(Courtesy MSUB Athletics)

(MSUB Athletics release)

BILLINGS – Five games remain on the 2017 Great Northwest Athletic Conference schedule, and the Montana State University Billings men’s soccer team wraps up a five-match road stretch this week on the West Coast.

The Yellowjackets (5-8, 3-4 GNAC) have games at Concordia University on Thursday at 5 p.m. Mountain time in Portland, Ore., and at Seattle Pacific University on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. Mountain time in Seattle. Both games will feature live video and live statistics, available online through MSUB’s Stretch Internet portal here.

MSUB enters the week on a three-game losing skid, most recently dropping matches at Western Washington University and Northwest Nazarene University last week. The ‘Jackets fell 2-0 at WWU and 3-1 at NNU, and enter the week in fourth place in the GNAC standings with nine points.

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“We are fortunate we have another two games this week so we don’t have to dwell on last week’s matches too long,” said MSUB head coach Alex Balog. “Concordia is going to be a tough opponent, and we need to make sure we start that game well. All we are focused on right now is getting ready for that game. It is undeniable that we have the talent level to be successful in the GNAC, but we have to start grinding some games out and displaying some character.”

TEAM FORM: L-W-L-L-L

CALLING ALL ALUMNI: The MSUB Foundation will host an alumni event during Saturday’s match at Interbay Stadium in Seattle. MSUB interim chancellor Dr. Ron Larsen, foundation president Bill Kennedy, and Yellowjacket athletic director Krista Montague will host the event, and registration is open through Oct. 18 online here. The event will feature a tailgate in between MSUB’s women’s match against SPU (2 p.m. Pacific) and the men’s game (4:30 p.m. Pacific).

KREMER STRIKES AGAIN: Scoring the only goal for the ‘Jackets last week was junior midfielder Guillaume Kremer, who turned in a spot of brilliance from 25 yards away on a free kick. The captain delivered a picture-perfect free kick into the upper corner of the net against NNU on Saturday, preventing his team from being shut out with the finish in the 83rd minute.

It was Kremer’s fifth goal of the year, tying him with sophomore JD Hauenstein for the most on the team. Kremer also has a team-high four assists, and his 14 total points are the fifth most in the conference. Kremer also continues to rank second in the GNAC in shots with 43 and shots per game with 3.31. In just two seasons, Kremer has already amassed 10 career assists, which ties him for 10th most in school history.

MSUB Men’s Soccer Career Assists Leaders

Rank Name Assists Seasons
1. Chris Andre 24 2007-2010
2. Sam Charles 18 2006-09
Thomas Chameraud
18 2011-12
4. Scott Dixon 17 2007-08
5. Julian Toenges
16 2014-16
6. Thomas Pertuit 14 2001-04
7. Kyle Emerick
12 2011-14
8. Jarred Weisen 11 2006-09
Jeremy DeHerrera 11 2007-09
10. Sam Butterworth 10 2012-15
Guillaume Kremer
10 2016-17

LOHMANN ON THE CUSP OF SAVES RECORD: Making seven saves last week, senior goalkeeper Tom Lohmann upped his career total to 191. He now stands just five saves shy of the school record of 196, held by Matt Mitchell. With 46 saves this fall, Lohmann ranks second in the conference in both overall saves and saves per game (4.18). With six matches left on the schedule, Lohmann is on pace to reach his second-highest saves total in his career with a projected 71 by season’s end. His single-season high in saves was 73 as a sophomore in 2014, which tied him for the seventh most saves in a season in school history.

MSUB Career Saves Leaders (as of Oct. 17, 2017)

Rk. Name Saves Seasons
1. Matt Mitchell 196 2007-2010
2. Tom Lohmann
191 2014-17
3. Eoin Hurley 177 2011-13
4. Jess Feldtman 174 2003-05

CHAVEZ’S PROGRESSION TO STARTING ROLE: After making just one start as a junior in 2016, outside back Alexis Chavez has become a regular in the Yellowjackets’ lineup and progressively improved this season. The Peoria, Ariz., native has started each of the last nine matches, and is averaging 84.4 minutes per game during that time span. Last Saturday against Northwest Nazarene, Chavez played his fourth complete game of the season, logging an effective 90 minutes on the flank.

ITALIAN CONNECTION: Sophomore center back Oliver Posarelli has played 1,043 consecutive minutes since Sept. 8, a string of 11 straight complete games on the defensive unit. Fellow Italian Luca Battistotti is the only player besides Kremer to have started all 13 matches this fall, and ranks second on the team with 1,086 minutes played. Though the duo has been used primarily together defensively, Battistotti has also had a taste of playing at the winger position up top. He has scored one goal and added a pair of assists for the ‘Jackets.

Concordia University Cavaliers
Thursday, October 19 – 5 PM (MTN) – Hilken Community Stadium – Portland, Ore.
2017 Record: 3-7-2, 2-4-1
Form: L-D-L-L-W
Head Coach: Dan Birkey, 30th season
2016 Record: 4-10-3, 1-9-2 GNAC (7th place)
1st Meeting (Sept. 23 at Billings): MSUB 3, CU 1

The Cavaliers snapped a four-match winless streak with a resounding 3-0 result over Saint Martin’s University last Saturday, matching their season high for goals in a game. Concordia enters Thursday’s match against MSUB tied for fifth place with seven points in the league standings, and will host Northwest Nazarene on Saturday afternoon.

Concordia has struggled offensively this fall, ranking tied for sixth in goals per game at 1.33 (16 total in 12 matches). Noah Swigart is the team’s leader with three scores, while Nick Evans has a team best seven points with two goals and three assists.

Michael Hatch has started all 12 games and leads the team with 1,114 minutes played, while scoring twice and chipping in a pair of assists. Lewis Coates is the other Cavalier field player to have started every game of the season.

Goalkeeper Benoit Bouillant has emerged into the starter for CU, making 41 saves and holding a 1.91 goals-against average in 10 matches.

The Series: MSUB is undefeated against CU, with a 3-0-2 all-time record. The ‘Jackets and ‘Cavs have drawn both matches played in Portland, both times by the score of 3-3 in double overtime.

Last Time Out: Swigart scored in the fourth minute in the match in Billings a month ago, but the ‘Jackets rattled off the next three goals to earn the 3-1 win. Victor Sanchez, Hauenstein, and Realf Zhivanaj each had goals the last time the teams met.

Seattle Pacific University Falcons
Saturday, October 21 – 5:30 PM (MTN) – Interbay Stadium – Seattle, Wash.
2017 Record: 8-3-1, 4-2-1 GNAC
Form: W-W-L-W-W
Head Coach: Mark Collings, 10th season
2016 Record: 6-6-5, 4-4-4 GNAC (5th place)
1st Meeting (Sept. 28 at Billings): SPU 2, MSUB 1

Winners of four of its last five matches, SPU has climbed to third place in the GNAC standings with 13 points in league play. The Falcons are just three points out of first place entering this week’s matches, and will play host to Northwest Nazarene University on Thursday before welcoming the ‘Jackets to Interbay Stadium.

SPU has out-scored the opposition 28-19 this fall, with seven different players scoring multiple goals. Gabe Kellum leads the team with five goals and five assists, while Gabriel Weber has five goals and three assists.

Chaz Jenkins helps anchor the team defensively, and he, Luke Postma, and Julian White have each started every match of the year for the Falcons.

Kary Whitney is the team’s starting goalkeeper, and has a 1.48 goals-against average with 34 saves made in 11 matches this fall.

The Series: SPU is 17-4-5 all-time against MSUB, and holds a dominant 13-1-3 record against the ‘Jackets in Seattle. The Falcons have lost just once in the last 17 meetings between the teams.

Last Time Out: Kremer converted a penalty kick in the 20th minute to give the ‘Jackets a 1-0 lead, but Weber and Alex Mejia each scored second-half goals to give SPU the come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Yellowjacket Field on Sept. 28.

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