Women’s football heads to Montana and Washington for pair of major GNAC contests
BILLINGS, Mont./SEATTLE, Washington – With just four games to go in the regular season, the Western Oregon University women’s football team is hitting the road this week with the goal of gaining ground on a potential spot at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships. The Wolves begin the trip at Montana State Billings on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. (Pacific) and then at # 4 Seattle Pacific on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Entering this week, the fight for the last few places in the GNAC Championship remains tight. Seattle Pacific leads with 25 points, followed by Western Washington’s 24 points. The Northwestern Nazarene currently holds third place with 19 points, followed by Simon Fraser in fourth place with 15 points. Western Oregon is just behind in fifth with 14 points, Montana State Billings is sixth with eight points, and Central Washington and Saint Martin’s are tied for seventh with six points. The top four teams qualify for the GNAC Championships.
WOU is 5-7-2 overall and 4-4-2 in GNAC and has just finished a four-game home game with a 2-2 record. Wolves have won victories over Saint Martin’s and Central Washington, while Simon Fraser and Northwest Nazarene have won on the roads at Monmouth. Last time around, WOU scored four goals, a season-high, in the 4-2 win over center Washington. Lilly nowatzke recorded a hat trick and finished the game with seven points as she assisted on the final goal. On the last road trip, WOU won a 3-0 victory at Central Washington and fought to tie the Nazarene North West.
During the season, Wolves have 16 goals, 167 shots and 73 goals. The opponents have 20 goals, managing 179 shots and 74 receptions on goal. WOU has a slight 69-67 advantage on corner kicks.
After her big game against the Wildcats, Nowatzke now leads the team in two goals with four and points with 10. She also had two assists. Piper matson is second on the team with nine points, registering three goals and three assists. Jada foster is third in points with six totaling three goals. Jenna Efraimson and Alyssa Talkington are each tied for fourth on the team with five points as they both have two goals and one assist this season. Chloe smith leads the team in assists with four. Erika Gonzalez Moreno and Hannah rispler each added three assists. Other goalscorers this season include Kaytlyn larsen and Liz parker. Smith leads the team in shooting with 32, followed by Nowatzke (21), Matson (20), Efraimson (17), Foster (12) and Gabby Pulliam (11).
Seven Wolves have played over 1,000 minutes this season, led by Foster’s 1,233 minutes. Smith is at 1,101, Rispler at 1,099, Gonzalez Moreno at 1,089, Matson at 1,047, Parker at 1,016, and Efraimson at 1,000.
In order to, Darien Walton played the most minutes at 630 which included eight starts. She has two wins and 27 saves. Emily wheeler has played over 548 minutes this season in seven appearances, including five stats. She has two wins and a tie, as well as 24 saves. Olivia holdenried has appeared in three games this year which includes one start, she has one win and three saves. Overall as a team, WOU goalkeepers have combined 54 saves this season and three shutouts.
WOU ranks among the first four of the GNAC in several categories including third and 66e nationally in assists per game (1.43), third and 62sd nationally for total assists (20), fourth for points per game (3.86), fourth for offensive scorers per game (1.21), fourth for shutout percentage (0.214), fourth for total goals (20) and fourth for total points (54).
Individually, Smith is seventh in the GNAC and 97e nationally in assists per game (0.29) and fourth in GNAC and 60e nationwide in total passes (4). Foster and Nowatzke are tied for third in GNAC for winning goals (2). Nowatzke is sixth in GNAC in goals per game (0.36), fifth in points per game (0.91), fourth in total goals (4) and eighth in points (10). Matson and Gonzalez Moreno are tied for eighth in the GNAC for assists (3). Smith and Matson are seventh and ninth in the GNAC in assists per game with Smith at 0.29 and Matson at 0.25. Wheeler is fourth in GNAC in goals against average (1.15) and Walton is eighth (1.71). Wheeler is fourth in save percentage (0.774) and Walton is 10e (.692). Walton is ninth in saves (27) and Wheeler is 10e (24). They both rank in the top 10 in the conference in saves per game, Wheeler seventh (3.43) and Walton eighth (3.38) and in shutouts with Wheeler tied for fourth (2) and Walton tied. to the eighth (1).
The first of the trip will be Montana State Billings on Thursday. At the previous meeting in Monmouth on October 2, the teams fought for a 1-1 draw. Last meeting at Billings in the 2019 season, the ‘Jackets won 1-0. The teams drew the previous year at 0-0. WOU’s last win at Billings was in 2013 when they won a 3-2 overtime victory.
MSUB is 5-7-3 overall this season and 2-6-2 in the GNAC game. They are 4-2-1 at home. Last week, the Yellowjackets narrowly failed Simon Fraser (1-0) and then ended the trip with a 3-0 loss to Western Washington.
During the season, MSUB scored 13 goals, registering 187 shots and registering 93 goals. Opponents scored 22 goals, scoring 202 shots and scoring 102 on goal. Opponents have a 70-50 advantage on corner kicks.
Liberty Palmer leads the offense with nine points and four goals, the team’s best. Jordan Roe and Sydney Torres add six points each. Maddie Smith is fourth with five points. Behind Palmer’s four goals, Torres has three goals and Roe has two. Hailee Gertsch had the most minutes with 1,300. In net, Clare Keenan started 12 games, totaling 63 saves and two wins, as well as a pair of draws. Tuva Sallvin has appeared in four games and has three wins, as well as 16 saves.
To close the road trip, WOU will play Saturday in Seattle Pacific. WOU claimed the big win over No.7 SPU on September 30 at Monmouth when Nowatzke scored the golden goal in the first extra time of a 1-0 win. This marked two back-to-back shutout wins for WOU at Monmouth, as Wolves claimed a 2-0 victory in 2019. The Falcons hold a 21-0 home record against Wolves since 2001, while they played twice in the shortened spring 2021 season with SPU scoring 5-0 and 4-0 wins. In the second regular season meeting of 2019 in Seattle, the teams went into overtime before the Falcons took the 2-1 victory.
Seattle Pacific is 11-1-1 overall and 8-1-1 in the GNAC game, holding a home record of 4-0-0. GNAC’s only loss was a WOU and the only tie was at Montana State Billings. Last time around, SPU won a 3-0 victory over Simon Fraser and before that, took a 3-0 victory over Western Washington.
During the season, the Falcons have scored 37 goals, registering 235 shots and shooting 114 on goal. The opponents scored three goals, took 100 shots and scored 41 on goal. SPU has an 84-20 advantage over corners.
Sophia Chilczuk leads the team with 18 points, totaling four goals and 10 assists. Lauren Forster adds 16 points and seven goals, Makena Rietz has 15 points and seven goals and AJ DePinto has 13 points and five goals. In total, SPU has six players with at least 10 points. Madison Ibale recorded the most minutes with 1,107.
In net, Riley Travis started 11 games and is 10-1 with 31 saves, six solo shutouts and three shutouts combined.
Live video and stats will be available for both matches.