SU Women’s Soccer WAC Tournament Recap: So Close

SU Women’s Soccer WAC Tournament Recap: So Close

The Seattle University Women’s Soccer team kicked off their semi-final game in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament April 15 against Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix.

Seattle U shared the regular-season WAC Championship with Utah Valley, leading to a first round bye in the tournament. However, the Redhawks were without NCAA women’s soccer lead scorer and WAC player of the year Sydney Carr. She missed the championship matches after being exposed to an individual who had tested positive with COVID-19. 

Without Carr, Seattle U prevailed against GCU to win 3-2 in an exciting game.

The game began with intense offensive play by both teams. The Redhawks attacked the Lopes, attempting four shots in the first third of the match. As a result of their pressure, a costly mistake by GCU in the 31 minute mark led to a screaming shot just inside the box by midfielder Ava Benedetti to put the Redhawks up 1-0. The goal marked Benedetti’s eighth of this year’s campaign.  

The Lopes responded quickly in the 35th minute with a goal from Haley Bostard to tie the game. However, Seattle U regained the lead thanks to a goal by Kacey Leboda, putting the ball in the back of the net after a set piece launched into action by Natalie Dixon.

At the start of the second period, Seattle U found more success in the 49th minute with a hard hit shot down the middle by Hallie Bergford. The play saw one forward lead the GCU keeper of her line, then slide a pass to Natalie Dixon who then turned around and passed the ball to meet the advancing Bergford to make the score 3-1. 

GCU came within one goal of Seattle U with a late goal in the 81st minute to make the score 3-2. Fortunately for the Redhawks, they held onto their lead and won 3-2 advancing to play Utah Valley in the championship game. 

Seattle U played the WAC championship game against top-seeded Utah Valley, April 17. The game kicked off at 2:00 PDT on a scorching afternoon in Phoenix.

After the first half, the score remained 0-0 following great saves by the keepers on both teams. Utah Valley heated up their pressure after halftime when the Redhawks conceded a penalty kick in the 76th minute. The shot was taken by Utah Valley’s Cassidy Mccormak to secure the game winning goal in the WAC tournament final. 

Unfortunately, Seattle U failed to tie the game despite outshooting their opponents 14-10. Final score had Utah Valley 1, Seattle U 0. Their appearance marks the eighth straight WAC tournament final for the Redhawks, a streak they hope to continue. 

Three Seattle U Women’s soccer players were announced by Seattle U as members of the All-Tournament Team via Twitter. They were Sophomore midfielder Ava Benedetti, Sophomore Defender Michelle Adam, and Freshman Forward Hallie Bergford. 

The Redhawks finished the season with 12 wins, a share of the WAC regular season title and conference runner-ups. With the 2021 season set to kick off in the fall, the Redhawks short turnaround will be met by a short, but well-needed rest.