BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Anna Geldenhuys scored the lone goal early in the second half as host Western Washington won its first West Regional title with a 1-0 victory against Cal State San Bernardino in the Division II tournament on Friday at Orca Field on the campus of Whatcom CC.
The Vikings improved to 19-1-1 overall. They are 11-0-0 at home, and will host St.
“It will be two good teams, with great athletes,” said WWU coach Travis Connell (11th year, 140-60-20). “We’re happy to be there, but we also plan on winning the game.”
CSUSB, the West Region No.4 seed, finished its season 12-7-4.
The opening goal came just 1:22 into the second half. Jessica Bertucci played a ball from the left side of the penalty area that CSUSB goalkeeper Chelsey Jones stepped 10 yards off her line to save. The ball spilled to Geldenhuys at the top of the penalty area, where she shot with her first touch. Jones deflected the shot, but it stayed on target, and a clearance by a Coyote defender was ruled to have come after the ball had crossed the goal line.
“Jessica made a great play getting the ball behind the defense,” said Connell. “And Anna, that’s two games in a row with goals. You can never underestimate what seniors give you in these types of games.”
From there, the Viking defense took over. After an opening half where the shots were even, WWU didn’t allow CSUSB a shot attempt in the second half, finishing with a 16-7 advantage.
“Playing with the lead is something we’ve been talking about a lot,” Connell said. “That’s the most effectively we’ve done it this season. We kept attacking, we didn’t back down. We kept pushing forward and that kept [CSUSB] pinned in.”