WWU Vikings

WWU women’s soccer opens with 1-0 OT win over Cal Baptist

Catherine Miles (Sr., Anacortes) scored five minutes into overtime to lift nationally ranked Western Washington University to a season-opening 1-0 triumph over Cal Baptist in a non-conference women’s soccer contest on Thursday, Sept. 3, at Harrington Field on the WWU campus.

Miles took a short through ball from Stephanie Hamilton (Sr., Orting/Bellarmine Prep), reaching the pass just before it went over the end line to the left of the goal, then from a tight angle lofted a shot into the far side of the net from six yards out.

“Just a volley over the keeper,” said Miles, who notched the 33rd goal of her collegiate career. “I was just trying to hit it and keep it in play.”

The goal ended a match where the Vikings had a 27-4 advantage in shot attempts but were stymied in regulation as CBU goalkeeper Sara Escobedo made 10 saves.

“Going into overtime, we wanted to keep the ball down and combine,” said WWU coach Travis Connell. “Then Stephanie slipped through to Miles with the kind of pass we were looking for.”

Hamilton also had WWU’s best chance in regulation, hitting the left post from 25 yards out in the 19th minute. The Vikings had an 11-0 advantage in shots in the opening half.

“I was happy with the way we started, we had a lot of energy,” Connell said. “After that, we were able to make adjustments, especially in overtime, which was really good to see.”

Connell also praised the defensive play of center backs Sierra Shugarts (So., Federal Way/Decatur) and Delanee Nilles (Sr., Poulsbo/North Kitsap), who controlled play enough that goalkeeper Ashley Haden (Sr., Brush Prairie/Hockinson) had to make just two saves, both in the second half.

WWU entertains Sonoma State on Saturday, Sept. 5 (7 p.m.).