Women’s soccer inches towards title

Successful stride of wins continues for Falcons

Troy Vigil , Staff Writer

WOMEN’S SOCCER:

Senior midfielder Makena Reitz challenges a Central Washington attacker for the ball as junior midfielder Chloe Gellhaus runs to support. (Rio Giancarlo)

The Seattle Pacific University women’s soccer entered the week with a four-game winning streak, winning eight of their last nine games.

Their first game of the week was at home against Central Washington on Thursday, Nov. 4. Within the first seven minutes of the game, the Falcons took the lead after a goal from senior midfielder Makena Rietz. 

SPU scored three more goals from sophomore forward Sophie Beadle, senior forward Sophia Chilczuk, and sophomore forward Lauren Forster to finish the first half, leading 4-0. 

Central Washington put one on the board in the second half, but SPU would answer back with two more of their own from sophomore forward Jacqueline Blakeley and sophomore Mia Mahaffey to win the game 6-1. Mahaffey’s goal was the first of her collegiate career.

The Falcons looked to finish off the season with a win as they traveled to Nampa, Idaho to face-off against Northwest Nazarene University on Saturday, Nov. 6. 

SPU got ahead early with two goals from Beadle and Rietz. The Nighthawks would close the gap by the end of the first half of their own. 

Chilczuk got another goal for the Falcons to put them back ahead by two. SPU would hold on for the victory, despite allowing another goal from the Nighthawks in the last minute of the game. 

With the win, SPU clinched the top seed in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championship Tournament starting on Thursday, Nov. 11, at Western Washington University’s Harrington Field in Bellingham, Washington. 

The Falcons will face off against Simon Fraser, where the winner will advance to the GNAC championship game on Nov. 13. 

MEN’S SOCCER:

Senior midfielder Travis Swallow fires home the opening goal against Simon Fraser. (Rio Giancarlo)

Men’s soccer came into the week looking to get things back on track after taking their second loss of the season to Simon Fraser University on Oct. 16. 

The Falcons got the chance to redeem themselves against Simon Fraser University on Thursday, Nov. 4, and immediately were behind as their opponents scored an early goal. Soon after, senior midfielder Travis Swallow scored a goal of his own to even up the score going into the second half.

Goals by senior forward Alex Mejia, sophomore forward Judah Johnson and Swallow, catapulted the Falcons into the lead in the second half. However, Simon Fraser did not go down easily, scoring two goals to put them within one goal of SPU with less than five minutes of play left. SPU held off Simon Fraser and did not allow them to gain the upper hand, which gave the Falcons the victory. 

The Falcons looked to keep things moving in the right direction against Western Washington University on Senior Night on Saturday, Nov. 6. 

After SPU conceded a goal earlier in the game, Mejia tied the game up with his league-leading 14 goals at the 26-minute-mark. This was the last goal scored in the game, resulting in a tie after double overtime.

The two rivals remain tied for first place atop the GNAC standings. The Falcons hope to get ahead in the standings as they look ahead to their next game against Saint Martin’s University on Thursday, Nov. 11, in Lacey, Washington. 

MEN’S BASKETBALL:

The men’s basketball team packed for St. Joseph, Missouri to play in the Small College Basketball National Hall of Fame Classic against University of Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday, Nov. 6 and Northwest Missouri State University on Sunday, Nov. 7. 

On Saturday, SPU matched up against the No. 20 nationally-ranked Alabama-Huntsville. Both teams were slow to start off the game. The Falcons shot 44 percent from the field and 33 percent from beyond the line, outscoring their opponent 40-33 in the first half. 

Despite getting outscored in the second half 38-37, SPU held on to open the season with a victory. 

Looking to keep things moving in the right direction, SPU faced the No.1 ranked team Northwest Missouri State, who are the defending national champions. 

SPU opened the half strong, getting off to a 12-5 lead. However, they went on a cold streak and did not score a single point in the next six minutes. This allowed Northwest Missouri to put up 14 unanswered points, and the Falcons were outscored 31-19 in the first half. 

SPU went on to play a much better second half, outscoring the defending champs 40-33. Unfortunately, the surge from SPU would not be enough, as they fell short 64-59 pushing their overall record to 1-1. 

Senior guard Divant’e Moffitt scored an astonishing 19 points in the second half, now having scored 38 points in the last two games. Junior forward Shaw Anderson also had 18 points, shooting 6-14 from the field and 5-5 from the line. Graduate student guard Harry Cavell was also in the double-digits with 15 points, shooting 6-9 from the field and 3-4 from the line. 

The Falcons head to California next week to play in the Conference Crossover Challenge and will face Cal Poly Pomona and Chico State University. 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL:

On Saturday, Nov. 6, the SPU women’s basketball team kicked off their season with an exhibition win over Multnomah University, 73-43. The Falcons were able to score 41 of their 73 points within the first half of the game, while Multnomah University scored only 16. 

In the second half of the game, the Multnomah Lions tried to bounce back by scoring 27 points but they could not catch up to the Falcons as they scored an additional 32 points to end the game. 

Senior forward and guard Ashley Alter proved why she was picked as a member of the GNAC Preseason All-Conference women’s basketball team on Oct. 19, scoring the most points for the team at 17. She scored three three-pointers, two free throws, and six field goals for the team. 

Sophomore guard Anna Eddy scored the second-highest number of points at 11 and sophomore forward Beth Pettingill was just below her with nine points scored. 

After recovering from the excitement of their first win, the women’s basketball team prepares to play another exhibition game against Corban University on Friday, Nov. 12. Their official season starts on Saturday, Nov. 13 against Humboldt University.   

VOLLEYBALL:

Freshman setter Emily Tulino sets the ball for sophomore middle blocker Hannah Hair. (Rio Giancarlo)

The SPU volleyball team continued to win after their shutout victory against Saint Martin’s University on Thursday, Oct. 28, when they faced Montana State Billings on Saturday, Nov. 6. They defeated the Yellowjackets three sets to one. 

Sophomore Hannah Hair led the Falcons with 14 kills and 10 blocks. Senior outside hitter Maddie Batiste had the second most kills for the game with 10. 

The Falcons stayed well ahead of the Yellowjackets in the first set as they won with a score of 25-16. The second set was much closer as the Yellowjackets pulled ahead of SPU at the last moment and won after an attack error from sophomore opposite Maddie Pruden, 26-24. 

The two teams were tied after winning one set each going into the third set of the game. SPU dominated the Yellowjackets again as they won, 25-18. The final set of the match was close, but the Falcons secured the victory after a set-winning kill by senior outside hitter Erin Gould. 

With a couple of recent wins under their belt, SPU holds a conference record of 9-5. The Falcons will stay at home for their next two matchups against Simon Fraser on Thursday, Nov. 11 and Western Washington University on Saturday, Nov. 13.

CROSS COUNTRY:

Seattle Pacific traveled to the NCAA Division West Regionals in Monmouth, Oregon. Sophomore Annika Esvelt placed 22nd in the 6k race with a time of 22:7.4, just missing her personal best by one second. She, however, received All-Region recognition for her performance at the competition and throughout the season. 

Sophomore Ellie Rising placed 95th with a time of 23:35.5, and freshman Nicki Yorges placed 104th finishing with a time of 23:56.6. 

Senior Colin Boutin ran the best race of his career, placing 26th in the men’s 10k race. Boutin finished the race with a time of 31:42.3, besting his previous time by almost a minute, which came at the 2018 West Regionals in Billings, Montana. 

ROWING:

SPU came in sixth place on Sunday, Nov. 7, at the Head of the Lake Regatta, which took place at Lake Union in Seattle. 

The field of rowers was composed of Division I competitors for the varsity eight event. Seven of the nine teams were from Division I. The tough competition did not stop the Falcons from finishing in the top six with a time of 12:18.94, outpacing Seattle University, the University of Puget Sound, and the University of Oregon. 

In the open four, SPU sailed to a second-place finish behind the University of Oregon with a time of 14:55.30, finishing ahead of Seattle University and Washington State University. 

SPU looks to add a couple more scrimmages against local colleges to prepare for their spring season.