14-2 WWU closes out regular season at home, senior day Saturday
Oct. 23, 2012
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Working on a school-record stretch of holding opponents scoreless for 810 minutes and 15 seconds, the nationally ranked and league-leading Western Washington University women's soccer team closes out its regular season at home against two Great Northwest Athletic Conference rivals, entertaining Central Washington on Thursday (1 p.m.), Oct. 25; and Seattle Pacific on Saturday (7 p.m.), Oct. 27, at Orca Field on the Whatcom CC campus.
The Vikings, who jumped 11 spots to No.14 in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, have scored 23 goals during a winning streak that has reached nine games, all of them shutouts. They are 14-2-0 overall and lead the GNAC standings at 11-1-0.
WWU, coached by Travis Connell (10th year, 116-57-19), has a plus-33 (37-4) goal differential this season. Its only losses have been on the road to No.4-rated Chico State, 1-0, to open the season, and to Seattle Pacific, 2-1, on Sept. 19, the winning goal being scored with 15 seconds remaining.
The Vikings are working on a string of 13 consecutive home shutouts, seven of them this season during which they have outscored the opposition, 20-0. WWU has lost just once (14-1-4) in its last 19 matches at Whatcom CC's Orca Field, 17 of the wins or ties being whitewashes.
The Falcons, who are at Simon Fraser on Thursday, are 12-2-2 overall and second in the GNAC standings at 9-1-2. They have won seven straight games and are unbeaten in their last 11 contests (9-0-2).
Seattle Pacific has won or shared in eight of the last 10 conference titles, winning the last three, and has made nine consecutive NCAA II West Region playoff appearances.
Central, which was edged 1-0 by WWU on Oct. 7 at Ellensburg, is 5-9-2 overall and 4-7-1 in league play. The Wildcats have won their last two games following a five-game losing streak.
Last week, the Vikings posted a pair of 2-0 road wins against Montana State Billings and Northwest Nazarene. Junior Brina Sych (Vancouver/Union) scored goals in both contests, giving her five for the season along with five assists for 15 points. Sych has had a goal or an assist in six of WWU's last seven games.
Senior goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs (Richland) lowered her national leading goals against average to 0.25. With just four goals allowed and 37 saves in 1,440 minutes, her save percentage of .902 ranks fifth nationally. Her GAA, save percentage and shutout total all lead the GNAC.
Arthurs, who has tied the league record for consecutive whitewashes, has 13 shutouts this season, surpassing the school record of 11 she set in each of the last two years, and tying the GNAC standard. She also upped her four-year career record shutout total for both the Vikings and the GNAC to 36.
WWU leads the nation in both GAA and shutout percentage (.813) and is third in save percentage (.907). It has a shot advantage of 244-124, leading the GNAC in goals (37, 2.31), assists (32, 2.00), least goals against and shutouts.
Maris is tied for second in goals (0.44, 7) and Miles leads in assists (0.38, 6) with Sych tied for third (0.33, 5) in that category. Maris has four assists and Miles six goals.
Arthurs was named GNAC Defensive Player of the Week for her standout performances against MSUB and Northwest Nazarene. The honor was her second this season and the fourth of her career.
WWU holds a 29-11-6 series advantage over Central, being 7-1-2 in the last 10 games. The Vikings trail 5-15-3 in their series with SPU, losing the last four meetings following a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2).
Seattle Pacific is led by third-team All-America forward Megan Lindsay, who has 10 goals this season, four of them game winners, and 41 during her four-year career.
The top four finishers in the regular-season league standings will compete in the first GNAC Tournament which will determine the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA West Regional.
Notes: The last time that WWU appeared in the NSCAA Top 25 prior to two weeks ago was in 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 ... Receiving conference defensive POW accolades this season have been Arthurs twice and junior midfielders Sych and Ashton Griffen (Jr., Duvall/Cedarcrest) once each ... Earning an GNAC offensive POW honor was Maris ... 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 8 (Oct. 23, 2012)
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Western Oregon 1 at Central Washington 2; Western Washington 2 at MSU Billings 0; Simon Fraser 0 at Northwest Nazarene 1; Seattle Pacific 4 at Saint Martin's 2. Saturday - Saint Martin's 1 at Central Washington 0; Simon Fraser 0 at MSU Billings 1; Western Washington 2 at Northwest Nazarene 0; Western Oregon 0 at Seattle Pacific 2.
THIS WEEK: Thursday - Central Washington at Western Washington, 1 p.m.; MSU Billings at Western Oregon, 3 p.m.; Northwest Nazarene at Saint Martin's, 3:15 p.m.; Seattle Pacific at Simon Fraser, 7 p.m. Saturday - Central Washington at Simon Fraser, 1 p.m.; MSU Billings at Saint Martin's, 2 p.m.; Northwest Nazarene at Western Oregon, 11 a.m.; Seattle Pacific at Western Washington, 7 p.m.
GNAC Championships (Nov. 1-3 at Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, WA): Thursday - #2 vs. #3, 5 p.m.; #1 vs. #4, 8 p.m. Saturday - Championship game at 2 p.m.
POLLS: NSCAA National (Oct. 23) - 14. Western Washington; 21. Seattle Pacific. NSCAA West Region (Oct. 23) - 2. Western Washington; 3. Seattle Pacific; 7. Montana State Billings. NCAA West Region NCAA West Region (Oct. 17) - 1. Sonoma State (12-1-1); 2. UC San Diego (10-1-2); 3. Seattle Pacific (10-2-2); 4. Montana State Billings (11-3-0); 5. Cal Poly Pomona (7-4-2); 6. Cal State Stanislaus (12-2-0); 7. Cal State L.A. (6-4-4); 8. Western Washington (12-2-0); 9. Cal State San Bernardino (7-5-2); 10. Cal State Monterey Bay (7-6-0). Note: Records are versus Division II opponents.
NCAA National Statistics (Oct. 21): Team (Top 30): Goals Against - 1. Western Washington 0.25. Shutout PCT. - 1. Western Washington .813; 17. MSU Billings .563. Save PCT. - 3. Western Washington .907. Individuals (Top 30): Goals Against - 1. Jamie Arthurs, WWU, 0.25. Save PCT. - 5. Jamie Arthurs, WWU, .902. Game-Winning Goals - 18. Megan Lindsay, SPU, 4.
GNAC RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Offense - Megan Lindsay, Seattle Pacific (F, 5-7, Sr., Spokane, WA - Gonzaga Prep) scored four goals leading the Falcons to 4-2 and 2-0 wins over Saint Martin's and Western Oregon, respectively, as SPU ran its win streak to six games and its unbeaten streak to 10. Lindsay, who was selected the Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week, currently leads the GNAC in scoring with 10 goals and 24 points and needs one more point to become the sixth player in GNAC history to score 100 or more career points. "Megan is just being Megan," SPU coach Chuck Sekyra said. "She is scoring goals in so many different ways right now." Defense - Jamie Arthur, Western Washington (GK, 5-8, Sr., Richland, WA) had six saves in lowering her national-leading goals against average to 0.25 as the Vikings extended their consecutive shutout streak to nine with a pair of 2-0 wins against Montana State Billings and Northwest Nazarene. Arthurs streak of 810 minutes, 15 seconds without allowing a goal is the fourth longest team streak and third longest individual streak in GNAC history. The Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week award winner has 13 shutouts this season, tying the GNAC single-season record set by Kaitlyn Jackson of Seattle University in 2007. Her nine consecutive shutouts also ties a GNAC record set by Maddie Dickinson during the final stages of the 2008 season and early in the 2009 campaign. Dickinson's streak extended over 11 games, including two in which she split the goal-keeping duties and therefore did not get credit for a shutout. Honorable Mention - Brina Sych, Western Washington; Jaucelyn Richter, MSU Billings; Jennifer Larsen, MSU Billings; Hanna Massee, Saint Martin's.
NATIONAL STATISTICS: Arthurs is the national leader in goals against average, allowing 0.25 per 90 minutes. Her save percentage of .902 ranks fifth nationally. Team wise, the Vikings rank No. 1 in both goals against (0.25) and shutout percentage (.813) and third in save percentage (.907).
AROUND THE GNAC: Brina Sych scored a pair of goal in Western Washington's two 2-0 victories ... Lauren Duty scored a pair of goals including the game-winner in the 69th minute in Central Washington's 2-1 win over Western Oregon ... Jaucelyn Richter scored MSU Billings' game-winning goal against Simon Fraser in the 66th minute ... Sarah Blum got Northwest Nazarene's game-winner against the Clan in the 62nd minute ... Hanna Massee had the game-winner for Saint Martin's in the eighth minute its 1-0 road win at CWU. Ashley Engel stopped a penalty kick against the Wildcats in picking up her first shutout of the season.
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."
Week of Oct. 1-7: 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 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 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.
Week of Oct. 8-14: Offense - Kristin Maris, Western Washington (F, 5-9, Jr. Issaquah, WA) scored the game-winning goal as the Vikings extended their win streak to seven, all by shutouts, and snapped Western Oregon's win streak at four with a 2-0 victory. Maris, the Red Lion Offensive Player of the Week, opened the scoring in the 56th minute with her team-leading seventh goal of the year and her third game-winner, taking a deflected pass from Catherine Miles with her back to the goal, turning and firing a shot from 28 yards that hit the crossbar and went in. Maris also played a key role in Thursday's 1-0 win against Saint Martin's. Defense - Emma Holm, Seattle Pacific (M, 5-4, Fr., Kirkland, WA - Lake Washington) led the Falcons, who are unbeaten in their last eight games (6-0-2) to two victories, a 4-1 win against Northwest Nazarene and a 3-0 shutout of MSU Billings to earn Red Lion Defensive Player of the Week honors. "Emma was incredible this week," SPU coach Chuck Sekyra said.. "I thought that she was one of the top three players on the field in both games against Nazarene and Billings. She was steady and made some game-changing plays."
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). Oct. 8-14 - Simon Fraser (Men's Soccer). Oct. 15-21 - Alaska Anchorage (Men's & Women's Cross Country).
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