WWU Vikings

Vikings remain unbeaten with 2-0 victory

Catherine Miles and Jessica Bertucci each scored in the first 25 minutes as Western Washington University blanked Northwest Nazarene University, 2-0, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s soccer contest on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Robert S. Harrington Field on the WWU campus.

The victory was the 19th straight at home for WWU, which remained unbeaten at 12-0-2 overall and first in the GNAC standings at 8-0-2.

Miles gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute, chipping the ball over the goalkeeper following a free kick. Delanee Nilles and Bertucci were both credited with assists.

In the 25th minute, Bertucci scored on a breakaway after receiving a pass from Elise Aylward.

It was the WWU-leading seventh goal of the season for Miles, and the sixth for Bertucci, who also has four assists for a team-best 16 points.

“I was really happy to see us get those goals in the first half,” said WWU coach Travis Connell, whose team has gone into overtime five times this fall. “When you have your leading goal scorers scoring goals in the first half of a game, then the game becomes a lot easier.”

WWU had a 29-7 advantage in shots. The Vikings had a number of scoring opportunities in the final 10 minutes with NNU goalie Daniele Ortiz making five of her nine saves during that stretch and they had another shot bounce off the left goal post.

“It’s because we have more depth than most of the teams we play, so we wear teams down,” Connell said. “Northwest Nazarene put up a courageous battle, but they just got worn down at the end, which means that we’re going to create chances.”

WWU goalkeeper Ashley Haden made six saves, including a point-blank stop in the 65th minute, as the Vikings recorded their 10th shutout of the year.

WWU has allowed just four goals this season, one of those an own goal.

The Vikings’ 19-game home field winning streak dates back to the start of the 2013 season. The school record is 25, set from 1981 to 1986.