Falcons Top Seed In GNAC Championships
No. 4 Seattle Pacific earned the regular season title with a 12-1-1 GNAC record.
No. 4 Seattle Pacific earned the regular season title with a 12-1-1 GNAC record.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. – After storming through their GNAC schedule with a 12-1-1 record, No. 4 Seattle Pacific has won its first regular-season conference championship since 2011 and will be the No. 1 seed in the 2021 GNAC Women’s Soccer Championships, which begin on Thursday in Bellingham.

The Falcons will match up with No. 4 seed Simon Fraser, who qualified on the final day of the season, while No. 2 seed and tournament host Western Washington and No. 3 Northwest Nazarene will meet in the other semifinal.

The Falcons excelled on both the offensive and defensive ends of the pitch, outscoring their conference opponents 48-6 over 14 matches. Seattle Pacific features the GNAC’s top three point scorers in Sophia Chilczuk (six goals, GNAC-leading 13 assists), Makena Rietz (GNAC-leading 10 goals) and Lauren Forster (nine goals, three assists), while goalkeeper Riley Travis kept nine shutouts defensively. The Falcons went a perfect 6-0-0 this season against the other three teams who qualified for the Championships.

Western Washington, who had won seven of the past eight regular season titles, finished second this year with a 10-3-1 conference record. The Vikings received contributions from Jenna Killman, who has nine goals, two assists and a conference-leading 66 shots, and Texas A&M transfer Tera Ziemer, who has six goals in her debut season with WWU.

Northwest Nazarene returns to the Championships for the first time since 2017, finishing third with an 8-4-2 GNAC mark. The Nighthawks are enjoying a breakout season from Madison Grande, who has scored nine goals and is second in the GNAC with 61 shots. Goalkeeper Alexis Montoya leads the conference with 95 saves and is the conference’s only athlete to win three GNAC Player of the Week awards.

Simon Fraser needed double overtime in the season’s final match to secure the fourth seed, but Giuliana Zaurrini scored a clutch penalty kick in the 105th minute for her team-leading fourth goal of the year to help SFU stave off Western Oregon for the final playoff spot. Simon Fraser finished with a 6-7-1 conference record.

The GNAC Championships will take place Nov. 11-13 at Harrington Field in Bellingham, Washington, on the campus of Western Washington University. No. 1 Seattle Pacific and No. 4 Simon Fraser will meet in the first semifinal on Thursday, Nov. 11 at 4 p.m., followed by No. 2 Western Washington meeting No. 3 Northwest Nazarene at 7 p.m.

The championship match will be Saturday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. The winner of the GNAC Championships will receive the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA regionals.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at GNACTickets.com. The tournament will also be livestreamed on GNAC.tv. Andrew Harvey will handle the play-by-play duties for all three matches.


At Harrington Field, Bellingham, Washington
Thursday, Nov. 11

4 p.m.: Semifinal #1 - No. 1 Seattle Pacific vs. No. 4 Simon Fraser
7 p.m.: Semifinal #2 - No. 2 Western Washington vs. No. 3 Northwest Nazarene

Saturday, Nov. 16
1 p.m.: Championship Match