GNAC-leading and No.23 WWU hosts Saint Martin's and Western Oregon
Oct. 9, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The league-leading and nationally ranked Western Washington University women's soccer team has two home games this week, entertaining Saint Martin's on Thursday (3 p.m.), Oct. 11, and Western Oregon on Saturday (4 p.m.), Oct. 13, in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action at Orca Field on the Whatcom CC campus.
The Vikings, who have allowed just four goals in 12 games this season, rank No.23 in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll and No.3 in the West Regional rating. They are 10-2-0 overall and lead the GNAC standings at 7-1-0, one game ahead of Montana State Billings.
WWU, coached by Travis Connell (10th year, 112-57-19), is working on a string of 11 consecutive home shutouts, five of them this season during which it has outscored the opposition, 17-0. The Vikings have lost just once (12-1-4) in their last 17 matches at Whatcom CC's Orca Field, 15 of the wins being whitewashes.
Last week, WWU posted two road victories, 2-0 at Simon Fraser and 1-0 versus Central Washington at Yakima.
Senior goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs (Richland) was named the Red Lion/GNAC Defensive Player of the Week as she set career shutout records for both the Vikings and the GNAC at 32 over her four years. She already has nine shutouts this season after posting a school-record 11 in each of the last two years.
Arthurs has a 0.33 goals against average, which ranks third nationally. With 25 saves in 1,080 minutes, she is working on a scoreless string of 450 minutes and 15 seconds.
Arthurs leads the GNAC in GAA, save percentage (.862) and shutouts.
WWU ranks second nationally in both GAA and shutout percentage (0.75). It has a shot advantage of 194-91, leading the GNAC in points (88, 7.33), goals (30, 2.55), assists (28, 2.33), least goals against and shutouts.
The Vikings, who are averaging 2.50 goals per game, boast the top two scorers in the GNAC. Freshman forward Catherine Miles (Anacortes) leads with 17 points (1.42), having six goals and five assists, and junior forward Kristin Maris (Issaquah) is second with 16 (1.33), having six goals and four assists.
Miles, who had a goal and assist in the Simon Fraser win, has had a goal and/or assist in seven of WWU's last nine games.
Saint Martin's is 5-7-0 overall and 3-5-0 in conference action, losing its last three contests. The Vikings, who won 3-1 at Lacey on Sept. 15, hold an 8-2-1 series advantage.
Western Oregon, which is at Simon Fraser on Thursday, is 6-5-1 overall and 4-3-1 in league play, winning its last three games. WWU won 2-0 at Monmouth, Ore., on Sept. 13, for its 13th straight win over the Wolves and owns a 25-5-0 series lead.
Notes: The last time that WWU appeared in the NSCAA Top 25 was in early October of 2009 when the Vikings were No.9 ... Freshman forward Jessica Bertucci (Bellingham/Sehome) suffered a season-ending torn ACL in her right knee against Western Oregon on Sept. 13. She had scored a goal in each of WWU's first three wins, two of them game winners, and earned GNAC Offensive POW honors ... Also receiving conference defensive POW accolades this season, besides Arthurs, are junior midfielders Brina Sych (Jr., Vancouver /Union) and Ashton Griffen (Jr., Duvall/Cedarcrest) ... Griffen scored the game's only goal Sunday on the road against Central Washington. It was her second of the season, both being game winners. She has scored four goals during her collegiate career, all of them game winners. The other two came as a freshman at Southern Oregon ... Seattle Pacific scored twice in the final 10 minutes in its 2-1 win over WWU, the game winner coming with 15 seconds remaining.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2012 Women's Soccer Report Week 6 (Oct. 9, 2012)
Conference All W L T GF GA Pts W L T GF GA Western Washington 7 1 0 22 3 21 10 2 0 30 4 MSU Billings 6 2 0 10 6 18 10 2 0 18 7 Seattle Pacific 5 1 2 13 7 17 8 2 2 21 11 Western Oregon 4 3 1 13 10 13 6 5 1 19 14 Northwest Nazarene 3 5 0 9 17 9 6 6 0 17 21 Saint Martin's 3 5 0 9 13 9 5 7 0 13 21 Central Washington 2 5 1 9 10 7 3 7 2 13 20 Simon Fraser 0 8 0 2 21 0 1 10 0 3 25
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Seattle Pacific 1 at Central Washington 0; Northwest Nazarene 1 at MSU Billings 2; Saint Martin's 0 at Western Oregon 2; Western Washington 2 at Simon Fraser 0. Saturday - Western Oregon 1 at MSU Billings 0 (2ot); Saint Martin's 1 at Northwest Nazarene 2 (2ot); Simon Fraser 0 at Seattle Pacific 2. Sunday - Western Washington 1 at Central Washington 0.
THIS WEEK: Thursday - MSU Billings at Central Washington, 4 p.m.; Northwest Nazarene at Seattle Pacific, 7 p.m.; Western Oregon at Simon Fraser, 7 p.m.; Saint Martin's at Western Washington, 3 p.m. Saturday - Northwest Nazarene at Central Washington, 11 a.m.; MSU Billings at Seattle Pacific, 1 p.m.; Saint Martin's at Simon Fraser, 7 p.m.; Western Oregon at Western Washington, 4 p.m.
POLLS: NSCAA National (Oct. 9) - 23. Western Washington. NSCAA West Region (Oct. 9) - 3. Western Washington; 5. Seattle Pacific; 7. Montana State Billings.
NCAA National Statistics (Oct. 7): Team (Top 30): Scoring - 28. Western Washington 2.50. Goals Against - 2. Western Washington 0.33; 19. MSU Billings 0.57. Shutout PCT. - 2. Western Washington .750; 20. MSU Billings .583. Save PCT. - 27. Western Washington .867. Individuals (Top 30): Goals Against - 3. Jamie Arthurs, WWU, 0.33; 22. Alexandria Johnson, MSU Billings, 0.57.
GNAC RED LION PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Offense - Lindsay Bauman, Western Oregon (M, 5-4, Sr., Portland, OR) contributed to all three goals as the Wolves earned a pair of shutout victories, blanking Saint Martin's 2-0 at home, then beating Montana State Billings 1-0 in Billings. Bauman, who was selected as the Red Lion Offense Player of the Week, scored one goal and earned an assist on the other against the Saints, then scored the game-winning goal against MSUB with less than two minutes remaining in overtime as she collected the ball about 15 yards from the goal and fired a shot over the arms of MSUB keeper Alexandria Johnson and into the net. "Lindsay had an incredible strike to give us the win," WOU coach Steve Ancheta said.
Defense - Jamie Arthurs, Western Washington (5-8, Sr., Richland, WA) had six saves in recording wins against Simon Fraser and Central Washington increasing her career shutout total to a GNAC and school-record 32. Arthurs, the Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week, has nine shutouts this season including five in a row and hasn't allowed a goal over the past 450 minutes, 15 seconds. She currently leads the conference in goals against average (0.33), save percentage (.862) and shutouts.
QUOTABLE: "Jamie can come with the big save when we need it and inspire the whole team, and at the same time her positioning and experience often puts her in a position where she doesn't even have to make saves," WWU coach Travis Connell said after Thursday's 2-0 win at Simon Fraser. "She has gotten better every year and is having a spectacular season."
Honorable Mention - Hillary Lutz, Western Oregon; Megan Lindsay, Seattle Pacific; Catherine Miles, Western Washington; Jaucelyn Richter, MSU Billings; Katlyn Lokay, MSU Billings; Lexi Fesenbek, Northwest Nazarene.
TWO GOALS FOR LINDSAY: Megan Lindsay had two goals - the 33rd and 34th of her career - and also had as assist as Seattle Pacific posted shutout victories over Central Washington (1-0) and Simon Fraser (2-0). Lindsay ended Thursday's game at Yakima with an overtime goal, then scored the clinching goal Saturday against Simon Fraser. She now ranks eighth in GNAC history in total points with 88 and seventh in goals, third among SPU players.
THREE SHUTOUTS FOR LUTZ: Hillary Lutz recorded nine saves, including a career-high eight against Montana State Billings, in Western Oregon's two shutout victories which earned it GNAC Team of the Week honors. Lutz currently ranks third in the GNAC with a 0.89 goals against average. She also ranks fourth in save percentage with a .814 average. WOU, which is unbeaten in its last four contests including a 1-1 tie with Seattle Pacific on Sept. 27, has posted three consecutive shutouts. The Wolves had not blanked three opponents in a row since 1999 and had never accomplished that feat since moving into NCAA Division II.
GAME WINNERS: Ashton Griffen scored the only goal in Western Washington's 1-0 win against Central Washington on a free kick blast from 18 yards. It was Griffen's second goal of the season, both game winners. She has scored four goals during her collegiate career, all of them game winners. The other two came as a freshman at Southern Oregon ... Lexi Fesenbek converted a cross from Kellynn McDaniel for the game winner in the 101st minute in Northwest Nazarene's 2-1 home win against Saint Martin's.
TWO ASSISTS FOR FESENBEK: In addition to Fesenbek's game-winning goal against Saint Martin's, she also had a pair of assists as Northwest Nazarene split a pair of 2-1 decisions. Ashley Richardson scored the Saints' goal against the Crusaders.
PREVIOUS RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week of Aug. 25-Sept. 2: Offense - Chelsea Shuman, Montana State Billings (M, 5-2, So., Kalispell, MT - Flathead) scored the game's only goal as the Yellowjackets nipped nationally fifth-ranked Colorado Mines 1-0 Thursday. "Chelsea had an amazing game in the middle and scored a beautiful goal from 25 yards out," MSUB head coach Wojceich Krakowiak said. "She also connected on a lot of passes from our forwards." Defense - Jennifer Larsen, MSU Billings (D, 5-4, Sr., Mesa, AZ - Mountain View) was instrumental in the Yellowjackets' 1-0 shutout of nationally fifth-ranked Colorado Mines Friday. Larsen also scored two goals in a 3-0 shutout of Northern State on Saturday. She was the lone GNAC player to score twice during the opening weekend. "Jennifer was very solid in the back and won a lot of headers," Krakowiak added.
Week of Sept. 3-9: Offense - Jessica Bertucci, Western Washington (F, 5-8, Fr., Bellingham, WA - Sehome) had the game-winning goals as the Vikings swept Hawaii Pacific and Azusa Pacific by identical 2-0 scores. She also had an assist on WWU's clinching goal against APU. Defense - Natalie Harold, Seattle Pacific (GK, 5-3, Jr., Vancouver, WA - Heritage) had five saves, including one to preserve a 1-0 shutout of Azusa Pacific as the Falcons won a pair of home contests. "Natalie took away a sure goal from Azusa with an amazing save," SPU coach Chuck Sekyra said. "Natalie has been strong in the net. We have not given up a lot of chances, but when we have, she has come up huge."
Sept. 10-16: Offense - Heidi Greenback, MSU Billings (F, 5-7, Jr., Woodinville, WA) scored both of the Yellowjackets' goals as MSUB handed Seattle Pacific its first-ever loss at Billings 2-1. She also turned in a solid performance in Saturday's 2-0 shutout of Central Washington as MSUB improved to 6-0 on the season. Defense - Brina Sych, Western Washington (M, 5-6, Jr., Vancouver, WA - Union) played excellent defense from her right back position as the Vikings allowed just one goal in road wins at Western Oregon (2-0) and Saint Martin's (3-1). Sych also contributed offensively, scoring the first goal against the Saints and then earning an assist
Sept. 17-23: Offense - Carson McKole, Central Washington (Sr., Oak Harbor, WA) scored two goals and also had an assist as the Wildcats earned four points during a two-game road trip. McKole had a goal and assist in Thursday's 3-1 win at Simon Fraser, then scored a goal in the 74th minute earning CWU a 1-1 draw at Seattle Pacific. Defense - Jennifer Larsen, Montana State Billings (Sr., Mesa, AZ) helped limit Saint Martin's and Northwest Nazarene to just 18 shots in a pair of 1-0 victories. MSUB goalie Alexandria Johnson needed to make just four saves in recording her fifth and sixth shutouts of the season. Larsen scored MSUB's lone goal against the Saints on a penalty kick.
Sept. 24-30: Offense - Shayla Page, Seattle Pacific (D, 5-6, Fr., Redmond, WA - Eastlake) scored the game-winning goal with 10 seconds remaining in overtime as the Falcons edge Saint Martin's 2-1 Saturday at Interbay Stadium to avoid their third consecutive 1-1 draw. Page has scored goals in three of SPU's final four games, including the first goal in a 2-1 win against Western Washington on Sept. 19 and their lone goal in Thursday's 1-1 draw with Western Oregon. Defense - Ashton Griffen, Western Washington (M, 5-4, Jr., Duvall, WA - Cedarcrest) had a pair of assists and also contributed to two more home shutouts while playing right back and center mid. The Vikings have outscored their opponents 17-0 in five home games this fall and have posted 11 consecutive home shutouts dating back to a 1-0 win over Central Washington on Sept. 17, 2011. "Ashton's work ethic and fitness level is fantastic," WWU coach Travis Connell said. "This past weekend she covered so much ground, tirelessly closing down the ball, dominating in the air and winning knockdowns. Her commitment to the team was inspiring."
GNAC TEAMS OF THE WEEK: Aug. 27-Sept. 2 - Montana State Billings (Women's Soccer). Sept. 3-9 - Western Washington (Volleyball). Sept. 10-16 - Northwest Nazarene (Men's Soccer). Sept. 17-23 - Central Washington (Volleyball). Sept. 24-30 - Central Washington (Football). Oct. 1-7 - Western Oregon (Women's Soccer).
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