WWU had eight players represented on the 2018 GNAC Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Land 8 Players on All-GNAC Team
November 7, 2018
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Led by first-team selections Stephen Jinneman and Georg Cholewa, the Western Washington University men’s soccer team had eight players recognized on the 2018 Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Conference Team.
Jinneman and Cholewa were both unanimous selections after being honorable mention picks in 2017. They were among the 11 players that earned first-team All-GNAC honors, a team dominated by seven players from conference champion and current No. 1 nationally-ranked Simon Fraser. WWU’s two selections to the first team were second-most among conference schools, with Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific each having one selection.
Junior defender Jeremiah Lee was a second-team selection, while five Vikings received at least one vote from conference coaches to be named honorable mention All-GNAC.
The eight Vikings selected to the 2018 All-GNAC team were second-most among the seven teams that make up the conference for men’s soccer, trailing only the 11 selections by Simon Fraser. WWU also led the conference with 11 players named the All-GNAC Academic team, with Jinneman, Lee, Rotter and Farnsworth named to both teams.
The Vikings finished second in the conference with a 7-4-1 league mark and were 11-6-1 overall. WWU won its final five games of the season to solidify the second-place finish, including a victory over previously unbeaten SFU on Nov. 1 on Senior Night at Harrington Field. The 11 wins are tied for 7th-most in program history and 7 conference wins are tied for 2nd-most since Western joined the GNAC in 2001.
Here is a look at the Vikings selections to the 2018 GNAC Men’s Soccer All-Conference Team:
Cholewa led the team and ranked 6th in the conference in both goals scored (8) and points (23), and was 4th in the GNAC with 8 assists. He recorded a goal or an assist in 10 of 18 games, starting every contest for the second-place Vikings. His sophomore season enters the WWU single-season record book in goals scored (8, T14th), assists (7, T6th) and points (23, T12th).
Jinneman started all 18 games and was a key piece for the Vikings on both offense and defense. On defense as an outside back he helped lead WWU to a 1.20 goals against average, allowing 22 goals to rank 2nd in the GNAC. He was also an offensive threat, especially on set pieces, recording 4 goals and 3 assists for 11 points. He played in 1,580 out of a possible 1,654 minutes during the season, and finished his career appearing in 70 games to tie for 11th-most in program history.
Lee also started 18 games as the Vikings center back, playing in a team-high 1,596 minutes. He captained the GNAC’s second-best defense, recording a 1.20 goals against average and 7 shutouts. Lee was also an honorable mention selection to the all-conference team as a redshirt freshman in 2016.
Barker started all 18 games at forward in his redshirt senior season, scoring a pair of goals with 3 assists for 7 total points. He was credited with the game-winning goal in WWU’s 2-0 win over Concordia on Sept. 29.
Diehl was a mainstay in the midfield starting all 18 games during his freshman season. His versatile play helped lead the Vikings to the second-best scoring (1.83 goals per game) and defense (1.20 GAA)in the conference.
Farnsworth was another 18-game starter for the Vikings, recording 9 points with 2 goals and 5 assists in his sophomore season. The New Zealand native recorded all 5 of his assists in GNAC play to rank 3rd in the conference.
Rotter had a late-season explosion scoring all 5 of his goals over the last 7 games. He finished 2nd on the team with 13 points, and with 10 points in GNAC play (5 goals, 2 assists) cracked the top 10 in the conference. He scored the game-winning goal in two games during the 5-game winning streak to end the season, including the deciding score over No. 1 Simon Fraser.
Wolter started 17 of 18 games in goal for the Vikings during his redshirt freshman season. He ranked 2nd in the conference in both goals against average (1.08) and shutouts (7), behind only first-team selection Luciano Trasolini from Simon Fraser. He recorded 5 of his 7 shutouts in conference play. Wolter enters the WWU single-season record book tied for 2nd in shutouts (7) and tied for 11th in goals against average (1.08).
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