Athlete of the Week: Aaron Fenlason earns GSAC honor for two consecutive weeks
Aaron Fenlason wins GSAC honors back-to-back weeks
The Biola men’s soccer team is off to an impressive start, posting a 5-1-1 record in their first seven matches in what is expected by many to be a highly successful season for the Eagles.
But what might be more impressive is the lack of goals allowed by the team’s defense thus far, a statistic largely due to senior goalkeeper Aaron Fenlason, who was back-to-back Golden State Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week the weeks of Sept. 5 and 12.
Fenlason’s brick wall has let a mere four goals slip past in the team’s first seven contests, and while the credit has clearly been given to the deserved netminder, he says the team’s new focus is on ball possession and the team as a whole deserves equal recognition.
“We’ve been putting more emphasis this year on our offense than our defense,” Fenlason said. “Our possession is our main source of defense.”
With the team’s offense controlling the ball for the majority of the game, Fenlason and the defense have faced less pressure, but when the ball has made it into their zone, Fenlason has been more than solid.
Family fuels Fenlason’s competitive spirit
Fenlason thrives in competition, and the source of his competitive spirit can be easily pinpointed.
“I’m the fourth of six boys so I’ve grown up in a very competitive household,” he said. “We are very into our athletics and we like to gear everything into our competition.”
Fenlason’s older brother Jared Fenlason spent three years at Biola as a defender guarding Fenslason in goal, while his younger brother Jake Fenlason is a freshman goalkeeper for recent NCAA national champion Akron University in Akron, Ohio.
With a plethora of college athletics to balance, his parents have a lot on their plate, but Fenlason says despite it all, his parents are still his biggest supporters.
“They’ve come to every single game since I’ve been at Biola except for one which was in Texas,” Fenlason said of his parents who live in Rancho Bernardo, Calif. “They just love coming to our games and supporting the team. Even if I wasn’t playing they’d still come.”
Fenlason’s father was an athlete himself. He played college football and that’s just a small part of what drives him to support his kids in their own competition.
“He always pushed us towards competition because he knows sports will bring out the best and worst in a person,” Fenlason said. “And if it’s the worst, then we can always change that.”
Team-focused is the mentality Fenlason carries with him into each game
Fenlason sprawled between the goalposts to post his third shutout of the season last Thursday against National Assiciation of Intercollegiate Athletics No. 24 ranked La Sierra, but despite the recognition, Fenlason insists on being team-focused.
“It doesn’t mean a lot to me at all, it’s something that gets the program recognized,” Fenlason said. “For me I just go out there and play for the fun of it.”
The team is on its way to being recognized for more than just Fenlason’s solid goalkeeping.
The NAIA’s No. 21 squad will travel to St. George, Utah to take on Dixie State College of Utah next Tuesday, Sept. 27 before GSAC play begins the following Saturday, Oct. 1 at Concordia University.
“We’re geared towards success and hopefully we can continue what we’ve been doing these last few games,” Fenlason said. “This is probably the most skilled team I’ve been on at Biola; we’re very, very good. If we stay healthy, we can compete with any GSAC team.”