SPU Moves Up in the Rankings

Daniel Newman

Revenge is always sweet, especially when you beat the team ahead of you in the standings.

That’s just what the Seattle Pacific University women’s soccer team did last Thursday night, beating Simon Fraser University 3-2 in overtime. By doing so, they avenged the 2-1 loss they suffered in overtime to the Simon Fraser Clan three weeks ago.

“The team was able to apply the information they learned in the first game to secure a result. … It was a very difficult game, and it took a lot of work, courage, and resiliency to get the result. I think the effort that went into it and the reward for that effort made it special,” Falcons head coach Arby Busey said.

Using the momentum from the key win, the Falcons also took down Montana State Billings 4-0 on Saturday.

The Falcons got off to a quick start on Thursday, scoring just three minutes into the contest. Kaytlin Willis sent a long pass forward, and both Falcons defender Julia Devere and Clan goalie Nicole Anderson rushed toward the ball, but Devere got there first and knocked the ball into the back of the net.

26 minutes later, midfielder Makena Rietz received a pass from forward Sophia Chilczuk just inside the box and slotted the ball into the upper right corner for her first career goal. It was then, however, that SFU started to take back control of the game.

It took the Clan only 11 minutes to get a goal back. Clan midfielder Kayla Goncalves passed the ball to defender Katie MacEwen, who finished off the chance and made the game a competitive 2-1.

The Clan tied the game up right before halftime. The Falcons made an attempt to clear the ball from their own box, and goalie Riley Travis jumped to try and collect the ball. The ball instead went over her head, leaving Clan midfielder Claire Bareilles to pass the ball to midfielder Jenna-Lee Baxter, who knocked it into the goal.

There was not much action in the second half, as the two teams combined for a total of five shots. SPU didn’t waste any time getting a goal in overtime. Three minutes in, forward Kasey Reeve collected a bouncing pass from defender Sydnee Smith, turned, and fired the ball into the net. The goal marked Reeve’s seventh game winning goal of her career, and gave the Clan their first loss at home this season.

Saturday was Senior Day for the Falcons, and the seniors helped the team get the win over Montana State Billings 4-0.

Forward Makayla Sonstelie scored the first goal in the 16th minute. Midfielder Brooke Lancaster started the attack with a through ball to defender Megan Nielsen, who sent a cross into the box that Sonstelie headed into the net.

It was Sonstelie who helped the Falcons obtain their next goal scoring opportunity, as she was taken down by Yellowjacket defender Thea Hjaltadottir just inside the box.

Defender Kaytlin Willis stepped up to take the penalty kick and converted it, making the Falcons’ lead 2-0.

The Falcons had other opportunities to score before the half ended, including a goal by forward Kasey Reeve that was called back for offside, but were otherwise denied by Yellowjacket goalie Lili Deladillo, who had seven saves on the game.

The Falcons broke through again in minute 56 as forward Mickayla Mury converted another header from a cross by defender Devere.

Forward Abbie Anderson notched the only goal not scored by a senior on the day, as a cross from midfielder Makena Rietz flew over everyone in the box and found Anderson on the other side of the field, who calmly slotted the ball home for her first career goal in minute 76.

The win secured a playoff spot for the Falcons, who still remain in the number four spot in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings with a conference record of seven wins, three losses and no ties. Simon Fraser University also remains in third place, with a conference record of seven wins, two losses and one tie.

Western Washington University and Concordia University are now tied at the top spot with eight wins, one loss and one tie apiece.

Busey said that the team is beginning to gain more confidence in front of the goal.

He also said that the team has “some very tough games coming up, and are working to earn the opportunity to extend our season and face even tougher opponents in the post-season. It will be important for us to continue to score goals moving forward, and taking (sic) advantage of the opportunities we create.”

The Falcons’ last two regular season games will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at home verses Central Washington University, and on Saturday, Oct. 27 versus Concordia University in Portland. Both of these games will help the Falcons get ready for the playoffs.