The season for the Seattle Pacific University women’s soccer team came to an end last Thursday, Nov. 8, as they suffered a 2-1 loss to Concordia University.
The Falcons finished the season at No. 3 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The loss to Concordia came in the semifinals and ended SPU’s chance at the title.
“It was an awesome season. We had so much fun, and played some really good soccer along the way,” head coach Arby Busey said.
“We were led by an amazing group of seniors, who inspired all of us every day. Getting back to the NCAA Tournament was a goal of ours, and we were able to achieve that one. I think we are in a really good place and will continue to grow throughout the offseason.”
For the second straight matchup, Concordia took the lead quickly, this time only two minutes into the game.
The attack started when forward Kyra Radcliffe sent in a cross that the Falcons were not able to clear. The ball bounced to forward Quinn Williams, who took a shot that just got past Falcons goalie Riley Travis.
The Falcons once again had to play from behind, but they showed some fight as they took some shots in the first half that just missed the net, including a free kick by defender Sydnee Smith that flew over the crossbar.
The Falcons were still in it as the first half ended, having only been outshot seven to four. Ten minutes into the second half, they found an equalizer. Midfielder Claire Neder received a throw in, dribbled around her defender, and sent a pass to the other side of the field that forward Kasey Reeve tapped into the net.
However, four minutes later, Cavaliers forward Sydney Van Steenberge saved the ball from going out of play and sent a cross into the box. The ball bounced around, and then found the foot of defender Megan Myers, who chipped the ball into the net.
Falcons goalie Travis made some key saves in the final 10 minutes to keep the team in the game, but the Falcons were unable to mount another attack.
For the Falcons, it was an abrupt end to a return to the playoffs after missing them last year, and to a season that had produced many good results.
In non-conference play at the beginning of the season, the Falcons posted a record of three wins, one loss, and two ties, outscoring their opponents 10 goals to two.
In conference play, the Falcons only lost three times, while obtaining eight wins and one tie along the way. But the two teams that the Falcons were not able to beat in the season were the two teams that finished ahead of them in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings, the Western Washington Vikings and the Concordia Cavaliers.
The Falcons played Concordia four times total on the season, with the Cavaliers beating the Falcons three of those times. The two teams also played to a 1-1 tie at the end of the regular season.
The Falcons only met up with WWU one time on the season, but it was not a good result. The Vikings won the contest four to zero.
It was also a good individual season for many Falcons, as sophomore forward Sophia Chilczuk lead the team in scoring, with eight goals on the year. Five of the goals by Chilczuk ended up being game winners. Following behind in the goal tally were seniors Kasey Reeve and Julia Devere, with seven goals and four goals respectively.
Devere also led the team in assists with seven, and senior defender Smith and junior midfielder Megan Moore came in a close second with six.
The defending and goalkeeping numbers were also solid for the Falcons. In 20 games played in the season, the Falcons only allowed 19 goals. Travis started as goalie in 16 of the games, and allowed an average of 1.08 goals per game, including five shutouts.
Abby Smith also started four games in goal and recorded three shutouts, only allowing one goal in her four game.
Looking forward to next year, Busey said that, “Graduating nine seniors will create opportunities for younger players, and it will mean that the team’s personality will change a little bit. We are in very good hands leadership-wise, as our junior class will pick up right where our current seniors left off. We’ll look to continue to build on our mentality, and confidence.”