KANSAS CITY, MO— (GoSeattleU.com) – Seattle University women’s soccer won the 2016 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship Sunday, defeating UMKC, 2-1, at Durwood Stadium. Karli White and Jessie Ray scored for Redhawks, who claimed their third WAC title in the last four years.
(Cover photo: Seattle U Twitter)
SU (14-5-1) will make its third NCAA Tournament appearance as a Division I program. The selection show is set for Monday at 1:30 p.m. Sixty-four teams will qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
“All season long, we’ve had starters do their part, but we’ve also had players come off the bench and contribute,” said Coach Julie Woodward. “Our depth has been key for us all year.”
On Sunday, the teams started quickly. UMKC (8-10-4) scored at the 6:11 mark, grabbing an early 1-0 lead. The Redhawks answered in short order, though, as Karli White found the back of the net 76 seconds later. She hammered a shot from the top of the penalty box, beating the Kangaroos’ goalie to tie the contest.
Each side built towards chances for the rest of the frame, but the match remained even at halftime.
In the second half, neither side was able to get many attacking opportunities as the game progressed. Finally, Natasha Howe broke free through the UMKC defense and set up Ray on the left side. The freshman was decisive and hit a shot to the right side of the net, beating the goalie for her first collegiate goal. The eventual game-winner came at the 71:44 mark.
The ‘Roos had several chances as time wound down as the SU defense was up to the task, keeping UMKC off the board and claiming the WAC title.
Howe earned WAC Championship MVP honors after scoring in Friday’s semifinal win over Utah Valley and assisting on Ray’s game-winner Sunday. White, Brie Hooks, and Isabelle Butterfield were named to the all-tournament team.
Woodward’s squad has now won three WAC Championships since 2013. The Redhawks have also taken four consecutive WAC regular season titles.