BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The defending NCAA Division II national champion Western Washington University women’s soccer team will find out its opponent and games will be hosted in the upcoming 2017 NCAA II West Regional during today’s 3 pm PT selection show announcement on NCAA.com.
The Vikings earned the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s automatic bid to the field of 48 teams by winning a third consecutive conference championships title. With the 1-0 golden-goal victory in the second overtime over regular-season champion Concordia on Saturday, the Vikings punched their ticket to a sixth consecutive NCAA II Championships appearance. WWU has advanced to the NCAA II Final Four in three of the last four years, including beating Grand Valley State, 3-2, last December for the program’s first national championship.
Western will find out at 3 pm PT where it will be seeded in the six-team West Regional and if it will host one of the three-team pods. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds will have a first-round bye, while the 3-4-5-6 seeds will all play first-round games. WWU has hosted the first and second round games in each of the last four seasons, and had a first-round bye as the No. 1 seed (3 times) or No. 2 seed (1 time).
WWU (GNAC), UC San Diego (CCAA) and California Baptist (PacWest) are guaranteed spots in the championships after receiving their conferences’ automatic bids. The last NCAA II West Regional Ranking also featured Sonoma State (No. 2), Chico State (No. 4), Concordia (No. 5), Cal State Los Angeles (No. 6), Cal Poly Pomona (No. 7) and Cal State San Marcos (No. 8).
The Vikings head into the NCAA II Championships with an overall record of 17-1-0 and are 41-1-1 over the last two seasons. WWU had its 39-game winning streak snapped on Oct. 28 with a 2-0 home loss against Concordia, a mark that enters the record books as the longest in WWU history and the fourth-longest in Division II history. The 2017 record includes a 12-0-0 record away from Bellingham, and the Vikings carry a 23-game road winning streak (24-game unbeaten streak) into the postseason.
WWU had nine players selected to the GNAC All-Conference team, led by four first-team selections. Junior forward Gabriela Pelogi (Federal Way, WA) is among the national leaders with 15 goals and 36 points, while junior forward Karli White (North Bend, WA/Mount Si/Seattle U.) was named the GNAC Newcomer of the Year and GNAC Championships MVP. The Vikings have allowed only six goals in 18 games this season (0.33 goals against average) and registered 13 shutouts.
About WWU Soccer:
The Western Washington University women’s soccer program has risen to the top of the Division II ranks, with a string of six consecutive appearances in the NCAA Championships and has advanced to the NCAA II Final Four in three of the last four seasons. The Vikings won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2016 with an undefeated 24-0-1 record, beating three-time defending national champion Grand Valley State 3-2 in the title game. The program has claimed five of the last six Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season titles, going 70-4-4 (.923) in league play during this stretch, and has won the last three GNAC Championships titles (2005, 2016, 2017). Head coach Travis Connell is in his 15th season leading the program, and has led the Vikings to eight trips to the NCAA Championships and 14 consecutive winning seasons. Since the start of the 2013 season, WWU has built a 98-6-7 record (.914), the best record among all NCAA Division II programs during this five-season stretch.
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