18 straight wins as Western Women advance to face SPU in GNAC Final

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BURNABY, B.C. –– (WWU release) An early goal by sophomore forward Mariah Roggow gave Western Washington University a lead and two second-half goals in a 1:33 span put the game out of reach as the top-ranked Vikings defeated Simon Fraser University, 3-0, in the semifinals of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Soccer Championships played Thursday evening at Terry Fox Field.

The Vikings remained undefeated at 18-0-1 on the season while extending the winning streak to 18 consecutive games.

“We got great contributions from our bench tonight,” said head coach Travis Connell. “Mariah really had a good night, and Malia Maack made a big contribution. It’s great late in the season to be able to change games with our bench.”

Junior midfielder Emily Webster (Bellingham, WA/Sehome) and sophomore forward Gabriela Pelogi (Federal Way, WA) had the other goals for Western, which WWU will face Seattle Pacific in the GNAC championship game Saturday (1 p.m.), the fourth consecutive time the two schools have met in the final. The Falcons defeated Central Washington, 2-0

The Vikings opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. A short pass by freshman Jordyn Bartelson (Puyallup, WA) led Roggow (Kelso, WA/Oregon State) into the penalty area and on her first touch blasted a shot past onrushing SFU goalkeeper Priya Sandhu from 14 yards out.

The lead doubled in the 59th minute. After two shots in the penalty area were blocked by SFU defenders, Roggow won possession and dropped a ball to Webster, who curled a left-footed shot into the upper right corner from 25 yards.

A little more than a minute later Pelogi completed the scoring, taking a throw-in at the upper right corner of the area, spinning off her first touch and putting a shot just under the crossbar.

The Vikings had a 24-9 advantage in shot attempts. Junior goalkeeper Ashley Homer (Puyallup, WA/College of Saint Rose) made five saves in earning her 12th clean sheet of the season. WWU has only allowed one goal in its last nine matches, while recording 15 shutouts on the season, inching towards the school-record of 16 shutouts.

SFU’s best chance was in the 84nd minute. A shot by Sophie D’Souza forced a diving save by Homer, and Sierra Leung’s header of the rebound went just wide.

“It’s hard to beat a team playing at home that’s facing elimination,” said Connell. “It was a solid performance, we just grew throughout the game.”

On Saturday at 1 p.m. (Pacific), Western will face Seattle Pacific as both teams go for a record third GNAC tournament championship. Seattle Pacific won the meetings between the two programs in 2013 and 2014 on penalty kicks, but Western Washington won last year 3-1. The Vikings also won the inaugural tournament in 2012, beating Montana State Billings in the championship match.

“It’s like meeting an old friend,” said Connell of playing SPU on Saturday. “They find ways to win, and we need to be at the top of our game to beat them.”

#1 Western Washington (18-0-1) def. Simon Fraser (9-7-1)
Date: Nov 03, 2016 Attendance: 200
Weather: Clear

Goals by period 1 2 Tot
——————————-
Western Washington.. 1 2 – 3
Simon Fraser…….. 0 0 – 0

SCORING SUMMARY:
1. 31:12 WWU Roggow,Mariah (2) (Chick,Peyton) – 1 2 play nice shot from 20 from 15 yards, goal challenged
2. 58:35 WWU Webster,Emily (2) (Roggow,Mariah) – shot from 25 yards off rebound
3. 60:08 WWU Pelogi,Gabriela (6) (unassisted) – shot from 20 yards

Shots: Western Washington 24, Simon Fraser 9
Saves: Western Washington 5 (Homer,Ashley 5), Simon Fraser 8 (Sandhu,Priya 8)

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