WWU's Season Ends With Double-Overtime Loss To Lakers
The Vikings conclude their season with an overall record of 23-3-0 and returned to the title game for the first time since winning it all in 2016. Photo by Max Aquino.
The Vikings conclude their season with an overall record of 23-3-0 and returned to the title game for the first time since winning it all in 2016. Photo by Max Aquino.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Western Washington and Grand Valley State put on a show at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as the Vikings fell just short of reclaiming the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer National Championship.

The Lakers’ sophomore midfielder Gianna Parlove netted the double-overtime golden goal in the 107th minute off an assist from junior forward Ava Cook to win Grand Valley State its Division II-leading sixth national championship and its first since 2015. The Lakers were runners-up in 2018.

The Vikings registered 26 shots and eight shots on goal while limiting the Lakers to eight shots and just one shot on goal but were unable to find the net as Lakers’ goalkeeper Jessica Radice came up with eight saves to secure the 1-0 victory.

“I thought the game played out the way we wanted it to,” head coach Travis Connell said. “We were able to limit some of the things that they can do. All we were missing was that final pass or that final touch in front of the net and that’s what decided the match.”

The Vikings came out of halftime firing on all cylinders. After recording six shots and just one corner kick in the first half, the Vikings racked up 14 shots and 11 corners in the second half to dominate the possession game. They would tack on another six shots in the two overtime periods.

Senior forward and GNAC Player of the Year Karli White led the Vikings with eight shots and five shots on goal. Junior forward Zoe Milburn also put up four shots in the match.

“Everyone was grinding and fighting to get to loose balls,” White said. “We didn’t get one in the back of the net but we created so many opportunities so I’m proud of that. This team has given me so much and everyone has helped me to grow into the player and person that I am today.”

Four Vikings were named to the NCAA Championships All-Tournament Team, including White, who totaled 31 shots in the tournament to go with a goal and an assist on the game-winner in Thursday’s 2-0 win over Flagler in the semifinals.

Junior midfielder Grace Eversaul was also selected to the all-tournament team after she scored three goals in the Vikings’ postseason push. Eversaul scored the golden goal in the Vikings’ 1-0 double-overtime victory over Cal State LA in the second round of the West Regionals. She also notched an insurance goal in a 3-0 rout of Dixie State then scored the game-winner in Thursday’s semifinal victory over the Saints.

Senior midfielder Jordyn Bartelson and senior defender Peyton Chick were named to the all-tournament team after anchoring a Western Washington team that did not give up a goal in the NCAA Championships until Parlove’s golden goal. Chick was also named the NCAA Championships Most Outstanding Defensive Player and led the Vikings to the title match with four assists in the tournament.

With the runner-up finish, Western Washington’s 19-match winning streak was snapped as the Vikings concluded their historic 2019 campaign with a 23-3-0 overall record. The Vikings waltzed through conference play and registered five consecutive shutouts in the NCAA Championships before bowing out to the Lakers.