College Soccer

Top Seed Western Eliminates Falcons

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BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Catherine Miles scored with 4:55 left in regulation Saturday, lifting second-ranked Western Washington to a 1-0 win over Seattle Pacific in a West Region semifinal clash of the NCAA Division II women’s soccer tournament at Harrington Field.
The fifth-seeded Falcons saw their season end with a 14-5-2 record and four of those losses were dealt by top-seeded WWU. They were shut out for only the fourth time.
“I like our team a lot and for someone to have the opportunity to play us four times and to get us four times, they deserve the credit,” said SPU interim coach Arby Busey. “You look at some of these other regions and maybe you’ve got a better opportunity to go through somewhere else, but we’ve got to play the hand that’s dealt to us and that was trying to get through a very difficult opponent on their field.
“The credit is there for beating us four times because they are a good team and they will be a good representative for our region and our conference moving forward. That’s going to be a team that’s tough to beat.”
Saturday’s result marked the second time in three years that the Vikings stopped SPU’s season. They were 2-0 victors in the 2013 NCAA regional semifinal, also in Bellingham.
Western (19-1-1) advances to the regional championship game against No. 2 seed Azusa Pacific. That game will be played on Thursday in Bellingham.
Gabriela Pelogi initiated the scoring play from the left side near midfield. She sent a long ball toward the center to Savanna Moorehouse, who was 25 yards from goal when she volleyed a pass into the path of Miles streaking toward the left post.
Miles finished with a low, eight-yard shot across the goal and into the right side-netting to beat SPU goalkeeper Molly Stinson at 85:05. That was the team-leading 11th goal of the season for the senior forward and her fifth game-winning strike.
“I saw Miles with the ball in behind us and my thought was that Molly has come up massive two or three times here in the last 15 minutes, she’s going to come up again,” said Busey. “Molly had been fantastic and it took a really good finish by a great player to get past us today.”
Stinson (Woodinville HS), a sophomore, was credited with five saves for SPU.
Goalkeeper Ashey Haden posted her ninth clean sheet and the 13th for the Vikings, who outshot the visitors by a 16-7 margin.
The hosts controlled the run of play during the first half, outshooting SPU 6-1. Three of those attempts forced saves from Stinson while the Falcons failed to put a shot directly on frame.
The SPU offense picked up in the second half, getting off six shots during the final 45 minutes with two of them on goal.
Western had a great opportunity to go ahead in the 48th minute when a low pass from the right flank found Caitlyn Jobanek alone in the center of the 6-yard box. She swung with her right foot, but spun the ball wide of the right post.
The Falcons went on the attack early in the second period and produced two dangerous chances. Senior midfielder Isabel Farrell (Interlake HS) retrieved a short WWU clearance and quickly fired a long shot from the right side of the box that nicked of the upper left post in the 51st minute.
Less than three minutes later, Hannah Huesers stole the ball from a Viking and dribbled 25 yards before unleashing a high, 30-yard blast that Haden was barely able to tip over the crossbar.
Huesers (Lake Stevens HS) scored against Western on Oct. 17 in Bellingham with a nearly identical play.
“All of us were off the bench hoping that we were going to see a replay of that one because it looked extremely similar,” Busey described. “She won it, started heading forward with it and hit a shot just like the one she got a goal on up here earlier. Certainly we were all hoping for that.”
Huesers finished with a league-leading 15 goals for the second straight season. That figure ties her for fourth on SPU’s single-season scoring list. The junior forward fell just two tallies shy of the school-record of 17 goals established in 2003 by Shannon Lovejoy and matched in 2007 by Sarah Martinez.
Winners of the 2008 national championship, the SPU women participated in the NCAA playoffs for the 13th consecutive season.
“I’m super proud of the kids,” Busey exclaimed. “They all emptied the tank today and I don’t know that there was a whole lot more we could have done. We gave a great account for ourselves and really worked hard and fought hard.”
Looking ahead to next year, SPU will need to replace six seniors. Four of them were primary starters, including Farrell who was the 2014 Great Northwest Athletic Conference player of the year. Farrell finished with four goals and four assists in 2015.
Laura Moore (Kentwood HS) departs after compiling five goals and five assists this season with four game-winners. Both central defenders will graduate, Shayla Page (Eastlake HS) and Taylor Hauck (King’s HS). That duo anchored a unit that blanked nine opponents and allowed just 0.78 goals per game.
Ashley Shaw and Monica Gomez round out that senior class that helped the Falcons compile a remarkable 56-20-8 record during their four seasons.
“They’re part of a proud program and they only helped to enhance the legacy of SPU women’s soccer,” Busey said. “They made a choice four or five years ago to come to a place where the expectations are very, very high. They met and exceeded those expectations in every way, shape and form in their four years here. 
“They will be desperately missed, not only their ability to play on the field, but the character and quality of the human beings that are in that class is going to be tough to replace.”
NCAA WOMEN’S SOCCER
Division II Tournament – West Region Semifinal
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Harrington Field / Bellingham, Wash.

(#2) Western Washington 1, Seattle Pacific 0
 
Scoring – 1, WWU, Catherine Miles (Savanna Moorehouse, Gabriela Pelogi), 85:05.
Shots – SPU 16, WWU 7.
Saves – SPU 5 (Molly Stinson), WWU 2 (Ashley Haden).
Corner Kicks – SPU 5, WWU 11.
Fouls – SPU 12, WWU 6.
Offsides – SPU 0, WWU 1.
Records
Seattle Pacific 14-5-2
Western Washington 19-1-1
— www.spufalcons.com —