Vikings Announced as No. 2 Seed in West Region

Nov. 6, 2017

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The NCAA Division II defending national champion Western Washington University women’s soccer has been announced as the No. 2 seed in the West Region of the 2017 NCAA Championships, and will host the first and second rounds Thursday and Saturday at Harrington Field.
The Vikings (17-1-0) will have a first-round bye, and faces the winner of the No. 3-seed Sonoma State (14-4-1) vs. No. 6-seed California Baptist (11-4-3) on Saturday at 1 pm. Sonoma State and Cal Baptist will play Thursday in Bellingham at Harrington Field at 1 pm. The winner of the Bellingham bracket will move on to face either No. 1-seed UC San Diego, No. 4 seed Chico State or No. 5-seed Concordia (OR) the following week for the West Regional Championship. The UCSD side of the bracket begins championship play on Friday (Nov. 10) with Concordia vs. Chico State at 2 pm, with the winner facing UC San Diego on Sunday at 2 pm.
“As a program, this is what we practice for each day and feel like we are a playoff-ready team,” said head coach Travis Connell. “I am proud of this team for overcoming some obstacles and high expectations during the season, and competing at an extremely high level from the first match of the season. They never wavered and have tremendous commitment to what has made this program so successful.”
The Vikings are making their sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA II Championships, and eighth in program history. WWU has hosted the first and second rounds of the West Regional in each of the last five seasons, and has advanced to the Division II Final Four in three of the last four seasons.
“We are extremely honored to be hosting these games in Bellingham and excited for our community to witness this quality-level of college soccer,” added Connell. “We do not take for granted when we see the WWU letters flash up on that screen and I know our team is extremely proud to be playing these games at home.”
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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