Vikings handle Saints to win 35th straight match

600-WSCrest2016BELLINGHAM, WA — Western Washington University junior forward Karli White scored an early goal in the third minute of the game, and the No. 3-ranked Vikings would add three second-half goals in a 4-0 shutout victory over visiting Saint Martin’s University Tuesday evening in Great Northwest Athletic Conference action at Harrington Field.

Freshman forward Zoe Milburn (72’), freshman midfielder Darby Doyle (79’) and sophomore midfielder Jordyn Bartelson (’80) added second-half goals to seal the win. Bartelson also had two assists and scored on a penalty kick for the four-point effort to lead the Vikings to their 35th consecutive victory.

With their fourth consecutive shutout, and eighth clean sheet of the season, the Vikings continued the perfect start to the season at 11-0-0 and remain alone atop the GNAC standings at 7-0-0. Saint Martin’s falls to 1-10-1 overall and 1-5-1 in league play.

With the victory, WWU also kept several historic winning streaks intact, extending the current winning streak to 35 consecutive games (4th-longest in NCAA II history) and the unbeaten streak to 36 consecutive games (5th-longest in NCAA II history). WWU is also undefeated in its last 60 games vs. GNAC opponents (54-0-6) for the 3rd-longest streak in NCAA Division II history, and has won its last 29 home games to tie for the 9th-longest streak in Division II history.

“We got off to a great start with an early goal, which is what we wanted to do, but we couldn’t find that second one right away,” said head coach Travis Connell. “We created a lot of chances, we just need to execute a little better.

The Vikings wasted little time jumping ahead of the Saints, as Karli White scored in the third minute (2:27) off a cross and pass from Gabriela Pelogi and Jordyn Bartelson. WWU had a dominating 15-2 advantage in shots in the first half (7-1 in shots on goal), but couldn’t extend the lead with SMU goalkeeper Sara Christensen logging 6 of her game total 11 saves.

Western added some insurance goals midway through the second half, when a pair of freshman found the back of the net. Milburn (Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma) scored her first collegiate goal in the 72nd minute, dribbling in from the 50-yardline and beating the keeper one-on-one.

Doyle (Spokane, WA/Gonzaga Prep) scored Western’s third goal of the game in the 79th minute, taking a through ball from Bartelson and placing her shot inside the far post from 9-yards out.

“We have a lot of good players and they bring something when they come into the game,” added Connell on his players that came off the bench in the game. “It’s not just the freshman, but any players that come into the game are giving us solid minutes.“

Bartelson brought the game to the final score of 4-0 with her first goal of the season, executing a penalty kick past the keeper inside the right post.

“Jordyn is really coming on strong and you are now seeing the true Jordyn Bartelson,” said Connell on his sophomore midfielder. “She is such a hard worker and so determined, and often does a lot of the things behind the scenes that don’t get noticed, so today was great for her to get the assists and the goal, because she deserves it.”

The Vikings dominated the possession game, outshooting the Saints 37-4, with the defense limiting the Saints to only one shot on goal.

WWU senior goalkeeper Ashley Homer (Puyallup, WA) made one save in net while recording her seventh shutout of the season. She has not allowed a goal in her last 769:27 minutes, and overall the Vikings have allowed only 3 goals in 11 games this season.

The Vikings have a quick turnaround returning to action Thursday crossing the border to face Simon Fraser at 5 pm in Burnaby. WWU beat SFU 4-0 earlier this season at Harrington Field.

Game Notes: The 35-game winning streak is now 3 wins shy of the program record 38-game winning streak set from 1982-84…Gabriela Pelogi recorded her 5th assist of the season, and now has 25 points to lead the GNAC (10 goals)…Karli White scored her 7th goal of the season, 3rd-most in the GNAC…Emily Webster played in her 81st career match, tying for 9th in the WWU career record book…WWU has logged a shutout in 8 of its last 9 games…WWU is undefeated in its last 60 games vs. GNAC opponents (54-0-6), the 3rd-longest unbeaten streak against conference opponents (regular + postseason) in NCAA II history…extended unbeaten streak against West Region opponents to 48 straight (46-0-2)…WWU has now scored at least one goal in its last 41 games vs. GNAC opponents, extending the GNAC record…WWU is 92-5-7 since the start of the 2013 season, the best record amongst all Division II programs.

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