TACOMA, Washington – Luke Murdock turned in one of the best offensive seasons in recent Puget Sound men's soccer history, and Sam Gonzalez was named an Academic All-American to highlight the Loggers' 2018 season.
Murdock, a junior, led the Northwest Conference in points (25) and goals (11) on his way to being named the NWC Offensive Player of the Year. Five of his goals came in the last four games of the season, including game-winners against Willamette (Oct. 27) and Pacific Lutheran (Nov. 3).
Murdock is the Loggers' first NWC Player of the Year since Carson Swope won the honor in 2013.
Murdock, who received a United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Third Team nod, was one of five Loggers to earn 2018 All-NWC honors. Senior defender Skye Guegan was named to the All-NWC First Team, along with Murdock. Guegan's lock-down defense is honored by the NWC for the second consecutive year. He was named an All-NWC Honorable Mention in 2017.
Senior midfielder Stefan Jensen also earns an All-NWC nod for the second consecutive season. He makes the All-NWC Second Team in 2018 after being named an honorable mention in 2017. Jensen is joined on the All-NWC Second Team by sophomore forward Cale Spence. This fall he was the Loggers' second-leading scorer with six goals, and ranked second on the team in assists with four.
Senior goalkeeper Wren Norwood was named an All-NWC Honorable Mention. He earned two NWC Student-Athlete of the Week (defense) honors during the course of the 2018 season, and he held opponents scoreless in five different games.
Gonzalez, a senior captain, was named an Academic All-American today by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He is the only NCAA D-III men's soccer student-athlete from the district to earn Academic All-American this fall.
Gonzalez holds a 3.96 GPA while studying molecular and cellular biology. In order to qualify, student-athletes must have a minimum 3.30 GPA. Through his four years of playing defense with the Loggers, Gonzalez started 54 out of 58 games played.
The Loggers began the 2018 season with a couple of one-goal losses in Texas, but Puget Sound quickly bounced back upon returning to Tacoma. The Loggers won three consecutive home games to push their record to 3-2. The winning streak included 12-0 triumph over Brooklyn, a when nine different Loggers found the back of the net.
Puget Sound cooled off and closed out the month of September with one win in five contests. Two of those games ended in a tie.
October was more favorable for the Loggers – a month in which Puget Sound lost only one game. In fact, the Loggers were unbeaten in their final seven games of the season (5-0-2). Still, Puget Sound finished the year with a 9-5-4 overall record (7-3-4 NWC).
During the course of the season, Norwood twice received NWC Student-Athlete of the Week for defense. Murdock, Spence, and Sean Hamel earned NWC Student-Athlete of the Week for offense one time, each.