(Editor's note: MSUB Athletics release)
PORTLAND, Ore. – After the most important contribution of her Montana State University Billings women’s soccer career, senior midfielder Haylee Gunter was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week announced by the conference office on Monday.
With the Yellowjackets facing two must-win games to keep their postseason hopes alive, Gunter scored three goals including two game-winners in MSUB’s 2-1 win over Western Oregon University last Thursday and 2-1 win over Saint Martin’s last Saturday. “This is a truly well-deserved award for Haylee Gunter, who has been battling against injury all season long,” said MSUB head coach Stephen Cavallo. “When the team needed a senior captain to step up and keep our playoff hopes alive, she absolutely delivered.”
Playing in her final two matches at Yellowjacket Field, Gunter started off her big week with a 20th-minute finish to give MSUB a 2-0 advantage over Western Oregon on Thursday. After having her initial shot blocked, she stuck with it and lofted a high, left-footed attempt from the top of the box just under the crossbar for her first goal of the season.
Gunter struck again on Saturday, needing just three minutes to put the ‘Jackets ahead against the Saints. Sprinting past the SMU back line, Gunter ran onto a through ball from Jordan Roe and tucked a right-footed shot into the lower-left corner of the net to make it 1-0.
Her brace followed midway through the second half, when she punched home a cross from Sydney Torres with her left foot in the 66th minute. It proved to be a crucial goal, as the Saints got on the board in the 87th minute but could not equalize.
Gunter’s offensive heroics lifted MSUB’s record to 7-7-3 overall and 4-6-2 in conference play. The Yellowjackets enter the final week of the regular season tied for fifth place in the standings with Western Oregon at 14 points, and two points behind fourth-place Simon Fraser University for the fourth and final playoff spot.
MSUB plays at Northwest Nazarene on Thursday evening at 6 p.m., before playing at Central Washington on Saturday at noon. Live coverage for this weekend’s matches is available online here. [msubsports.com]
This is Gunter’s first-career GNAC Player of the Week award and it is the second of the season for the Yellowjackets, after Liberty Palmer claimed the honor on Sept. 13. Gunter has scored nine career goals, including four game-winners, and has played in 54 matches with 47 starts since the outset of the 2018 season.