A season-opening loss is something that no team wants to experience, especially when it’s a wildly successful program such as Seattle Pacific’s women’s soccer team. Yet this is exactly what happened in early September, as the Falcons fell 2-1 to UC San Diego, the same team that knocked SPU out of the playoffs last season.
Laura Moore, a sophomore forward who scored the lone goal in their season-opening loss, said, “After our UCSD game, we needed to make sure to come out and win our next game to help our season going forward.”
And that is exactly what they did — the team then went on to reel off seven wins in a row to skyrocket up the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings, in the process achieving shutouts in all but one game during that streak.
“You go into each season wanting to win and playing the best you can,” junior forward Ali Martin said.
The team is now 8-2, including 5-1 in conference play. The Falcons’ other loss came to GNAC rival Western Washington, where the Falcons couldn’t fight back after an early second-half goal by WWU’s Elise Aylward. However, after that loss, the team bounced back to win its next game against Simon Fraser, 3-0.
“We are resilient. I think a key moment for us was when we were down 1-0 to Montana State Billings, and we knew we could be playing better and that we were going to come away with a win,” junior midfielder Arden Matro said. “We are deep and were able to pull out that win. And even though we lost to UCSD, we played well overall, and it showed a lot of courage on our team and a lot of endurance, motivation, character and heart.”
The squad also boasts 27 players on its roster, one of the largest the team has had under head coach Chuck Sekrya. That could potentially cause problems, but according to Matro, it has led to more chemistry.
“Our coaches do a really good job of recruiting players that not only have talent on the field, but that also have character that will get along well,” she said. “So even though the team is big, we do get along well, and our chemistry on and off the field is good.”
“On this team, everyone knows how everyone plays, on and off the team. People find ways to work together,” Martin said, continuing on the dynamic and successful chemistry of this year’s team.
Despite some close and heart-breaking losses, the team is set on attaining its lofty goals.
“We set a lot of goals. We’ve set goals for individual games as well as long term, which is to win the GNAC conference, make it to the NCAA tournament and win the NCAA national championship,” Moore said.
The Falcons hope to continue their impressive play with a game at Central Washington on Thursday.
On Saturday, SPU will seek revenge against WWU at Interbay Stadium at 7 p.m. All games are free for students.