Seattle Pacific Favored In GNAC Women's Soccer
Megan Lindsay is back to lead Seattle Pacific after leading the conference in scoring last season.
Megan Lindsay is back to lead Seattle Pacific after leading the conference in scoring last season.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - Seattle Pacific has won or shared eight of the last 10 Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s soccer titles and has made nine straight NCAA West Region playoff appearances.

Coach Chuck Sekyra’s team is once again the favorite to win the conference title receiving all eight votes in the annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference poll.

The Falcons outpointed Western Washington 64-55 in the balloting.  Montana State Billings finished third with 44 points and Central Washington earned a fourth-place ranking with 41 points.

Whoever finishes fourth this fall will earn a post-season nod   as the conference will hold a tournament for the first time to determine the conference champion and its automatic berth in the regionals.

Hoping to break into the top four and qualify for the tournament are Western Oregon, Simon Fraser, Saint Martin’s and Northwest Nazarene, which came in fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively, in the balloting.

The four-team event will be held Nov. 1 and Nov. 3 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila.

Sekyra has led Seattle Pacific to a 167-19-14 record over the past nine seasons including a 17-3 mark last year.

Megan Lindsay, who was a third team National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American and the GNAC’s leading scorer last season, is back to lead the Falcons.

Lindsay had 32 points last season, including a GNAC-best 12 goals and eight assists.

The top four scorers from last season all return including Jaucelyn Richter and Heidi Greenback, both of Montana State Billings, and Carson McKole of Central Washington. Richter and Greenback netted 27 and 23 points, respectively, and McKole had 21.

Also back are the conference’s two leading goalies – Jamie Arthurs of Western Washington and Natalie Harold of Seattle Pacific.

Arthurs posted a 0.55 goals against average and recorded 11 shutouts.  Arthur has 23 career shutouts, just eight off the GNAC record of 31 held by WWU’s Teresa Fish (2003-05, 07).

Harold carved out a 0.62 GAA last season and posted three shutouts.

Lindsey, Richter, McKole and Arthurs were all first-team all-stars last year.  Also back after grabbing first team honors last season was Lindsay Bauman of Western Oregon.

The Wolves were the most improved team in the conference last season under first-year coach Steve Anchetta,  posting its best conference record since 2002.

Simon Fraser will be entering its 25th season, all under Shelley Howieson, and hopes to rebound from a two-win season.

Saint Martin’s returns the most letter winners in the GNAC (18)  including a league-best 10 starters.  Northwest Nazarene also returns 10 starters.

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