BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Christian Rotter and Anthony Dean each scored in the second half as Western Washington recorded its sixth shutout of the season with a 2-0 win over visiting Northwest Nazarene in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action on Thursday evening at Harrington Field.
The Vikings (6-4-4, 3-3-3 GNAC) picked up a crucial win to keep pace in the GNAC standings and earned a split of the season series against Northwest Nazarene (8-4-3, 5-2-2 GNAC). The victory was the second straight shutout for the Vikings and also snapped the Crusaders seven-match unbeaten streak.
Rotter (Fr., F, Auburn, WA/Auburn Mountainview) put the Vikings ahead in the 70th minute with his second goal of the season, taking a through-ball pass from senior midfielder Eleazar Galvan (Chelan, WA/Skagit Valley College) and scoring from close range in the left side of the 18-yard box with a strong left-footed shot. It was Galvan’s third assist of the year.
Dean (Jr., F, Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Bellevue College) scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season, and third over his last two games, to double the Western Washington advantage in the 84th minute.
Sophomore defender Marcus Tinsley (Federal Way, WA/Todd Beamer) sent a lead pass up into the 18-yard box for junior forward Drew Barker (Tacoma, WA/Bellarmine Prep), who crossed the ball to Dean in the middle of the 18-yard box for a one-touch finish from 7 yards away. Barker and Tinsley each tallied their first assists of the season on the play.
The Western Washington defense held Northwest Nazarene without a shot on goal as junior goalkeeper Tyler Visten (Mount Vernon, WA/Skagit Valley College) earned his fifth shutout of the season.
“Great win – great second half for us,” head coach Greg Brisbon said. “The first half was pretty even, we didn’t play as well as we wanted to. But great adjustments by the players, they solved problems – Brady Ulen was fantastic in the back and then Christian Rotter with the goal was great to see. A good, solid team performance in that second half.”
The Vikings held a 17-9 advantage in shots and put 6 shots on goal. Northwest Nazarene goalkeeper Ryan Foo recorded 4 saves. Western Washington held a slight edge (5-4) with corner kick opportunities.
Thursday’s win marked the second consecutive season that the Vikings topped Northwest Nazarene at home. Western Washington upset the Crusaders with a 2-1 win in overtime last season when Northwest Nazarene was the 12th-ranked team in the country.
The Vikings return to Harrington Field on Saturday evening, hosting Montana State Billings (7 pm). Western Washington will face No. 3 Simon Fraser next Thursday, Nov. 3 (7 pm) during Senior Night before closing out the regular season schedule at Concordia on Saturday, Nov. 5 (4 pm).
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