Vikings Set for National Championship Match

Dec. 2, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Western Washington University women’s soccer team is one win away from winning the NCAA Division II National Championship.

The Vikings (23-0-1) will put their 23-game winning streak and undefeated season on the line in the national championship game against three-time defending national champion Grand Valley State on Saturday at 3 pm CT/1 pm PT. The game will be played at Children’s Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City.

Playing in its third Final Four over the last four seasons, Western secured its first trip to the National Championship Game with a 3-0 win over Kutztown on Thursday night.

The game between WWU and GVSU will be streamed live online via NCAA.com and the NCAA Mobile Application. Live Stats will also be available for the game.

“Taylor

Series History: Grand Valley State beat the Vikings 3-2 in last year’s NCAA II national semifinal in Pensacola, Fla…GVSU scored a pair of goals in the first 9 minutes and scored 30 seconds into the second half to build a 3-1 lead…WWU scored in the 75th minute to pull to within one at 3-2 and nearly got the equalizer in the 83rd minute on a missed header by All-American Delanee Nilles.

Just as Planned: The Vikings and Lakers were the only two teams to hold the top spot in the weekly NSCAA Division II rankings all season…GVSU held the top spot from the preseason through week 5, then the Vikings took over as the No . 1 team in the nation on October 11.

The National Championship Game: The top-ranked Vikings (23-0-1) are playing in their first national championship game in program history…WWU beat Kutztown 3-0 on Thursday to advance to the championship game…Western will meet three-time defending national champion Grand Valley State (23-1-1) in a rematch of the national semifinal last season in Pensacola, Fla. (3-2 GVSU win).

The Road to KC: The Vikings were the No. 1 seed in the West Region after winning both the GNAC regular-season and tournament titles…entered the NCAA II tournament with a 19-0-1 record…have gone 4-0 in NCAA tournament play with wins over Central Washington (2-0, 2nd round in Bellingham), UC San Diego (2-1 in OT in West Region Final in Golden, CO), Colorado Mines (5-1 in quarterfinals in Golden, CO) and Kutztown (3-0 in semifinals in Kansas City, MO).

The Postseason: Counting the GNAC tournament, WWU is 6-0 during the postseason…out-scored opponents 18-3 in the playoff matches…Gabriela Pelogi leads the Vikings with 6 goals and 1 assist for 13 points (3 goals in NCAA Tournament)…freshman Liv Larson has 3 goals, including 2 in the quarterfinal win over Colorado Mines…including this season the Vikings are 13-6 all-time in NCAA II Tournament play.

Clash of the Titans: Dating back to the start of the 2012 season, WWU Women’s Soccer has compiled an impressive 99-9-7 record for a .891 winning percentage...during this 115-game span WWU has won five consecutive GNAC regular-season titles while combining to go 59-3-4 (.924) in GNAC play…amongst all Division II schools, the winning percentage since the start of the 2012 season is 2nd-best trailing only Grand Valley State (112-6-8/.921)…here is a look at the top-10 winningest Division II programs dating back to the start of the 2012 season (includes this season):

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2012-2016

Team

W

L

T

W

L

T

W

L

T

W

L

T

W

L

T

W

L

T

Pct.

Grand Valley State

20

2

3

24

0

1

22

2

2

23

1

1

23

1

1

112

6

8

.921

Western Washington

19

4

0

20

2

1

16

1

4

21

2

1

23

0

1

99

9

7

.891

Central Missouri

16

2

5

14

4

2

21

1

2

21

2

1

21

2

0

93

11

10

.860

Minnesota State Mankato

17

1

5

17

3

2

22

1

0

18

2

2

16

3

3

90

10

12

.857

Columbus State

18

3

2

15

6

1

20

2

1

22

3

1

21

2

0

96

16

5

.842

Saint Rose

20

3

2

20

1

2

21

1

3

15

3

4

11

7

0

87

15

11

.819

West Florida

24

1

0

18

1

3

12

6

0

15

5

1

19

5

0

88

18

4

.818

Colorado Mines

18

4

2

19

1

1

16

2

6

15

5

2

20

3

1

88

15

12

.817

St. Edward's

18

3

0

18

1

3

15

5

0

14

6

1

15

1

3

80

16

7

.811

Bridgeport

11

6

2

18

3

0

14

5

2

21

2

1

18

4

0

82

20

5

.790

Awards: Here is a listing of postseason awards won by WWU student-athletes:

  • Sierra Shugarts: GNAC Player of the Year, All-GNAC (1st Team), NSCAA All-West Region (1st Team), NSCAA All-American (1st Team), D2CCA All-American (1st Team ), D2CCA All-West Region (1st Team), GNAC All-Academic
  • Emily Webster: GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, All-GNAC (1st Team), NSCAA All-West Region (1st Team), NSCAA All-American (2nd Team), D2CCA All-West Region (1st Team), D2CCA All-American (2nd Team), GNAC All-Academic
  • Caitlyn Jobanek: All-GNAC (1st Team), D2CCA All-West Region (1st Team), D2CCA All-American (Honorable Mention)
  • Ashley Homer: GNAC Newcomer of the Year, All-GNAC (2nd Team), NSCAA All-West Region (1st Team), NSCAA All-American (3rd Team), D2CCA All-West Region (2nd Team)
  • Gabriela Pelogi: All-GNAC (1st Team), NSCAA All-West Region (1st Team), D2CCA All-West Region (2nd Team)
  • Elise Aylward: All-GNAC (2nd Team), GNAC All-Academic, Academic All-American (3rd Team)
  • Liv Larson: All-GNAC (Honorable Mention)
  • Taylor Hallquist: All-GNAC (Honorable Mention)

Worth Noting: Some quick notes on the Vikings heading into the national championship match vs. Grand Valley State…

  • Spreading the Wealth – 19 different Vikings have scored at least one goal (13 with 2+ goals).
  • Final Four (Again) – WWU is making their third national semifinal appearance in the last four years.
  • NCAA Tournament – WWU is making its fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and hosted at least one NCAA game for the fourth straight year.
  • No. 1 – WWU is No. 1 in the NSCAA Division II rankings (debuted at No. 1 on 10/11).
  • Undefeated – The Vikings are 23-0-1 and have a 23-game winning streak (season-opening tie).
  • Postseason Pelogi Gabriela Pelogi has scored 6 of her team-leading 11 goals in the postseason.
  • Player of the Year – Junior Sierra Shugarts was named the GNAC Player of the Year.
  • Homegrown – 21 of 26 players on the WWU roster (80.7%) are from the state of Washington.
  • Shutouts – WWU has 17 shutouts (10 of last 14 games) to set the program record.
  • Defense – WWU is 4th in NCAA II with a 0.330 goals against average…allowed only 53 shots on goal all season (8 goals)…aiming to break team record for goals against average (0.320 in 2014).
  • Senior Class – The senior class of Elise Aylward, Becca Cates, Anna DeWeirdt, Caitlyn Jobanek and Erin Russell have combined to go 80-5-7 during (2013-16).
  • Everyday Caitlyn – Senior Caitlyn Jobanek will be playing in her 91st career match today, tying the WWU record (Catherine Miles (2012-15)…Jobanek has missed only 2 games during her entire career.
  • History at Harrington – The Vikings have won 25 consecutive home games at Harrington Field, breaking the GNAC record for consecutive home wins set by Seattle Pacific from 2002-04 (22).

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