WWU gets yet another shutout win, this time 2-0 at MSUB
Oct. 18, 2012
BILLINGS, Mont. - Midfielder Kim Cooper's (So., Bellingham) first collegiate goal proved to be the game winner as nationally ranked and league-leading Western Washington University blanked Montana State University Billings, 2-0, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's soccer contest Thursday afternoon at Yellowjacket Field.
The victory was the eighth straight for the Vikings, all shutouts, running their scoreless stretch to 730:15. WWU, ranked No.25 in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25, is now 13-2-0 overall and leads the GNAC at 10-1-0.
MSUB fell to 11-4-0 overall and 7-4-0 in league play. It was just the second loss in eight home games this season for the Yellowjackets, who have dropped four of their last six contests after opening with nine wins.
Cooper's goal came with eight seconds remaining in the first half. She chipped in a shot from five yards following a scramble in front of the net.
"It was a timely goal," said WWU head coach Travis Connell (10th year, 115-57-19). "When you can score literally in the last second of the half, it's hard for the opposing coach to get a message across to his team because they're still thinking about the goal."
Brina Sych (Jr., Vancouver/Union) gave the Vikings a 2-0 lead in the 56th minute with a blast from 20 yards, her fourth goal of the season. WWU goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs (Sr., Richland), who entered the game with a national-leading goals against average of 0.29, made three saves in notching her school-record 12th shutout of the season. That broke her own mark of 11 established in each of the last two years, and extended her school and GNAC record for career saves to 35.
"She made two phenomenal saves in the first half," Connell said.
During its eight-match winning streak, WWU has outscored its opponents 21-0, and for the season has a 35-4 goal differential.
WWU, which defeated MSUB, 3-0, on Sept. 29 to snap a four-game winless streak in the series, now holds a 10-3-2 series advantage.
"MSU Billings played well," said Connell. "They were organized and made it difficult for us in the beginning of the game. I was proud that our players stayed with the game plan. They just kept chipping away and little by little they got a foothold and then by the second half we had totally taken over the game, getting all the chances and all the possession. Just exactly the way a coach would want a team to do it on the road."
The Vikings are at Northwest Nazarene for a GNAC contest on Saturday (12 noon), Oct. 20.
Thursday, October 18, 2012 Yellowjacket Field/Billings, Mont.
Western Washington 2, Montana State Billings 0
Shots - WWU 12, MSUB 12. Saves - WWU 3 (Jamie Arthurs 3), MSUB 4 (Aiko Johnson 4). Corner kicks - WWU 4, MSUB 3. Fouls - WWU 8, MSUB 5.
Records: Western Washington 13-2-0, 10-1-0 GNAC Montana State Billings 11-4-0, 7-4-0 GNAC
Next Game: Western Washington at Northwest Nazarene Saturday, Oct. 20, 12 noon, Nampa, Id.
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