The stats said Katelyn Rowland was the best in the nation, and the Vacaville Christian High graduate proved it on the biggest of stages.
The former Falcon earned her 12th solo shutout of the season and 15th overall in helping UCLA win the national championship with a 1-0 overtime win over Florida State in the Women’s College Cup final at Cary, N.C., Sunday.
Kodi Lavrusky’s golden goal in the 97th minute made winners of the Bruins (21-1-3).
Things were just as tough in the semifinals as UCLA and Virginia were tied 1-1 after two overtimes, with the Bruins advancing 4-2 on penalty kicks, Rowland turning away two shots.
But that’s what she’d done all season. The junior led the nation in goals-against average (0.273) and save percentage (.903), compiling a 21-1-2 record. The only loss was 1-0 to then No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 6.
For her efforts, Rowland was named to the all-Pac-12 and the NSCAA all-Pacific Region first teams.
Quincy Forte (Vacaville) is saving the best for last.
The former Bulldog ran for a career-high 202 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries to help lift third-ranked Eastern Washington to a 41-17 victory over South Dakota State in the second round of the FCS Subdivision playoffs, Saturday.
The temperature was 12 degrees at kickoff, easily the coldest its been at the start of a game at EWU. The previous low was 28 degrees in 1997.
The previous high in rushing yards for Forte, who capped the win with a 20-yard scoring run with 3 minutes, 6 seconds left in the game, was 123 yards set earlier this season.
“The reason I think Quincy is able to go 21 (carries) for 203 (yards) is because all year long you have had guys like Mario (Brown), Jabari (Wilson), Demitrius (Bronson) and Jalen (Moore), and it is not like he has had 300 carries to this point,” Eagles coach Beau Baldwin said in a release. “I think he has come into the game with only 10 or 12 carries per game because we have been able to run by committee and we have so much talent. He is a fresh back at game (13).”
Forte has 941 yards rushing on 141 carries this season.
Eastern Washington (11-2) hosts Jacksonville State, which upset sixth-seeded McNeese State 31-10, in the quarterfinals, Saturday.
St. Cloud State wasn’t able to keep its season alive, falling to No. 2 Northwestern Missouri, 59-21. Damon Treat (Vanden) caught two passes for 36 yards with a long of 26, and returned eight kickoffs for 150 yards with a long of 45 for the 12th-seeded Huskies (12-2), who set a school record for wins in a season.
Treat led St. Cloud State with 48 receptions and 666 receiving yards. He also finished the year with 49 rushing yards on seven carries, averaged 8.8 yards on 21 punt returns and 22.0 yards on 33 kickoff returns.
Marcel Jensen (Rodriguez) caught a 3-yard TD pass in the second quarter to put Fresno State (11-1) up 10-0 en route to a 24-17 victory over Utah State in the Mountain West Conference championship game. Jensen, who was named to the all-MWC second team, finished with three catches for 41 yards for the Bulldogs, who will play USC on Dec. 21 in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl.
Four other former area standouts found out where their teams will be bowling.
Deone Bucannon (Vanden) and Washington State will battle LaRyan King (Vacaville), Johnny Schupp (Vacaville) and Colorado State in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, Dec. 21.
Meanwhile, Tra’Mayne Bondurant (Fairfield) and Arizona will take on Boston College in the AdvoCareV100 Bowl on Dec. 31 in Shreveport, La.
Texas Christian may have struggled, but Jason Verrett (Rodriguez) was recognized for his stellar senior season when he was a unanimous selection to the Associated Press all-Big 12 Team and just one of three players to receive votes for the conference’s defensive player of the year award.
According to a TCU release, Verrett is second in the Big 12 and tied for seventh nationally with 1.5 passes defended per game (two interceptions, 14 pass breakups) and since 2013 leads the nation with 38 passes defended (8 interceptions, 30 pass breakups).
Brock Hekking (Vacaville) of Nevada was named to the all-Mountain West Conference first team. The junior defensive lineman led the Wolf Pack with nine sacks and 14 1/2 tackles for loss.
Alex Mendoza (Rodriguez) won the 1,650-yard freestyle (16 minutes, 34.12 seconds) and the 400 individual medley (4:16.68) to help Claremont Mudd Scripps sweep a double dual from Chapman (203-33) and Whittier (191-44).
Alaska (4-4) opened GNAC play with a 96-76 loss to Alaska-Anchorage. Ronnie Baker (Rodriguez) led the Nanooks with 21 points and had four rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal. Rashaad Allen (Rodriguez) added 10 points and four assists.
Koree Cox (Rodriguez) played for Hawaii Pacific (3-2, 1-1 PacWest) in a 76-61 thumping of Hawaii-Hilo.
Eastern Nazarene topped New England 69-61 to improve to 6-0 before being eclipsed by Endicott 78-77. Lequan Gomes (Fairfield, Solano) had six points and three rebounds in the first game, five points and four rebounds in the second for the Lions (6-1, 1-1 CCC).
James Givens (Fairfield, Solano) drained a team-high 18 points and added five rebounds and three assists, but it wasn’t enough to keep Maine-Fort Kent (3-5) from dropping a 69-60 decision to Maine-Machias.
Dickinson State fell 90-57 to Rocky Mountain despite getting a team-high 14 points, three rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal from Desean Adkins (Fairfield). Juston Goodwin (Buckingham Charter, Solano) contributed six points and three steals for the Blue Hawks.
Coming off being named Cal Pac Conference Player of the Week, Shaunte Sands (Fairfield) poured a team-high 23 points and added seven assists and a steal in Cal Maritime’s 83-77 win over Bethesda to open the Cal Maritime Classic. The Keelhaulers then topped Melaya Gaines (Armijo) and Cal State San Marcos 73-68 with Sands getting 11 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Gaines had two points and two rebounds before fouling out against Cal Maritime and had nine points, six rebounds, two steals and an assist for the Cougars (5-8) in a 65-58 loss to Menlo.
The struggles continue for San Diego State, which was crushed 72-35 by Texas A&M. Khristina Hunter (Rodriguez) had three points, five rebounds and a steal, while Erimma Amarikwa (Vanden) had three rebounds for the Aztecs (1-5).
Renique Fitzpatrick (Armijo) put up a double-double – 14 points and as many rebounds – in just 16 minutes to help lift Holy Names (6-2, 2-0 PacWest) to a 72-69 win over Cal Baptist. Earlier, Fitzpatrick poured in 15 points and grabbed 20 rebounds to go with two blocks in a 73-65 overtime win over Point Loma. Amnesty Bradley (Fairfield) had one rebound in the two games for the Hawks.
Chico State started out 0-2 in the CCAA with an 82-65 loss to San Francisco State before topping Sonoma State 65-58. Jazmine Miller (Vanden) had 11 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and a steal in the first game, 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the second for the Wildcats (5-2, 1-2 CCAA).
Tahvia Morrison (Vanden) had three points, three rebounds and a steal for UC Riverside (4-4 in an 85-66 bouncing of Cal State Bakersfield.
Waldorf finally got in the win column after starting 0-9 with a 59-47 victory over Betheny Lutheran as Destinee Sinegal-Smith (Fairfield, Solano) had five points, seven assists and three rebounds for the Warriors (1-10). They then fell 76-60 to Mount Mercy with Sinegal-Smith rolling up five points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Ruby Leon (Fairfield, Solano) sank a team-high 19 points with three rebounds and an assist as Eastern Nazarene (3-4) fell 74-66 to Endicott. Earlier, the former Falcon had 10 points, five assists, four rebounds and a block in a 69-54 loss to New England.
Nebraska-Kearney, coached by former Solano assistant Kevin Chaney, opened Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play with losses to Missouri Southern State (76-72) and Southwest Baptist (85-66). The Lopers are 3-5.
Our Lady of the Lake, led by former Vacaville and Vacaville Christian coach Chris Minner, topped McMurry State 76-62 before having games with Langston and Bacone postponed because of inclement weather.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.