Great Northwest Athletic Conference teams have won three NCAA Division II national team titles in GNAC-sponsored sports since the conference was founded in 2001.
Seattle University won the 2004 men’s soccer championship. In 2008, Seattle Pacific claimed the women’s soccer title, and Western Washington captured the 2011-12 men’s basketball crown.
Forward Bobby McAlister scored 22 goals, including 11 game-winners, to lead the Redhawks to a 22-0-1 record and the 2004 NCAA Division II men’s soccer national championship.
McAlister, who was selected the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Player of the Year, scored the game-winner in the 70th minute to snap a 1-1 tie as the Redhawks defeated Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 2-1 in the national title game.
McAlister was voted the Outstanding Offensive Player and defender Santa Maria Rivera was named the Outstanding Defensive Player in the national tournament.
The two were joined on the GNAC all-conference first team by forward Alex Chursky, midfielder Pat Doran, defender Jacob Besagno and goalkeeper Jeremiah Doyle.
Chursky scored nine goals and added eight assists during the season, while Doran led the team with nine assists. Rivera, Besagno and Doyle led a defense that allowed just 11 goals in 23 games as Doyle had a 0.47 goals-against average and posted 13 shutouts.
Janae Godoy’s overtime goal gave Seattle Pacific a 1-0 win over West Florida in the national championship game as the Falcons finished their season with a 22-1-2 record.
Midfielder Meredith Teague led the team in scoring with 38 points (14 goals, 10 assists) in earning GNAC and National Soccer Coaches Association of America Player of the Year honors.
Teague was one of three players to earn All-American recognition. Midfielder Shannon Oakes was a NSCAA second team selection and defender Claire Grubbs was a Daktronics second team pick.
Joining Teague, Oakes and Grubbs on the GNAC all-conference first team was forward Jocelyn Charette, who scored nine goals and led the GNAC with 15 assists. Oakes had seven goals and seven assists, while Grubbs led a defense that posted 17 shutouts and allowed just 10 goals in 25 contests.
Guards John Allen (15.7) and Richard Woodworth (10.7) and forward Rory Blanche (13.8) all averaged in double figures as Western Washington posted three single-digit victories in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight to win the first national basketball title by a state of Washington institution since the University of Puget Sound won the 1976 NCAA Division II national title.
After edging Midwestern State (Texas) 64-63 in the quarterfinals, the Vikings, who finished their season with a 31-5 record, beat Stonehill (Mass.) 71-66 in the semifinals and Montevallo (Ala.) 72-65 in the national championship game which was televised by CBS.
On the season Blanche led the Vikings in scoring (15.9) and rebounding (6.9) in earning GNAC and West Region first team all-star honors. Allen was a second team all-conference selection averaging 14.6 points per game.
Both Woodworth and forward Zach Henifin averaged 10.6 points per game as the Vikings won the GNAC regular-season title with a 16-2 record. After losing to Montana State Billings in the conference tournament, Western Washington then won six straight NCAA tournament games to claim its first-ever men’s basketball national championship.