Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tracker: Conference, national honors for INWsn area players & coaches

Mike Ramos, Coe Michaelson, Eddie Gutierrez & Brooke Moody have had great campaigns this year
Now that the college regular seasons around the northwest and beyond are wrapping up, the various conferences have been announcing their season honors and the NSCAA is in the process of release its annual lists of All-Americans.

It has been a pretty good season for the region with a number of teams experiencing some of their best campaigns in program history. Those efforts have resulted in a vast number of individual awards for players and coaches from schools such as Northwest Nazarene, Montana and Whitworth.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

INW Best XI - Week 13: Ames leading Concordia in title defense

A trio of INWsn area players were recognized for last week's playoffs action along with a number of other players around the region who played key roles even though their teams were eliminated from the postseason.

Ashley Ames (Spokane, WA) guided Concordia to an opening round win in defense of their national championship and Cody Lang (Spokane, WA) was pitching a shutout for Seattle Pacific before an overtime goal dashed their championship dreams.

INW NCAA College Recap – Week Thirteen: Concordia women last team standing in postseason

It has all come down to one. The Concordia Cavalier ladies, featuring several players from the Inland Northwest, posted a 3-0 victory in their opening round match of the NAIA tournament Saturday to advance to the week-long Sweet 16 tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama the first week of December. The Cavs, who have reached the final four times in the previous 10 years, will be aiming to repeat as national champions.

The playoff runs for several hopefuls teams in the area, unfortunately, came to an end this past week. Most notably was the Whitworth men, who lost in a hard-fought Sweet 16 contest of their own while the Rocky Mountain College men were knocked out in their opening round NAIA match. Here's a quick round-up of the area schools, players from the INWsn region and a couple other scores for teams around the northwest.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

INW Best XI - Week 12: Freshmen Espinoza and Heaps lead Whitworth, Concordia to playoff wins

Whitworth University advanced to the D-III NCAA Tournament's final 16 with a pair of victories garnered with the heroics of Eric Espinoza. The freshman midfielder, who came into the weekend with just a goal and two assists on his ledger, tallied a goal and a game-winning assist on the weekend as they shutout two opponents on the other side of the country.

After working her way into the starting lineup, freshman defender/midfielder Martha Heaps has had a fantastic postseason for Concordia University. After scoring her first collegiate goal last week in the semifinal win, she added to it with the game-winning strike in the CCC championship game this week to send the Cavaliers back to the NAIA tournament to defend their title.

INW NAIA & NWAC College Recap – Week Twelve: Spokane, NIC come up short in NWAC; Idaho trio lead Corban to title

The Cascade Collegiate Conference and the Northwest Athletic Conference both crowned champions over the weekend.

In the NWAC, the North Idaho College men advanced to the championship game with a dramatic overtime victory, but came up empty against a Highline side that had a fantastic championship weekend. On the women's side, CC Spokane came up short in their attempt to rally from a stunning two-goal deficit against Everett, who went on to deny Peninsula a third consecutive title in the championship game.

The CCC determined its two entrants into the NAIA national championship tournament with a pair of games at Northwest University, but championship Saturday was a heartbreaking day for the Eagles. The top-seeded women were edged at home by a pair of players from eastern Washington that guided reigning NAIA champion Concordia to a third consecutive conference title. Meanwhile, on the men's side the second-seeded Eagles were beaten in overtime by Corban University. Three players from Idaho factored in the scoring for the Warriors, including a pair of defenders.

Another Idaho native factored in another title elsewhere in the NAIA. Goalkeeper Tanner Horton helped lead McPherson College to the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference championship after an 8-0-1 KCAC season.

Corban and Concordia learned their NAIA tournament opponents Monday along with the Rocky Mountain College and Westminster College of the Frontier Conference, who won the Unaffiliated Group tournament a week prior.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

INW NCAA College Recap – Week Twelve: Washington State upset; Whitworth reaches Sweet 16

 Friday was a stunning night of firsts for Julia Moravec's (Spokane, WA) Seattle University as they stunned 23rd-ranked Washington State at home in the opening round of the NCAA women's tournament. In the lower divisions, the big winner was the Whitworth men who won a tight contest Friday evening and then dominated in the second round the following night to reach the third round of the NCAA Division III tournament.

Meanwhile, Northwest Nazarene's best season in the men's program history came to an end at the hand of perennial power Seattle Pacific in the regional stages of the NCAA Division II tournament.

Similar to Moravec, several other area players helped guide teams to strong results in the opening weekend of tournament play, though they were not able to advance. Puget Sound of the NWC reached the second round and University of Redlands (California) upset a ranked team in their first round games of the Division III tournament.

The Division I men's season also came to a close over the weekend. Locally, Gonzaga finished on a positive note.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Gonzaga men finish season with victory over Portland

The Gonzaga Bulldogs finished a disappointing season on a good note, avoiding a loss on the final day of the season to the Pilots, who were looking to avoid a winless conference campaign. The Zags rallied from a first half Portland goal, grabbing a 2-1 victory in overtime.

Midfielder Lars Ludwigs was buzzing Saturday. He was constantly threatening the Pilots goal with several chances throughout the game before finding the winner early in extra time, sending the seniors out with a victory. Clark Phillips gave them the opportunity for the win with an equalizer early in the second half.