Denver, Colo. – Spartans Rory Knibbs and Jonathan Colunga received Preseason All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) honors by a vote of the league's 11 head coaches it was announced on Tuesday. The Spartans, who return 90 percent of their goal scoring from last season, have been selected to finish fifth in 2015 by a vote of the same panel.
Knibbs, a junior striker from London, England, earned preseason All-WAC honors for the second year in a row and last year was named a second-team All-WAC performer. His nine goals in 2014 tied for the team lead and ranked second in the WAC. Knibbs’ 20 points were also good for second in the conference. He was one of three players who had two or more multi-goal games including a league-best hat trick against UMass (9/2/14) and he had two game-winning goals.
Colunga, junior midfielder from Lindsay, Calif., led the conference with eight assists, which was good for 13th in the nation. Colunga’s five assists in WAC play were good for second in the league. His 10 points ranked third on the team at the end of the regular season.
Seattle U was selected first in the poll, receiving five first-place votes and 92 total points. UNLV finished second in the poll also with five first-place vote and 86 points. CSU Bakersfield is third with 80 points and one first-place vote followed by Utah Valley with 71 points. San José State slots in in fifth place with 66 points. Incarnate Word and UMKC tied for sixth place with 48 points. Grand Canyon is eighth with 46 points, followed by Air Force (36), Houston Baptist (19) and Rio Grande Valley was 11th with 13 points.
UNLV sophomore forward Danny Musoviski garnered Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors, while Seattle U junior defender Kyle Bjornethun was selected as the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
The Spartans wrap up exhibition play on Sunday, August 23 hosting San Francisco State. Kickoff on Spartan Soccer Field is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
San José State opens its 18-game regular season slate at Loyola Marymount on Friday, August 28 at 7:00 p.m. The home opener is scheduled for September 4 at 4:00 p.m. on Spartan Soccer Field against Sacramento State.
2015 Preseason Men’s Soccer Coaches Poll
|Rank||Team (1st place votes)||Points|
|1||Seattle U (5)||92|
|3||CSU Bakersfield (1)||80|
|5||San José State||66|
2015 Preseason All-WAC Team
Julian Zamora, So., F, CSU Bakersfield
Hamza Haddadi, Sr., F, Seattle U
Rory Knibbs, Jr., F, San José State
Danny Musovski, So., F, UNLV
Christian Duarte, Sr., MF, CSU Bakersfield
Rodrigo Fuentes, Sr., MF, UNLV
Jonathan Colunga, So., MF, San José State
Kyle Bjornethun, Jr., D, Seattle U
Alex Neff, Jr., D, Utah Valley
Jason Khamvongsa, Sr., D, UNLV
Shane Haworth, Sr., GK, Seattle U
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Danny Musovski, UNLV
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Kyle Bjornethun, Seattle U