MSUB Earns Team Of The Week With Final Match Heroics
The Yellowjackets earned a berth into the GNAC Women's Soccer Championships with a win on Senior Day.
The Yellowjackets earned a berth into the GNAC Women's Soccer Championships with a win on Senior Day.

Monday, November 2, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Eyeing a postseason berth, the Montana State Billings women’s soccer team needed a win and some help on the regular season’s final day.

After defeating Central Washington 1-0, the Yellowjackets watched as Western Oregon defeated Simon Fraser 2-1 in double overtime, clinching the No. 4 seed for MSUB in the GNAC Women’s Soccer Championships. With the postseason berth, the Yellowjackets were awarded the GNAC Red Lion Team of the Week.

“It is a great honor,” said head coach Wojtek Krakowiak. “There are a lot of teams competing right now in the GNAC, not just in soccer. It is a great accomplishment for the team. This award means way more than all the individual awards.”

Despite entering the week in sole possesion of fourth place, the Yellowjackets did not control their own playoff destiny with just one match remaining. With wins by Central Washington and Simon Fraser on Thursday, Montana State Billings was locked in a three-way tie for fourth place heading into the final match of the season. The Yellowjackets were on the wrong end of the tiebreakers, therefore needing a win and a Simon Fraser loss or tie to reach the GNAC tournament.

“We knew what we needed to do,” said Krakowiak. “I couldn’t have asked for any better response from the team. Everyone understood their role and everyone understood what they had to do to qualify for the playoffs.”

The Yellowjackets played the early match of the day, taking on Central Washington with both teams vying for the postseason. The team played shutdown defense, holding CWU to three shots on goal and 10 overall. After a scoreless tie at halftime, Alicia Wright tallied her team-leading sixth goal of the season and the lone goal of the match in the 49th minute. The defense locked the match away over the final 40 minutes to put MSUB one step closer to the postseason.

With the final home match of the season, the Yellowjackets hosted their Senior Day match and a banquet following it. Surrounded by friends and family members, the team celebrated after locking their position as the No. 4 seed in the GNAC Women’s Soccer Championships.

“I am a true believer that if it is meant to be, you will be there,” said Krakowiak. “Obviously, this year it was meant to be for us to be in the tournament. Everyone was jumping and excited. It was an unbelievable feeling. We were all together with our parents and friends, so for us to find out that way was even more special.”

The Yellowjackets will face No. 1 seed Western Washington in the semifinal round of the tournament. The championships are hosted by Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C. beginning on Nov. 5. Seattle Pacific and Concordia will play in the opening match at 4 p.m. Pacific time, followed by Western Washington and MSUB at 7 p.m. Pacific time.