Fab Five: An Army Of Vikings Earns All-American Honors
Emily Nelson is one of two Vikings to earn All-American honors from both the D2CCA and the United Soccer Coaches.
Emily Nelson is one of two Vikings to earn All-American honors from both the D2CCA and the United Soccer Coaches.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – Five GNAC women’s soccer players earned All-American honors from the Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) and the United Soccer Coaches. All five of those players hail from Bellingham as Western Washington dominated the conference and took the nation by storm in 2019.

Two Vikings, senior forward Karli White and senior defender Emily Nelson, earned selection to both All-America teams. White garnered First Team All-American honors from the United Soccer Coaches and Third Team All-American honors from the D2CCA. Nelson earned first-team honors from the D2CCA while earning a second-team nod from the United Soccer Coaches.

Rounding out the Vikings’ selections to the All-America squads are senior defender Peyton Chick, junior midfielder Grace Eversaul and junior goalkeeper Natalie Dierickx. Chick (second team) and Eversaul (third team) were both named All-Americans by the D2CCA while Dierickx (first team) earned selection to the United Soccer Coaches All-America Team.

After being sidelined in 2018 due to injury, White returned to the pitch and was selected as the 2019 GNAC Player of the Year for her efforts in leading the Western Washington offense. She leads the conference with 87 shots and ranks second to Chick with eight assists to go with six goals.

Nelson was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year after anchoring a defense that allowed just eight goals all season as the Vikings outscored their opponents 61-8. The Viking defense registered 17 shutouts, including four straight in the NCAA Championships, and leads Division II with a 0.33 goals against average. Nelson also scored four goals this season, including the game-winner in the Vikings’ 1-0 win over Point Loma in the West Regional title match.

Chick solidified the Western Washington backline in her senior campaign but recently emerged as the unsung hero in the Vikings’ postseason run. Chick has made things happen in the NCAA Championships as she was credited with the assist on two game-winning goals that claimed the West Regional title for the Vikings. She then had two assists in the Vikings’ 3-0 win over Dixie State in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals. Chick leads the GNAC and ranks 21st in Division II with nine assists.

Earning a First Team All-GNAC nod for the second time this season, Eversaul leads the Vikings and ranks tied for fifth in the conference with seven goals while adding five assists to total 19 points in her junior campaign. Eversaul notched the golden goal in the Vikings’ 1-0 double-overtime victory over Cal State LA in the second round of the West Regionals then scored the third goal in a 3-0 victory over Dixie State in the NCAA Division II Quarterfinals.

Dierickx leads the conference with 12 shutouts, an .852 save percentage and a 0.36 goals against average, which ranks third in Division II. She helped to lead a Viking defense that tops the nation with a 0.33 goals against average while also ranking third with a .708 shutout percentage.

Western Washington is 22-2-0 on the season and has won 18 straight matches to advance to the NCAA Division II Semifinals. The Vikings advance to the Final Four for the fourth time in seven years and will face Flagler at 2 p.m. on Thursday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.