CWU Moves Into Second, Named Team of the Week
Tarah Duty's (14) goal for Central Washington in the 13th minute against Seattle Pacific on Thursday proved to be the deciding factor in the 1-0 victory for the Wildcats.
Tarah Duty's (14) goal for Central Washington in the 13th minute against Seattle Pacific on Thursday proved to be the deciding factor in the 1-0 victory for the Wildcats.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. – With the task of challenging the No. 2 team in the NCAA and the frontrunner in the GNAC standings, victory eluded the Central Washington women’s soccer team on Oct. 5 with a 2-0 loss to Western Washington.

The defeat kept CWU in third place in the GNAC standings, but the Wildcats used the loss as motivation for a pair of loud victories last week.

Perhaps CWU’s biggest win of the season came on Thursday, with a momentum-shifting 1-0 triumph over Seattle Pacific that tied the two schools for second place in the conference standings. With another victory on Saturday and an SPU loss, CWU is now in sole possession of second place, and has been named GNAC Team of the Week. 

“Seattle Pacific has always been one of the top teams in the region and we always have good battles with them,” CWU head coach Michael Farrand commented on the key matchup. “To come out on top is definitely a big deal.”

The Wildcats took care of business early on Thursday, as Tarah Duty slotted a shot from 25 yards out into the net just 13 minutes into the game.

“We started out well and I thought we played our style of soccer and kept possession,” Farrand said regarding the momentum Duty’s early goal provided. “SPU always fights to the end and they really came at us in the second half.”

On Saturday it was Savanna Moorehouse and Danielle Brandli who provided more than enough firepower, as CWU cruised to a 4-1 victory over visiting Simon Fraser.

“We got a couple quick goals and that took the pressure off of us,” Farrand commented on the win against a team his Wildcats battled to a tough 3-2 victory two weeks ago. “We struggled (in Burnaby) and we knew they would come in with confidence,” Farrand said, adding, “Shelley (Howieson) continues to do a good job as she has done for a long time coaching that program.”

The Wildcats finished their Saturday game having obtained full control of second place, though a pivotal matchup between SPU and WWU had yet to be played.

“You always keep track of when those two teams have a matchup, and this one was certainly very significant for us,” Farrand commented on his team’s two rivals meeting in Seattle. “We are excited to be in the position we are in compared to last year, and I think it really reflects on our recruiting and the commitment the girls have this season.”

After being picked to miss the GNAC tournament and finish in fifth place in the preseason coaches’ poll, CWU has now won five of its last six games. “No one was more disappointed than we were last year,” Farrand said remembering CWU’s finish in a tie for sixth place in 2012. “There were moments towards the end of the season where we could have made a difference but didn’t, and this year’s position reflects a willingness by our players to work hard and improve.”

With six games remaining, CWU understands the importance of holding a firm grip on second place. “This is such a tough conference and you have to take it one game at a time,” said Farrand. “If you don’t concentrate on the next game it can put your team in a bad situation.”

The Wildcats host WWU and play at SPU on the final weekend of the conference schedule, which promises to be an intense battle with playoff implications on the line. 

“Those are two big matchups down the stretch and it should be a race to the end,” Farrand said, adding, “but NNU is coming off of two good results and the trip to Billings is always tough so for now we are focusing on our next two matches.”