SEATTLE - A 110th minute game-winning goal from Paige Malm secured a 3-2 double-overtime victory for Seattle University women’s soccer against Utah Valley on senior night at Championship Field.
"I could not think of a better way to end our last regular season game for this senior class," said Coach Julie Woodward. "I was so extremely proud of the way we battled against a very impressive Utah Valley team. Intangibles, effort, and character won us the game tonight. I'm so proud of the entire team."
Tonight’s win gave the Redhawks their fifth WAC regular-season title since 2013 as well as the number one seed going into the WAC Tournament next week. SU earned a first-round bye and will play in the semi-final on Friday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m.
After an electrifying first 109 minutes of play, a tackle from Kelsey Crosby on the left side found the foot of Jessie Ray who picked her head up and connected with the streaking Malm down the right side. The sophomore Malm slotted the winning goal to the far post with 18 seconds remaining in the match.
The goal marks just the fourth double-overtime goal in Division I program history and the latest in D1 program annals (109:42).
Seattle U (10-7-2, 6-1-1 WAC) came back twice on the evening to take the match into overtime. Leahi Manthei cancelled out a 19th minute UVU penalty for her seventh goal of the campaign in the 60th minute. The junior forward rounded the keeper on a breakaway opportunity created from a through-ball from Ray. Manthei then finished her opportunity to the far post to level the match in the 60th minute.
Going back down 2-1 just six minutes later, the Redhawks bombarded the Wolverines (10-8-1, 5-3-0 WAC) with chance after chance. A stellar defensive performance from Gina Leete sparked numerous counter-attacks that saw Ava Benedetti and Ray knocking on the UVU doorstep.
Seattle U would see their efforts pay off in the 87th minute from the feet of Mikaela Morey. Morey found herself in the right place at the right time following a poor clearance from the Utah Valley backline to produce the equalizer two yards out from goal, sending the match to overtime.
With the regular-season title up for grabs for both sides, the Redhawks produced an exciting brand of offense that used quick build-up play and pass selection from the midfield to the attack. Ray and Manthei utilized off-the-ball movement to find spaces in between the Wolverines' defense to create chances early on.
Seattle U weathered dominant Wolverine possession in the opening half with a strong defensive shape, anchored by the center-back tandem of Kelsey Vogel and Michele Adam.
Before kickoff, seven seniors-Rachel Bowler, Mackenzie Curry, Kate Farnham, Olivia Ovenell, Holly Rothering, Ray, and Vogel were all honored for their contributions to the Seattle University women’s soccer program.
With a first-round bye clinched, SU looks to defend their WAC Tournament title on Friday at Championship Field in a semi-final matchup against the winner of Wednesday's CSU Bakersfield/UTRGV match. Kick-off is set at 4 pm.