PHOENIX – (Nov. 1) Seattle University women’s soccer took down New Mexico State, 3-0, in the first round of the 2017 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship Wednesday afternoon. Laura Hooper, Holly Rothering, and Natasha Howe each scored in the shutout at GCU Stadium.
With the win, SU (8-8-3) advances to the semifinals and will face top-seeded Kansas City on Friday at 4 p.m.
"I was really impressed with how the team executed our game plan," said Coach Julie Woodward. "Our transition game was good and we've been defending really well. We created a ton of opportunities. I really want to give credit to our back line. They do such a good job with their ball-winning."
After a slow start, Seattle U dominated the majority of the first half. It commanded possession, outshooting the Aggies, 9-0. The Redhawks were unable to find a goal for much of the frame, but late in the half, Hooper got things started. She played a ball into the box at the top, finding Jessie Ray. Ray’s attempt was redirected to Hooper, who smashed her first touch into the back of the net from 15 yards out at 42:10. SU entered halftime with the momentum and looked to keep it going in the second half.
The Redhawks put the Aggies in danger quickly in the second frame, with Rachel Bowler passing left to Rothering, who finished from near the top of the 18-yard box for a 2-0 advantage at 47:58.
Seattle U kept at it and less than 10 minutes later, put the decision on ice. A Rosalie Sittauer shot was stopped, but Howe was on the spot and converted the loose ball for a 3-0 margin in the 57th minute.
Ashley Routh made three saves in net, recording her fourth straight shutout. SU hasn’t allowed a goal in 389:41 of game action, with Routh accounting for 371 of those minutes in goal.
Howe has now scored six goals and dished out three assists in her WAC Championship career, spanning seven contests.