Prairie High School graduate Taylor Guenther and Camas High School graduate Austen Reiter placed second and fourth, respectively, for the Western Washington University women as the Vikings placed 18th at the NCAA Division II national championships Saturday at the Plantes Ferry Sports Complex in Spokane.
Guenther placed 94th overall — 77th in the team scoring race — with a time of 22 minutes, 35 seconds over the 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) course. Reiter was 136th overall — 115th in team scoring — in 22:57.
Both are sophomores.
“The women really came in and ran a solid race,” coach Pee Wee Halsell told the www.wwuvikings.com website. “Our top six runners all ran better than they had two weeks ago on this course at regionals.”
WWU’s women better their national ranking by seven places.
Tanner Boyd, a Camas High School graduate and the No. 2 runner for the WWU men, was unable to compete because of a heel injury. The Vikings placed 20th in the team race.
• Seattle Pacific University sophomore Lynelle Decker, a Mountain View High School graduate, finished 115th overall (95th in team scoring) in 11:18.5. She was the Falcons’ third runner, her best finishing position for the team this season.
• University of Tampa sophomore Chantalle Blundell, a Hockinson High School graduate, finished 203rd in 24:45.
Sych assists Vikings to NCAA-II Final Four
Western Washington senior right back Brina Sych initiated a counterattack that led directly to the game-winning goal as the Vikings advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four with a 2-0 victory Sunday over St. Edward’s University at Orca Field in Bellingham.
The Union High School graduate, a Second Team All-America player as a junior, collected a ball headed out of the WWU penalty area on a free kick in the sixth minute to start what wwuvikings.com described as “a 65-yard burst down the right side.”
Sych played the ball to forward Kristin Maris, who found Catherine Miles for the finish and a 1-0 lead.
“It’s how we play,” Sych told the university website. “If there’s a gap in front of me, then I can go. We have central midfielders who I know will cover for me.”
Western Washington (20-1-1) finished 12-0-0 at home. Ranked No. 9 in the final National Soccer Coaches Association NCAA-II poll and the West Region champions, continued the deepest journey into the playoffs in program history.
The Vikings will face defending national champion West Florida in the national semifinals on Dec. 5 in Evans, Ga. The national championship match will be played on Dec. 7.
“This doesn’t seem like real life,” Sych told the website. “It hasn’t sunk in that we’re one of the top four teams in the country. As I senior I couldn’t ask for a better way to finish my time at Western.”
Eckler, Kimsey help Concordia advance
Bobbi Eckler scored Concordia’s first goal and Hannah Kimsey recorded another assist as the Cavaliers advanced to the women’s soccer NAIA national tournament with a 3-0 home victory Saturday over William Jessup University of California.
Eckler, a freshman midfielder and Union High School graduate, opened scoring in the 28th minute with the eventual game-winner. Kimsey, a senior midfielder and Columbia River High School graduate who led the Cascade Collegiate Conference in assists, set up the Cavaliers’ second goal.
Concordia (18-1-1) moves on to the national tournament site in Orange Beach, Ala., for a Dec. 2 match against St. Thomas University of Florida. There are 16 teams remaining in contention for the national title.
EOU’s Sorensen named First Team All-CCC
Eastern Oregon junior opposite hitter Stefani Sorensen was named First Team All-Cascade Collegiate Conference.
The Camas High School graduate was second on the Mountaineers with 377 kills on the season, collected a hitting percentage of .298. She averaged 3.40 kills per set.
• Concordia University senior forward Adam Herman is averaging 25.6 points and 6.1 rebounds a game for the Cavaliers, who are off to a 6-1 start.
The Prairie High School graduate, a Third Team NAIA All-America selection last season, was named the Cascade Collegiate Conference Preseason Player of the Year in voting by the 10 conference coaches. Herman is shooting 76.9 percent (70 of 91) from the floor and is an 88.1 percent (37 of 42) free throw shooter.
• Junior guard Lauren Goecke scored a career-high 20 points in Cal Poly Pomona’s 84-75 overtime victory Nov. 16 at Azusa Pacific. The Prairie High School graduate was 7 of 8 from the floor, making all four of her 3-point attempts and both of her free throw attempts.
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