WWU is the No. 3 seed in the seven-team West Region and will travel to Portland for regionals. PHOTO: WWU Athletics
Vikings Advance to 7th Straight NCAA Championship
November 5, 2018
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – The Western Washington University women’s soccer team has been selected to play in its seventh consecutive NCAA Division II Championship.
WWU (16-3-1) was announced as the No. 3 seed in the seven-team West Regional, and will travel to Portland, Oregon to play No. 6 seed Sonoma State (11-4-4) in the first round of the 2018 NCAA II Championship at Tuominen Yard on the Concordia University campus. No. 2 seed Concordia (14-1-3) will serve as one of two hosts in the West Region, and will play No. 7 seed Seattle Pacific (12-5-2).
“It is a great honor to hear our name called during the selection show,” said head coach Travis Connell, who has led the Vikings to nine NCAA Championship appearances. “There are a lot of great teams in this tournament and the West Region is one of the strongest regions in the nation”
Both first round games will be played on Thursday, with WWU and Sonoma State kicking off at 11 am and Concordia/SPU following at 2 pm. The second round game is scheduled for Saturday at 2 pm in Portland. All three games in the sub-regional will feature a webcast and live statistical updates with links available at WWUVikings.com/Live.
UC San Diego (17-2-1) was announced as the No. 1 seed in the West Region for the second consecutive season, and will host No. 4 seed Point Loma (15-1-1) and No. 5 seed Chico State (10-1-6) in La Jolla, California. As the top seed, UCSD will have a first-round bye in the tournament.
A total of 56 teams make up the 2018 NCAA II Championships, with the field separated into eight regionals. The complete bracket can be viewed online at NCAA.com.
The winner of the Portland and La Jolla sub-regionals will meet in the West Region Championship game the following week at the site of the highest remaining team from the South Central Regional.
The national semifinals and championship game will be played Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as part of the NCAA Division II Fall Festival.
The Vikings head into the postseason with a 16-3-1 overall record, and winners of seven of their last games. WWU won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular season title for the sixth time in the last seven seasons with a 10-1-1 league record. WWU had its string of three consecutive GNAC Championships titles snapped, falling 2-1 in overtime to Concordia last Saturday.
WWU did not face Sonoma State during the regular season, but are familiar postseason opponents squaring off in 2012 and 2017 in the NCAA Tournament. WWU is 7-8-1 all-time vs. Sonoma State, but are 6-0-1 over the last seven meetings dating back to 2001. The Vikings were 1-2 vs. Concordia, and beat Seattle Pacific 4-0 in Bellingham in the only meeting between the two rivals this season.
“We have a great team and our roster is deep, and even the players that are not playing in the games have left their imprint on all the players that are in the games,” added Connell. “It is our full roster that has made this a possibility to compete in another NCAA Championship. We are excited for the challenge ahead of us.”
WWU has now advanced to the NCAA Championships in each of the last seven seasons, but for the first time since 2012 will not serve as a regional host. In eight previous appearances in the NCAA Championships (2005, 2008, 2012-17), the Vikings have compiled a 15-7 record and won the 2016 national championship. WWU has played for the West Region championship three consecutive, and five of the last six, seasons.
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