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Third-Straight GNAC Title Earns WWU Team Of The Week
With the title, Western Washington advances to its sixth-straight NCAA West Regional Tournament. The Vikings lead the GNAC with 13 shutouts.
With the title, Western Washington advances to its sixth-straight NCAA West Regional Tournament. The Vikings lead the GNAC with 13 shutouts.
2017 GNAC Women's Soccer Champions. Photo by Chris Oertell.
2017 GNAC Women's Soccer Champions. Photo by Chris Oertell.

Monday, November 6, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – Capping its stellar GNAC season with its fourth GNAC Championships title, Western Washington women’s soccer has been named the GNAC/Red Lion Team of the Week.

For the third year in a row, No. 12 Western Washington forward Gabriela Pelogi tallied the game-winning goal to give the Vikings their third-straight GNAC title with a 1-0 double-overtime victory over No. 17 Concordia in the GNAC Women’s Soccer Championships, held at Concordia’s Tuominen Yard Saturday afternoon.

After the teams played to a 0-0 tie through the first 100 minutes, Pelogi followed up a saved shot by Emily Webster to record the golden goal in the 104th minute. It is the third time that Pelogi has scored the game-winner in the GNAC Championships in as many years.

“We knew there were going to be some rebounds to be had if we kept pressing and creating chances,” said WWU head coach Travis Connell on the game-winning goal. “We practice that throw-in play every day, and (Emily) Webster made a very veteran play with her shot on goal, and Gabi does what she usually does, putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Avenging its 2-0 loss against the Cavaliers in their final regular-season game on Oct. 28, the Vikings outshot Concordia 21-10 en route to their sixth-straight Division II NCAA West Regional berth. On Thursday, the Vikings opened the tournament with a 2-0 win over Seattle Pacific, their third victory against the Falcons this season.

“I am extremely proud of this team for how they responded and put forth a championship performance today,” said Connell. “Our players have so many expectations put on them, and they were so in character and poised today. They continued to believe in the process and execute, and it looked like an experienced playoff team. We have good leaders, quality experienced players and some really talented younger players that all contributed to this victory.”

The Vikings’ win snapped Concordia’s 14-game unbeaten streak and is the first time the Cavs have fallen to a GNAC opponent all season. Pelogi leads the GNAC and is tied for 18th in Division II with 15 goals. Western Washington forward Karli White was named the tournament MVP after recording one goal on 11 shots during the Vikings’ two matches.

Western Washington picked up its 13th shutout and 11th against GNAC opposition this season. In last year’s postseason, the Vikings outscored its opponents 14-3 en route to their first Division II national championship in program history. At 17-1 this season, WWU improved to 12-0-0 on the road. Western Washington is now 10-0-2 all-time in GNAC Championships play and has won the GNAC postseason title on four occasions.

Earning the automatic qualifier for the Division II West Regional Tournament, Western Washington will be one of six West Region teams announced for NCAA postseason play during NCAA Selection Show today at 3 p.m. (PST).

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