02 Nov Women’s Soccer Enters Final Week Of Season Looking To Make GNAC Championships
MONMOUTH, Ore./BURNABY, B.C. – As the calendar moves into November, the Western Oregon University women’s soccer team enters the last week of the regular season with lots to play for. The Wolves will host Western Washington on Thursday for Senior Day starting at 2 p.m. at the WOU Soccer Field. WOU will then turn around and travel to Canada for a Saturday tilt with Simon Fraser starting at 12 p.m.
Each game the rest of the way carries lots of importance. With the results from last week, the only spot left to be secured in the GNAC Championships is the fourth spot. Seattle Pacific, Western Washington and Northwest Nazarene have all earned spots in the postseason tournament. Three teams remain alive for the last spot with Simon Fraser currently sitting fourth with 16 points, followed by Western Oregon and Montana State Billings as the two teams are tied for fifth with 14 points. Simon Fraser plays at Saint Martin’s on Thursday before hosting WOU on Saturday. Montana State Billings will play a pair of road games at Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.
WOU will honor their two seniors on Thursday in Maddy Topaum and Hannah Cabral.
Topaum is a forward from Greshman, Ore., where she competed at Sam Barlow High School. She joined the Wolves this past spring after playing at both Linfield and Clark College. During the spring, Topaum played in four games for the Wolves, seeing action against three of the top teams in the GNAC in Seattle Pacific (twice), Northwest Nazarene and Western Washington. While at Clark College, Topaum was a member of the 2018 NWAC All-Star Team, played on two Southern Region Championship teams and finished her career 11th in program history in all-time points. During her one season at Linfield, Topaum played in 16 games, coming away with three goals and helped the team to a 9-9-2 season.
“Maddy has been a great addition to our team. She makes our team better by her effort, technical abilities, and training habits. Most importantly, she is a great teammate and brings a positive attitude every day. She has been a pleasure to coach and wish her the very best moving forward,” head coach Kacey Bingham said.
Cabral played her entire collegiate career at WOU as the forward from Kailua, Hawaii competed at Kalaheo High School. Entering this week, Cabral has played in 34 games for the Wolves. She began her collegiate career in 2018 appearing in 17 games, tallying a pair of goals against Simon Fraser and Seattle Pacific. During the shortened 2021 spring season, Cabral saw time in eight games, playing against some of the top GNAC teams in Northwest Nazarene (twice), Seattle Pacific (twice) and Western Washington. So far this season, Cabral has played in nine games, including a 53-minute game at Montana State Billings this past road trip.
“Hannah is a very talented soccer player. She is smart, technical, and very strong on the ball. She is one of the most passionate people on our team. I’ve enjoyed coaching her over the past three years and getting to know her better as a player and person. I look forward to following her journey after WOU,” Bingham said.
WOU is 5-9-2 overall on the season and 4-6-2 in GNAC play. The Wolves battled this past week on the road at Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific, getting back to within one against the ‘Jackets and then tied Seattle Pacific late in the game before the Falcons pulled away.
On the season, WOU has 18 goals on 187 shots, with 82 landing on goal. Opponents have 25 goals on 233 shots, with 94 on target. Opponents hold a slight 78-73 edge in corner kicks.
Lilly Nowatzke leads the team in points with 10, tallying four goals and two assists. Piper Matson is right behind with nine points, collecting three goals and three assists. Alyssa Talkington has seven points with three goals and an assist. Jada Foster adds six points with three goals and Jenna Efraimson has five points with two goals and an assist. Three Wolves each have four points in Chloe Smith, Erika Gonzalez Moreno and Kaytlyn Larsen. Smith leads the team in minutes played at 1,281, with Hannah Rispler right behind at 1,279. Gonzalez Moreno is at 1,269, Foster at 1,233 and Matson gives the team five that have played at least 1,200 minutes sitting at 1,227. In goal, Olivia Holdenried had a huge game last time out against Seattle Pacific when she came up with 10 saves. So far on the season, Holdenried has played in five games that includes two starts and has 16 saves, along with a victory. Darien Walton leads the team in saves with 28 and has a pair of wins on the season. Emily Wheeler also has two wins on the season and has 24 saves.
The Wolves rank high in the GNAC and in the nation in several categories including: 80th in assists per game and fourth in the GNAC (1.19), 91st nationally and fourth in the GNAC in corner kicks per game (4.56), 71st nationally and fourth in the GNAC in total assists (19), fourth in the GNAC in points per game (3.44), tied for fourth in the GNAC in shutouts (3). Individually, Nowatzke is tied for eighth in the GNAC in goals (4), Gonzalez Moreno and Smith are tied for seventh in assists (4), Nowatzke and Foster are tied for fourth in game-winning goals (2), Wheeler is fifth in goals against average (1.15) and Walton is seventh (1.87), Wheeler is fifth in save percentage (77.4) and Walton is ninth (66.7), Walton is ninth in saves (28) and Wheeler is 10th (24), Wheeler is seventh in saves per game (3.43) and Walton is ninth (3.11) and Wheeler is tied for fourth in shutouts (2) and Walton is tied for eighth (1).
WOU will face Western Washington first and the teams played a tight game back on Sep. 25 in Bellingham. A Matson goal in the 71st minute tied the game before a late goal by the Vikings gave WWU the 2-1 win.
WWU is 12-3-2 overall on the season and 9-3-0 in GNAC play, currently holding the No. 2 position in the conference standings. The Vikings split on the road trip this past week falling at Northwest Nazarene (2-1) before rolling to a 6-0 win at Central Washington. The only other losses WWU has this season are to Seattle Pacific.
On the year, the Vikings have 34 goals on 348 shots, with 144 landing on goal. Opponents have 10 goals on 157 shots, with 68 landing on goal. WWU holds a 111-47 advantage in corner kicks. Jenna Killman leads the team in points with 18 (eight goals), while Tera Ziemer has 15 points (six goals) and Darby Doyle with 13 points (four goals, five assists). Goalie Natalie Dierickx has logged the most minutes on the team at 1,446. Dierickx has played all but 126 minutes on the season, starting all 17 games. She has 55 saves, along with six shutouts and four combined shutouts on the year.
WOU will then close the week traveling to Simon Fraser for a Saturday matchup. Earlier this year back on Oct. 14, SFU picked up the 3-0 win in Monmouth. Shots were close with Simon Fraser holding a 15-13 advantage, but the biggest difference was a 7-1 edge in shots on goal.
SFU is 4-9-2 overall on the season and 4-6-1 in GNAC play. This past week, Simon Fraser lost at Central Washington (2-0), but then came back to tie at Northwest Nazarene in a scoreless battle. On the season, SFU has 11 goals on 126 shots, with 60 landing on goal. Opponents have 20 goals on 216 shots, with 87 landing on goal. Opponents hold a slight 115-113 edge in corner kicks.
Giuliana Zaurrini leads the team in points with eight, tallying three goals. Raegan Mackenzie adds five points with two goals and Kate Cartier has four points with two goals. Jenieva Musico leads the team in minutes played at 1,305. In goal, Kelsey Fisher has 47 saves and a pair of wins while playing in 11 games that includes 10 starts. Nicole Anderson also has two wins in six games, coming away with 20 saves.
Live video and stats will be available for both games. Fans are allowed to attend the Thursday home game and remember to wear a mask.
For Thursday’s home game against Western Washington, live video can be found here and live stats can be found here.
For Saturday’s game at Simon Fraser, live video can be found here and live stats can be found here.
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