WWU is No.5 seed at NCAA II West Regional

WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM Head Coach Travis Connell
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM
Head Coach Travis Connell
WWUVIKINGSDOTCOM

Nov. 5, 2012

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Getting the No.5 seed, the Western Washington University women's soccer team meets No.4 Cal Poly Pomona in a first-round game of the NCAA Division II West Regional on Friday (2 p.m.), Nov. 9, at Rohnert Park, Calif.

The winner of that contest plays host and No.1 Sonoma State on Sunday (1 p.m.), Nov. 11.

In the other half of the regional, No. 3 Seattle Pacific plays No.6 BYU-Hawaii in a first-round game, the winner advancing to meet host and No.2 UC San Diego.

The Vikings, who are ranked No.23 in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA II Top 25, are making their first post-season appearance since 2008 when they advanced to the regional semifinal.

WWU got an automatic berth to this year's regional by taking the championship at the first Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament last week. They defeated Montana State Billings 2-0 in Saturday's title game after advancing with a 2-0 semifinal victory over Western Oregon.

WWU, 17-3-0, was the No.1 seed at the GNAC tourney after winning the league's regular-season championship with a 12-2-0 record.

Sixteen of the Vikings' 17 wins have been shutouts as they have outscored the opposition 42-5 this season. During one stretch they had a school and GNAC-record scoreless string of 919 minutes and 29 seconds.

WWU senior goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs (Richland), the GNAC Player of the Year, has been outstanding, setting school and GNAC records for shutouts in a season (16) and career (39). She is second nationally in goals against average at 0.25 and on pace to beat the GNAC record of 0.30 set in 2003 by SPU's Jennifer Hull.

With just five goals allowed and 49 saves in 1,800 minutes, her save percentage of .907 ranks third nationally. Her GAA, save percentage and shutout total all lead the GNAC.

WWU, coached by Travis Connell (10th year, 119-58-19), is led offensively by freshman Catherine Miles (Anacortes), junior Kristin Maris (Issaquah) and junior Brina Sych (Vancouver/Union). Miles has eight goals and six assists, Maris eight goals and five assists, and Sych five goals and five assists.

Maris was named MVP of the GNAC Tournament. Sych is 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 a repeater. Second-team recognition went to sophomore midfielder Kim Cooper (Bellingham) and sophomore defender Brianna Jones (Bonney Lake). 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 GAA (0.25), and is second in both shutout percentage (.800) and save percentage (.911). It has a shot advantage of 304-154, leading the GNAC in goals (42, 2.10), assists (33, 1.65), least goals against and shutouts.

Cal Poly Pomona is 10-5-3 and placed second (8-4-3) in the South Division of the California Collegiate Athletic Association. The Broncos reached the CCAA Tournament championship game, losing to Sonoma State on penalty kicks.

WWU holds a 3-2-0 series advantage over CPP, winning the last two meetings, both by 1-0 scores, in 2004 and 2005.

Sonoma State, ranked seventh nationally, is 16-2-2, placed first in the CCAA North Division (11-2-1) and won the CCAA tourney title.

The Vikings trail 8-4-0 in their series with the Seawolves, but have won the last three meetings, 2-0 in 2007, 2-1 in 2008 and 1-0 in 2009.

WWU Notes: The Vikings received league Team of the Week accolades for their performance in the winning the GNAC Tournament ... 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 10 (Nov. 6, 2012)

		        Conference			                All
	                W	L	T	GF	GA	Pts	W	L	T	GF	GA
Western Washington      12	2	0	30	4	36	17	3	0	42	5
Seattle Pacific         11	1	2	31	10	32	14	3	2	39	15
MSU Billings            8	5	1	15	14	25	13	6	1	24	17
Western Oregon          6	7	1	19	20	19	8	10	1	25	26
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

GNAC Championships (Nov. 1-3 at Starfire Sports Complex, Tukwila, WA): Thursday - #1 Western Washington 2, #4 Western Oregon 0; #3 Montana State Billings 1, #2 Seattle Pacific 0. Saturday - Western Washington 2, MSU Billings 0 (championship).

NCAA West Regionals (Nov. 8-11): Thursday (at LaJolla, CA) - #6 BYU-Hawaii (10-4-2) vs. #3 Seattle Pacific (14-3-2), 1 p.m. Friday (at Rohnert Park) - #4 Cal Poly Pomona (10-5-3) vs. #5 Western Washington (17-3-0), 2 p.m. Saturday (at LaJolla, CA): #6/3 winner vs. #2 UC San Diego (14-2-3), 6 p.m. Sunday (at Rohnert Park) - #4/5 winner vs. #1 Sonoma State (16-2-2), 1 p.m.

POLLS: NSCAA National (Nov. 6) - 23. Western Washington. NSCAA West Region (Nov. 6) - 3. Western Washington, 4. Seattle Pacific; 8. Montana State Billings. NCAA West Region (Final) - 1. Sonoma State; 2. Seattle Pacific; 3. UC San Diego; 4. Cal Poly Pomona; 5. CSU Stanislaus; 6. Western Washington; 7. MSU Billings; 8. CSU San Bernardino; 9. Cal State L.A.; 10. Grand Canyon. Note: Final poll taken prior to conference tournament and may not necessarily reflect regional seedings.

NCAA National Statistics (Nov. 4): Team (Top 30): Goals Against - 1. Western Washington 0.25. Shutout PCT. - 2. Western Washington .800. Save PCT. - 2. Western Washington .911. Individuals (Top 30): Goals Against - 2. Jamie Arthurs, WWU, 0.25. Save PCT. - 3. Jamie Arthurs, WWU, .907.

MARIS MVP AS VIKINGS WIN CONFERENCE TITLE: Kristin Maris earned Most Valuable Player honors in leading Western Washington to the title in the GNAC conference tournament last weekend at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila ... Maris scored the game-winning goal in Thursday's 2-0 semifinal win against Western Oregon, then helped create Joana Houplin's game-winning goal in Saturday's 2-0 championship game victory against Montana State Billings. She also earned an assist on WWU's second goal against the Yellowjackets.

MOST SHUTOUTS, SEASON & CAREER: Western Washington goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs, the GNAC Player of the Year, extended her own GNAC single-season and career records for shutouts in the conference tournament recording her 15th and 16th of the season and the 38th and 39th of her career. Arthurs currently ranks second nationally in goals against average. Her 0.25 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. She also ranks third nationally in save percentage (.907). Western Washington ranks second in shutout percentage (.800).

FIRST GOAL FOR MANCILLA: Defender Jessie Mancilla scored the game-winning goal for Montana State Billings in its 1-0 win against Seattle Pacific. It was Mancilla's first goal of her career.

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 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. "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 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. Arthurs 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.

Week of Oct. 22-28: 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.

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). Oct. 29-Nov. 4 - Western Washington (Women's Soccer).