SEATTLE - An overcast match at Championship Field between Seattle University women’s soccer and visiting Cal State Fullerton turned into an overtime thriller, yet neither side could break the deadlock as the game ended 1-1. Junior Jessie Ray scored her fourth goal of the year for the Redhawks.
“I was happy with how the team competed today," said Coach Julie Woodward. "We started the game very strong. Getting an early goal from Jessie set the tone. This was probably our most complete game of the season so far. Fullerton is a very strong, athletic team. I’m happy with our overall performance. Our back line faced athletic forwards and did well. They keep getting better every game."
Seattle U came out with speed and aggression from the opening whistle, immediately putting the Cal State Fullerton backline under pressure through quick link-up passes and good hustle to win the ball back when they were dispossessed.
The attacking Redhawk trident of Ray, sophomore Leahi Manthei, and freshman Paige Malm were particularly impressive in the attack. The front three produced bolting runs off the ball and tested the Titans keeper early through threatening shots in the first half.
Seattle U’s goal was clean and reflective of Woodward's tactics on the training pitch. An overlapping Manthei was found on the left, took a clean touch, and whipped in a cross to a wide-open Ray who nodded the ball in to the Titans’ net in the sixth minute.
The Redhawk backline would remain strong after Seattle U’s opener, going in for crunching tackles throughout the first half, sending a message that they weren’t to be tested on 50-50 challenges.
CSUF would eventually find the equalizer in the thirty-second minute through junior Dani Baldwin who would slot the ball into the bottom-right corner, coming from a through-ball from redshirt freshman Alyssa Shelton.
Into the second 45 minutes of play, the tie would stay preserved through an outstanding fingertip save from Seattle U freshman keeper Ariana Romero.
Chances were created for both teams, but neither team could find the winner by the end of regulation.
Going into overtime, the Redhawks would come close to scoring the game-winner in the second overtime period. A deflected, six-yard shot from Manthei would send the CSUF keeper into full extension to watch the ball narrowly miss the outside of the post.
The final whistle would be blown moments later, splitting the points between the two teams.
Next up, the Redhawks host the University of Portland on September 2nd at Championship Field, kick-off set for 3:00 p.m.