Seattle University women's soccer (2-2-0) and Eastern Washington (0-2-0) remained scoreless at the half, but an offensive explosion led by Taylor Ritzman's (Holladay, Utah) hat trick, lifted the Redhawks to a 3-0 victory over the Eagles. This was the second hat trick of the season for Seattle U, as Melissa Busque (St. Bruno, Quebec, Canada) recorded one versus St. Mary's on Aug. 19.
"I was pleased with how we played in the first half, although I think it's a little frustrating when you start the second half without any goals," said head coach Julie Woodward. "But I liked the opportunities we created, and I thought we defended pretty well. I think the only thing we weren't doing [in the first half] was the fun parts, so it was exciting to see that we finished that in the second half. It was so fun to see Taylor Ritzman get a hat trick. I thought she was very composed and had a great game."
Seattle U outshot Eastern Washington 10-3 in the first half, but the score remained 0-0 going into halftime.
At the 62:23 mark, Ritzman entered the game, and one minute and 20 seconds later, at the 63:43 mark, she put the ball in the net for the Redhawks' first goal of the game, and her second of the season. Monique Escalera (Riverside, Calif.) made the assist.
Just 25 seconds later, at the 64:08 mark, Escalera made another pass to Ritzman, and she made the shot to score her third goal of the season, putting Seattle U up, 2-0.
At the 83:24 mark, Ritzman cemented her place in the season record books with her third goal of the game, assisted by Chelsea Jennings (Tacoma, Wash.) and Shawna Anderson (Pasco, Wash.), completing a hat trick. Three of Ritzman's four goals this season thus far have come within three minutes of her entrance to the match.
"It was definitely a confidence builder," said Ritzman. "We needed the goals. But it wasn't just me, it was a team effort."
The Redhawks outshot the Eagles, 28-8, over both halves of the contest. Seattle U was led by Anderson, who recorded five shots, and the Eagles were led by Brittney Conway and Alisha Stott, who each took two shots. Freshman Kelly Beck (Tacoma, Wash.) made her first career start for SU, recording one shot.
Brianna Smallidge got her fourth career start in goal for the Redhawks, playing 86:09 and recording two saves, until Aris Coover (Bellevue, Wash.) made her first appearance of the season for the remaining 3:51.
Jamie Walker made her second start of the season for the Eagles, staying in the game for 68:28 until being replaced by Nathalie Schwery for the remaining 21:32. Walker gave up the first two goals, and recorded two saves, while Schwery gave up the final goal and made one save.
The Redhawks continue their homestand, hosting Portland State at Championship Field next Sunday, Sept. 2, with kickoff set for 1 p.m.
To catch all the action this season, visit www.GoSeattleU.com or call the Redhawk ticket office at (206) 398-GOSU (4678) to purchase season tickets. Men's and women's soccer season tickets are $75 apiece for reserved seats and $50 for general admission. Single game tickets are available at the gate 60 minutes prior to kickoff before each match.