Whitworth Men Picked by NWC Coaches to Repeat


2013 NWC Preseason Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll:

2012 Record


First-Place Votes









Pacific Lutheran





Puget Sound




















Pacific (Ore.)





George Fox





(First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Coaches cannot vote for their own team)

SEATTLE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates have been voted by the coaches of the Northwest Conference to repeat as conference champions in 2013, earning four of the eight first-place votes and 49 points in the poll. 

In March, Northwest Conference Coach of the Year Sean Bushéy announced his resignation after 17 successful seasons with Whitworth. Bushéy led the Pirates to seven conference titles in the past nine years and compiled a career record of 123-90-16.

Despite having a new head coach in Morgan Cathey, the Pirates are still the favorites to win the conference and earn the conference’s bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. A place they fell in the first round to Mississippi College a year ago, 1-0.

The Pirates will also have to find a replacement for NWC Defensive Player of the Year GK Kyle Novak. Novak posted a record of 11-2-3 in 18 starts with a stellar goals against average of 0.33.

The cupboards won’t be bare in the defensive third in Spokane, however. Whitworth returns three first time All-NWC defenders in Will Wren, Balin Larson and Andrew Flint.

Selected to finish in a close second-place to Whitworth are the Pacific Lutheran Lutes, gathering two first-place votes of their own for a total of 43 points.

PLU striker Emmanuel Amarh burst on the scene in his freshman season, scoring nine goals with six assists for 24 points, enough to earn him the distinction of the 2012 NWC Offensive Player of the Year.

F Derek Johnson and M Giancarlo Santoro, both first team All-NWC selections, will return to Pacific Lutheran for their senior seasons. Accompany Johnson and Santoro with second team All-NWC GK Joe Rayburn and the Lutes will be a force in 2013.

Puget Sound, earning 41 points and one first-place vote, was selected third in the preseason poll.

A season ago, Puget Sound finished just ahead of the Lutes, however are selected to finish just behind them in 2013. The Loggers will need to fill the void left by their all-time shutouts leader GK Chris McDonald as well as the one left by midfielder Chris Shaw, both All-NWC First Team selections.

Puget Sound will return senior midfielder Colin McIntosh, second team All-NWC, as well as four All-NWC Honorable Mentions in M Carson Swope, D David Leslie and F Sean Ryan.

Coming off their first winning season since 2000, the Bearcats of Willamette have been chosen to finish fourth after earning 29 points in the poll.

Willamette led the NWC with 36 goals scored last season, but will be without All-NWC first teamer M Mike McGrew. The Bearcats do, however, bring back last season’s leading scorer F Trevor Jensen, who had five goals and eight assists in 2012.

Selected just behind Willamette and collecting 28 points and one first-place vote are the Whitman College Missionaries.

Whitman was able to defeat conference champion and rival Whitworth to end 2012. The Missionaries also return All-NWC Second Team selections D Cooper Schumacher and M Junpei Tsuji from last year’s squad. However Whitman did graduate last year’s leading scorer F Leland Matthaeus and his five goals and five assists.

Linfield comes in at No. 6 in the NWC poll with 20 points.

The Wildcats made big strides in 2012 under first-year head coach Chuck Bechtol. Linfield was five wins and 23 goals better in 2012 than in 2011. With the return of last season’s NWC leading scorer Domenico Del Prete, Linfield looks to improve even more in 2013.

Earning 12 points in the coaches’ poll, good enough for seventh, are the Pacific (Ore.) Boxers.

Seventh is where the Boxers finished a season ago, going 3-11-0 in conference play. Pacific (Ore.) does return striker Nick Rudella, All-NWC Second Team in 2012. The 6-3 senior had seven goals, tied for fourth in the NWC a year ago.

Rounding out the preseason poll are the George Fox Bruins, who earned ten points from the coaches.

George Fox does return their squad’s two-time leading scorer in junior forward Luke Hammer, a second team All-NWC selection in 2012. Hammer had four goals last season, including a hat trick in a 5-3 win over Pacific (Ore.).

The 2013 men’s soccer season gets underway on Friday, Aug. 30th


-- Article compiled for Northwest Conference Sports Information Director Christopher Brown. Votes given by head men's soccer coaches of the Northwest Conference.