PHOENIX – (Nov. 3) Seattle University recorded a fifth straight shutout, advancing to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship game with a 1-0 win over regular-season champion Kansas City Friday. Jessie Ray scored and Ashley Routh made two saves as the Redhawks qualified for the conference title match for a fifth straight season.
"I'm really proud of the team effort tonight," said Coach Julie Woodward. "There were so many players who contributed to this win. UMKC always plays us tough and it was a hard-fought win."
SU will face second-seeded Utah Valley in the title bout on Sunday at 1 p.m. UVU beat Grand Canyon, 1-0, Friday night.
In the semifinal, both teams looked for an early goal to establish control. Neither team could create much though, until Hannah Carrothers made a run down the left side in the 17th minute. Her cross was an expert one, finding Ray in scoring position. The sophomore redirected the ball with a header, finding the far corner of the net for a 1-0 lead at 16:57.
Sparked by the goal, Seattle U ramped up its attack, tallying four shots and a pair of corner kicks in the next 15 minutes. SU controlled play as the half ran out, holding a 9-7 advantage in shots.
In the second frame, the ‘Roos searched desperately for a tying goal, but the Redhawks turned them away at every chance. The SU backline was a force, denying UMKC repeatedly as time wore on. The Redhawks earned several opportunities offensively, but Kansas City remained close.
As Seattle U worked to stay ahead, the ‘Roos put together a final rush in the dying seconds. Kelsey Mothershead fired a shot from 20 yards out, but Routh was there with a diving save to seal the decision and push the Redhawks into another WAC final.
Routh has not allowed a goal since returning to the lineup from injury, notching five straight shutouts. She, Mackenzie Curry, and Abby Bouck have combined for a scoreless stretch of 479:41 dating back to Oct. 14.
Entering Friday, UMKC (12-7-1) was on an eight-game win streak, including a clean sweep of WAC opponents in 2017. That stretch included a 3-0 win over Seattle U (9-8-3) on Oct. 8, marking the ‘Roos first-ever win over the Redhawks.
Woodward has now taken her squad to the finals of the WAC Championship for a fifth consecutive year. The Redhawks won the title last season and have won three of the last four conference championships.
SU and Utah Valley split two matches this year, with the Wolverines winning, 3-0, on Sept. 30 and the Redhawks taking a 2-0 decision on Oct. 28.