to 3-0-1 in conference action.
Veteran Warner Pacific coach Bernie Fagan is quick to give credit to his central defense for the Knights’ successful September stretch. “In soccer, if you get beat down the middle you’re in trouble,” said Fagan Sunday. “What we have right now are two central defenders and a goalkeeper playing very well and who have formed a very good relationship. Our keeper, Drew Bonifacio, is playing exceptionally well. He’s a great communicator and has been making big-time saves. Alan Murray, a central defender, has been very steady and consistent, and plays smart. Our other central defender, Alex Patino, has good speed and is very good in the air.”
Senior forward Alija Sacirovic had four goals on the week, including a hat trick in Saturday’s victory over Oregon Tech. Sophomore forward Tarik Subasic added a goal in each contest. Jameson Jones had an early goal in the win over C of I, helping spark an important home victory. Bonifacio totaled 10 saves in the two matches.
The Knights have posted six consecutive shutouts since dropping their Aug. 27 season opener to Canadian power Trinity Western (B.C.) 5-2.
Of his Knights’ shutout streak, Fagan is not sure what to think. “When you get going like this, you never know how long it will last,” he said. “When we do get scored upon, we’ll see the character of the team, and I think how we respond will have a lot to do with how we compete for the rest of the conference season.”