WWU is No.1 seed in first GNAC Tournament

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Head Coach Travis Connell
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Head Coach Travis Connell
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Oct. 30, 2012


Directions to Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Western Washington University is the No.1 seed at the first Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Tournament being held this weekend at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

The Vikings, who won the GNAC regular-season title with a 12-2 record, face No.4 Western Oregon in a semifinal Thursday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.; and No.2 Seattle Pacific plays No.3 Montana State Billings at 8 p.m.

The championship game is Saturday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m., with the winner earning the GNAC's automatic berth in the West Regional of the NCAA Division II National Tournament on Nov. 9-11.

WWU, 15-3 overall, fell out of this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll after being No.14 the previous week. The Vikings have allowed just five goals this season, while scoring 38.

Last Saturday in its regular-season finale, WWU had a 10-game winning streak, all of them shutouts, snapped by Seattle Pacific, 1-0. That ended the Vikings' school record scoreless string of 919 minutes and 29 seconds and a 13-game home victory string.

SPU, which is working on a 13-game unbeaten streak (11-0-2) and a nine-game winning streak, has scored three of the five goals that WWU has allowed this season. The Falcons also beat WWU, 2-1, at Seattle on a goal with 15 seconds left in regulation.

The Vikings' only other loss was 1-0 at No.4 Chico State to open the campaign.

WWU senior goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs (Richland), the GNAC Player of the Year, has had a remarkable season, setting school and GNAC records for shutouts in a season (14) and career (37). She leads the nation in goals against average at 0.28 and is on pace to beat the GNAC record of 0.30 set in 2003 by SPU's Jennifer Hull. With just five goals allowed and 40 saves in 1,620 minutes, her save percentage of .889 ranks fifth nationally. Her GAA, save percentage and shutout total all lead the GNAC.

WWU, coached by Travis Connell (10th year, 117-58-19) is led offensively by freshman Catherine Miles (Anacortes), junior Kristin Maris (Issaquah) and junior Brina Sych (Vancouver/Union). Miles has seven goals and six assists, Maris seven goals and six assists and Sych five goals and five assists. Sych was named the GNAC's Defensive Player of the Year and Miles the league's Freshman of the Year.

Arthurs, Maris and Sych were all named first-team conference all-stars. Sych was unanimous and Arthurs was a repeater. Second-team recognition went to sophomore midfielder Kim Cooper (Bellingham) and sophomore defender Brianna Jones (Bonney Lake) and receiving honorable mention were Miles, senior midfielder Joana Houplin (Olympia/Capital), junior midfielder Ashton Griffen (Duvall/Cedarcrest) and junior defender Kayla Russ (Puyallup/Bellarmine Prep).

WWU leads the nation in both GAA and shutout percentage (.813) and is third in save percentage. It has a shot advantage of 277-135, leading the GNAC in goals (38, 2.11), assists (32, 1.78), least goals against and shutouts.

Western Oregon had its best conference record in over a decade in 2011 under then first-year coach Steve Ancheta (2nd year). This year the Wolves, 8-9-1 overall, nearly duplicated that at 6-7-1.

WOU is led by midfielder Lindsay Bauman with five goals and five assists, and forward Marina Austin with five goals. Goalkeeper Hillary Lutz has a 1.10 GAA, posting four straight shutouts late in the season.

WWU has won both away meetings with the Wolves this year by 2-0 scores. The Vikings are working on a 14-game series winning streak and hold a series advantage of 26-5-0.

Seattle Pacific, ranked No.22 nationally, has won seven GNAC titles and advanced to nationals in each of the last nine years since Chuck Sekyra (10th year, 181-21-16) has been coach. The Falcons won a national championship in 2008 and advanced to the national semifinals in 2005 and 2007.

SPU forward Megan Lindsay, a third-team All-American in 2011, leads the GNAC with 26 points and ranks fifth in conference history with 101for her career. She has 11 goals and four game winners this season. Heather Young has five goals and four assists, and Riley Dopps four goals and three assists.

Defender Jose Graybeal leads a defense that has limited opponents to 14 goals.

The Vikings trail 5-16-3 in their series with SPU, losing the last five meetings following a five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2).

MSUB is 12-5-1 overall (finished 8-5-1 in the GNAC), following a 9-0-0 start when the Yellowjackets gave up just two goals.

MSUB, coached by Wojtek Krakowiak, is led by forward Heidi Greenback with eight goals and one assist, midfielder Jaucelyn Richter with four goals and five assists and defender Jennifer Larsen.

WWU Notes: 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.

Great Northwest Athletic Conference

2012 Women's Soccer Report Week 9 (Oct. 30, 2012)

		        Conference			                All
	                W	L	T	GF	GA	Pts	W	L	T	GF	GA
Western Washington      12	2	0	30	4	36	15	3	0	38	5
Seattle Pacific         11	1	2	31	10	32	14	2	2	39	14
MSU Billings            8	5	1	15	14	25	12	5	1	23	15
Western Oregon          6	7	1	19	20	19	8	9	1	25	24
Saint Martin's          5	7	2	15	19	17	7	9	2	19	27
Northwest Nazarene      5	8	1	14	27	16	8	9	1	22	31
Central Washington      5	8	1	18	15	16	6	10	2	22	25
Simon Fraser            0	14	0	2	35	0	1	16	0	3	39

LAST WEEK: Thursday - Central Washington 0 at Western Washington 1; MSU Billings 1 at Western Oregon 2; Seattle Pacific 4 at Simon Fraser 0. Friday - Northwest Nazarene 0 at Saint Martin's 0 (2ot). Saturday - Simon Fraser 0 at Central Washington 5; MSU Billings 1 at Saint Martin's 1 (2ot); Northwest Nazarene 3 at Western Oregon 2; Seattle Pacific 1 at Western Washington 0.

GNAC Championships (Nov. 1-3 at Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, WA): Thursday - #1 Western Washington vs. #4 Western Oregon, 5 p.m.; #2 Seattle Pacific vs. #3 Montana State Billings, 8 p.m. Saturday - Championship game at 2 p.m. (Note: Winner earns automatic berth in NCAA Division II West Regional tournament, which begins Thursday, Nov. 8. Field will be announced Monday, Nov. 5 via a web cast at www.ncaa.com).

POLLS: NSCAA National (Oct. 30) - 22. Seattle Pacific; NSCAA West Region (Oct. 24) - 2. Western Washington; 3. Seattle Pacific; 7. Montana State Billings. NCAA West Region (Oct. 24) - 1. Cal State Stanislaus (14-2-0); 2. Sonoma State (13-2-1); 3. UC San Diego (11-2-2); 4. Seattle Pacific (12-2-2); 5. Cal Poly Pomona (9-4-2); 6. Western Washington (14-2-0); 7. Montana State Billings (12-4-0); 8. Cal State L.A. (7-5-4); 9. Cal State San Bernardino (7-7-2); 10. Cal State Monterey Bay (8-7-0). 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 - Riley Dopps, Seattle Pacific (M, 5-5, So., Port Orchard, WA - South Kitsap) scored a pair of goals and also had an assist as the Falcons extended their unbeaten streak to 13 games and their win streak to nine. She scored SPU's first two goals in its 4-0 shutout of Simon Fraser then earned an assist on Heather Young's game-winning goal in a 1-0 defeat of Western Washington, snapping the Vikings' 10-game win streak. On the season, Dopps ranks fourth on her team in scoring with 11 points (4 goals, 3 assist). "Riley is really starting to turn her play up a notch," SPU coach Chuck Sekyra said. "She is really fun to watch right now as she is making a difference in every game." Defense - Josie Graybeal, Seattle Pacific (D, 5-7, Jr., Gig Harbor, WA) is the leader of the Falcon back line and was the catalyst for a pair of shutouts, SPU's sixth and seventh of the season. "Josie had a great week, organizing our back line, winning balls in the air and on the ground, starting our attack and just being a great defender," Sekyra said. Honorable Mention - Sarah Staropoli, Northwest Nazarene; Hadli Farrand, Central Washington; Ashley Engel, Saint Martin's.

VIKINGS SHUTOUT STREAK ENDS AT 10: Jamie Arthur's shutout streak ended at 10 in Western Washington's 1-0 loss Saturday at Seattle Pacific. The Viking goalie broke the GNAC record for most consecutive shutouts of nine set by Maddie Dickinson of Seattle Pacific between Dec. 6, 2008 and Oct. 21, 2009. The streak covered 919 minutes, 29 seconds. Arthurs' streak is the second longest in GNAC history and the longest in a single-season. Dickinson had a streak of 1,012:12, including 869:05 to begin the 2009 season.

MOST SHUTOUTS, SEASON & CAREER: Arthurs recorded her 14th shutout in WWU's 1-0 win Thursday against Central Washington to break the GNAC single-season record of 13 set by Seattle University's Kaitlyn Jackson during the 2007 season. She now has 37 career shutouts, six more than the previous GNAC record-holder (Teresa Fish, WWU, 2003-05, 07). Her 0.28 GAA this season is on pace to break the conference single-season mark of 0.30 set by Jennifer Hull of SPU in the 2003 season.

LINDSAY REACHES TRIPLE DIGITS: Megan Lindsay scored a goal in the 40th minute in Seattle Pacific's 4-0 road win at Simon Fraser Thursday to become the sixth player in GNAC history to reach triple digits in points. She is currently tied for fifth with 101 points. The goal was her 40th of her career. Lindsay ranks third in GNAC history in points per game, averaging 1.40. She finished the regular-season with a league-leading 26 points (11 goals, 4 assists), six more than Catherine Miles of Western Washington ... Jaucelyn Richter of Montana State Billings takes a No. 14 all-time GNAC rank in career scoring into the playoffs. Richter has 79 career points. Her 23 career assists, also ranks 14th all-time.

AROUND THE GNAC: Seattle Pacific goalkeeper Natalie Harold had six saves, including five against Western Washington, as the Falcons recorded their sixth and seventh shutouts of the season ... Sarah Staropoli of Northwest Nazarene had a goal and two assists in the Crusaders' 3-2 win at Western Oregon as NNU earned four points, also play Saint Martin's to a scoreless tie ... Hadli Farrand had a pair of goals and an assist in Central Washington's 5-0 win against Simon Fraser.

MORE GNAC HIGHLIGHTS: Catherine Miles' seventh goal of the season was the game-winner in Western Washington's 1-0 win against CWU ... Lindsay Bauman had a goal and assist in Western Oregon's 2-1 win over Montana State Billings. . .Saint Martin's Ashley Engel had five saves and NNU's Tanya Zickefoose had four as their teams battled to a scoreless draw Friday. In their two contests (both ties), Engel had 13 saves and a .929 save percentage.

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."

Week of Oct. 15-21: 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.

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). Oct. 22-28 - Western Oregon (Volleyball).