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Vikings Battle To The End, Dubbed Team Of The Week
The Vikings finished their season with a 23-3-0 record, recording the second-most wins in program history. The Vikings have advanced to the Final Four in four of the last seven seasons.
The Vikings finished their season with a 23-3-0 record, recording the second-most wins in program history. The Vikings have advanced to the Final Four in four of the last seven seasons.

Monday, December 16, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – Western Washington fell just short of winning its second NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer National Championship but the Vikings showcased their dominance to close the book on their historic 2019 campaign as the GNAC Team of the Week.

The Vikings took down previously unbeaten Flagler, 2-0, in the semifinals on Thursday before losing a heartbreaking 1-0 double-overtime match to Grand Valley State in the title match on Saturday at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was the first time that the Vikings reached the national championship match since they won it all in 2016.

“These games were exciting,” head coach Travis Connell said. “There’s really no words that can describe the depth of the feelings that we have for each other and what it means to accomplish things together. The best part about playing all the way to the national championship game is that you get that much more time together and that many more memories together.”

Junior midfielder Grace Eversaul opened the scoring against Flagler with a ninth-minute rocket off an assist from senior forward Karli White. It was Eversaul’s eighth goal of the year and her third of the NCAA Championships. She also scored the golden goal in the Vikings’ 1-0 double-overtime victory over Cal State LA then scored the third goal in a 3-0 win over Dixie State in the quarterfinals.

The GNAC Player of the Year, White also put the nail in the coffin against the Saints when she scored the insurance goal in the 84th minute off an assist from senior midfielder Jordyn Bartelson.

Junior goalkeeper Natalie Dierickx made five saves against the Saints to earn her 13th shutout of the season. She finished the season with an .852 save percentage and a 22-3-0 goalkeeping record while ranking third in Division II with a 0.37 goals against average.

The Vikings dominated Flagler with 17 shots and nine shots on goal while limiting the Saints to just five shots on goal. With the win, the Vikings picked up their 18th shutout of the season to go with a Division II-leading 0.32 goals against average.

The Vikings controlled the possession game in the loss to Grand Valley State as well, registering 26 shots and eight shots on goal while limiting the Lakers to just one shot on goal. After a quiet first half by both teams, the Vikings erupted for 14 shots and 11 corner kicks in the second half then tallied six more shots in the two overtime periods. White led the Vikings with eight shots and five shots on goal.

“I thought the game played out the way we wanted it to,” Connell said. “We were able to limit some of the things that they can do. All we were missing was that final pass or that final touch in front of the net and that’s what decided the match.”

Four Vikings earned NCAA Championships All-Tournament honors, including Eversaul, White, Bartelson and senior defender Peyton Chick. Chick was also named the NCAA Championships Most Outstanding Defensive Player as she helped to anchor the Viking defense to five shutouts in the tournament while also distributing four assists.

The Lakers snapped the Vikings’ 19-match winning streak with a golden goal in the 107th minute as the Vikings close out their season with an overall record of 23-3-0 and the distinction of being arguably the top defensive team in Division II in 2019. It was the first time that the Vikings dropped a match since Sept. 25.

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