Soccer secures spot in Big Sky Championship

This weekend was a test for the Vikings. The test was to see if they could win on the road and hold on at home for a definite playoff spot. Although the weekend didn’t end exactly how coach Tara Bilanski-Erickson may have planned, it was all the Vikings needed. On Friday night, the Vikings traveled to Cheney, Wash., to play Eastern Washington University. After tying the Eagles last season at home, the Vikings beat the Eagles, 1-0. Then on Sunday, Portland State hosted Montana, a playoff contender. The Vikings were able to tie Montana in a defensive game, 0-0.

Friday night, Portland State was victorious in its last road contest of the season. The only goal of the game came in the first half. Freshman Megan Plinski scored on a header off of a corner kick. Fellow freshman Carly Sawhill put the corner kick in the air to give her teammate a shot at it.

“It was a hard-fought game. It was pretty even most the time, we were just able to put one away. I was happy with the goal we got but wish we could have put a couple more away,” sophomore defender Amy Orr said.

Eastern Washington was on a three-game win streak up until the Vikings came in and ruined their hopes of celebrating a fourth win in a row. Also, the Vikings set a school record for wins in one season.

������On Sunday, the Vikings played Montana, who had an identical conference record coming in (2-1-0). Joell Giger recorded her sixth shutout of the season. Orr and Jessie Corr played crucial roles in stopping opportunities from the Grizzlies. Sophomore midfielder Karly Larsen played as tenacious as usual, making her presence felt on both sides of the field. The game ended in a 0-0 tie. However, both teams prevented any scores with team defense and great work in the goal. Giger made four saves on the day as Montana goalie Sarah Braseth recorded eight.

“I was really proud of our team. Offensively it was one of the best games this season. Beyond that, we had opportunities. We just didn’t finish them,” Orr said.

Portland State’s record now stands at 10-4-4, 3-1-1. They have clinched a spot in the playoffs and have two remaining regular-season games, both at home. The Vikings must win both of their last games and hope for losses from Idaho State and Montana to host the conference tournament. The next game will be Wednesday at 5 p.m. against Western Oregon. It will be a nonconference game. Then to finish the regular season, Portland State battles Northern Arizona next Sunday at 1 p.m. at PGE Park.