THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
Western Washington University advanced to the championship game of the first Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Tournament with a 2-0 victory over Western Oregon University on Thursday, Nov. 1, in Tukwila.
The Vikings, who improved to 16-3-0, meets the winner of tonight's other semifinal contest between nationally No. 21-ranked Seattle Pacific (14-2-2) and Montana State Billings (12-5-1) in the championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3. The winner earns the GNAC's automatic berth in the West Regional of the NCAA Division II National Tournament on Nov. 9-11.
"We were a little tight maybe because of the moment at the beginning of the game, but that worked itself out quickly," WWU coach Travis Connell said in a news release. "Maris was a real force tonight. She was very energetic, covered a lot of ground, got to a lot of balls and scored a good goal. She helped us get through that first part of the game."
WOU, which finished 8-10-1, lost to the Vikings for the third time in as many meetings this season, all by 2-0 scores.
WWU opened the scoring in the 13th minute as forward Kristin Maris scored from the top of the penalty area for her team-leading eighth goal of the season.
Midfielder Delanee Nilles added an insurance marker for WWU in the 70th minute, scoring her fifth goal of the season off an assist from Catherine Miles. It was the team-leading seventh assist of the year for Miles.
Viking goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs, the GNAC Player of the Year, had four saves, preserving the shutout with a pair of stops off Nikki Caudill in the 85th minute.