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Team of the Week SPU Earns Spot in NCAA Tourney
For the second straight year, the Falcons beat the Vikings in a PK shootout to advance to the NCAA tournament. (J. Andrew Towell)
For the second straight year, the Falcons beat the Vikings in a PK shootout to advance to the NCAA tournament. (J. Andrew Towell)

Monday, November 10, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Seattle Pacific women’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA tournament on Saturday after upsetting top seeded Western Washington on penalty kicks and earned the Red Lion Hotels GNAC Team of the Week.

The Falcons beat the regular season champions in the GNAC tournament for the second straight year on penalty kicks.

“We spent a lot of time on penalty kicks,” head coach Chuck Sekyra said. “I bet all those kids out there took at least 10 PK’s this week so they had a feel for it.”

For the 12th straight year, SPU will have its name on the NCAA bracket which will be released Monday at 4 p.m. on NCAA.com.

“This is the 12th year in a row that we’ll be in the NCAA tournament. That’s not easy,” Sekyra said.

In a win or go home situation, SPU played to a 1-1 draw after the Vikings and SPU’s Ali Martin scored in the first half. After two scoreless overtimes, the championship game would be decided by a penalty kick shootout for the second consecutive year.

The Falcons Martin, Arden Matro, Brooke Pingrey and Heather Young answered every goal that the Vikings scored. With the score tied 4-4, senior Alexa Hughes, who replaced starting goalkeeper Molly Stinson for the penalty kicks, made the only save of the shootout opening the door for the Falcons win.

With the season on the line, junior Shayla Page knocked in the winning goal past the diving Viking goalkeeper on the left side of the goal.

“Our coach let us know that we needed to win that game to go through,” forward Isabel Farrell said. “I’m just glad that we were able to get that done.”

To reach the championship game, the Falcons had to beat second seeded Montana State Billings on Thursday.

The GNAC Player of the Year and championship MVP Farrell scored in the 34th minute for game’s only goal, avenging a loss to the Yellowjackets earlier in the season.

During the championship, the Falcons scored two goals on 23 shots with 14 on goal. They also made nine saves, none bigger than the fifth shot in the shootout.

The Falcons finish the regular season with a 12-4-3 record and will play Friday in the first round in the NCAA West Region. 

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