Seattle University women's soccer (5-5-0) came out attacking from the beginning and was able to come away with the win, topping Utah Valley, 4-2, in their final non-conference match of the season. This extended a four-game home winning streak for the Redhawks.
"Overall, I think we did some really great things in the first half and I like that we were pretty focused on keeping the ball in good possession," said head coach Julie Woodward. "Heading into the Western Athletic Conference, I think we've prepared ourselves well, in terms of our scheduling. I think we've seen varied levels of teams, and I think we've seen some of our strengths exposed as well as some of our weaknesses. Hopefully that has better prepared us for next weekend."
The Redhawks struck early, as Stephanie Verdoia (Salt Lake City, Utah) scored the first goal of the game, unassisted, in just the fourth minute of the match. This was her third goal on the season.
In the 16th minute, Utah Valley (1-8-1) tied the game, 1-1, on Regan Benson's fourth goal of the season, assisted by Haley Curtis.
Seattle U struck back and regained the lead, adding two goals in the following 13 minutes of the match.
Melissa Busque (St. Bruno, Quebec, Canada) scored her fourth goal of the season, unassisted, in the 23rd minute. Heather Thomas (Woodinville, Wash.), assisted by Busque and Carlee Norquist (Boise, Idaho), added a goal a short time later in the 29th minute to put Seattle U back on top, 3-1. This remained the score through the halftime break.
In the 60th minute, the Redhawks increased their lead, 4-1, on an unassisted goal by Kiana Kraft (Kent, Wash.), the first of her career.
"It's always nice to be able to get up in the attack, but I think it was a team effort," said Kiana Kraft. "If my teammates hadn't been able to get me the ball, then I wouldn't have been able to shoot."
The Wolverines fought back, as Kali Stubbs scored her first goal of the season in the 64th minute, but this proved to be the final scoring margin as Seattle U won, 4-2.
Verdoia led all players with five shots for the Redhawks. Kristen Nakagawa (Mililani, Hawaii) saw her first action this season, recording one shot. For the Wolverines, Curtis, Kim Stratford, and McKell Salmon led the team with two shots apiece. Overall, Seattle U outshot Utah Valley, 23-13, including 15-5 in the second half alone.
In goal, Brianna Smallidge (Port Orchard, Wash.) recorded the start for the Redhawks, earning the win. Brittany Lott (Fort Collins, Colo.) entered the game for the final nine minutes, recording one save, in her first action in goal this season. For the Wolverines, Lauren Sack got the start, playing the entire first half, and Jessica Duffin entered the game for the second half.
The Redhawks hit the road to begin conference play, as they will face University of Texas-San Antonio on Friday Sept. 28 at 5 p.m. PST before facing Texas State on Sunday Sept. 30 at 11 a.m. PST.
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