BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University men’s soccer team played to a 0-0 tie after double overtime against visiting Northwest Nazarene on Saturday night in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action at Harrington Field, extending the Vikings unbeaten streak to eight games.
WWU (5-2-3, 4-0-1 GNAC) posted their second consecutive shutout and remain atop the conference standings with 13 points through five games ahead of No. 22 Simon Fraser (3-1-1 GNAC) and Seattle Pacific (3-2-1 GNAC), tied for 2nd with 10 points apiece. Northwest Nazarene sits at 4-5-1 overall and 1-3-1 in conference play following Saturday’s game.
“I thought it was a great game for us,” head coach Greg Brisbon said. “Northwest Nazarene did well, they were tough to break down but our guys played really well. They worked their tails off, both teams had good chances to score and it didn’t come our way tonight but I’m happy with the performance.”
Each team had at least one shot on goal during each period of play and had strong scoring opportunities that came close to resulting in goals, but neither side was able to find the net. WWU and Northwest Nazarene each put one shot on goal during each of the overtime periods but both defenses held strong.
Playing an overtime game for the sixth time during the season, the Vikings fired 21 shots and put 8 on goal but were held scoreless in a game for the first time in 2017. WWU generated 12 of its 21 shots during the second half, including a shot from senior forward Anthony Dean (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Bellevue College) that bounced off the post in the 79th minute.
The Crusaders totaled 14 shots and put 5 shots on goal during the game. Northwest Nazarene also hit the goal frame on two occasions, first when Jonathan Guardado had a shot from inside the 18-yard box deflect off the crossbar in the 32nd minute and again in the 66th minute when a shot by Edwin Quiroz from the top of the box rattled off the cross bar. A follow-up header attempt from Quiroz’s crossbar shot was saved by senior goalkeeper Tyler Visten.
Visten (Mount Vernon, WA/Skagit Valley College) made 4 saves to record his 12th career shutout (tied for 4th-best in program history) and the Vikings also recorded a key team save when senior defender Ibra Drame (Seattle, WA/Nathan Hale/Seattle U.) denied a shot with a header to clear the ball from the goal line after the Crusaders had taken a corner kick with 12 seconds left during the 90th minute.
Northwest Nazarene goalkeeper Jacob Hillyer made a career-high 8 saves as the Crusaders became the first team to hold the Vikings off the scoreboard since Nov. 13, 2016 when WWU lost 2-0 to UC San Diego in the second round of the NCAA II Tournament.
The Vikings remain the only team in the conference without a loss in GNAC play and will continue the home stand next week against Montana State Billings and No. 22 Simon Fraser. The Vikings host Montana State Billings at 7 pm next Thursday (Oct. 12) before opposing Simon Fraser at 7 pm on Saturday (Oct. 14).
Match Notes: WWU is unbeaten in its last eight games…Vikings went to overtime for the sixth time during 2017…overtime record of 1-2-3 during season…WWU four-game win streak was halted with tie on Saturday night…Vikings were held scoreless for first time since Nov. 13, 2016 and played first scoreless draw since a scoreless tie at Sonoma State on Sept. 3, 2016…WWU has not allowed a goal in last 206:21 of play…Tyler Visten posted his 12th career shutout, ranking in a tie for 4th-best in program history.
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