Forward Kristin Maris scored a pair of late goals, lifting nationally ranked Western Washington University to a 2-0 victory over Central Washington University on Saturday in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's soccer contest at Orca Field on the Whatcom CC campus.
The Vikings, ranked No. 2 nationally in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, improved to 9-0-0 overall and remain in sole possession of first place in the GNAC at 6-0-0.
Central, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, fell to 5-4-0 overall and 4-2-0 in conference play.
Western had a 16-2 advantage in shot attempts, but didn't take the lead until the 78th minute when Maris slotted a penalty kick into the right side of the goal after a handball in the penalty area.
Maris then got an insurance goal with just 21 seconds left, bundling in an Ashton Griffen corner kick to score from four yards out.
The two goals give Maris a team-high six for the season.
"Central played really well and made it very difficult for us," said WWU coach Travis Connell (11th year, 130-59-19). "We didn't play our 'A' game and the game wasn't decided until very late, but I was happy that we stayed composed. That's going to help us later in the year because that's the kind of game we'll see in the post-season."
The Wildcats' best chance came in the 13th minute, when Savannah Moorehouse headed a corner kick over the crossbar.
WWU goalkeeper Alyssa Beauchamp did not have to make a save as the Vikings notched their seventh shutout of the season.
WWU holds a 31-11-6 series advantage and is 9-1-2 in the last 12 meetings with CWU.
WWU next is at Simon Fraser on Thursday, Oct. 10 (7 p.m.), for a GNAC counter.