WWU finishes tough non-conference schedule with win over previously unbeaten Mines. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
No.15 Vikings Defeat No.7 Colorado School of Mines 2-1
September 19, 2018
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Western Washington University senior forward Gabriela Pelogi gave the No. 15 nationally-ranked women’s soccer team an early lead with a goal in the 15th minute and freshman forward Dayana Diaz added a penalty-kick goal to lead the Vikings to a 2-1 victory over No. 7 Colorado School of Mines Wednesday afternoon at Harrington Field.
WWU moved through its tough early-season schedule with a 5-2-0 record, which included home wins over then No. 7 MSU Denver and No. 7 Mines today. Previously unbeaten entering the match, Colorado School of Mines drops to 5-1-1 on the season.
“We are really excited about the result today against a really quality opponent in Mines,” said head coach Travis Connell. “They defended very well and had not allowed a goal coming into this game. I was impressed with their defense, but even more impressed with how we kept trying to figure out how to unlock their defense and were relentless in creating chances. It was a really good result today.”
The Vikings struck first in the 15th minute when Pelogi (Federal Way, WA) one-timed a long pass from junior forward Liv Larson(Arlington, WA) to the far post past from 8-yards out past the Mines goalkeeper for her third goal of the season. It was the first goal allowed by CSM this season, ending a string of 574 consecutive scoreless minutes to open the season.
Mines had a couple of chances in the 32nd minute when the ball became loose in the box, and after a scramble, Nicole LaTourette’s shot was chipped over the crossbar from close range. LaTourette had another scoring chance at the 36:18 mark, but WWU redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Natalie Dierickx (Kirkland, WA/Inglemoor/Colorado State) came off her line and smothered the one-on-one shot.
WWU looked to extend its lead in the 73rd minute when Larson was one-on-one with the CSM keeper, but had her shot from the top of the box deflected keeping it a 1-0 game.
The Vikings scored what turned out to be a very important second goal in the 75th minute when Diaz (Granite Falls, WA) drew a foul in the box and converted the penalty kick to put the Vikings up 2-0. Her PK was fired to the upper left where it snuck under the crossbar for her first career goal at the 74:56 mark.
The Orediggers closed to within one goal in the 83rd minute when Emma Peterson fired a shot from 20-yards out from the far left wing, that snuck over Dierickx at the 82:36 mark.
WWU was out-shot 13-11 by Colorado School of Mines, including a 7-4 mark in shots on goal. Dierickx made 6 saves.
The Vikings (5-2-0, 0-1-0 GNAC) return to action on Saturday hosting Simon Fraser in the first home GNAC game of the season at 4 pm at Harrington Field. The Viking men follow in a Harrington Field doubleheader entertaining Montana State Billings in a GNAC contest starting at 7 pm.
“We got through a tough non-conference schedule, but I think this team has a bit of a chip on its shoulder as they have a lot of pride,” added Connell. “I feel like our players are in a spot that they want to prove themselves and I would look for our team to really come out motivated the rest of the season.”
Game Notes: Gabriela Pelogi scored her team-leading third goal of the season (all in the last four games) and now has 39 career goals…remains 6th in WWU history in career goals and moved into 5th place with 96 career points…moved into a tie for 8thplace in GNAC history in career goals scored…Mines did not allow a goal in its first 6 games of the season, and was the only remaining NCAA Division II team to not allow a goal this season…WWU’s non-conference schedule included four games against nationally-ranked teams: UC San Diego (1-0 loss, then No. 5, now No. 2), MSU Denver (2-1 win, then No. 7, now No. 11), Concordia (1-0 loss, then No. 15, now No. 10) and Colorado Mines (2-1 win, No. 7).
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