A nearly scoreless second-round NCAA Division II Tournament game was broken, as the Western women’s soccer team beat Seattle Pacific University 1-0 on Saturday, Nov. 14.
The Vikings’ first and only goal came with five minutes left in the second half. Senior forward and midfielder Catherine Miles scored the goal, with an assist by senior forward Savanna Moorehouse.
This is the Vikings’ fourth win over SPU for this season, bringing an end to SPU’s season.
“We knew that the first goal was probably going to be the last,” Miles said. “In the last five minutes it was definitely crucial for us to hold them back from the net.”
As for the goal itself, Miles had one thing on her mind — “Just put this ball away, don’t miss,” she said.
Both Western and SPU played assertively in the first half, using heads more than feet.
Both teams attempted several goals throughout the game. The Vikings had a total of 16 shots, with 6 shots on goal. SPU had a total of 7 shots, with 2 shots on goal.
With the likelihood of goals scored being small, head coach Travis Connell knew defense would be paramount.
“We were going to defend no matter what,” he said. “When you score that late in the game, it’s mostly just defending at that point.”
When the winning goal finally went in, senior goalkeeper Ashley Haden knew that SPU would throw everything they could at her until the final seconds of the game.
“We just knew we had to play smart….We knew that defensively we had to stay compact. We knew we had to leave it out on the field,” she said.
Western will host the Regional Championship against Azusa Pacific University, who beat Sonoma State on Saturday, Nov. 14. The Vikings have not played against Azusa Pacific since last season, where Western won 1-0.
The next two rounds of the NCAA II tournament will be held on Thursday, Nov. 19, beginning with the South Central championship at 4 p.m. and the West championship for the Vikings at 7 p.m. at Robert S. Harrington Field. The winners of both games will advance to the next round and will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21.