Forward Andrew Weishaar gave Western Washington University a first-half lead, but nationally ranked Simon Fraser University rallied to claim a 2-1 victory Saturday, Oct. 6, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's soccer match at Orca Field on Whatcom Community College's campus.
The loss dropped the Vikings to 4-6-1 overall, 2-5-1 in the GNAC. WWU is 4-2-1 at home, with both defeats coming against teams ranked in the top 10 nationally in NCAA Division II. Western lost 1-0 to No. 3 Seattle Pacific on Sept. 29.
Justin Wallace and Ryan Dhillon scored second-half goals less than 10 minutes apart for SFU, ranked No. 7 nationally. The Clan are 10-1-0 overall and lead the GNAC with a 6-1-0 mark.
"I thought our guys battled," WWU associate head coach Greg Brisbon said. "Our effort was there, which is really all we can ask. Simon Fraser is a good team with standout players, and we get a chance to play them again later in the season and do a little better."
Weishaar opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with his third goal of the season. Kurtis Pederson launched a free kick from just short of the midfield line, and Weishaar fought off a defender to head the ball in from 12 yards. It was WWU's only shot attempt in the first half.
SFU, which had a 21-6 advantage in shots, equalized in the 64th minute as Wallace intercepted a pass and scored on a blast from 20 yards out. The Clan took the lead in the 73rd minute as Dhillon cut in from the left on the dribble and finished to the far post from 16 yards.
WWU's best chance to level the score came in the 80th minute on a diving header by Justin Moore, but SFU goalkeeper Hide Ozawa deflected the shot around the goalpost. Ozawa entered the contest midway through the first half when starter J.D. Blakely left with an injury.
It was the fifth straight victory for SFU. WWU handed the Clan their only blemish of a 19-0-1 season in 2011 with a 2-2 tie at Orca Field in the final match of the year.
The Vikings close out their five-game home stand next week, entertaining Sioux Falls at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11.