Ziemer Stays Clutch Ahead of GNAC Kickoff
Tera Ziemer dribbles towards the goal during a game at Sonoma State. Ziemer's four goals lead the GNAC.
Tera Ziemer dribbles towards the goal during a game at Sonoma State. Ziemer's four goals lead the GNAC.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

After months – or in some cases, years – of waiting and preparation, we will finally have GNAC women’s soccer games again this week that will count in the conference standings.

Simon Fraser, which didn’t get to play at all last season because of border closures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, will get to host its first two conference games. They welcome the conference’s leading scorer and current GNAC Offensive Player of the Week Tera Ziemer and No. 8 Western Washington on Thursday, followed by Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

Another marquee match-up in the opening week will be West Region No. 3 ranked Seattle Pacific hosting West Region No. 10 Montana State Billings – who only have one loss in five matches – on Thursday, and West Region No. 7 Northwest Nazarene on Saturday. The Falcons have a 3-0-0 record heading into GNAC play after wins over San Francisco State and Stanislaus State last week. Junior forward AJ DePinto, who entered the week with just one career goal, scored one in both games. After two weeks out of the polls, Seattle Pacific reentered the national rankings this week at No. 23.

Western Washington showcased their defensive prowess in a 1-0 shutout victory against Biola, holding the Eagles without a single shot on goal. Offensively, they once again leaned on Ziemer, who scored her third game-winning goal of the year.

Simon Fraser lost 1-0 to arch-rivals British Columbia on Thursday, while the PacWest’s then-No. 22 Point Loma faced two GNAC opponents in three days, defeating Central Washington 6-1 in the Wildcats’ first game after a coaching change, then battling 110 minutes to a 1-1 draw at WWU.


Tera Ziemer, Western Washington
M • 5-10 • Junior • Santa Rosa, Calif.
Ziemer scored her third game-winning goal in four matches, connecting in the 19th minute of Saturday’s 1-0 shutout of Biola. It was Ziemer’s GNAC-leading fourth goal of the season overall.

Also Nominated: Casey Park (CWU), AJ DePinto (SPU)

Katie Watt, Western Washington
D • 5-7 • Sophomore • Seattle, Wash.
Watt anchored a Western Washington defense that allowed only one shot, with zero shots on target, in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Biola.

Also Nominated: Riley Travis (SPU)


• Central Washington lost 6-1 to then-No. 22 Point Loma on Saturday in Ellensburg.
• Freshman midfielder Casey Park had the Wildcats’ goal. Makinzie Packwood drove the ball down the flank and sent in a cross that Park finished off in the 29th minute.
• Park’s goal provided the second assist of the year for Packwood, who leads the team in goals and assists with two apiece despite missing a match. Packwood’s 0.67 assists per match are 23rd in Division II while her 2.00 points per match are 27th in Division II.
• The Wildcats have undergone a coaching change. Former head coach Michael Farrand left the team Sept. 14 after 20 seasons in charge of the program. Farrand’s 133 overall wins and 89 GNAC wins are both third all-time in conference history. Former assistant coach Emmy Koflanovich is overseeing day-to-day operations.
• The team will open the GNAC season on the road against Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Montana State Billings on Saturday.

• Montana State Billings did not play last week, but will enter GNAC play on a three-match unbeaten run.
• The Yellowjackets seem to have found the fountain of youth in 2021. Between Liberty Palmer (with two), Jordan Roe, Kendall McGraw and Maddie Smith, freshmen have scored five of MSUB’s GNAC-leading seven goals this season.
• The Yellowjackets are choosing to split goalkeeper duties between Clare Keenan and Tuva Sallvin, and both are performing well. Sallvin has yet to concede a goal in 180 minutes played while making 11 saves. Keenan has conceded two goals in 290 minutes played, making 13 saves. The team save percentage of .923 is the ninth-highest in Division II.
• Montana State Billings currently sits at No. 10 in the United Soccer Coaches West Region poll for the second straight week.
• Montana State Billings will travel to No. 23 Seattle Pacific to open up the conference season on Thursday before returning home to battle Central Washington on Saturday.

• Northwest Nazarene did not play last week. but have an 0-1-1 record in their past two matches. Those setbacks snapped a 13-match winning streak that dated back to the spring 2021 season, in which the Nighthawks went 11-0-0.
• Sophomore midfielder Madison Grande has two of the Nighthawks’ five goals so far this season, including a dramatic 85th-minute equalizer to salvage a draw with Westminster (Utah).
• Senior midfielder McKenzie Buell has the best moment of the Nighthawks’ season thus far, netting a winner against rival College of Idaho with just 20 seconds left in regulation to give NNU a 1-0 victory on Sept. 4. On the season, Buell’s 10 shots are second on the team to Grande’s 12.
• Goalkeeper Alexis Montoya’s 24 saves lead the GNAC.
•The Nighthawks held steady at No. 7 in the United Soccer Coaches West Region Poll.
• Northwest Nazarene will get to host their GNAC opener against Central Washington on Thursday before heading to No. 23 Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

• Saint Martin’s did not play last week, but they are coming off their most complete performance of the season – a 4-0 drubbing of Evergreen State on Sept. 13.
• Against Evergreen State, the Saints received goals from Kristen Madsen, Daeh Lindquist, Salma Perez and Mia Fleming. Lindquist’s goal was special, as it was the first career goal for the senior defender, who has played in 52 games and over 4,000 collegiate minutes.
• The Saints conceded four goals while failing to find the net in three previous losses, meaning that the blowout win over Evergreen State moved their goal differential back to 0. Ali Campigotto ranks fourth in the GNAC with 16 saves. She only needed to make one against the Geoducks.
• Madsen (nine shots) and sophomore forward Taylor Goodpaster (eight shots) have the most offensive chances for the Saints this season.
• Saint Martin’s will host Western Oregon on Thursday before traveling north of the border to play Simon Fraser on Saturday.

• Seattle Pacific kept up its unblemished record with two road wins in the Bay Area last week. The Falcons defeated San Francisco State 2-0 on Thursday before also winning 2-0 over Stanislaus State on Saturday.
• AJ DePinto was this week’s breakout star for the Falcons. The junior forward had one career goal entering the week, but scored the second goals in both of this week’s matches. DePinto is one of six GNAC players with multiple goals this season.
• Senior defender Madison Ibale opened the scoring against San Francisco State. It was Ibale’s first goal since 2017. Sophomore forward Sophie Beadle scored against Stanislaus State. Beadle scored three goals in the spring 2021 campaign.
• Riley Travis posted back-to-back shutouts, making three saves against San Francisco State and two saves against Stanislaus State. Her 0.33 goals against average is 21st in Division II.
• Seattle Pacific moved back into the United Soccer Coaches Poll, appearing this week at No. 23. The Falcons were the preseason No. 5 team before falling out of the poll due to being idle during the season’s first week. In addition, SPU moved up a spot to No. 3 in the West Region Poll.
• After opening the season with three road games, SPU gets to stay at home for the first week of GNAC play. Two teams also ranked in the West Region Poll will visit Interbay Stadium, with No. 10 MSU Billings coming on Thursday and No. 7 Northwest Nazarene facing the Falcons on Saturday.

• Simon Fraser competed in a local rivalry last Thursday, facing provincial rival British Columbia and falling 1-0.
• Goalkeeper Kelsey Fisher had a strong performance in the loss. Fisher made six saves, including a stellar stop with seven minutes left in the match that ignited a roar from the packed crowd at the new SFU Stadium. Fisher’s 19 total saves and 4.75 saves per game are the third-most in the GNAC.  
• Freshman midfielder Kate Cartier came off the bench to record two of Simon Fraser’s five shots against UBC.
• Junior defender Kayla Goncalvez has SFU’s only goal of the season, which came in a 1-1 draw against Metro State on Sept. 4. Junior midfielder Danae Robillard assisted on that goal, and leads the team with three shots on goal.
• After COVID-19 forced SFU to sit out the 2020 season, Simon Fraser will get to stay home and showcase their shiny new stadium to two GNAC opponents this week. No. 8 Western Washington will be the team’s first conference guests at the new SFU Stadium at Terry Fox Field on Thursday, before Saint Martin’s visits on Saturday.

• Western Oregon did not play last week. Their last two matches were their lone win of the season, a 1-0 triumph against Humboldt State, and a respectable 2-0 loss against No. 14 Sonoma State.  
 • Freshman defender Jada Foster has both goals scored by the Wolves this season, hammering home a rebound from a shot by Piper Matson for the winner against Humboldt State and also opening the scoring in an eventual 2-1 loss to Colorado Mesa.
 • Sophomore forward Chloe Smith, a Concordia transfer, and sophomore midfielder Hannah Rispler each have assisted on one of Foster’s goals.
• Junior defender Jenna Efraimson has been a fixture on the Wolves’ back line, playing all 360 minutes of the season.
• The Wolves will have two matches on the road in Washington to start the GNAC season. They face Saint Martin’s on Thursday before a showdown with No. 8 Western Washington in Bellingham on Saturday.

• Western Washington completed a challenging non-conference schedule by defeating Biola 1-0 on Saturday with a suffocating defensive performance before reaching a 1-1 stalemate with then-No. 22 Point Loma on Monday.
• The Vikings swept the GNAC Player of the Week awards for their collective performance against Biola. Katie Watt won the Defensive Player of the Week award for anchoring a Vikings back line which held the Eagles to one shot and zero shots on goal over 90 minutes.
• Tera Ziemer took home a well-deserved first Offensive Player of the Week award. The midfielder’s fourth goal of the season in the 19th minute was all Western Washington needed to defeat Biola. Ziemer is the GNAC’s leading scorer, and has three game-winning goals this season, tied for the fourth-highest total in Division II.  
• Western Washington is dominating most team and individual categories for the GNAC. In addition to Ziemer leading the conference in goals and points, sophomore Estera Levinte has a conference-high three assists and 20 shots. With Levinte, senior midfielder Grace Eversaul (18), sophomore forward Jenna Killman (16) and Ziemer (14), the Vikings have the top four shot-takers in the GNAC on the same roster. As a team, the Vikings are second in the GNAC with a 0.367 goals against average and a .882 save percentage. They are 18th in Division II in the former category and 35th in Division II in the latter category.
• The Vikings remained at No. 8 in the national United Soccer Coaches Poll and No. 1 in the West Region Poll for the second consecutive week.
• The Vikings will open up GNAC play by heading to Burnaby to face Simon Fraser on Thursday before hosting Western Oregon on Saturday.