This is the fifth of five blogs previewing players to watch for Western Washington University's men's soccer team. WWU in its first season under Greg Brisbon went 11-4-3 and finished third in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Vikings begin this season with a home opener against Seattle University on Aug. 23.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Tye Hastings (Sr. M/F)
2013 HIGHLIGHTS: Hastings started all 18 games last year for the Vikings, playing a total of 1,146 minutes. ... Accounted for three goals and two assists. ... Was second on the team with 26 total shots. ... Scored two game-winning goals, the first being against Colorado Christian on Sept. 8, and the second being against Northwest Nazarene on Sept. 19. BREAKDOWN: Hastings is stepping into a leadership role up front, bearing a brunt of the responsibility to make up for the departure of leading goal scorer Andrew Weishaar. As a senior, he has seen the program develop into a top contender in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and for that trend to continue, the defensive-minded Vikings will need guys to score, Hastings being one of them. He should pair well with the likes of Jeremy Wentzel, Troy McCarty and Leonard Kusina on the scoring end. At 6-feet tall, he also presents a tall target on set-pieces.