Another Award For The GNAC Champions
Gabriela Pelogi (#9) scored Western Washington's second goal in the finals match.
Gabriela Pelogi (#9) scored Western Washington's second goal in the finals match.

Monday, November 9, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – The GNAC regular season champions, GNAC tournament champions and now GNAC Red Lion Team of the Week.

The Western Washington women’s soccer team continued to roll over the competition, defeating Montana State Billings 4-0 in the semifinal match on Thursday and Seattle Pacific 3-1 in the final match on Saturday on its way to the GNAC Women’s Soccer Championship. The Vikings extended their undefeated streak to 17 matches, with 16 wins during that span.

“I’m just happy for my players,” said head coach Travis Connell. “They put their heart and soul into the season, so to cap it off with a conference tournament championship is great.”

With the championship victory, the Vikings earned the GNAC’s automatic berth to the NCAA Championships beginning Thursday, Nov. 12. Western Washington will learn its seed number and who they will oppose on the NCAA Selection Show on Monday, Nov. 9, at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time.

The Vikings were the No. 1 seed in the GNAC Women’s Soccer Championships played on Terry Fox Field in Burnaby, B.C. In their first match, the Vikings played strong defense against Montana State Billings and created plenty of scoring opportunities in the 4-0 win. Caitlyn Jobanek and Anna DeWeirdt each scored two goals for the Vikings in the victory.

“It was a team effort,” said Connell. “We knew we had to get off to a fast start. Montana State Billings is very well coached and organized defensively, so getting to the quick start helped open their defense up so we would have more chances later in the game.”

Western Washington then faced rival Seattle Pacific in a rematch of the past two championship matches in which SPU won, both in penalty kick shootouts. This time, the Vikings made no mistake in defeating the Falcons 3-1. Jobanek was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player with two goals and one assist. The Vikings received offensive contributions from all over the field, outshooting opponents 40-19 over the tournament.

“We have a ton of players who can score,” said defender Delanee Nilles. “Teams just don’t know what to do with our offense.”

The Vikings head into the national tournament with an 18-1-1 overall record and ranked No. 2 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division II Top-25 Poll. The Vikings were also ranked No. 1 in the latest NCAA Division II West Region Poll, with a chance to host their first match of the tournament.