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November 10, 2010

As Season Ends With Bitter Taste, High Hopes For 2011

With the 2010 season coming to a bitter end, the Pacific Lutheran men's soccer team will look to begin preparing for next season in order to reach the elusive NCAA Division III National Tournament. 

As a team, the Lutes had the most potent offense in the Northwest Conference in 2010.  In all but one offensive category (Total Shots), PLU was atop the stats boards, leading in points, goals, goals per game, assists, and assists per game.  Scoring 45 goals in 19 games, the Lutes averaged an astounding 2.37 goals per game. 

The 2010 season ends for the Lutes, but not without several incredible individual accomplishments being acheived by some of the players.  Junior forward Chad Kearns ended the season with 15 goals and five assists, totalling 35 points overall. The myriad of goals ties him for third in PLU history in single-season goal tallies, and the 35 points is good for fourth all-time in single-season points.  He also led the Northwest Conference for the second straight year in goals and points.  This led to Chad being named the NWC Offensive Player of the Year in 2010, along with earning the honor of first team All-NWC. 

Kearns' junior colleague, Surafel Wodajo, also achieved greatness in the 2010 season.  After a 2009 season that saw him assist on eight goals, Surafel followed it up this season by leading the NWC with 11 assists, also tallying six goals.  The 11 assists in a season ranks him third in PLU history in single-season assists.  These accomplishments landed Surafel a spot on the All-NWC first team for the 2010 season. 

Along with Kearns and Wodajo, the Lutes had a total of seven players making one of the all-conference teams.  Senior defender Brennen Hall and senior midfielder Daniele Zaccagnini, along with junior Spencer Augustin, earned second team all-NWC honors, while junior defender Aaron Grossberg and freshman midfielder Giancarlo Santoro earned honorable mention All-NWC this season. 

For the fourth time in five seasons, the Lutes were within a couple points of making the Division III national tournament.  With just two more wins in key conference matches, PLU would have won the conference title and been basking in NWC glory.  Unfortunately, the Lutes were twarted once more, and will have to tighten up in 2011 and take the conference title then.

- PLU -

By:  Alex Schisel, Student Assistant