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Jaucelyn Richter of MSUB battles with Seattle Pacific's Janie Wurth
Jaucelyn Richter of MSUB battles with Seattle Pacific's Janie Wurth during their match on Oct. 1.

For the first time in the 15-year history of the Montana State Billings women’s soccer program, the Yellowjackets are headed to the NCAA Division II national tournament.

Coach Don Trentham’s team got the official word on Monday during the selection show on that they are headed to the Division II West Regional in Seattle, where they’ll face Cal State Los Angeles on  Thursday afternoon.

The Yellowjackets enter the tournament as the fifth seed in the West Region. Cal State L.A. is the No. 4 seed.

The winner will face     No. 1 seed Seattle Pacific on Saturday for a trip to the NCAA Super Regional.

Cal State L.A. is coming off an appearance in the CCAA Tournament finals, dropping the title game in a penalty-kick shootout to San Francisco State. Cal State L.A. finished the regular season with a 15-3-1 record overall and were 13-3-0 in the CCAA.

The Yellowjackets finished the regular season with a 12-5-1 record overall and a 9-5-0 record in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, tying GNAC newcomer Simon Fraser for second place in the league standings.

MSUB finished the regular season on Saturday, defeating Northwest Nazarene 1-0 in Billings.

The Yellowjackets went 7-1-1 in their first eight matches to start the season. Included in that string was a 1-0 win over then-No. 20-ranked Western Washington on Sept. 25 in Bellingham, Wash. — MSUB’s first-ever win over the Vikings.

Freshman Heidi Greenback leads MSUB with 17 points, scoring seven goals and three assists, while senior Kari Foreman is just three points back, scoring five goals and four assists.

Greenback and Foreman have accounted for seven game-winning goals on the season.

Sophomore Jaucelyn Richter and seniors Carly Valentine and Samantha Sandau have also been key contributors to MSUB’s offensive attack. The trio has combined for seven goals and nine assists.

Defenders Whitney Siler, a freshman, and sophomore Jennifer Larsen have combined for six goals and five assists.

Goalkeeper Sabrina Grandke-Bawab has a 9-3-1 record on the season with seven shutouts. She has a goals-against average of 0.78.

As a team, the Yellowjackets have scored 29 goals this season (1.61 per match) while holding opponents to 17 (0.94 per match).

MSUB has outscored the opposition 18-5 in the second half and outshot its opponents 95-71 in the second half.

Thursday’s match will start at 4 p.m. Mountain time. The Yellowjackets will depart for Seattle today.

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