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The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Movin’ On Up: WAC Preview

Schools across the Western Athletic Conference began conference play over the weekend and Seattle University finds is at or near the top of the standings in several sports. Here is a quick recap of how they got here and where their seasons are headed.

Men’s Soccer

Strong defense and opportunistic scoring have propelled the Seattle University Men’s soccer team to new heights. Ranking 16 in the first RPI poll of the season, and 24 in the coaches poll.

Two big conference wins to open the season have launched the Redhawks to #10 in RPI and #19 in the latest coaches poll.

Senior goalkeeper Shane Haworth ranks ninth among all division one goalies, having allowed just five goals through 11 games. Haworth has also played all but 18 minutes, and has started in every game.

Senior forward Michael Roberts is the latest player to earn the WAC Offensive Player of the Week award, joining teammates Kyle Bjornethun and Hamza Haddadi. Roberts had three total goals and two assists through the first two conference games. Bjornethun also earned National Player of the Week awards for his two-goal performance at No. 13 Oregon State.

Haddadi, a senior forward tied the WAC record for goals in a game in the season opener with four, earning him the WAC offensive player of the week award in August. Haddadi is also tied for sixth nation wide for goals scored, netting eight goals so far this season. His total is good enough to be tied for first in the WAC.

Bjornethun, Haddadi and Haworth were all named to the preseason All-Conference team, and Seattle U was picked to win the 2015 WAC title in a preseason vote by the coaches.

Seattle U will head on the road this weekend to take on Houston Baptist (4-6, 0-2 WAC) and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (4-5-1, 1-1 WAC). To date, the Redhawks have outscored opponents 25-6 on the season, and lead the WAC in goals scored and goals allowed.

Women’s Soccer

Much like the men’s team, the Seattle U women’s team (6-2-3, 1-0-2 WAC) was also predicted to win the WAC in the preseason coaches poll. If they are able to accomplish this, it will be the third straight WAC title for women’s soccer, an impressive feat.

Seattle U’s last conference loss came on Oct. 10, 2014, and was their only loss in conference play in the last two years.

After starting the season 1-2, the Redhawks rattled off four wins in a row, and opened conference play with draws against Utah Valley (7-4-1, 2-0-1 WAC) and Missouri-Kansas City (7-4-1, 1-1-1 WAC). Sandwiched between the two draws was a dominating 5-0 win on the road against Chicago state (0-12, 0-3 WAC).

Senior defender Kelly Beck earned WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the week of Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, and is the second Redhawk to earn WAC honors for the women’s team this season. Freshman forward Summer Mason also received WAC honors for her two-goal performance for the week of Sept. 7-13, and was named Offensive Player of the Week for her two goal performance
that week.

Of the six players to score heading into last weekend, five of them were freshman. Senior forward Julia Moravec, freshman Summer Mason, and freshman Karli White leads the team in goals, having netted four goals each.

The Seattle U team as a whole is tied for fourth in team goals in the WAC with 17, an average of 1.55/game, and 11 goals behind conference leader Utah Valley.

Seattle U will play its next four games at home, after seven games on the road during the month of September. Seattle’s last home game was Aug. 30, a 3-1 win over Vanderbilt and also the team’s first win over an SEC school.


After 15 straight matches on the road, the Seattle U volleyball team finally returns home to open conference play. However, there is one small caveat this season: ‘home’ games for the volleyball team will be played at nearby Seattle Academy, rather than the normal north court at the Connolly Center.

As you may recall, last week we told you about the ongoing renovations at the Connolly Center. Renovations are expected to last until January, so Seattle U will not be playing any home matches on campus this year. Fortunately, Seattle Academy is just a few blocks away from campus.

Continuing the trend of Redhawk WAC awards, senior middle blocker Martina Samadan has been named the WAC Volleyball Player of the Week. This is Samadan’s second time winning the award this season, and the third time winning the award during her career at Seattle U.

The team opened conference play against Grand Canyon and Cal State Bakersfield. Seattle was able to get by Grand Canyon with relative ease, sweeping all three sets. However that success failed to carry over into the following match against CSU Bakersfield, and any revenge from last years WAC title game will have to wait until this year’s WAC tournament.

Still, the women’s volleyball team is playing incredibly well so far this season. At 11-6 overall, and 3-1 in WAC play, Seattle U finds themselves sitting in second place after the first weekend of conference play.

Cross Country

The Seattle U cross-country program has been one defined by constant growth. Over the course of the last three years, the program has improved and become more competitive both running long course, and the subsequent indoor track season. That trend was captured last Friday, Oct. 2, when the men’s and women’s teams finished 10th and 12th, respectively, at the Washington Invitational on the Jackson Park Golf Course in Seattle. The team is looking to maintain their culture of improvement in 2015.

“The team’s looking really good–very deep, very strong–and has that drive that we need to go to Conference and hopefully win a WAC Championship,” redshirt senior and captain Baxter Arguinchona said.

Almost every member of both teams finished with personal best times, with juniors Lila Rice and Nathan McLaughlin putting up times over one-minute under their previous bests (they both hold the best times on the current team’s roster). In the 6K women’s race, Rice finished in 57th with a time of 21:05.8, while McLaughlin finished 65th with a time of 24:28.2.

The team was pleased with their performance at Jackson Park, however, not satisfied. The teams know they can be faster. Head coach Trisha Steidl saw the invitational as a building block of bigger and better things to come.

“We had certain things we wanted to achieve as a group in terms of mindset, and the team did a good job with those things,” Steidl said. “Perseverance, focus and grit were three of those things, and the team did well on all accounts.”

Look for the program to continue its ascent towards becoming one of the best programs in the WAC. A bulk of talent and healthy veteran runners should provide Seattle U with the means to produce an exciting season.


Since it was reestablished in 2008, the Seattle University golf program has been flying like a driven golf ball towards the fairway of deserved success. In its first season, both the men’s and women’s teams experienced a smattering of winning performances (the women had multiple finishes in the top five, while the men’s best performances were a pair of ninth place finishes).

Last year (2014-15), however, both teams placed in the top 10 on more than a dozen occasions. The women’s team put on a 1st place performance at the Monterey Bay Invitational.

Thus, as the teams begin the 2015-16 season, the goal remains continued success. Junior Alexis Song has been a strong and consistent performer for the women’s team. To open the season, Song has finished in the top 20 at two events and claimed the WAC Golfer of the Month award for September.

“It’s been fun to watch [Song] develop as a player and a person,” Seattle U head golf coach Marc Chandonnet said. “She has big expectations moving forward and, we are here to provide the support necessary for her to continue on the road to success.”

Meanwhile, the men’s team has opened the year with multiple strong performances at both the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate. Both rounds of play suggest that the team is on its way to productive year. The wins also allowed a glimpse of the team’s resilience, given that they followed a disappointing 14th place finish at the Husky Invite.

AJ may be reached at [email protected]

Will may be reached at [email protected]

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