SEATTLE - Seattle University women’s soccer clinched a first-round bye in the 2019 WAC Tournament with a 2-1 win over UTRGV on a cold night at Championship Field.
"I thought we had a very good first half," said Coach Julie Woodward. "We came out playing with a lot of intensity and emotion and scored some great goals. I was proud of our fight and grit to hold the off and come away with a win."
Senior Jessie Ray extended her point streak to five games, tallying her eighth of the campaign and tying her career high. Leahi Manthei marked her sixth of the year with Ray assisting on Manthei’s goal.
Coach Julie Woodward’s possession-based tactics worked wonders in the early minutes for the Redhawks with quick, one-to-two touch passing between the attacking three and the midfield duo of Olivia Ovenell and Holly Rothering.
Ray struck just two minutes into the match, rocketing a left-footed shot off the crossbar from a cross courtesy of Rachel Bowler on the right end line.
The balanced Redhawk attack that registered 23 shots on the night ambushed the Vaquero attack with chance after chance, curated from the build-up play of Kelsey Crosby.
In the 22nd minute, Crosby played a ball across the box to an open Ray. The senior forward picked her head up and slid a ball across the turf to the oncoming Manthei who hammered home the Redhawks’ second of the night.
The visitors cut the deficit in half in the 52nd minute, however the SU backline absorbed the pressure and sent balls forward to create attacking opportunities for the attacking core of Manthei and Ray.
After earning a free kick inches away from the 18-yard box, Rothering nearly scored a screamer, cracking her shot off the woodwork to ultimately be cleared by the flustered Vaquero defense.
The Redhawks cruised to victory from there, shielding the ball out of play in the final minutes to earn a first-round bye in the WAC Tournament and their fifth win in WAC play.
Seattle U gears up for the WAC Tournament with the regular season finale Saturday, Nov. 2 against Utah Valley. Kick off is set at 7 pm at Championship Field.