Vikings battle to 2-0 triumph over Western Oregon
Oct. 13, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - In what coach Travis Connell called a playoff-like contest, nationally ranked and league-leading Western Washington University scored a pair of second-half goals and defeated Western Oregon University, 2-0, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's soccer contest Saturday afternoon at Orca Field on the Whatcom CC campus.
Forward Kristin Maris (Jr., Issaquah) and midfielder Delanee Nilles (Fr., Poulsbo/North Kitsap) scored for the Vikings, who notched their seventh consecutive victory, all by shutout, running its scoreless string to 630:15. WWU is now 12-2-0 overall and remains atop the GNAC at 9-1-0.
Western Oregon, which had a 9-7 advantage in shot attempts, fell to 7-6-1 overall and 5-4-1 in conference play.
"It was a game played largely in the middle of the field, and Western Oregon did a good job of sticking to its game plan," said Connell. "Some days we win with passing, but today we did it by grinding things out and applying pressure. We didn't get a lot of shots, but we kept play in the right areas."
Maris opened the scoring in the 56th minute with her team-leading seventh goal of the year and her third game-winner, taking a deflected pass from Catherine Miles (Fr., Anacortes) with her back to the goal, turning and firing a shot from 28 yards that hit the crossbar and went in.
Nilles added an insurance marker in the 85th minute with her fourth goal of the season. After a corner kick, a mad scramble ensued in front of the net, and Brina Sych (Jr., Vancouver/Union) knocked the ball across the goalmouth to Nilles, whose sliding effort rolled in.
"I'm thrilled we can find different ways to win," said Connell. "This was a playoff-like game in how it was played."
Western Oregon had a series of good chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Taylor Thompson forced a point-blank save by WWU goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs (Sr., Richland) just 90 seconds into the period, and in the 51st minute, Lindsay Bauman hit the crossbar from 10 yards out, and the rebound fell to JoEllen DeLeon, who forced another Arthurs save from well inside the penalty area.
Arthurs made five saves in notching her 11th shutout this season. That ties school-record she had each of the last two years, and extends her school and GNAC record for career saves to 34. It was also the 13th consecutive home shutout for the Vikings, with seven of them this year.
During its seven-match winning streak, WWU has outscored its opponents 19-0, and for the season, has a 33-4 goal difference.
The Vikings travel to Montana State Billings for a GNAC contest on Thursday (1 p.m.), Oct. 18.
Saturday, October 13, 2012 Orca Field/Whatcom CC/Bellingham, Wash.
Western Washington 2, Western Oregon 0
Shots - WWU 7, WOU 9 Saves - WWU 5 (Jamie Arthurs 5), WOU 3 (Hillary Lutz 3). Corner kicks - WWU 3, WOU 9. Fouls - WWU 14, WOU 7.
Records: Western Washington 12-2-0, 9-1-0 GNAC Western Oregon 7-6-1, 5-4-1 GNAC
Next Game: Western Washington at Montana State Billings Thursday, Oct. 18, 1 p.m., Billings, MT
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