Women sweep league for title

After a clean sweep of their opponents all season, the SPU women’s soccer team has achieved one of their goals this past week with another double win, giving them the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) title. This is their sixth title in seven years.

The Falcons’ success is merely a stepping stone to their future hopes of national glory.

Freshman defender Becca Woods said the team is focusing on the "here and now." That may be hard for some teams, but for the Falcons, taking it one game at a time is a winning formula. The team conquered Seattle University (SU) last Wednesday and Montana State Billings (MSB) on Saturday to keep a flawless 19-0 record.

Saturday, the Falcons were on the road against MSB. The team came home with a 2-0 win and a GNAC title. Junior Meredith Teague leads the team in assists, adding her 13th assist of the season in the game.

In the 25th minute, Teague sent a corner kick far into the goal box as Claire Grubbs, a junior defender, knocked the ball past the Yellowjackets goalie Kaily Hoffman.

Later in the game, Teague finished a goal of her own. Freshman Amanda Johnson kicked the ball downfield, and Teague headed the ball into the net. The Falcons outshot MSB 22-4.

Head coach Chuck Sekyra said the team played consistent soccer, and that they had a lot of energy. He added that they dominated and played well as a team, which he says, is a normal day for the Falcons.

The previous Wednesday, SPU took on their rival SU at Interbay Stadium. The Falcons had already beaten the Redhawks at their field, and SPU did the same on their home turf, coming away with a 2-0 victory.

Senior Kara Hamby and Woods both had goals in the game.

Sophomore Janae Godoy sent a ball downfield toward teammate and sophomore forward Jocelyn Charette in the 24th minute of the game.

Charette was fouled in the penalty box and awarded a penalty kick, allowing her a free shot at the Redhawks goalkeeper Kaitlyn Jackson. Hamby finished the penalty kick, slamming it past Jackson into the low left corner for a goal.

In the 48th minute, Teague shot a free kick, a shot awarded after a foul, from the left corner. Woods connected with the ball, gaining another goal for the Falcons.

Sophomore Alex Aguirre said that the SU game was big because of the rivalry between the two teams. She said that the Falcons could not allow the Redhawks to beat them.

Seattle Pacific came out with determination, she said, and they wanted to dominate SU in front of both teams’ fans. The Falcons did just that.

Sekyra said that a major team goal was playing better each time the Falcons faced a team for the second time. There has not been a game where they have not accomplished that, he said.

Their wins over Seattle University and other opponents, he said, have given the team the confidence that they can beat anybody. That, he said, is the "mark of a great team."

Aguirre, echoing Sekyra, said that the team has a strong desire to win, and they have changed their attitude this year. The Falcons are working on realizing that they have to work hard to win each game, she said, instead of assuming wins will be handed to them.

Woods said the team has been focusing a lot on their defensive game, which surely has helped them win games. She said she has learned a lot from the older players, especially in staying consistent and improving her game.

Woods said that this has been a "surreal season," and Sekyra is confident that the team will be the number one seed in the West going into post season play.

Aguirre, Sekyra and Woods all expressed how excited they were to win the GNAC title, but they are looking ahead to future games as well.

Their final game is against Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho on Saturday. If the past has anything to say, the Falcons will soar to victory.

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Title: Women sweep league for title | Author: Anna Secreto | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2007-10-31 | Internal ID: 6079