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The WWU women opened the 2018 season with a 2-1 double-overtime road win over Point Loma. Sophomore Georg Cholewa scores on penalty kick in overtime as the Viking men overcome a 3-1 deficit to beat Sonoma State. PHOTOS: WWU Athletics

WWU Soccer Squads Win Season Openers

August 31, 2018


SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Western Washington University junior defender Emily Nelson scored the golden goal in the second overtime to lift the No. 7-ranked Vikings to a season-opening 2-1 road victory over Point Loma Thursday afternoon at PLNU Soccer Field.


WWU improves to 1-0 on the season, extending its season-opening unbeaten streak to six consecutive seasons (5-0-1). The Sea Lions opened the season 0-1 after finishing last season 9-7-1.


“Point Loma came out and gave us everything we could handle…and more today,” said head coach Travis Connell, in his 16th season guiding the program. “They are going to win a lot of games this year.


“We certainly learned a lot today, identified areas we can improve on, but we are happy with the result as they earned it,” added Connell. “It is a new season and a new team. We found a way to get the win and that will help us become who we need to be if we want to be a championship team.”


The Vikings wasted little time getting on the board when senior defender Taylor Hallquist (Vancouver, WA/Columbia River) scored just 1:42 into the match. Senior forward Gabriela Pelogi (Federal Way, WA) drew a foul at the top of the box setting up a free kick, where Hallquist took the direct shot from 22-yards out, curling the ball towards the upper left quadrant that snuck through the out-reached hands of the PLNU goalkeeper for the 1-0 lead. 


The Sea Lions scored the equalizer in the 66th minute on a header goal by Lauren O’Malley off a corner kick by Abbi Swanson.


After a scoreless first overtime period, the Vikings broke through in the 107th minute when Nelson collected a loose ball in the box and beat the goalie to the far side for the game winner. 


“Emily was fantastic today throughout the match, with her play and her leadership,” added Connell. “It is fitting she got the game winner.”


The Sea Lions out-shot the Vikings 16-10, with a 5-4 advantage in shots on mark, and a 10-4 advantage in shots in the second half. Both teams took three shots in overtime, with Nelson’s finding the back of the net for her first career game-winning goal (third goal of career).


WWU continues its Southern California road trip on Saturday with a showdown against 5th-ranked UC San Diego, in a rematch of the last two West Regional championship matches. Kickoff against UCSD will be at 3:30 pm at Triton Soccer Stadium. The match can be followed via live stats and a pay-per-view webcast with live links available at


GAME NOTES…the game-winning goal for Emily Nelson was the third of her career and first since scoring a pair of goals during her freshman season (first game-winning goal)…Taylor Hallquist scored her third career goal…the win marked the 100th over the last 6 seasons, building a 100-7-7 record (.908) over that stretch that dates back to the start of the 2013 season…WWU was out-shot 16-10 in the game, snapping a string of 55 consecutive games in which the Vikings had not been out-shot by an opponent…the streak dates back to the final 10 games of 2015, 25 games during the national championship season in 2016 and 20 games last season)…WWU was last out-shot 15-13 by Seattle Pacific on Oct. 17, 2015.


ROHNERT PARK, Calif. – The Western Washington University men’s soccer team scored three unanswered goals, punctuated by a penalty kick overtime golden goal in the 95th minute from sophomore midfielder Georg Cholewa, for a 4-3 win over Sonoma State on Thursday night at Seawolf Soccer Field in the season opener for both schools. 


WWU (1-0-0) and SSU (0-1-0) faced off for the third consecutive season and played into overtime for the fourth straight meeting between the teams. The Vikings faced a 3-1 deficit early in the second half before storming back with goals in the 65th and 75th minutes to force overtime.


“A fantastic game…they (SSU) had the momentum and the boys found a way to get it done,” head coach Greg Brisbon said. “They scrapped and battled, and got some good goals, and we found a way to win today.”


The Seawolves took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute when forward Sebastian Santos took a pass played up the right side of the field and fired from 16 yards away to the far post. 


The Vikings answered quickly, drawing even a little over three minutes later in the 17th minute. Junior forward Ryan Schaefer (Burien, WA/Kennedy Catholic/Denver) took a lead pass from Cholewa (Leipzig, Germany/Sportgymnasium Chemnitz) with space on the right side and scored to the far post from inside the box.


SSU reclaimed the lead during the 22nd minute when midfielder Luis Mendoza connected on a long strike from 25 yards away on the left side, scoring to the lower-right corner of the net past diving WWU goalkeeper Thomas Ewert (RS Fr., Vancouver, WA/Skyview).


The Seawolves took a 3-1 lead in the 51st minute when Santos found forward Brian Field with a pass played across the top of the box. Field scored with one touch from 15 yards out on the right side to the far post.


Sophomore midfielder Drew Farnsworth (Auckland, New Zealand/Westlake Boys) scored in the 65th minute with an assist from Schaefer to bring the Vikings within 3-2. A throw-in was headed in front of the goal to Schaefer, who dropped a pass back to Farnsworth just inside the top of the box for the one-touch strike into the left side of the net.


Senior defender Stephen Jinnmeman (Redmond, WA) netted the equalizer off a long cross from the right side by junior forwardChristian Rotter (Auburn, WA/Auburn Mountainview) at the 74:04 mark. The senior defender had a sliding touch to the cross in front of the left post for a shot that found its way to the lower right corner of the net.


The Seawolves committed a foul against Schaefer as he tried to make a move after controlled a long pass played into the top of the box during overtime, setting up the penalty kick opportunity for Cholewa to score the golden goal with a strike to the lower-left corner of the net.


“It says they’ve got a lot of character and are never going to give up,” said Brisbon of WWU in the come-from-behind win. “They played together and played together the whole game.”


Schaefer and Cholewa each finished with a goal and an assist. It was the WWU debut for Schaefer as a starting forward for the Vikings after transferring to WWU from the University of Denver.


“Ryan Schaefer had a great game, he was an important piece to us coming back and winning,” Brisbon said. 


The Vikings held a 17-9 advantage in shots, including a 9-3 advantage in the second half. WWU held a slight 6-5 edge in shots on goal, and had a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks.


Ewert made 2 saves for the Vikings, both in the second half. SSU goalkeeper Arturo Ornelas finished with 2 saves as well.


WWU returns to action on Saturday, facing Chico State at 7 pm in Chico, Calif. The Vikings are in the midst of a four consecutive road games to begin the season before the home opener on Sept. 11 vs. Hawaii Hilo at Harrington Field.


GAME NOTES: The Vikings won their season opener for the second time over the last five years...went to overtime in season opener for third time in last four seasons…played into overtime in 9 of 17 games during 2017 season…faced SSU for the third consecutive season with each game going to overtime…have gone to overtime in four consecutive meetings vs. Seawolves…1-1-1 record vs. SSU in last three years,  2-11-2 all-time vs. Seawolves…Vikings had four players score in a game for the first time since Nov. 5, 2016 in a 5-1 win at Concordia.

-- @SoccerWWU --  -- @WWU_WSoccer --

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