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soccer-women-d2 flag | November 9, 2013

Seattle Pacific is GNAC champ

Women's Soccer, Division II, GNAC, Seattle Pacific

GNAC Championship

TUKWILA, Wash. -- Tournament most valuable player Natalie Harold stopped the first two penalty kicks during the shootout, leading Seattle Pacific to a 4-1 tiebreaker victory after battling 10th-ranked Western Washington to a 1-1 tie through two overtimes on Saturday in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship game at Starfire Stadium.

The Falcons (14-5-1) captured their first GNAC tournament championship, earning an automatic berth into next week's NCAA Division II tournament. They extended their streak of playoff appearances to 11 years.

WWU (17-1-1) was the defending tournament titlist and won the last two league regular-season crowns.

In the tiebreaker, SPU shot first and converted all four of its attempts, including a shot to the lower right by Arden Matro that clinched the win. Heather Young, Maddie Krauss and Ashley Shaw also were successful with their penalty kicks for SPU.

Harold dove to save WWU's first two attempts, by Kim Cooper and Catherine Miles. Kristin Maris kicked third and was the only Viking to convert a penalty kick.

The teams battled through 87 scoreless minutes in regulation before a frenetic final three minutes.

The NCAA tournament pairings will be announced at 4:30 p.m. Monday.

PSAC Championship

CALIFORNIA, Pa. -- Seventh-ranked and top-seeded California (Pa.) claimed the second Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Tournament Championship in school history with a 3-0 win against sixth-seeded West Chester on Saturday afternoon at the Phillipsburg Soccer Facility.

The win improves the Vulcans to 17-2-2 overall and clinches the league's automatic qualifier (AQ) to the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Cal U recorded three shutouts this week en route to the title and will make its fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The loss drops the Golden Rams to 13-7.

Cal U took an early 1-0 lead in the 15th minute when junior Chelsea Crockett lifted the ball over the West Chester goalkeeper from right outside the goal box. Senior Stephanie Thompson extended the Vulcan lead to 2-0 with 15:04 left in the first half when she headed a corner kick off the foot of junior Jordan Gray into the back of the net.

Gray added the final insurance goal with 34:54 left in the match when she buried a cross from junior Haley Henderson to give Cal U a commanding 3-0 lead.

Cal U out-shot the Golden Rams 12-8 and held West Chester without a shot in the first half of the match.

The Vulcans will likely serve as a host for the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament after jumping ahead of Slippery Rock for first place in the final regular-season NCAA Division II Atlantic regional rankings and earning the AQ for winning the PSAC Tournament.The Vulcans are 10-0-1 at home this season and have out-scored opponents 37-0 when playing at the Phillipsburg Soccer Facility.