Strong start for SFU soccer men

The Simon Fraser University men’s soccer team have got off to a strong start on their 2012 season with a pair of non-conference victories.

The Clan opened up with a 6-0 victory over the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack on their home turf at Terry Fox Field on Friday night with Carlo Basso bagging five of SFU’s goals, including four in the first half in a 27-minute span.

SFU followed that win up Sunday afternoon by beating the Vancouver Island University Mariners 3-0 thanks to a pair of goals by Clan midfielder Jovan Blagojevic.

The Clan will play another pair of non-conference games at Fox Field this weekend when Azusa Pacific University visits Friday, 7:30 p.m., and the University of Hawaii-Pacific on Sunday, 7:30 p.m.

“It’s going to get tougher from here,” said Blagojevic. “Azusa and Hawaii will be technically sound and will be good tests for us.”

On Monday, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference named Clan defender Michael Winter as its defensive player of the week while Basso received honourable mention for the offensive player award.

• The women’s soccer squad got their first win of the season in a neutral site game at Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday with a 1-0 victory over Hawaii Pacific University.

Freshman goalkeeper Amanda Gilliland got the shutout while Aja Choy-Halo scored the goal.

The season didn’t start as well, however, as the Cal-State Stanislaus Warriors blanked the Clan 3-0 at Fox Field on Saturday. The Warriors are ranked 25th in NCAA Division II.

The SFU women will take on another California team, the Academy of Art, at Fox on Saturday starting at 7 p.m.

• The SFU men’s hockey team will play a two-game exhibition series against UBC later this month.

The Clan and T-Birds will tangle at UBC on Friday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m., with the University Hockey Classic concluding at Copeland Arena in Burnaby the next night starting at 7 o’clock.

SFU won the inaugural event last year when they split the games before the Clan prevailed following overtime and a shootout.

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