Redhawks Open 2014 Season at Home: After the program’s first ever NCAA Division I Tournament appearance in 2013, the Redhawks look to build upon last year’s success, beginning the 2014 season on their home field. Last season, SU went 8-1 at Championship Field and have gone 17-6 over the past three years on their home pitch. After hosting Washington State and Trinity Western in exhibition play, Seattle U is set to host Idaho on Friday, Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. and Kentucky on Sunday, Aug. 24 at 12 noon. Links to live stats and live video (free) are on the women’s soccer schedule page at GoSeattleU.com.
Seattle U Soccer Camp Reunion: Campers from the summer 2014 Nike women’s soccer camp season are welcome to join the Redhawks on Friday, Aug. 22 for camper reunion day. If campers bring the voucher sent to them from camp and wear their t-shirt, they will receive free admission.
Scouting Idaho: Idaho departed the WAC following the 2013-14 competition season, now picked to finish ninth of 11 in their new home conference, the Big Sky. Last season, the Vandals finished fifth in the WAC but still advanced to the four-team conference tournament by virtue of Grand Canyon’s ineligibility for postseason play due to DI reclassification. The Redhawks and Vandals last faced in the 2013 WAC Tournament, a game SU won, 6-1, en route to their tournament title. Idaho returns 13 letterwinners and welcomes 11 newcomers in 2014.
Scouting Kentucky: The Wildcats were picked to finish fourth in the 14-member Southeastern Conference, the second-straight year UK has been predicted to finish in the top five. Senior Arin Gilliland, named First Team All-SEC last season, was named to the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List for the 2014 season, considered to be the most prestigious honor an individual soccer player can receive. In 2013, Kentucky made their 10th all-time appearance and third straight in the NCAA Tournament, defeating Ohio State, 3-1, in the first round before falling to eventual national champion UCLA, 3-0, in the Second Round.
Seattle U Chosen as Preseason WAC Favorites: In a vote of the league’s eight head coaches, Seattle U women’s soccer was chosen to win the 2014 Western Athletic Conference women’s soccer title, repeating their title win from last season. Stephanie Verdoia, the reigning WAC Offensive Player of the Year, was also chosen as Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. The Redhawks received all seven possible first place votes, as coaches could not vote for their own teams. SU also led all teams with five Preseason All-WAC honorees including redshirt senior Jacqui Wallis, senior Verdoia, juniors Kelly Beck and Brianna Smallidge, and redshirt sophomore Natasha Howe.
College Sports Madness Names Preseason All-WAC Teams: College Sports Madness followed suit after the official WAC preseason poll, naming Stephanie Verdoia Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and reigning WAC Coach of the Year Julie Woodward the Preseason Coach of the Year. CSM also named Brianna Smallidge Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Verdoia, Natasha Howe, and Smallidge were named College Sports Madness Preseason First Team All-Conference while Taylor Ritzman, Jacqui Wallis, Kiana Kraft, and Kelly Beck were named CSM Preseason Second Team All-Conference.
Verdoia Receives Joe Kearney Award: Stephanie Verdoia was named the female recipient of the Joe Kearney Award from the Western Athletic Conference. Named in honor of the former WAC commissioner, the awards are given annually to the top male and female student-athletes in the WAC, as voted upon by athletics directors and senior woman administrators at each institution.
NCAA Division I Rankings: As a team at the end of their 2013 season, the Redhawks ranked 10th in goals per game and points per game (tied), T12th in won-lost-tied %, 17th in assists per game, and 29th in shutout percentage. Verdoia ranked T9th in total assists (12), T11th in total points (42), and T21st in total goals (15).
-The Redhawks became Seattle U’s first ever women’s program to qualify for an NCAA DI tournament as the WAC Tournament Champions
-They also won the WAC Regular Season title, going a perfect 12-0-0 in league play, just the fourth ever WAC team to do so
-The Redhawks allowed just seven goals from Sept. 20-Nov. 16
-Prior to the NCAA Tournament match, SU won 15 straight matches
-Verdoia was one of just 10 DI women’s soccer players to record double digits in both goals (15) and assists (12) during the regular season
-Through regular season play, the Redhawks were one of just 16 DI teams with multiple double digit scorers (Verdoia -15, Natasha Howe - 10)
-Kiana Kraft, Julia Besagno, and Stephanie Verdoia represented Seattle U on the WAC All-Tournament Team while Monique Escalera was named Tournament MVP
-Verdoia was named WAC Offensive Player of the Year while Julie Woodward was named Coach of the Year. The Redhawks also had nine players named to the All-Conference First and Second teams, the most of any league school, including four on the First Team (Verdoia, Julia Besagno, Monique Escalera, and Mary Hill) and five on the Second Team (Taylor Ritzman, Ava Ames, Natasha Howe, Kat Prati, and Brianna Smallidge)
-At the end of the regular season, the Redhawks were in the No. 4 spot in the Nov. 12 edition of the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Women’s West Regional Poll. SU was also receiving votes in both the NSCAA/Continental Tire and Top Drawer Soccer DI national polls
-Seattle U was the only school to have three women’s soccer student-athletes named Academic All-Americans as Julia Besagno was named to the Second Team and Verdoia and Jacqui Wallis were named to the Third Team
-Verdoia was named an NSCAA Women’s Scholar All-American
Leaders of the Pack: Stephanie Verdoia and Kelly Beck are the team captains for the 2014 season.
In With the New: Chicago State and Texas-Pan American add women’s soccer programs for the first time in 2014. The Redhawks’ first WAC matchup vs. CSU will be Oct. 26 at Championship Field and vs. UTPA will be Oct. 19 in Edinburg, Texas.
WAC Tournament: The 2014 WAC Tournament will be hosted by Seattle U at Championship Field on Nov. 6-7, 9. At the conclusion of the six-team tournament, the winner will receive the league’s automatic bid and advance to the NCAA Tournament. The following weekend, Seattle U will also host the WAC men’s soccer tournament (Nov. 13-14, 16).