24 Nov 2021 | 09:45 | Football
Several Grand Canyon men’s soccer players took home postseason All-WAC awards, highlighted by senior defender Esai Easley being named WAC Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday.
The WAC regular-season champions landed two players on the first team, four on the second team and two on the freshman team.
Joining Easley on the All-WAC first team is junior forward Shaun-Chris Joash. On the second team, the WAC picked junior forward Cameron Weller, fifth-year midfielder Justin Rasmussen, senior defender Alejandro Fernandez Alcaide and senior defender Miguel Prado. Midfielder Kaden Cameron and goalkeeper Rafael Guerrero earned spots on the WAC All-Freshman Team.
Esai Easley – WAC Defensive Player of the YearEsai Easley Headshot
Easley, a native of Kona, Hawaii, has been a consistent leader for the GCU backline all season and helped the Lopes win their second consecutive WAC regular-season title with the 24th-best goals against average in the country (0.878).
Easley earned a WAC Defensive Player of the Week honor for the week of Sept. 14, and was also selected to the College Soccer News and TopDrawerSoccer national teams of the week for his performance against then-No. 22 Oregon State and Saint Mary’s. He logged all 90 minutes against No. 22 Oregon State and Easley’s goal in the 16th minute was the difference in the 1-0 victory against Saint Mary’s. His first goal since his freshman season was the game-winning goal against the Gaels, who have the nation’s best record over the three previous seasons.
He is the top-ranked defender in the country, according to the TopDrawerSoccer Midseason National Top 100 list, and was the 12th-ranked player overall.
Shaun-Chris Joash – All-WAC first teamShaun-Chris Joash Headshot
Joash, a junior transfer from Hampton Hill, England, joined Easley on the All-WAC first team after scoring six goals in conference play, along with two assists for 14 points.
Joash’s first conference goal came at Houston Baptist, and in the same weekend, he scored two goals in the 3-1 win at Chicago State. The other goals came against Incarnate Word and UNLV at home. Then, he scored the lone goal in GCU’s 1-0 win over Utah Valley to secure the WAC regular-season title and WAC Tournament No. 1 seed.
He ranks second on the team in goals (seven), assists (four) and points (18).
Justin Rasmussen – All-WAC second teamJustin Rasmussen Headshot
Fifth-year midfielder Justin Rasmussen was named to the All-WAC second team after posting five goals and three assists in conference play.
The Las Vegas native leads the Lopes in all offensive categories this season, including goals (eight), assists (six), points (22) and shots (43).
In WAC play, Rasmussen scored goals against Chicago State, Incarnate Word, California Baptist and two against Dixie State.
A lot of eyes have been on Rasmussen after helping the Lopes win its first regular-season title last season, when he became the first NCAA All-American in program history. He was also among 44 players named to the Hermann Trophy watch list. Rasmussen came in ranked No. 41 on the Midseason TopDrawerSoccer National Top 100 list.
Cameron Weller – All-WAC second teamCameron Weller Headshot
The junior forward from Spokane, Washington earned his first postseason WAC award after having the best season of his GCU career.
Weller went from having one career goal from his first two seasons combined, to six goals this season. The highlight of Weller’s season came against UT Rio Grande Valley at home, where he recorded a hat trick to lead the 5-1 win. He also scored goals against Incarnate Word, Dixie State and California Baptist.
Weller was named the WAC Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 11 after his three-goal performance and he was also selected to the College Soccer News and TopDrawerSoccer national teams of the week.
Alejandro Fernandez Alcaide – All-WAC second teamAlejandro Fernandez Alcaide Headshot
Alejandro Fernandez Alcaide, a Valencia, Spain, native, was named to the All-WAC second team for the first postseason WAC award of his career.
Fernandez has played a huge role in the GCU backline and helped the Lopes to the 24th-best goals against average in the country (0.878).
Along with his stellar defense to help the Lopes earn six shutouts, Fernandez also ranks second on the team with five assists. Three of those assists came during WAC play.
Fernandez earned a spot on the TopDrawerSoccer national team of the week after assisting the game-winning goal against UNLV on Oct. 25.
He has started 16 of the 17 matches this season and has played a total of 1,388 total minutes.
Miguel Prado – All-WAC second teamMiguel Prado Headshot
The senior transfer from of Bakersfield, California, earned All-WAC second-team honors in his first season at GCU.
Prado has logged the most minutes on the team with 1,419 and is one of just two players who have started all 17 matches for the Lopes this season.
As the center back, Prado has been a major contributor in GCU’s six shutouts and the team’s 24th-best goals against average in the country (0.878).
Kaden Cameron – WAC All-Freshman TeamKaden Cameron Headshot
Freshman midfielder Kaden Cameron was selected to the WAC All-Freshman Team after scoring a goal and posting three assists during WAC play.
Cameron scored his first career goal in his second start of the season, GCU’s 6-0 shutout win over Incarnate Word.
He has played in nine matches, including six starts. Cameron’s assists came against Houston Baptist, San Jose State and Dixie State.
Rafael Guerrero – WAC All-Freshman TeamRafael Guerrero Headshot
The freshman goalkeeper from Tucson, Arizona, earned a spot on the WAC All-Freshman Team.
Guerrero started six matches for the Lopes and made a career-high eight saves before a season-ending injury in the WAC opener. He was named the WAC Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 27 for the performance against Seattle U.
In the six matches played, Guerrero posted three shutouts for the best shutout percentage in the WAC. Guerrero also leads the conference in save percentage (.857) and saves per game (5.0).
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