Unbeaten Vikings (11-0-0) off to best start since 1984
Oct. 15, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Off to its best start in 29 years, the nationally ranked Western Washington University women's soccer team completes a string of four road games this week, traveling to Saint Martin's on Thursday, Oct. 17 (3 p.m.), and to Western Oregon on Saturday, Oct. 19 (1:30 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 fourth straight week, hold a two-game lead in the conference standings at 8-0-0 with six games to play. They won both the GNAC regular-season and tournament championships last year.
Last week, WWU won 7-0 at Simon Fraser, tying the school's most lopsided victory since 2010 (7-0 over Montana State Billings), and 2-1 at Seattle Pacific, completing a sweep of its season series with the Falcons.
WWU forwards Catherine Miles (So., Anacortes) and Kristin Maris (Sr., Issaquah) rank one-two among GNAC leaders in points and goals. Miles has eight goals and three assists for 19 points, and Maris has seven goals and four assists for 18 points. Miles' three game-winning goals are tied for tops in the conference.
The Vikings' Ashton Griffen (Sr., Duvall Cedarcrest) is tied for the conference lead in assists with five and Stephanie Hamilton (So., Orting/Bellarmine Prep) and Elise Aylward (Fr., Renton/Lindbergh) are among those tied for third with four.
Miles and Anna Geldenhuys (Sr., Bellevue/Sammamish) each had two goals, Maris a goal and two assists, and Hamilton two assists in the win over Simon Fraser. Miles added a goal and Hamilton an assist in the victory over Seattle Pacific.
WWU, which has not allowed a second-half goal this season and has a 31-3 scoring advantage, leads the GNAC and ranks sixth nationally in goals allowed (0.27) and shutout percentage (0.73). The Vikings, who are eighth nationally in save percentage (0.89) and 10th in assists (2.45), also top the conference in points (89) and goals (31).
WWU goalkeeper Alyssa Beauchamp (Sr., Vancouver/Mountain View) ranks ninth nationally in goals against average at 0.29 and 15th save percentage at .889, pacing the GNAC in both categories. She has allowed just three goals and has 24 saves in 922 minutes.
Standout defender Brina Sych (Sr., Vancouver/Union), who missed the SFU and SPU games with a knee injury, is expected back this week. She earned GNAC Defensive Player of the Week accolades for Sept. 29- Oct. 5 and was a second-team All-American and GNAC Defender of the Year last season.
Saint Martin's is 3-8 overall and 2-6 in conference play. The Saints are led by Kelli Bannerman with five goals and one assist for 11 points.
WWU holds a 10-2-1 series advantage over SMU, winning the last four meetings.
Western Oregon, which hosts Simon Fraser on Thursday, is 6-2-4 overall and 4-2-2 in league action, being unbeaten in its last five games (3-0-2) and blanking eight opponents. The Wolves are led by Makana Pundyke with seven goals and two assists for 16 points and goalkeeper Amanda Rose Johnson, who has allowed just four goals for a 0.39 goals against average and has made 26 saves for a .867 save percentage.
WWU holds a 27-5-0 series advantage over WOU and is riding a 15-game winning streak in the series.
WWU is coached by Travis Connell (11th year, 132-59-19), 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 won a school-record 38 straight games from 1982-84 ... Griffen 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 6 (Oct. 15, 2013)
Conference All W L T GF GA Pts W L T GF GA
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Western Oregon 1 at Saint Martin's 0; Seattle Pacific 0 at Central Washington 1; Montana State Billings 1 at Northwest Nazarene 1 (ot); Western Washington 7 at Simon Fraser 0 Saturday - Simon Fraser 1 at Central Washington 4; Western Oregon 1 at Northwest Nazarene 1 (ot); Saint Martin's 1 at Montana State Billings 2; Western Washington 2 at Seattle Pacific 1.
THIS WEEK: Thursday - Central Washington at Montana State Billings, noon; Seattle Pacific at Northwest Nazarene, 12:30 p.m.; Western Washington at Saint Martin's, 3 p.m.; Simon Fraser at Western Oregon, 3 p.m. Saturday - Central Washington at Northwest Nazarene, 11 a.m.; Simon Fraser at Saint Martin's, 1 p.m.; Western Washington at Western Oregon, 1:30 p.m.; Seattle Pacific at Montana State Billings, 2:30 p.m.
POLLS: NSCAA NATIONAL (Oct. 15) - 2. Western Washington NSCAA West Region (Oct. 15) - 1. Western Washington 8. Seattle Pacific.
NATIONAL STATISTICS (TOP 30)
TEAM: Scoring Offense - 14. Western Washington (2.82) Goals-Against Avg. - 6. Western Washington (.273) 10. Western Oregon (.388) Shutout Pct. - 6. Western Washington (.727) 12. Western Oregon (.667) 20. Seattle Pacific (.583) W-L-T Pct. - 1. Western Washington (1.000) Save Pct. - 8. Western Washington (.893) 12. Western Oregon (.886) Assists - 10. Western Washington (2.45) 30. Seattle Pacific (1.83).
INDIVIDUALS: Goals/Gm. - 30. Catherine Miles, WWU (.727) Goals-Against Avg. - 9. Alyssa Beauchamp, WWU (.293) 12. Amanda Rose Johnson, WOU (.393) Save Pct. - 15. Alyssa Beauchamp, WWU (.889) Total Goals - 29. Catherine Miles, WWU (8).
RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offense - Heidi Greenback (F, 5-7, Sr., Woodinville, WA - Woodinville) of MSU Billings scored with 17 seconds left in regulation on Thursday to save the day as MSU Billings battled Northwest Nazarene to a 1-1 overtime draw. Two days later, Greenback again evened the score for the Yellowjackets, this time with a header goal in the 40th minute against Saint Martin's. MSU Billings scored again in the second half to collect the win, and the Yellowjackets picked up four total points to remain in contention for one of the top-four spots in the standings that earn a berth to the GNAC Championship tournament.
Defense - Argia Phillips (GK, 5-7, So., Meridian, ID - Meridian) of NNU made seven saves against MSU Billings on Thursday and added a dozen more against WOU on Saturday for a total of 19 in 220 minutes between the pipes as she helped NNU collect two hard-earned points with a pair of 1-1 draws. Perhaps the highlight of Phillips' work came on Saturday, when she made two diving saves in the opening six minutes of the game, and then followed with another full-extension effort to deny a shot early into the second half. "Argia had the best game I've seen her have all year for us today," NNU head coach Mary Trigg commented regarding Phillips' performance against WOU on Saturday.
Honorable Mention - Amanda White (GK, 5-5, So., Maple Valley, WA - Tahoma) of CWU played 180 minutes in goal and allowed just one goal as the Wildcats shut out Seattle Pacific and beat SFU 4-1...Amanda Rose Johnson (GK, 5-8, Jr., Montrose, CA - New Mexico Highlands) of WOU played 200 minutes and allowed just one goal as the Wolves picked up four points with a 1-0 win and a 1-1 draw...Kelsey Martin (F, 5-2, Fr., Salem, OR - Sprague) of NNU scored both of the Crusaders' goals last weekend, helping NNU to two points with a pair of 1-1 draws...Taylor Higa (F/M, 5-6, Fr., Manoa, HI - Mid-Pacific) of WOU notched the assist on the Wolves' game-winning goal against SMU on Thursday and scored the game-tying goal vs. NNU on Saturday...Tarah Duty (D, 5-4, Sr., Black Diamond, WA - Tahoma) of CWU scored in the 13th minute as the Wildcats took down SPU and took over sole possession of second place in the GNAC standings...Catherine Miles (F, 5-7, So., Anacortes, WA - Anacortes) of WWU scored twice against SFU on Thursday and added another in the third minute of the Vikings' 2-1 victory over SPU on Saturday...Delanee Nilles (M, 5-10, So., Poulsbo, WA - North Kitsap) of WWU was central in the Vikings' 2-1 win over SPU playing 60 minutes of solid defense off the bench...Krystal Daniels-Chamberlain (GK, 5-4, Jr., Kent, WA - Peninsula) of MSUB made several big saves in the Yellowjackets' comeback win against SMU on Saturday.
CENTRAL AUTHORITY: The Wildcats got ahead of Seattle Pacific early and never looked back on Thursday, winning the highly anticipated meeting between the second- and third-place teams in the GNAC standings 1-0. Tarah Duty's header goal helped push CWU into second, and a decisive 4-1 victory over Simon Fraser on Saturday earned the Wildcats the GNAC Team of the Week honor.
ON THEIR OWN: Western Washington, which holds a comfortable six-point lead in the GNAC standings, has experienced both sides of an own goal this season. The Vikings allowed the ball to cross their own goal line in September, breaking a season-long shutout string. On Saturday, WWU benefitted from an own goal by SPU, as the mishap by the Falcons proved to be the deciding factor in a tight 2-1 rematch that gave WWU the season series over their rival 2-0.
CRUSADERS' CLOSE CALLS: If NNU had been playing 87 minute soccer games last week, it would have picked up six points with a pair of victories. Instead, NNU watched as MSU Billings tied the game with 17 seconds left on Thursday, and Western Oregon repeated the feat in the 88th minute on Saturday. Both games ended as frustrating double-overtime draws for NNU, which is still in search of its first GNAC win of 2013.
FALCONS FALL: With a pair of losses last week, Seattle Pacific finds itself with just a one-point advantage over WOU in third place in the GNAC standings. SPU has experienced a bit of a rollercoaster season, being ranked as highly as No. 23 in the NSCAA national poll, and reaching its current low point of three losses in four games including two in a row.
FILLING THE GLOVES: Argia Phillips of NNU did all she could to give her team a chance to win twice last week. On Thursday she denied seven shots only to see the Yellowjackets score late to ruin her shutout and the Crusaders' chance for a win. The sophomore was even better on Saturday, as her 12-save effort was highlighted by three diving stops that kept Western Oregon out of the net. For her efforts Phillips earned Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week honors.
JACKETS' GREENBACK CASHES IN: With time running out not only in the game but in its season, MSU Billings came up with a miracle goal late on Thursday and battled through two overtime periods to snag a precious point with a 1-1 draw. Heidi Greenback forced her way onto the scoring sheet with a tally in the 90th minute that spoiled the game for NNU. Two days later she tied the game against SMU with a header goal in the 40th minute, and MSUB scored again in the second to pick up four points on the weekend and remain in the hunt for a top-four spot and playoff berth. Greenback earned Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week honors for her crucial goals.
HELPING HANDS: While CWU's Duty and MSUB's Greenback received credit for the most important goals of the weekend, each score was created by two of the conference's top facilitators. The Yellowjackets' Alisa Sagdahl was on the sending end of both of Greenback's goals, while it was Katlyn Sargent of CWU who found Duty for the game-winner against SPU. Stephanie Hamilton of WWU lead the conference with three total assists on the week, and the Wildcats' Hadli Farrand also contributed two.
TRENDS: For the first time this season less than half of a week's games resulted in shutouts, with only three of the eight matches last week falling under that category...the theme of close matches continued as six of the eight were decided by a single goal or resulted in a draw...six different players recorded multiple goals on the week, as WWU's Miles, the GNAC leader with eight, led the way with three...Phillips recorded double-digit saves for the second straight week with 19, as she totaled 12 in NNU's games two weeks ago...the top four spots in the standings have not changed hands since week three.
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) Oct. 7-13 - Central Washington (Women's Soccer).
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