September 7, 2013, BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Western Washington University opens its 2013 Women’s Soccer season on Saturday, Sept. 7 (7 p.m.), against UC San Diego, the same team that ended the Vikings’ memorable 2012 campaign. The game takes place at Triton Soccer Stadium in La Jolla, Calif.
WWU, ranked No.12 nationally in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America/NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25, returns 16 letter winners and nine starters. The Vikings took the Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships and won two regional playoff games before falling 2-1 in overtime of the final against the Tritons.
UCSD, rated No.3 nationally, begins its season on Thursday, Sept. 5, playing host to No.21 Seattle Pacific. The Tritons won the 2012 California Collegiate Athletic Association title and after their win over WWU advanced to the national championship game before losing 1-0 to West Florida to finish 17-3-4.
WWU ended with a 19-4-0 record, the win total being a school record. Among the top returnees for the Vikings are two senior All-Americans, midfielder Brina Sych (Vancouver/Union), a second-team NSCAA choice, and forward Kristin Maris (Issaquah), who received honorable mention. Also back are GNAC Freshman of the Year Catherine Miles (So., Anacortes) and second-team all-region defender Brianna Jones (Jr., Bonney Lake).
The Tritons graduated 10 seniors, seven of them starters. They are paced by junior All-America forward Cassie Callahan, who had team-leading totals of 10 goals and eight assists in 2012, and sophomore goalkeeper Kelcie Brodsky, who had a 0.60 goals against average and nine shutouts.
WWU is looking for its first win against UCSD with a series record of 0-5-1. The Vikings have not scored in three prior trips to La Jolla, losing 1-0 in 2001, 4-0 in 2006 and 5-0 in 2009.