DENVER (Nov. 9) – Kyle Bjornethun of Seattle University men’s soccer was named Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Defensive Player of the Year at the league’s awards banquet Wednesday. The senior was one of five Redhawks recognized by the WAC. Alex Roldan and Sergio Rivas joined Bjornethun as All-WAC First Team, while Sam Langston and Nathan Aune were both named to the Second Team.
Bjornethun, a senior from Snohomish, Washington, was a vital member of the Redhawks’ defense. SU allowed just six goals in conference action, posting four shutouts. Bjornethun won the 2015 WAC Defensive Player of the Year and earned WAC Freshman of the Year in 2013. After being selected All-WAC Second Team as a rookie, Bjornethun has been chosen First Team in each of the last three seasons.
"It's a great sign of respect from the league," said Coach Pete Fewing. "Kyle is our captain and it's a well-deserved honor for him."
Roldan was the team’s leading scorer, racking up eight goals to go with three assists in 18 outings. The junior tallied six game-winning goals, third-most in the nation.
"He scored some big goals for us," said Fewing. "I was pleased to see him get the recognition."
Rivas, a sophomore, notched four goals and five assists while making 18 starts this year. He was WAC Freshman of the Year and All-WAC Second Team in 2015.
"There's a lot of talent in the league," said Fewing. "For him to get one of the forward spots is impressive."
Langston appeared in 16 matches, stabilizing the SU defense and adding a pair of goals and three assists. Seattle U ranked second in the WAC with a 0.87 goals against average. Langston, a native of Sammamish, Washington, was also an All-WAC Second Team pick last year.
Aune was another stellar contributor on the back line, helping the Redhawks contain foes to seven goals in league play. He chipped in with a goal in his 17 appearances this season. The Arlington, Washington, native was another Second Team All-Conference selection in 2015.
The Redhawks finished second in the WAC, earning a first-round bye in the conference tournament. On Friday, they will face the winner of Thursday’s Air Force/CSU Bakersfield quarterfinal. The WAC Championship is being held at Utah Valley in Orem.