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Women's Soccer: WWU, SPU Advance to Regionals
SPU's Hannah Huesers (left) helped her team to the GNAC title with a goal in the championship match, while WWU's Brianna Jones (right) was named 2013 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.
SPU's Hannah Huesers (left) helped her team to the GNAC title with a goal in the championship match, while WWU's Brianna Jones (right) was named 2013 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Monday, November 11, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - Number 10-ranked Western Washington earned the second overall seed to the 2013 NCAA Division II West Regional women's soccer tournament, while Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion Seattle Pacific was tabbed the No. 6 seed after earning an automatic berth.

The rest of the six-team field for the West Region, announced earlier Monday, includes No. 1 seed Cal State Stanislaus, No. 3 seed Sonoma State, No. 4 seed Cal State San Bernardino, and No. 5 Cal Baptist. In the first round, WWU will enjoy a bye while SPU squares off against Sonoma State in Bellingham at 7:30 p.m. Pacific time Thursday. A first-round victory for SPU would spark a rematch of the 2013 GNAC Championship Tournament Finals.

The second round begins Nov. 17, with Saturday's game scheduled for 2 p.m. Pacific time in Bellingham. Round 3 and the quarterfinals are set for Nov. 22 and 24, with the semifinals and finals following on Dec. 5 and 7. The semifinals and finals will be played at the same site as the men's championships, at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga.

WWU finished the 2013 regular season with an overall record of 17-1-1 and a 13-1-0 mark in GNAC play. The Vikings' only loss of the season came to conference opponent Western Oregon, and WWU fell in the final match of the 2013 GNAC Championships in a penalty kick shootout. WWU moved up to No. 9 in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America rankings of the fall.

Last season, WWU advanced to the West Region finals, falling to UC San Diego in dramatic double-overtime fashion. The Vikings, ranked as highly as No. 2 in the NSCAA top-25 this season, avenged last season's defeat with a 1-0 victory over UCSD in their first game of the 2013 season. WWU is coached by Travis Connell, who earned his second GNAC Coach of the Year honor in 2013, his 11th season at the helm of the program.

Seattle Pacific finished its 2013 schedule with a record of 14-5-1 and 10-4-0 in GNAC play. The Falcons ensured a spot in the playoffs by beating Central Washington and WWU in the 2013 GNAC tournament. 

SPU also lost to UCSD in the 2012 regional tournament, and opened its 2013 season with a tough loss in San Diego at the hands of the Tritons. The Falcons were in and out of the NSCAA top-25 this season, entering the year at No. 23. Six-time GNAC Coach of the Year and 2007 NCAA Coach of the Year Chuck Sekyra looks to lead his team back to the ranks of his 2008 Division II NCAA Championship squad.

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