Unbeaten Vikings travel to Simon Fraser and Seattle Pacific
Oct. 8, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Ranked No.2 nationally and unbeaten in its first nine games, seven of them shutouts, the Western Washington University women's soccer team begins a stretch of four road games this week, traveling to Simon Fraser on Thursday, Oct. 10 (7 p.m.), and to Seattle Pacific on Saturday, Oct. 12 (7 p.m.), for a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests.
The Vikings, who trail only Grand Valley State in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll for the third straight week, top the conference standings at 6-0-0. They won both the GNAC regular-season and tournament championships last year.
Defender Brina Sych (Sr., Vancouver/Union) earned GNAC Defensive Player of the Week accolades. She scored the Vikings' first goal against Seattle Pacific on her only shot of the week in the 29th minute.
Sych, who was a second-team All-American and GNAC Defender of the Year last season, has one goal and three assists this season, while leading a defense that has allowed just two goals.
Forward Kristin Maris (Sr., Issaquah) scored both goals in the win over Central Washington and had an assist in the victory over Seattle Pacific. She is tied for the conference lead in both points with 14 and goals with six.
Forward Catherine Miles(So., Anacortes) is second among league leaders in points with 13, having scored five goals and assisted on three. Her three game-winning goals are tied for tops in the conference.
Forward Elise Aylward (Fr., Renton/Lindbergh) is tied for second in the GNAC with four assists.
WWU goalkeeper Alyssa Beauchamp (Sr., Vancouver/Mountain View) leads the league in goals against average at 0.24 and save percentage at .882. She has allowed just two goals and has 15 saves in 742 minutes.
Simon Fraser is 0-6-2 overall and 0-4-2 in league play. WWU holds a 17-16-3 series lead.
Seattle Pacific, which travels to Central Washington on Thursday, is 8-2-0 overall and second in the GNAC standings at 5-1-0. The Vikings trail 5-18-3 in the series.
WWU is coached by Travis Connell (11th year, 130-59-19), who was named the GNAC Coach of the Month for September.
The Vikings finished 19-4-0 in 2012, the win total being a school record, and reached the title game of the West Regional.
NOTES: WWU leads the GNAC in points (63), goals (22), goals allowed (2) and GAA (0.22) ... Last year, WWU won 10 straight games, all of them shutouts, outscoring the opposition, 24-0. In 2008, the Vikings had a 11-0-1 unbeaten streak and they won a school-record 38 straight games from 1982-84 ... Midfielder Ashton Griffen (Sr., Duvall Cedarcrest) earned GNAC Defensive POW honors for her effort in a 1-0 win at No.3 UC San Diego, and Jessica Bertucci (So., Bellingham/Sehome), who scored the winning goal with just over a minute remaining, received GNAC Offensive POW honorable mention ... Miles earned GNAC Offensive POW recognition with two goals and an assist in WWU's road wins against Northwest Nazarene and Montana State Billings.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2013 Women's Soccer Report Week 5 (Oct. 8, 2013)
Conference All W L T GF GA Pts W L T GF GA Western Washington 6 0 0 16 2 18 9 0 0 22 2 Seattle Pacific 5 1 0 11 3 15 8 2 0 20 5 Central Washington 4 2 0 11 7 12 5 4 0 13 11 Western Oregon 3 2 1 7 3 10 5 2 3 14 4 MSU Billings 2 4 0 5 8 6 3 4 1 9 11 Saint Martin's 2 4 0 5 8 6 3 6 0 9 14 Simon Fraser 0 4 2 2 10 2 0 6 2 3 18 Northwest Nazarene 0 5 1 1 16 1 1 7 1 3 18
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Montana State Billings 2 at Saint Martin's 1; Northwest Nazarene 0 at Western Oregon 4; Central Washington 3 at Simon Fraser 2; Seattle Pacific 1 at Western Washington 2 Saturday - Montana State Billings 0 at Western Oregon 2; Northwest Nazarene 0 at Saint Martin's 2; Seattle Pacific 3 at Simon Fraser 0; Central Washington 0 at Western Washington 2.
THIS WEEK: Thursday - Western Oregon at Saint Martin's, 3 p.m.; Seattle Pacific at Central Washington, 4 p.m.; Montana State Billings at Northwest Nazarene, 4 p.m.; Western Washington at Simon Fraser, 7 p.m. Saturday - Simon Fraser at Central Washington, 11 a.m.; Western Oregon at Northwest Nazarene, noon; Saint Martin's at Montana State Billings, 3:30 p.m.; Western Washington at Seattle Pacific, 7 p.m.
POLLS: NSCAA NATIONAL (Oct. 8) - 2. Western Washington NSCAA West Region (Oct. 8) - T-1. Western Washington 5. Seattle Pacific 7. Western Oregon 10. Central Washington.
NATIONAL STATISTICS (TOP 30)
TEAM: Scoring Offense - 24. WWU (2.44) Goals-Against Avg. - 6. WWU (.222) 9. WOU (.375) 17. SPU (.500) Shutout Pct. - 6. WWU (.778) T-9. SPU (.700) T-9. WOU (.700) W-L-T Pct. - 1. WWU (1.000) 22. SPU (.800) Save Pct. - 8. WOU (.895) 12. WWU (.889) Assists - 14. SPU (2.2) 19. WWU (2.11).
INDIVIDUAL: Assists/Gm. - 21. Tarah Duty, CWU (.56) 30. Alexa Diaz, SPU (.5) Goals-Against Avg. - 7. Alyssa Beauchamp, WWU (.243) 12. Amanda Rose Johnson, WOU (.378) 30. Natalie Harold, SPU (.588) Save Pct. - 19. Alyssa Beauchamp, WWU (.882) 22. Amanda Rose Johnson, WOU (.880) Total Assists - 22. Tarah Duty, CWU (5). RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offense - Makana Pundyke (M/F, 5-5, So., Kula, HI - Kamehameha Maui), of WOU posted eight total points last week thanks to three goals and two assists, as she led the GNAC in both categories to earn Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week honors. Pundyke got involved on the first three goals in WOU's 4-0 performance against NNU on Thursday, scoring the first and third while assisting on the second. On Saturday, the sophomore forward assisted on a goal in the third minute, then drilled home the tally that sealed a 2-0 victory over MSU Billings in the 58th.
Defense - Brina Sych (D, 5-6, Sr., Vancouver, WA - Union), of WWU led a defensive effort that helped the No. 2 Vikings go 2-0 and remain undefeated thus far in 2013. In addition to organizing WWU's back line against rival SPU on Thursday, the senior defender scored the Vikings' first goal on her only shot of the week in the 29th minute to set the tone early. Sych followed her performance on Thursday with an equally impressive defensive effort on Saturday that led to WWU's 2-0 shutout of a CWU team that had won three games in a row. "Brina contributed on both sides of the ball," WWU head coach Travis Connell commented, adding, "she was dependable when defending and dangerous getting forward in the attack.
Honorable Mention - Becca Hoiland (D, 5-8, Sr., West Linn, OR - Boise State) of WOU played a key role as central defender in the Wolves' pair of victories, limiting opponents to just four shots on goal...Lauren Kuklenski (M, 5-11, Sr., Colorado Springs, CO - Campbell) of NNU provided strength offensively for the Crusaders, leading the team with four shots...Kelli Bannerman (F, 5-5, Fr., Ferndale, WA - Ferndale) of SMU scored her fifth goal of the season, helping the Saints to a 2-0 win on Saturday...Savanna Moorehouse (M, 5-11, Jr., Bonney Lake, WA - Bonney Lake) of CWU scored the game-winning goal on Thursday in the 75th minute of a 3-2 triumph over SFU...Kristin Maris (F, 5-9, Sr., Issaquah, WA - Issaquah) of WWU scored twice on Saturday in a win over CWU, and provided an assist on Thursday to help the Vikings remain undefeated...Argia Phillips (GK, 5-7, So., Meridian, ID - Meridian) of NNU made six saves in each of the Crusaders' two games, recording the second-highest GNAC total of the week.
REMATCH: Western Washington got the best of Seattle Pacific last week, as the Vikings proved their No. 2 ranking and dealt the Falcons a 2-1 loss in Bellingham, Wash. SPU did not go quietly however as it scored on WWU, something no other team has done against the Vikings this season. The Falcons will get a chance to even the score this weekend, as WWU heads to Seattle for another primetime matchup under the lights at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
GOAL-HUNGRY WOLVES: Of the three GNAC players to record multiple goals last week, two did so in Western Oregon black and red. Makana Pundyke, the Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week, led the way with three scores, while teammate Savannah Bogan (F, 5-8, Fr., Seattle, WA - West Seattle) drove home two of her own to account for five of WOU's six goals on the week.
WESTERN DEFENSE: Both Western Washington and Western Oregon have benefitted from outstanding defensive performances this season, with the Vikings' two goals allowed standing as one of the top marks in the nation. The Wolves have been nearly as impressive however, allowing just four goals this season and posting shutouts in seven games thus far.
FOUR SCHOOLS SPLIT: Central Washington, Montana State Billings, Saint Martin's and Seattle Pacific each split their two matches last week, as all four schools earned three points.
WILD RIDE FOR WILDCATS: Central Washington ended up on top in a back-and-forth game against Simon Fraser, as three different Wildcats helped extend CWU's winning streak to three games, temporarily. The Wildcats ran into a wall Saturday in Bellingham, mustering just two shots - neither of which were on target - against Western Washington.
YELLOWJACKETS STING SAINTS: MSU Billings pulled off a dramatic victory over Saint Martin's on Thursday, as a goal by Alisa Sagdahl (F, 5-8, So., Edmonds, WA - Meadowdale) in the 89th minute broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Yellowjackets three points. Saturday was a different story however, as the `Jackets put three shots on frame against WOU but could not find the net in the 2-0 defeat.
MIDWAY POINT: With six conference games down and eight to go for each team, the final four weeks of the season should prove to be a tight battle for each of the top four spots that earn a bid to the GNAC tournament.
VIKINGS' ONE-TWO PUNCH: With 11 goals combined, Kristin Maris and Catherine Miles (F, 5-7, So., Anacortes, WA - Anacortes) provide the most lethal offensive combination in the conference. Maris is tied with Western Oregon's Pundyke for the most goals so far this season with six, while Miles is right behind with five.
FRESHMAN FINDING HER WAY: With scoring a hat trick already checked off her collegiate to-do list, Kelli Bannerman has quickly proven that she is a top player in the conference. The freshman has scored five times this season, tying her for the second-highest mark in the conference.
WHEN IT COUNTS MOST: Laura Moore (F, 5-3, So., Kent, WA - Kentwood) of SPU has also scored five goals this season, three of which have counted as game winners for the Falcons. That total is only matched by WWU's Miles, as the two strikers on rival teams have been instrumental for their respective offenses so far.
STREAKS: WWU has now won nine games in a row, outscoring opponents 22-2 in 2013...WOU hasn't allowed a goal in three matches and is within two points of third-place CWU...through the first three weeks of conference play, there have been at least five total shutouts in each weekend series.
GNAC TEAM OF THE WEEK: Sept. 2-8 - Simon Fraser (Football) Sept. 9-15 - Northwest Nazarene (Volleyball) Sept. 16-22 - Montana State Billings (Men's XC) and Simon Fraser (Women's XC) Sept. 23-29 - Western Oregon (Football) Sept. 30 - Oct. 6 - Seattle Pacific (Men's Soccer).
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