Nearby schools are really starting to fly as their conference campaigns near or have begun. The Gonzaga men are now ranked for the first time since 2007 while on the women's side Eastern Washington and Idaho picked up a pair of wins and CC Spokane won their NWAC division opener in dominating fashion. And the alumni are also headlining throughout the entire northwest and beyond [for games through 9.11.16].
After an upset win last week against 16th ranked Seattle University, the Gonzaga men dropped another ranked opponent this week. On their trip east they downed 20th ranked American University 3-1 Friday with defender Sam Olson tallying the opening goal. Two days later they topped George Mason 2-1 to move to 5-0-1 on the season, marking the first time they have been unbeaten in the first six games since they were 8-0-0 in 1980. Graison Le scored the equalizer in the victory. In addition to Le and Olson, Nick Ulowetz also saw significant time for the Zags in the wins. As a result of the success, they are now ranked for the first time since 2007, coming in at number 20 on this week's poll.
The duo of Chloe Williams and Savannah Hoekstra continue to excel for Eastern Washington. Williams tallied twice and Hoekstra once in a 3-1 win over CSU-Bakersfield Friday and Williams provided the winner on an assist from Hoekstra Sunday in a 3-1 win against Saint Mary's in their trip to California.
A little further south in the Big Sky, the Vandals appear to be hitting their stride, getting two consecutive wins for the first time this season with a 2-1 win over Seattle University and a 1-0 decision over their in-state foe Boise State. Midfielder Alyssa Lloyd started both contests and while Alex Chambers and Morgan Crosby provided support off the bench.
The Gonzaga women suffered just their second defeat, 2-1 at Utah State Friday, but rebounded for a 1-0 win at Montana. Shadow WFT player Karley Baggerly tallied the lone goal in the loss but Callie Best started both games. Ashlee Pederson went the full 90 in defense for the Griz, and played all but five minutes in a 1-0 win Friday against Boise State.
Jess Kennedy tallied the second goal in Portland's 6-0 victory Friday against Southern Utah. Larkin Russell started both games with Kennedy over the weekend, playing 50 in the blowout win and going the full 90 in a 2-1 victory over St. John's.
Dani Crawford scored the second goal for Hawaii in a 2-0 win Sunday at Denver.
Around the region in the lower divisions, there were a number of standout performances.
Jonny Cortez scored the lone goal for the CC Spokane men in a 1-0 decision against Wenatchee Valley College last week in their NWAC East division opener. Erica Simpson, though, was the star of the night at Spokane Falls, scoring the first two goals and finishing the night with a hat-trick and an assist.
NAIA program Northwest University downed a pair of DIII sides over the weekend with a 2-0 win at Whitman and a 1-0 victory at Linfield. Whitney Weaver led the way with all three goals on the weekend with Annie Shellerud providing an assist on the opener against Whitman. Both came off the bench in that game while Sharaya Roberts started, but started the next against Linfield.
Defender Karlee Goehner helped lead the Central Washington University Wildcats to a pair of wins last week, tallying an assist on the opening goal in a 2-1 win over Hawaii-Hilo and leading them in a 3-0 shutout of Dominican in a pair of games in Nampa, ID.
JD Hauenstein scored his first collegiate goal for MSU-Billings as he helped lead the Yellowjackets to a 3-0 win over South Dakota School of Mines with the opener and Ben Thompson scored the University of Redlands' third goal for what proved to be the game-winner in a 3-2 victory against Pacific Thursday.
McKenna Stocker, Martha Heaps and Michaela Prothe featured prominently in the shutout with more than a half played in a 1-0 victory over CSU-East Bay.
Pacific Lutheran split on the weekend, but Jackson Moore started both contests for the Lutes as they downed University of Dallas 2-0 and fell 2-1 to Colorado College in overtime.