Weekly Release: Vikings prepare for GNAC rivals
Sept. 18, 2006
Bellingham, Wash. - The Vikings do not return to action until Sat., Sept. 23, when they continue Great Northwest Athletic Conference play versus visiting Northwest Nazarene, the first of four straight GNAC home games. Western welcomes Seattle U. to Whatcom CC's Orca Field on Sept. 28, before playing host to arch-rival Central Washington on Sept. 30, to close out the week.Week In Review
Western improved to 6-2-0 with three victories last week, including a 3-0 win on Sunday at Western Oregon in its GNAC opener. Earlier in the week, the Vikings remained undefeated at home (4-0-0) with a pair of non-conference victories over Evergreen State, 3-0, and Grand Canyon, 5-1.
Scouting Northwest Nazarene
Northwest Nazarene is 5-4-0 overall and 1-1-0 in GNAC action, following a 3-1 victoryover Central Washington. Despite the win, the Crusaders have managed just two wins and three losses in their last five contests and look to get back on track with a pair of conference games this week. The Crusaders are at Seattle Pacific on Sept. 21. Western swept the season series a year ago and has won the last five meetings.
Juniors Katy McNutt and Carley Stinson lead the Northwest Nazarene attack with 7-3-17 and 5-0-10, respectively. Freshman Kristi Metzger-Rice (4-1-9) needs just one point to give the Crusaders a third double-digit scorer this season.
Scouting Seattle U.
9th-ranked Seattle currently sports a 7-1-1 record, including a 2-0-0 mark in GNAC competition. The Redhawks have also risen to the No. 2 position in the NCAA Far West Regional rankings on the heels of four consecutive shutout victories. Seattle is 2-0-2 against Western since the beginning of the 2004 season. Both ties have been scoreless affairs.
The Redhawks, who have outscored their opponents 23-3 this season, are led offensively by junior Ashley Porter who has six goals, eight assists and 20 points through nine games. Porter ranks second in the GNAC in goals and first in both assists and points.
Scouting Central Washington
The Wildcats have lost two straight games, and four of their last six, to fall to 4-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 in the GNAC. Central looks to get back on track against Western Oregon and Seattle Pacific this week, before travelling to Bellinghamon Sept. 30. The Vikings, who have won four straight games over their arch-rival, outscored the Wildcats 12-0 in sweeping last year's two-game series.
Central has benefited from a balanced offensive attack, in which ten different players have managed at least one goal. Arica Slawson and Lisa Overbo have each scored twice to lead the team.
Viking News and Notes
* Senior forward Katie Weber notched the first hat trick of her career in a 5-1 victory over Grand Canyon. Weber, who nearly scored a fourth goal late in the second half, leads the Vikings with six goals and 12 points this season.
* Sophomore goalkeeper Whitney Knox made her first appearances of the season last week. Knox started in Viking wins over Evergreen State and Grand Canyon, playing 172:52 and allowing just one goal.
* Western's Sept. 23 contest versus Northwest Nazarene signals the start of a four-game home stand, with all four games against GNAC foes. Following an Oct. 3 match-up with Seattle Pacific, however, the Vikings must play six of their final seven on the road.
* Eleven Vikings have already scored at least one goal this season and 14 have produced at least one point, in a balanced Western attack.
* Western scored the game's first goal in each of its three victories last week, improving to 6-0-0 on the season when taking a 1-0 lead.
* WWU has been dominant at home since the beginning of the 2005 season, including a perfect 4-0-0 mark at Orca Field this season. The Vikings are 10-2-2 in that span, the only losses coming to Simon Fraser and GNAC rival Seattle U., which was ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division II poll at the time.
* The Vikings have outshot their opponent in seven of eight games this season and have posted a 6-1-0 mark when doing so. Western lost the only game in which it was out shot, a 5-1 decision at Sonoma State.
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