43.1 F
Bellingham
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Western women’s soccer advances in NCAA tournament

For over a month, the Western women’s soccer team has towered over every other Division II team in the nation. On Saturday, Nov. 12, the Central Washington University Wildcats traveled to Robert S. Harrington Field in an attempt to topple the giant in the second round of the NCAA Division II Championship Tournament.

However, the Vikings struck just 22 seconds into the match, proving its undefeated regular season was not a fluke. A 40-yard through ball from sophomore defender Taylor Hallquist sent sophomore forward Gabriela Pelogi streaking down the right side of the field. Pelogi then crossed the ball to freshman forward Liv Larson who flicked the ball past the keeper from six yards away to give the Vikings an early 1-0 lead.

“I knew I had to be there in case [Pelogi] crossed it, and I just went for it,” Larson said. “I didn’t know if I’d get there, but I did.”

“It’s a huge mountain for the other team to climb, and it’s exactly the way we wanted to start the game.”

Travis Connell

After a first-round bye and an extra week of rest, the Vikings defeated CWU, 2-0.

This is 14-year head coach Travis Connell’s fifth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. With that much experience, Connell knows how important a fast start is.

“You couldn’t ask for a better start,” Connell said. “It’s a huge mountain for the other team to climb, and it’s exactly the way we wanted to start the game.”

Western almost scored its second early goal when senior midfielder Caitlyn Jobanek was fouled in the box to earn a penalty kick for her team. Senior forward Elise Aylward had the duty of trying to put it home, but her attempt was saved by the Wildcat goalie.

Aylward redeemed herself at the 15-minute mark when she stepped up to take a corner. She didn’t need the help of her teammates as her service flew past the keeper and floated just inside the far post to give the Vikings a 2-0 lead.

“It always feels good to have a short memory, with misses especially,” Aylward said. “I just tried to focus on the next play.”

In the second half, Western played against the Bellingham winds that persisted through the entirety of the match. The team still managed to keep the Wildcats scoreless, thanks in part to four saves from junior goalkeeper Ashley Homer. Western’s 16th shutout of the season tied a school record.

The Vikings will play West Region second-seed University of California San Diego in the third round of the NCAA tournament. The time, date and location of the match have yet to be determined.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3,932FansLike
1,241FollowersFollow
5,507FollowersFollow
63SubscribersSubscribe

Trending

Zoom bombing halts Shred the Contract meeting

Tougher security will help stop future zoom bombings Generic zoom photo

Holiday shopping could make or break small business during the pandemic

A gift guide to popular Bellingham businesses Local ingredients at Clara’s Canning...

Best sports memories from notable Bellingham figures

Stanford’s David Shaw, others recall favorite Bellingham moments. WWU’s 1996...

Latest News

Laura Wagner and Althea Frye selected as the first co-vice chairs of the AS Senate

The vote came to a 10-10 tie, leaving decision to AS Senate Pro-Tempore

Western Volleyball signs new recruits

During the early signing period, the Western Volleyball Team signed three new recruits for the 2021-22 season.

COVID-19 cases surge across Whatcom County as holidays grow closer

Cases nearly tripled since last month This graph shows the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Whatcom...

Western students save $44.79 on student fees

Board of Trustees pass 7.5% reduction for winter 2021, less than fall 2020 11.4% reduction  Students will...

Work on changing systems instead of yourself

Clothes dryers in WWU’s Birnam Wood main laundry room.  // Photo by Sadie Fick By Sadie Fick

More Articles Like This