Oct. 27, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A first-half goal by Heather Young was the difference as Seattle Pacific University defeated Western Washington University, 1-0, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's soccer battle between two nationally ranked teams Saturday night at Orca Field on the Whatcom CC campus.
The loss dropped the Vikings, ranked No.14 in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25, to 15-3-0 overall and 12-2-0 in the GNAC. The Vikings, who had a 10-match winning streak snapped, had already clinched first place in the conference and the top seed in the GNAC tournament, which begins Thursday (5 p.m.) at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.
Seattle Pacific, ranked No. 21, improved to 14-2-2 overall and 11-1-2 in the GNAC with its ninth consecutive victory. The Falcons are unbeaten in their last 13 contests, including two ties.
Young's game-winner came in the 20th minute off an assist from Riley Dopps, as she fired a shot from the right side that hit the far post and went in.
"It was a good goal, she cut inside and curled a shot in," said WWU coach Travis Connell (10th year, 117-58-19). "Two really good teams played good soccer and SPU got the best of us today."
It was the first goal allowed by WWU in 919 minutes and 29 seconds, ending a school-record streak. It was also the first goal allowed at home by the Vikings this season.
WWU had a 15-9 edge in shot attempts, including a 7-0 advantage in the last 21 minutes.
"We hadn't trailed in a game since the first game of the season," said Connell. "I was happy with the way we responded to it in the second half. We had the run of play and a lot of good chances to score. "
Saturday's contest was Senior Day for WWU, and the final regular-season home contest for seniors Jamie Arthurs (Richland) and Joana Houplin (Olympia). Arthurs had two saves, and Houplin had three shot attempts, two of them on target.
"Now we have additional motivation as we go into the tournament," Connell said. "We can go in with a chip on our shoulder and play hard soccer."
The Vikings, who won the league's regular-season title, are the No.1 seed at the GNAC Tournament, meeting either Western Oregon at 5 p.m. No.2 seed Seattle Pacific faces No.3 seed Montana State Billings in the other semifinal at 8 p.m.
Saturday, October 27, 2012 Orca Field/Whatcom CC/Bellingham, WA
Seattle Pacific 1, Western Washington 0
Scoring - 1. SPU, Heather Young (Riley Dopps), 19:14.
Saves - WWU 2 (Jamie Arthurs 2), SPU 5 (Natalie Harold 5). Corner kicks - WWU 5, SPU 3.. Fouls - WWU 11, SPU 8.
Records: Western Washington 15-3-0, 12-2-0 GNAC Seattle Pacific 14-2-2, 11-1-2 GNAC
Next Game: Western Washington vs. Western Oregon at GNAC Tournament Thursday, Nov. 1, 5 p.m., Tukwila, Wash. (Starfire Sports Complex)
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