NCAA II Far West Regional - Second Round - Western defeats Cal State Dominguez Hills, 1-0

Miller goal sends Vikings into third matchup with Seattle Pacific

Lucy Miller

Nov. 16, 2008

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Forward Lucy Miller (Jr., Pacific Palasades, CA) scored the lone goal in the 49th minute, lifting Western Washington University to a 1-0 victory over Cal State Dominguez Hills in a second-round game of the NCAA Division II Far West Regional on Sunday afternoon at Orca Field on the Whatcom CC campus.

The Vikings, the No.1 seed in the region and ranked 12th nationally, improved to 17-2-2 and extended their unbeaten streak to 16 games, 14 of which have been victories. Western faces Seattle Pacific (18-1-2) in the regional final Thursday at a site to be determined. The winner of that game faces the South Central Region champion Saturday.

CSUDH, the No.5 seed, completed its season 14-10-0. Western had twice come close to scoring prior to Miller's goal. Just five minutes into the game, Toros goalkeeper Alyssa Congdon had pushed a Miller shot off the post, and less than two minutes into the second half, forward Bryn Gibson (Jr., Bellevue/Interlake) rocketed a shot off the crossbar.

Miller finally opened the scoring at 48:22. Midfielder Jenny Barton (Jr., Boise, ID/Borah) started the play by winning a header near the center circle that was recovered by midfielder Kelly Irving (Jr., Gig Harbor). Irving's first touch then sent the ball forward to Miller near the top right corner of the penalty area, and Miller's low shot from 15 yards out found the far corner of the net for her team-leading 10th goal of the year.

"Part of our plan was to defend with our offense," said Western coach Travis Connell. "We new we had an advantage with our wings against their outside backs. That's what the goal came from. Lucy's goal was fantastic and all the wide players caused problems."

CSUDH had a series of good chances in the final minutes. In the 73rd minute, MaKenzie Pedrotti had a shot from eight yards out that Western defender Brynn Regan (Jr., Mercer Island) lunged to clear off the line with her left foot.

Starting in the 83rd minute, the Toros had three shots in less than 90 seconds, the third one by forward Jessica Murphy forcing a point-blank save by Western goalkeeper Kylie Broadbent (Sr., Spokane/Lewis & Clark).

Then in the dying seconds, the Toros were awarded a free kick on the right edge of the penalty area, but no shot came from the cross played in.

"That was indicative of our season, we've ended a lot of games in front our own net," said Connell. "That could drive a lot of coaches crazy, but I have a lot of confidence in our defense and goalkeeper. They bend, but they don't break."

Thursday's game is likely to be played at either Commerce, Tex., or Kirksville, Mo., as Texas A&M-Commerce faces Truman State in the South Central region final.

The Vikings have met Seattle Pacific twice this season, earning a 1-0 victory at Bellingham on Sept. 20 and a 1-1 draw at Seattle on Oct. 16. The Falcons are unbeaten in their last 13 contests.

"Our first priority is to rest and get as healthy as we can," Connell said. "The two teams are very familiar with each other, so the game will be less about strategy than about heart and determination."

The semifinals and championship game will be played Dec. 5 and 6 at Pepin Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Western Washington vs. Cal State Dominguez Hills
Date: 11/16/08  Attendance: 616
Goals by Period            1   2     Total
Cal State Dominguez Hills  0   0 ---   0
Western Washington         0   1 ---   1
WWU - Miller (Barton, Irving), 48:22
Shots: Western Washington 19, CSUDH 15
Corner kicks: Western Washington 6, CSUDH 5
Fouls: Western Washington 13, CSUDH 9
Saves: Western Washington 7 (Broadbent 6, Team 1) CSUDH 5 (Congdon 5)

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