Falcons Soar Into Top Ten With Goal Avalanche
AJ DePinto scored two goals and an assist during the 6-0 win against Northwest Nazarene. DePinto's four goals are tied for first in the GNAC.
AJ DePinto scored two goals and an assist during the 6-0 win against Northwest Nazarene. DePinto's four goals are tied for first in the GNAC.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

After the dust settled on the first week of GNAC play in women’s soccer, no one had come even close to making as big of a statement as Seattle Pacific.

The Falcons faced Montana State Billings and Northwest Nazarene – two teams that were ranked in the United Soccer Coaches West Region Poll – and outscored them 11-0 in two lopsided wins. The week’s dominance helped SPU leap 16 spots up to No. 7 in the United Soccer Coaches national poll in addition to taking over the No. 1 spot in the West Region poll from GNAC rival Western Washington. GNAC Offensive Player of the Week Lauren Forster led the way with three goals. Mariah Alexander won the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week award for leading the effort to hold MSUB to just four shots.

Although they didn’t have the same margin of victory as the Falcons, Western Washington still kept pace. The Vikings recorded a pair of 2-1 victories against Simon Fraser and Western Oregon, relying on an 85th-minute game-winning goal in both matches. The Vikings dropped two spots to No. 10 in the national poll while falling to No. 2 behind SPU in the West Region but remain undefeated.

Home teams dominated in week one, winning seven out of eight matches. Saint Martin’s, Simon Fraser, Western Oregon and Western Washington each get two home matches this week.
The eight GNAC games in the week ahead include Northwest Nazarene – who beat Central Washington 5-0 before their loss to SPU – traveling to Western Washington on Saturday.


Lauren Forster, Seattle Pacific
F• 5-7 • Sophomore • Olympia, Wash.
Forster came off the bench to contribute three goals. She scored two goals within three minutes of each other in Thursday’s 5-0 win over Montana St. Billings, connecting off of Toni Miranda’s pass in the 42nd minute and unassisted in the 45th. She scored her third goal of the week in the 34th minute of Saturday’s 6-0 win over Northwest Nazarene.  

Also Nominated: Jordan Roe (MSUB), Maddie Wolf (SMU), Kate Cartier (SFU), Piper Matson (WOU), Allison Lepp (WWU)

Mariah Alexander, Seattle Pacific
D • 5-6 • Senior • Sammamish, Wash.
Alexander anchored a Seattle Pacific defense that allowed just nine shots on goal in two conference matches. In a 5-0 win against Montana St. Billings, Alexander scored the match’s second goal while the defense limited MSUB to just four shots. She then led the defensive effort in Saturday’s 6-0 win over Northwest Nazarene.

Also Nominated: Claire Keenan (MSUB), Soph Mendoza (SMU), Darien Walton (WOU), Mackenzie Burks (WWU)


• Central Washington opened the GNAC season with two road defeats, losing 5-0 to Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and 2-1 to Montana State Billings on Saturday.
• After a season-opening win against College of Idaho, the Wildcats are now on a five-game losing streak.
• The Wildcats made a goalkeeper change trailing 4-0 at halftime against NNU, bringing in sophomore Liz Canton, who conceded one goal and made two saves in the final 45 minutes. Canton then was given the start against Montana State Billings, conceding two goals but making seven saves in 90 minutes.
• Senior midfielder Sophia Keenan had the Wildcats’ goal against MSUB, which came in the 82nd minute to pull the Wildcats within one. Keenan and senior forward Makinzie Packwood were among five players leading the GNAC with seven shots this week.
• Packwood (two goals, two assists, 17 shots), freshman midfielder Casey Park (one goal, one assist, four shots) and senior midfielder Sydney Lowe (one goal, 14 shots) have been Central Washington’s primary offensive contributors.  
• The Wildcats will stay on the road one more week, traveling to No. 10 Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday.

• Montana State Billings ran into a buzzsaw in their opening match, losing 5-0 to No. 7 Seattle Pacific on Thursday, but the Yellowjackets bounced back to defeat Central Washington 2-1 on Saturday.
• Freshmen continue to produce for MSUB, as players in their first year of eligibility tallied both goals and assists scored by the Yellowjackets this week. Liberty Palmer scored first off an assist from midfielder Leila Clark while forward Jordan Roe put home the eventual game-winner off a cross from Maddie Smith.  
• Palmer is tied with SPU’s Lauren Forster for third in the GNAC with three goals. Roe is the other Yellowjacket to find the net multiple times, scoring twice. It was Smith’s team-leading second assist.
• Clare Keenan has taken hold of the starting goalkeeper job after rotating with Tuva Sallvin in the early part of the season. Keenan made five saves against Seattle Pacific before making a GNAC single game-high nine saves against Central Washington. Keenan ranks second in the GNAC with 27 total saves, and first in the GNAC with 5.40 saves per match.
• Sallvin played the final 12 minutes in goal against SPU, making one save. She still has yet to concede a goal in 192 minutes between the pipes.
• Montana State Billings currently sits at No. 9 in the United Soccer Coaches West Region poll.
• Montana State Billings will travel to Saint Martin’s on Thursday, followed by Western Oregon on Saturday.

• Northwest Nazarene had a week of polar extremes, winning their GNAC opener against Central Washington 5-0 before losing to No. 7 Seattle Pacific 6-0.
• The Nighthawks spread the wealth against Central, with five different goal-scorers finding the back of the net. Ashley Parton, McKenzie Buell, Carolyn Moravec, Matisyn Ohlson and Sierra Sanchez scored for NNU. It was the first goal of the season for all except Buell.
• Buell’s second goal of the year ties her with sophomore midfielder Madison Grande for the team lead. Buell previously scored a game-winner with 20 seconds left against College of Idaho on Sept. 4.
• Junior defender Magda Wronski also had an assist against Central Washington. Wronski is tied with WWU’s Estera Levinte and Makenzie Burks for second in the GNAC with three total assists.
• Goalkeeper Alexis Montoya’s 32 saves lead the GNAC, and her 5.33 saves per match are second in the conference. Against Seattle Pacific, Montoya played 49 minutes, allowing three goals and making five saves. Freshman Ariel Kotte played the final 41 minutes in goal, also allowing three and making one save.
•The Nighthawks dropped out of the United Soccer Coaches West Region Poll after starting the week at No. 7.
• Thursday’s scheduled match between Northwest Nazarene and Simon Fraser has been canceled. The Nighthawks will play Saturday on the road at Western Washington.

• Saint Martin’s kicked off the GNAC season with a 2-0 home win over Western Oregon on Thursday before losing 2-1 on the road to Simon Fraser on Saturday.
• Sophomore midfielder Maddie Wolff scored the Saints’ first goal in GNAC play in the 32nd minute against Western Oregon before freshman Elisabeth Cole scored her first collegiate goal in the 79th minute to ice it.
• Given a penalty kick chance in the 89th minute against Simon Fraser, senior midfielder Kristen Madsen capitalized on it to bring Saint Martin’s within a goal. Since the start of the spring 2021 season, Madsen has scored seven goals, five of which came on penalty kicks. In that time frame, she is a perfect 5-for-5 from the spot.
• Playing in place of goalkeeper Ali Campigotto, sophomore Soph Mendoza has been holding her own in net. Mendoza kept a clean sheet Thursday, making two saves, and stopped five shots in the 2-1 loss to Simon Fraser.
• Madsen (11 shots) and sophomore forward Taylor Goodpaster (eight shots) have the most offensive chances for the Saints this season.
• Saint Martin’s will host Montana State Billings on Thursday before welcoming No. 7 Seattle Pacific to Lacey on Saturday.

• Seattle Pacific boat raced their two opponents in the opening week of the GNAC season, knocking off Montana State Billings 5-0 on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene 6-0 on Saturday.
• After their dominant week, the Falcons swept the conference’s weekly honors. Sophomore forward Lauren Forster led the way with three goals, taking home the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week award. Senior defender Mariah Alexander was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week for her leadership in shutting down the Falcons’ two opponents. Alexander also scored a goal against MSUB for good measure.
• AJ DePinto continued her rise to the top of the conference leaderboards. Two weeks ago, DePinto had no points to her name, but after two goals and an assist against Northwest Nazarene, DePinto is now tied for first in the GNAC with four goals and leading the conference outright with nine points. DePinto’s five points against NNU are also a GNAC single game-high this season.
• Senior forward Sophia Chilczuk led the conference with 10 goals during the abbreviated spring season, but she’s been focused on setting up others this season. Chilczuk had two assists against MSUB and another against NNU. Her season total of four leads the conference and ranks tied for 12th in Division II, and her rate of one assist per match leads Division II.
• Riley Travis posted two more shutouts. Her 0.22 goals against average ranks sixth in Division II.
• As a team, SPU’s 3.20 assists per match rank fourth in Division II, their 3.40 goals per match rank 11th and their 10 points per match ranks 10th in Division II. Their team mark of 0.20 goals against average ranks second in Division II.
• The Falcons leaped 16 spots to No. 7 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll. Seattle Pacific is back in the top ten for the first time since they were No. 5 in the preseason poll. The Falcons also took over the No. 1 ranking the West Region Poll from rivals Western Washington.
• Seattle Pacific will go on the road to face Western Oregon on Thursday and Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

• Simon Fraser was involved in two comparatively close matches, losing 2-1 to No. 10 Western Washington at home on Thursday before beating Saint Martin’s 2-1 on Saturday in Burnaby.
• Freshman midfielder Kate Cartier scored two of SFU’s three goals this week. Cartier opened the scoring against Western Washington before the Vikings came back to win 2-1, then tallied the game-winner against Saint Martin’s.
• Sophomore Giuliana Zaurrini scored the first goal against the Saints. It was Zaurrini’s first goal of this season, but she led the team with five goals in 2019, Simon Fraser’s last season of competition.
• Goalkeeper Kelsey Fisher has had some time to relax, as the SFU defense did a great job of not allowing many shots on target. Fisher failed to save either of Western Washington’s two shots on goal on Thursday and only needed one save to shutout Saint Martin’s. Junior goalkeeper Nicole Anderson played the final ten minutes against the Saints, allowing one goal on a penalty kick.
• Thursday’s scheduled match between Northwest Nazarene and Simon Fraser has been canceled. Simon Fraser will play at home Saturday against Central Washington.