Women's Soccer: Falcons, Vikings Earn No. 3, 5 NCAA Seeds
WWU's Jamie Arthurs (1) knocks away a MSUB shot in Saturday's championship game (Photo by Andy Towell)
WWU's Jamie Arthurs (1) knocks away a MSUB shot in Saturday's championship game (Photo by Andy Towell)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

NCAA West Regionals (Nov. 8-11): Thursday (at LaJolla, CA) - #6 BYU-Hawaii (10-4-2) vs. #3 Seattle Pacific (14-3-2), 1 p.m. Friday (at Rohnert Park) - #4 Cal Poly Pomona (10-5-3)vs. #5 Western Washington (17-3-0), 2 p.m. Saturday (at LaJolla, CA): #6/3 winner vs. #2 UC San Diego (14-2-3), 6 p.m.  Sunday (at Rohnert Park) - #4/5 winner vs. #1 Sonoma State (16-2-2), 1 p.m.

PORTLAND, Ore. - GNAC champion Western Washington drew a No. 5 seed and will play fourth-seed Cal Poly Pomona Friday at 2 p.m.  in the opening round of the NCAA Division II West Regional women’s soccer tournament at Rohnert Park, Calif.

The winner of Friday’s game advances to the regional semifinals on Sunday against top-seed Sonoma State.  That game will kick off at 1 p.m.

In the other half of the bracket at La Jolla, Calif., , third-seed Seattle Pacific will play No. 6 seed BYU-Hawaii Thursday at 1 p.m.  No. 2 seed UC San Diego awaits the winner for Saturday’s 6 p.m. championship game.

Western Washington qualified for the tournament by defeating Western Oregon and Montana State Billings by identical 2-0 scores in last week’s GNAC tournament.

Those two wins earned the Vikings the GNAC Team of the Week award.

Kristin Maris and Joana Houplin had the game-winning goals and Jamie Arthurs recorded two more shutouts to key the WWU victories.

Maris, who also had an assist in Saturday’s win against MSUB, was selected the tournament MVP.

"Maris was heavily involved in both goals (Saturday), but she does more than that," WWU coach Travis Connell said. "Her hold up play and the physical way she pressures makes it so difficult for the other team."

Arthurs, the GNAC Player of the Year, made nine saves, including five in the championship game, extending her GNAC records for shutouts to 16 on the season and 39 for her career. She takes a No. 2 national rank in goals against average (0.25) and a No. 3 rank in save percentage (.907) into the regional playoffs.

WWU also ranks second nationally in shutout percentage (.800) and has allowed just five goals, three to Seattle Pacific, all season.

AROUND THE GNAC: Neither Western Washington or Seattle Pacific played any of the other four playoff qualifiers during the regular-season.  The Falcons swept the season series with the Vikings winning 2-1 at Interbay Stadium on Sept. 19 and 1-0 in Bellingham on Oct. 27.  This weekend’s two survivors meet for the regional title Saturday, Nov. 17  at the site of the highest remaining South Central region team.  The winner of that game will then play the South Central Region winner at the same site on Monday, Nov. 19 ... Seattle Pacific is making its 10th consecutive tournament appearance.  They won the 2008 national title and reached the national semifinals in 2005 and 2007.  SPU has a 14-7-3 all-time NCAA post-season record ... The Vikings are making their first post-season appearance since 2008 when they advanced to the regional semifinal. They also qualified in 2006 losing in the opening round to UC San Diego.