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Soccer

Westmont Men’s Soccer Honored With Seven Conference Awards

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) Westmont Men's Soccer (10-4-2, 7-2-1 GSAC), which claimed a Golden State Athletic Conference Co-Championship last week, has received numerous postseason awards. Among the awards, senior defender Genaro Hurtado of Carpinteria has been named 2016 GSAC Co-Player of the Year.

Hurtado is joined on the 2016 All-GSAC Men's Soccer Team by senior forward Austin Lack of Costa Mesa, senior forward Matt Lariviere of Camarillo and junior midfielder Augie Andrade of Ojai.

Receiving GSAC Coach of the Year honors for the fourth time in his career is Westmont's Dave Wolf.

Hurtado anchors the Warrior defense from his center back position and has done so since his sophomore year.  In the past three years, Hurtado has played in 46 games, starting in 45 of them. This season, Hurtado has logged 1127 minutes on the field in 14 games, leading a Warriors' defense that allowed just 16 goals (1.07 per game).

"Even though he has terrific physical size, Genaro is a more elegant central defender in how he plays the position," said Westmont head coach Dave Wolf. "One of the additives to his game this year has been his passing over distance. He has been very consistent. Genaro is a very good reader of the game and has good soccer intuition. He is more of a sophisticate in how he plays.

"Part of the job that Genaro has done this year is probably unseen," continued Wolf. "With a large number of new players, there was a leadership piece, a management piece and a mentoring piece that was needed for this team. He has done a superb job spearheading that area of our team."

Lariviere leads the Warriors in scoring with seven goals – two of which were game winners - and has contributed two assists. In his four-year career at Westmont, Lariviere has played in 63 games and made 42 starts, recording 12 goals and six assists.

Lariviere was also selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District® Four College Division Team. The biochemistry major was one of 11 individuals so honored from 14 western states and Canada. The award, sponsored by the College Sports Information Directors of America, seeks to honor individuals with outstanding performance on the field of competition and in the classroom.

"Matt injects two things into our game," offered Wolf. "Number one is pace – he has raw speed. However, he has also produced. In past years he has created a lot of danger and a lot of chances in and around the box. This year, he has added the statistical piece for us and has scored some important goals and created a lot of danger in the final third of the field."

Lack has seen action in 13 games this season, starting all of them. His tally of goals and assists is three each, including one game-winning goal. Over his four years as a Warrior, Lack has six goals and six assists while playing in 49 games and making 30 starts.

"Austin has been the initiator of a lot of danger," noted Wolf. "A lot of that comes from his ability to carry the ball big distances. Austin has a lot of confidence to get on a run and see what unfolds. If there is an opportunity to get around a corner or beat somebody, he has done that with regularity.

"If you look at our goal-scoring sequences, a lot of them start with Austin, even if he doesn't ultimately end up in the box score. He has been a catalyst by how he has played."

Andrade is new to the Warriors this season, after transferring from the University of Seattle (Wash.). Andrade put up five goals for the Warriors and added three assists while playing in 15 games and making 14 starts.

"Augie has been a great addition to our program," said Wolf. "He is a really gifted player – a very good two-way player. He plays as our defensive central midfield player, but he can't just stay there in our set up. He has to get forward some and get into the opponent's box. He really is a box-to-box midfield player. He has played a lot of minutes, has been very durable and has transitioned very smoothly into our team."

Wolf is in his 26th year as Westmont's head coach and this year celebrated his 300th career victory. Westmont's all-time winningest coach with a record of 307-147-48 (.659), Wolf was previously named the GSAC Coach of the Year in the 1993, 1994 and 1995 seasons.

The 2016 version of the Warriors includes 11 new faces, creating for Wolf and the rest of the coaching staff a challenge to integrate the team into a cohesive whole. After Westmont went 3-3 to start the season, Wolf has guided his team to a record of 7-1-1 in the last nine games.

"The old adage is that when the team does well, individual honors come along with that. I would say I am an example of that," said Wolf. "It has been a fun ride and we would like to keep it going.

"It is a staff award as well," said Wolf of the honor he received. "Johnny (Whallon) and Tovi (Eliasen) and Rudy (Ybarra) have been such a fun staff to work with. We have done so much doodling and so much thinking about and trying different things. I'm not a big experimenter as a coach, but they have really helped grow me in that way.

"This team has given me a lot this year," continued the coach. "I was not at a great place at the end of last year and there was definitely some soul searching and some tough moments. This year has been a breath of fresh air. It has been a really interesting and fun team to coach. I feel like they have given me a lot."

As GSAC Co-Champions, the Warriors are enjoying a bye this week during the first round of the GSAC Tournament. Next Thursday (November 10), the Warriors will compete in a semifinal game against the lowest remaining seed beginning at 2:30 p.m. Both the semifinals and finals are being held at Biola. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday, November 12 at four in the afternoon.

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