In what coach Travis Connell called a playoff-like contest, nationally ranked and league-leading Western Washington University scored a pair of second-half goals and defeated Western Oregon University 2-0 in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's soccer contest Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13, at Orca Field.
Forward Kristin Maris and midfielder Delanee Nilles scored for the Vikings, who notched their seventh consecutive victory, all by shutout, running their scoreless string to 630:15. WWU is 12-2-0 overall and remains atop the GNAC at 9-1-0.
Western Oregon, which had a 9-7 advantage in shot attempts, fell to 7-6-1 overall and 5-4-1 in conference play.
"It was a game played largely in the middle of the field, and Western Oregon did a good job of sticking to its game plan," Connell said. "Some days we win with passing, but today we did it by grinding things out and applying pressure. We didn't get a lot of shots, but we kept play in the right areas."
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.
Nilles added an insurance goal in the 85th minute with her fourth score of the season.
"I'm thrilled we can find different ways to win," Connell said. "This was a playoff-like game in how it was played."
During its seven-match winning streak, WWU has outscored its opponents 19-0, and for the season, has a 33-4 goal difference.
The Vikings travel to Montana State-Billings for a GNAC contest at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18.