PORTLAND, Ore. – Western Washington broke a halftime tie with three goals over an 11-minute span during the second half and won its fifth straight game to close out the Great Northwest Athletic Conference schedule with a 5-1 victory over Concordia on Saturday at Tuominen Yard.
The Vikings (9-4-4, 6-3-3 GNAC) finished the GNAC schedule in a tie for second with Northwest Nazarene in the standings behind GNAC champion Simon Fraser. Concordia dropped to 4-10-3 overall and 1-9-2 in GNAC action. Western Washington concluded the season unbeaten over its last five games (5-0-1) and outscored opponents 14-2 during that stretch.
Freshman forward Christian Rotter (Fr., F, Auburn, WA/Auburn Mountainview) put the Vikings ahead 1-0 in the 20th minute, taking a pass from junior forward Anthony Dean (Amsterdam, The Netherlands/Bellevue College) and scoring to the bottom-right corner of the net from 15 yards for his fourth goal of the season.
Concordia equalized in the 32nd minute as Billy Fleury scored with a diving header following a corner kick clearance chipped back into the 18-yard box. The goal was the first allowed by the Vikings since Oct. 15, breaking a streak of four consecutive shutouts.
The Vikings barrage of second-half goals came between the 58th and 69th minutes. Western Washington took a 2-1 in the 58th minute when freshman defender Nick Morgan (Sammamish, WA/Skyline) flicked home a shot from a free kick with an assist to senior midfielder Eleazar Galvan (Chelan, WA/Skagit Valley College). The goal was the first of Morgan’s career as a Viking and gave Galvan his team-leading sixth assist of the season. Galvan has one assist in each of his last five games.
Galvan upped the lead to 3-1 with a goal of his own in the 68th minute and just 57 seconds later a penalty kick was award to the Vikings, converted by senior defender Brady Ulen (Coeur d’Alene, ID/North Idaho) in the 69th minute. Galvan’s goal was his fourth of the season, while Ulen netted his third goal of the season.
Western Washington added to the scoring in the 88th minute as junior midfielder Luke Olney (Enumclaw, WA) scored his third goal of the season with assists credited to senior midfielder Conner Pichette (Tacoma, WA/Wilson) and junior forward Drew Barker (Tacoma, WA/Bellarmine Prep) on a play that began with a free kick.
Concordia’s Matt Paine had been issued a red card in the 64th minute, leaving the Cavaliers to play a man down for much of the second half.
The Vikings out-shot Concordia 15-5 (7-2 shots on goal), and each team had 4 corner kick chances.
“The first half I thought we played really well,” head coach Greg Brisbon said. “They sat in and really tried to defend their half and we were patient and moved the ball and found open guys and got a great goal… We were a lot more aggressive in the second half, we created similar chances but we scored them and it was really fun to watch.”
Junior goalkeeper Tyler Visten (Mount Vernon, WA/Skagit Valley College) made 1 save and Concordia’s Grant Alcorn collected 2 saves.
“Everyone has just been solid, defending and we just keep getting better and better every game,” Brisbon said of the recent stretch of games. “And the guys believe, they have a lot of confidence right now so it’s really fun to watch. Everyone that has come off the bench has been really good as well.”
The Vikings have no regular-season games remaining but will await the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Selection Show (Monday, 3:30 pm PT) to see if they will receive an at-large berth to the national tournament.
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