Nighthawks Unbeaten In COVID-Shifted Spring Season
Northwest Nazarene is averaging 2.60 goals, 2.40 assists and 7.60 points per game during its five-game winning streak to start the COVID-19-shifted season.
Northwest Nazarene is averaging 2.60 goals, 2.40 assists and 7.60 points per game during its five-game winning streak to start the COVID-19-shifted season.

Friday, March 19, 2021

SO FAR, SO GOOD: Northwest Nazarene is firing on all cylinders in the modified 2020-21 season. The Nighthawks are 5-0-0 to start the season with three of those wins coming against GNAC opponents.

The Nighthawks opened their season with a 2-1 overtime win at College of Idaho on Feb. 12. The Nighthawks outshot the Coyotes 16-3 with six shots on goal. After the Yotes scored first in the first half, NNU sophomore forward Carolyn Moravec tied it in the 55th minute off an assist from junior midfielder Magda Wronski to send the match to overtime, where junior forward Sierra Sanchez notched the golden goal in the 92nd off an assist from senior midfielder McKenzie Buell.

Buell also assisted on the game-winning goal by senior defender Jade Zimmer in the 69th minute of NNU’s 1-0 upset of Division I Idaho State on Feb. 26. The Nighthawks tallied 22 shots and eight shots on goal while limiting the Bengals to just four shots and three shots on goal. Zimmer was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week on Mar. 1 for her game-winner.

Northwest Nazarene opened its home schedule with a pair of 3-1 wins over Saint Martin’s on Mar. 11 and 13. Junior forward Ashley Parton was named the GNAC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after she scored two goals and dished out two assists in the two wins. She scored the opening goal in both matches and assisted on the game-winner on Saturday.

The Nighthawks completed a 4-0 rout of Montana State Billings on Thursday to extend their winning streak to five matches. Sanchez scored two insurance goals in the match to bring her season total to five, which leads all GNAC players this spring.

Junior goalkeeper Alexis Montoya is 4-0-0 on the season, allowing just two goals in four matches with six saves, a 0.52 goals against average and a shutout in NNU’s 1-0 win over Idaho State, which earned her GNAC Defensive Player of the Week honors on Mar. 1. Montoya was also named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday for her part in the pair of wins over Saint Martin’s.

The Nighthawks will end a four-match homestand on Mar. 29 as they host Western Oregon.

NEW LOOK YELLOWJACKETS: Montana State Billings joined Northwest Nazarene in opening its season in February. The Yellowjackets are 2-3-0 with the two victories coming in 3-0 wins at crosstown rival Rocky Mountain on Feb. 19 and against Mary in Minot, North Dakota, on Feb. 27.

Freshman forward and hometown standout Jordan Roe opened her collegiate career by scoring an unassisted opening goal in each of the Yellowjackets’ wins. She scored her first career goal in the 14th minute against Rocky Mountain then notched her second goal in the 21st against Mary.

Sophomore midfielder Emily Gaines also left her mark in both MSUB wins. Gaines assisted on an insurance goal at Rocky Mountain and then scored the third goal against Mary.

Montana State Billings has lost three straight matches since winning its first two of the season. The Yellowjackets fell 3-1 at Minot State on Feb. 28 before being shut out at Division I Montana on Mar. 7, 3-0, and at Northwest Nazarene on Thursday, 4-0. Junior forward Lexie Bloyder scored the lone goal in the loss at Minot State.

The Yellowjackets will stay on the road to end the week, playing at College of Idaho tonight in Caldwell.

BACK INTO THE SWING OF THINGS: After advancing to the GNAC Championships for the first time in six years in 2019, Western Oregon opened the season at 1-1-0 in Kacey Bingham’s second season as head coach.

The Wolves dropped a 2-0 match to Carroll (Mont.) in Vancouver, Washington, on Mar. 7 then bounced back to top Saint Martin’s, 3-2, on Thursday. Despite the Wolves’ loss, junior goalkeeper Kendall Rooney was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Week on Mar. 8 after holding Carroll scoreless in the first half, making two saves.

Western Oregon came out of the gate hot in the win over Saint Martin’s. Senior forward Alyssa Tomasini scored the opening goal, unassisted, in just the second minute of the match. Freshman defender Camille Darland and freshman midfielder Piper Matson scored the second and third goals, respectively, to give the Wolves a 3-0 lead heading into halftime.

Saint Martin’s senior Kiersten Madsen notched a pair of goals in the second half but it was too late to complete the comeback as WOU escaped with the victory. Freshman goalkeeper Morgan Mihelich earned the win after playing the first 45 minutes as the Wolves shut out the Saints in the first half.

The Wolves and Saints will meet again on Mar. 25, this time in Lacey, Washington.

A LOT OF SEASON LEFT: Saint Martin’s opened the season 0-3-0 but still has a lot of season left to bounce back.

All three matches were against GNAC opponents. The Saints dropped a pair of 3-1 matches at Northwest Nazarene on Mar. 11 and 13 and then lost at Western Oregon on Thursday, 3-2.

Sophomore midfielder Justine Pauly scored the lone goal in the first loss to NNU off an assist from senior defender Daeh Lindquist. Sophomore goalkeeper Ali Campigotto made nine saves against 12 shots on goal in the loss.

Senior forward/midfielder Kiersten Madsen scored the Saints’ only goal in the second loss in Nampa. Madsen also scored both goals in the loss at Western Oregon within seven minutes, but the Saints ran out of time to tie it.

Saint Martin’s will end the season with eight straight matches against GNAC opponents. Up next, the Saints will have a rematch with Western Oregon, hosting the Wolves on Mar. 25.

WAITING IN THE WINGS: Three more GNAC programs will open their modified seasons in the upcoming weeks. Seattle Pacific opens at home, hosting Division III Puget Sound on Mar. 27. Western Washington and Central Washington also open at home. The Vikings will host Division III Pacific Lutheran on April 3 while the Wildcats will host Saint Martin’s on April 10.

Due to the continued closure of the U.S./Canada border due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Simon Fraser will not compete in soccer this season.