Tourbeau's National Men's Soccer Game of the Week, presented by NSCAA and Admiral Soccer
Concordia (Calif.) (1-3-0) at (RV) Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) (2-1-0)
Sunday, September 22, 1 p.m. MDT | Varsity Field, Prescott, Ariz.
• The 2012 Golden State Athletic Conference Regular-Season and Tournament Champions, Concordia (Calif.), will travel to Prescott, Ariz., to face off against (RV) Embry-Riddle (Ariz.), 2012 California Pacific Conference Tournament Champions.
• When the teams last played, in a regular season match on Sept. 3, 2012, Concordia protected its home field, shutting out the Eagles of Embry-Riddle, 3-0.
• Concordia, which was ranked No. 6 in the preseason poll after a national quarterfinal finish in 2012, fell out of the Top 25 this week for the first time since Sept. 20, 2011, a stretch of 25-straight polls. This season, the Eagles have lost to then-receiving votes Baker (Kan.), then-No. 23 Kansas Wesleyan and NCAA Division II Azusa Pacific (Calif.). Their lone win came against Westminster (Utah), who is 3-4-0 on the season.
• Embry-Riddle, which was ranked No. 18 in the preseason poll after making its first national championship tournament appearance in 2012, is currently receiving votes in the coaches' poll. The Eagles have defeated Simpson (Calif.) and Great Falls (Mont.) this year. Their lone loss came against then-No. 22 Rocky Mountain (Mont.), which is one of just seven NAIA squads to have at least seven wins (7-1-1).
• This season, Concordia is trying to make it to consecutive national championship tournaments for the first time since 2007 and 2008. Embry-Riddle is attempting to make its second national championship tournament appearance in school history.
• Concordia lost 91 percent of its scoring from an offense that ranked sixth in the NAIA in total goals (76) a year ago. The Eagles are without all of their top five scorers from last season and the team's leading returner, senior forward Jordan Long, netted just three goals in 2012. Key losses for the Eagles include: first-team All-America forward Christian Ramirez —who ranked among the top 10 in the NAIA in total goals (5th, 23) and total points (8th, 52) —to graduation as well as second-team All-America goaltender Julio Trejo—who was third in the NAIA in goals against per game (.71)—and third-team All-America defender Omar De La Piedra, who are both redshirting this season. Senior midfielder Neil Anaya is the biggest offensive threat to return for Concordia. He ranked fourth on the team in points (15) and second on the team in assists (11) in 2012.
• Embry Riddle returns four of its top five scorers and three of its top five assist men from 2012. Key returners for the Eagles include: Jacob Brech, who tied for the team lead in goals (15) and tied for third on the team in assists (5), Isaac Sanchez, who led the team in assists (22) and was third on the team in goals (13), and Fabio Pena, who tied for the team lead in goals (15). The Eagles return each of their thirty-point getters from a year ago in Sanchez (48), Brech (35) and Pena (31). Sanchez ranked among the top 25 nationally in total assists (2nd, 22), assists per game (2nd, 1.10), total points (13th, 48) and points per game (15th, 2.40). Brech ranked among the top 50 in the NAIA in goals per game (28th, .88), points per game (31st, 2.06), total goals (37th, 15) and total points (42nd, 35). Pena also ranked among the 2012 NAIA leaders in goals per game (24th, .94), points per game (37th, 1.94) and total goals (37th, 15).
• Pena and Sanchez of Embry Riddle were Honorable Mentions for NAIA All-America honors last season.
• Freshman forward Ryan Naime leads Concordia with two goals on the season. Junior midfielder Tristan Korras and senior defender Keldon Hatch are tied for the Embry Riddle lead with two goals each. Jacob Brech of Embry Riddle currently leads the NAIA in assists per game (1.33) and ranks among the NAIA leaders in total assists (24th, 4).
• Concordia went 19-3-1 last season, including a 10-2-1 mark in non-conference games. In true road games last year, the Eagles went 5-1-1.
• All three of Embry Riddle's losses in 2012 were recorded against non-conference competition. The Eagles, who went 14-3-3 last season, were 10-3-1 in non-conference games. But, in home games, the Eagles were a perfect 8-0-0 in 2012.
• Prior to Sunday's matchup, Embry Riddle will host William Jessup (Calif.) (1-4) at 5 p.m. MDT Thursday. Concordia will also host William Jessup (1-4) at 1 p.m. PDT Saturday.
• To watch the live stream of the Tourbeau's National Men's Soccer Game of the Week, presented by NSCAA and Admiral Soccer, click here.
• To view the complete list of Tourbeau's National Men's Soccer Games of the Week, presented by NSCAA and Admiral Soccer, click here.
For the complete NAIA Men's Soccer Weekly Report, go to www.naia.org.