Western Washington wins inaugural GNAC women's soccer tournament
The Vikings defeated Western Oregon, 2-0, and won an automatic berth in the NCAA Division II national tournament.
TUKWILA — Joana Houplin and Catherine Miles scored second-half goals to lead the Western Washington women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over Montana State Billings and a tournament title in the inaugural Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship game Saturday afternoon at the Starfire Sports Complex.
The Vikings (17-3) earn the GNAC's automatic berth in the West Regional of the NCAA Division II national tournament, which begins Thursday. They reached the final with a 2-0 semifinal win over Western Oregon last Thursday.
WWU was the No. 1 seed in the tourney after taking the league's regular-season title with a 12-2 record.
MSUB, which fell to 13-6-1, got to the title game as the third seed with a 1-0 upset win over No. 21 Seattle Pacific, the No. 2 seed.
"MSUB is a good team, and they were well-prepared," said WWU coach Travis Connell (10th year, 119-58-19). "They made it difficult for us. I'm proud of our team for sticking to the game plan and finding a way to win."
The Vikings' Kristin Maris was named tournament MVP.
Other women's soccer
No. 1 seed Northwest University advanced to the championship game of the Cascade Conference tournament with a 2-1 win over Oregon Tech.
No. 22 Seattle Pacific got all of its goals in the second half of a 5-0 win over visiting Saint Martin's.
• Seattle University ended its season with a 3-0 loss at San Jose State.
Washington State had 13 different players score in its 93-30 exhibition victory over Western Oregon at home. The Cougars had three players score in double figures, led by freshman guard Taylor Edmondson's 12, and fellow freshmen Mariah Cooks and Lia Galdeira each added 11 points. WSU opens the regular season next weekend against Minnesota on Saturday in Minneapolis.
• Seattle University beat Western Washington in double overtime, 100-93, in an exhibition at SU. The Vikings, ranked No. 14 in Division II, were led by guards Katie Colard and Corinn Waltrip, who combined for 43 points. Seattle got a game-high 28 points from guard Sylvia Shephard.
Western Washington's men's team and Seattle Pacific's women's team qualified for the Division II NCAA national championship with top-five finishes at the Division II West Region meet in Kahuku, Hawaii.
SPU's Katie Thralls led the Falcons by finishing in 11th place and the team finished fifth. The top five teams qualify for the national meet.
WWU was led by Dak Riek, who placed fifth, and the team finished third.
Chico State finished first and Alaska Anchorage finished second in both the men's and women's races.
• No. 24 Northwest University finished in fourth place in a field of nine teams in the CCC Championships at Lents Park in Portland. Emily Sears was the top NU finisher, coming in 20th. The College of Idaho won the team title for the women and Southern Oregon's men, ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, took the men's team title.
Gonzaga fell in straight sets (25-22, 25-16, 25-17) at San Francisco. The loss dropped the Zags to 9-16 overall and 1-11 in West Coast Conference play.
• Seattle Pacific fell to 11-12 with a 25-17, 25-18, 25-20 loss to visiting Western Oregon.
• No. 17 Western Washington remained perfect in eight home matches, sweeping Alaska Fairbanks at home.
• Seattle University lost at Idaho, 25-16, 25-17, 12-25, 25-19.
• Eastern Washington earned a straight-sets win at Southern Utah.
• Central Washington won in straight sets, 25-18, 25-20, 25-18, over visiting Northwest Nazarene.
Compileed from sports-information reports.