Seattle University came to a 1-1 draw in a double overtime match with the University of Portland on Thursday evening to close their nonconference schedule. It was a rematch of last season’s NCAA first round game in which Portland ended the Redhawks’ season.
“Yeah, we were a little mad about last year’s result,” said Head Coach Julia Woodward. “We were ready to do something about it.”
Taylor Ritzman began to open things up for Seattle U about 20 minutes into the half by finding space down the rightwing. This aided Ritzman in receiving a few through balls that set up chances for shots. In the 18th minute, senior forward Stephanie Verdoia dribbled into UP’s box and was shoved down, drawing the ire of the crowd after no penalty kick was called.
Seattle U earned a corner in the 22nd minute, which resulted in a header off the cross bar when several players went up for it.
“We came out a little bit nervous and hesitant,” Woodward said. “In past years the game would continue that way, but we turned it around, and I think we gained some momentum.”
After a couple more shots sailed wide, Julia Moravec hit crossbar in the 31st on a difficult shot from the right side of the box. Portland struggled to gain any momentum for the rest of the half, which presented a score of 0-0 upon its conclusion.
The Redhawks picked up right where they left off to start the second half. Then consecutive corners moments later nearly produced an Seattle U score. They finally got their breakthrough in the 55th minute. Freshman defender Madeline Racine fed a through ball down the left to Natasha Howe. Howe dribbled the ball to the eighteen then cut in and finished the shot far post for a 1-0 lead.
“I was proud of our composure, I was proud of how we played and I thought she had a great finish,” Woodard said, referring to Howe.
However in the 69th, UP got another possession into Seattle U’s box which resulted in a close range goal for Portland knotting the match at 1-1.
Almost immediately in response, Verdoia stole a UP pass in Seattle U’s back third of the field and carried all the way to the opposite box for a shot that rang off the crossbar. Fatigue would become a factor as scoring opportunities were few until the end of regulation.
“I was a little disappointed when we gave up the goal,” Woodward said. “It seemed like there were a couple moments there when we fell off but I thought we turned it around in the end the game,” Woodward said.
Howe got a final scoring chance in the second OT and again from the left wing, but the ball was jumbled in the box and recovered by UP’s keeper just before the buzzer. The match gave Seattle U a 4-3-1 non-overall record to begin conference play.
The Redhawks went on to win that Sunday conference match against Utah Valley 2-0. This weekend they head on a two game road trip to Grand Canyon and Cal State Bakersfield.