With a win over Northwest Nazarene University, Western Washington University women’s soccer team advanced to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championship in Bellingham on Nov. 11.
Western came in as the second seed against the third seed NNU Nighthawks. Western had lost the prior matchup against the Nighthawks on Oct. 28.
Western has only lost twice against NNU since 1997, according to Western’s website.
NNU began the game with the ball and quickly lost possession.
Western drove up the sideline, but a Nighthawk defender managed to get the ball out of bounds to stop Western at the game’s first minute.
Western boomed a long pass up the sideline. Western forward Jenna Killman, a senior, kicked the ball into the corner of the goal for the game’s first score at just the second-minute mark.
The Nighthawks drove aggressively up the field, but a Western defender stole the ball at the fourth-minute mark.
Western attempted another deep pass that resulted in a Nighthawk defender shielding the ball out of bounds, concluding in a Nighthawk goal kick at the eight-minute mark.
Western scored again, with Killman placing an arching shot right between NNU junior goalie Alexis Montoya’s hand and the crossbar. The second goal of the game for Killman put Western at a 2-0 lead in the ninth minute.
Western got a long cross from the sideline. Montoya stoped the first shot attempt, but couldn’t stop Killman from scoring her third goal of the night, at the 13-minute mark.
Killman’s third goal marked the fastest hat trick in GNAC history at 13 minutes and 15 seconds.
Western midfielder Tera Ziemer, a junior, corralled a long pass, crossed it into Western senior midfielder Darby Doyle. Doyle would go on to juke a Nighthawk defender and take a shot, which Montoya stopped in the 17th minute.
An NNU forward attempted a long shot that was stopped by a sliding grab from Western senior goalie Natalie Dierickx.
Western attempted a shot from almost half field, Montoya pounced on the ball for a Nighthawk save at the 20-minute mark.
The Nighthawks attempted a long pass down the sideline, but it was intercepted by Western defender Halle Noel, a freshman, who kicked it out of bounds at the 21-minute mark.
The first half ended with a score of 3-0 Western lead. The second half started with Western’s possession.
Western junior defender Karina Provo deflected a pass into the stands at the 48th minute.
The Nighthawks got on the board with a penalty kick from forward Ashley Parton, a junior, at the 59th minute. This would be their only score of the game.
The second half ended with a 3-1 Western victory.
“I could not have done it without my teammates; Tera had all three assists; after that we knew we were ahead and needed to protect that,” said Killman. “It was gross soccer by the end, but we did it.”
Travis Connell, the head coach of the Western women’s soccer team, expressed excitement about Killman’s new GNAC record.
“I’m excited for Jenna and our team,” Connell said. “These are two really good teams that played today; NNU was fantastic and presented all sorts of challenges for us. There were lots of great performances, but Jenna was fantastic with the three goals.”
Henry Burns is a Public Relations student and reporter for The Front. His work focuses on local sports. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.