BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Stephanie Hamilton (So., Orting/Bellarmine Prep) has just five goals in her two-year Western Washington University women’s soccer career. But two of them have been game-winners in the NCAA Division II National Tournament.
Hamilton’s first-half goal put the Vikings in front to stay as WWU advanced to the West Regional championship contest with a 2-0 victory over Seattle Pacific University in a second-round contest of the NCAA II National Women’s Soccer Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Orca Field on the Whatcom CC campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.9 nationally in this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Top 25 and the No.2 seed in the West Region, improved to 18-1-1 overall. They are 10-0-0 at home, and will host No.4 seed Cal State San Bernardino in the regional final either Thurs., Nov. 21 or Fri., Nov. 22 at Orca Field. The Coyotes defeated top-seeded Cal State Stanislaus, 1-0, in overtime in Saturday’s other West Region semifinal at Turlock, Calif.
“I’m so excited for our players,” said WWU coach Travis Connell (11th year, 139-60-20). “This was one of our goals. Now we get a chance to achieve another of the goals.”
FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Opposite-side hitter Jennica McPherson (So., Seattle/Kennedy) had 13 kills with no errors on 23 attempts for a .565 attack percentage as nationally ranked Western Washington University swept its road trip to Alaska with a 25-10, 25-19, 25-19 victory over University of Alaska Fairbanks in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference volleyball match at the Patty Center on the UAF campus.
The Vikings, ranked No.10 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, improved to 21-3 overall and are alone atop the conference standings at 14-2. They hit .467 as a team and had just three attack errors.
It is the third time this season that WWU has won seven straight matches.
UAF dropped to 4-23 overall and 3-13 in GNAC action. The Nanooks got a match-high 19 kills from Sam Harthun. She entered the match ranked 10th nationally in kills.
WWU, ranked No.5 in the latest West Region Poll, closes out its regular season with two GNAC matches against Simon Fraser, the first one Thursday, Nov. 21 (7 p.m.) at Burnaby, B.C., and the second on Saturday, Nov. 23 (7 p.m.), at Bellingham.
One more victory will clinch a tie for the Vikings for their second straight GNAC title and seventh overall.