The Seattle Pacific women’s soccer team was sitting in their locker room at Interbay Stadium on Oct. 24 in the middle of a 0-0 tie at halftime. They were playing Saint Martin’s, a team they had beaten by a score of 2-1 earlier in the season.
The team had just come off a tough loss to their GNAC rival Western Washington University by a score of 3-1, and more recently had come off a 1-1 tie during a trip to Ellensburg, Washington to take on Central Washington University. In that locker room, they knew they had a chance to get back in the win column.
For Head Coach Arby Busey, it was all about the fundamentals in the first half.
“I thought in the first half the passing wasn’t as sharp as it needed to be,” Busey said. “We had some chances in the first half, but what we talked about at halftime was if we could focus a little more on passing the soccer ball, it will lead us to some good places.”
Between Busey’s encouragement and the improved passing, the Falcons (10-3-2, 6-3-2 GNAC) exploded in the second half for four goals en route to a 4-0 victory while securing three points in a division game.
Busey also noted that being home for the first time in four games added to that win.
“We are comfortable at home; we have a great crowd,” Busey said. “That creates momentum and enthusiasm in the second half.”
The first three goals of the second half came within the first 17 minutes. The first was scored just 17 seconds coming out of halftime by freshman midfielder Brooke Lancaster.
“Our team is pretty funny [when it comes to scoring],” sophomore defender Maddie Sjothun said. “It was nice to get a goal [that early.]”
The next two goals came courtesy of junior forward Maddie Krauss, who scored in the 52nd and 57th minute. The final goal was scored by sophomore forward Simone Herzberg in the 83rd minute.
“We were just trying to build off the momentum in the second half,” Busey said.
The blowout win came at just the right time after the team finished off a long four game road trip with a tie to CWU.
One thing the team noted about the CWU team is their athleticism, especially when it came to their speed, height and power. However, the team thought they handled that aspect of the Wildcats well.
“I think that we are pretty athletic too,” Sjothun said. “Arby warned us on the scouting report. With the help of [their] research, we were able to come in prepared.”
Central was able to score a goal in the last 30 seconds of the first half thanks to Reilly Retz to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
“It surprised us a little bit,” Sjothun said.
However, the Falcons were able to answer the goal by Retz with junior forward Hannah Huesers continuing her scoring rampage as she netted the equalizing goal one minute into the second half. With no more scoring through the rest of regulation and two overtime periods, the two teams settled for a 1-1 tie, with each team securing a point in the GNAC standings.
“We have had opportunities,” Busey said. “Hannah came right out and scored. [We] created lots of very good chances.”
The good news for the team is that they are home for the rest of the season. Their final two games come against Western Oregon on Oct. 29 and Carroll College on Oct. 31 for Senior Night.
“I think it gives us a big advantage,” Sjothun said. “Playing on our own field, sleeping in our own beds, it’s a nice way to end the season.”