BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The parade for the 2016 NCAA Division II National Champion Western Washington University Women’s Soccer team continues this week with a pair of special events in the Puget Sound area.
On Tuesday (April 18) the Vikings national championship season will be recognized prior to the start of the Seattle Mariners game vs. the Miami Marlins, with senior defender Erin Russell (Brier, WA/Mountlake Terrace HS) throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. A large contingent of WWU supporters and administration will also be at the game to show their support for WWU’s 10th team national championship in WWU Athletics history.
The trip to Safeco Field continues a strong tradition of WWU programs being recognized by the Mariners, with the women’s soccer team joining the 2013 men’s and women’s basketball teams, the 2012 men’s basketball national championship team, the 2007 women’s volleyball team that reached the national championship game and the women’s rowing program that was honored several times during the string of seven consecutive national championships from 2005-2011.
On Thursday (April 20) the team will take an early-morning trip to the state capitol in Olympia where Senator Kevin Ranker (40th District, Orcas Island) is sponsoring a senate resolution recognizing the Vikings national championship season as part of the legislative session. The team and support staff will be on hand in the Senate Gallery when a resolution will be read into record and WWU attendees will be introduced by the Lieutenant Governor.
WWU’s tour of Puget Sound continues on Thursday, May 4 when the Vikings play the University of Washington in a spring exhibition game at 7 pm at Husky Soccer Stadium.
“We are extremely proud to be associated with quality organizations like the Seattle Mariners and honored to be recognized in Olympia by the state legislature,” said Courtney Stringer, WWU Associate Athletics Director for Community Engagement. “Events like these are an important way for us to continue to strengthen our relationships in the community and raise awareness amongst our student-athletes regarding the importance of civic engagement.”
The Vikings were crowned the national champions after beating three-time defending national champion Grand Valley State 3-2 on December 3 at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to winning the first national championship in program history and the 10th team title in WWU history, the Vikings completed an undefeated 24-0-1 season that included winning a record fifth consecutive Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season title and a fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA II Tournament. Over the last five seasons the program has combined to go 100-9-7 (.892), the second-best winning percentage in Division II.
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