A Legacy of Champions
The Dominic Garguile Scholarship for Women’s Soccer
Upon his death in 2020, gifts to The Foundation for WWU & Alumni established the Dominic Garguile Scholarship in Women’s Soccer for deserving students who excel in the classroom and in athletics, in honor of Garguile’s great achievements as an alumnus, coach and educator.
Dominic Garguile left a shining legacy in Western athletics that lives on in the coaches he mentored like Travis Connell, head coach of women’s soccer at WWU, and the gifted student-athletes who receive the Garguile Scholarship.
Garguile earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Western in 1961 and served as the head women's soccer coach from 1981-1990. That first year, he worked with Athletic Director Lynda Goodrich to transition the WWU squad to a varsity team in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
His teams went on to win three-straight NAIA District 1 titles, from 1983-85, and he led the team to a 38-match winning streak from September 1982 to October 1984, at the time, the longest of any sport in Western’s history.
Garguile finished his coaching career with an impressive 106-43-12 record. He was named the Northwest Collegiate Soccer Conference Coach of the Year in 1983 and NAIA District 1 Coach of the Year in 1984. He coached 15 All-Americans.
Last year, the program Garguile helped build went all the way: The WWU women’s soccer team won the NCAA Division II national championship.
One of the key players on that championship team was Garguile Scholarship recipient Tera Ziemer. The midfielder played two seasons at WWU, graduating in 2023 with a degree in environmental studies. Ziemer’s many achievements in soccer include the WWU 2023
Athlete of the Year, 2022-23 GNAC Athlete of the Year and United Soccer Coaches NCAA II Player of the Year.
“Tera was a connecter of passes on the field and a connecter of people off it,” Connell said. “We were fortunate to have them on our team.”
Grateful for the scholarship support from the Garguile fund, Ziemer is also mindful of Garguile’s other gifts to women’s soccer. “I hope that I embody even a fraction of the leadership skills that Dominic Garguile brought to the program,” they said, “and that I can carry out his legacy in some way.”
2022 National Division II Women's Soccer Champions
Western Women Win It All
In December 2022, the WWU women’s soccer team won its second NCAA Division II National Championship with a 2-1 victory over West Chester University in front of a sold-out crowd of 1,013 mainly WWU fans at Interbay Stadium at Seattle Pacific University.
“There is a proverb, ‘A joy that’s shared is a joy made double,’” said Head Coach Travis Connell. “Accomplishing something together, like winning a National Championship, that you could not have accomplished alone is an unbelievably rich feeling. To do that in front of over 1,000 of your closest friends, family and community was like no other feeling. The season was full of accomplishments, growth, frustration, disappointment, laughter, smiles and anxious moments. Our players grew very close. Seeing different players step forward when the team needed them in different moments was amazing to see.”
Head Coach Travis Connell