1. Women’s Cross Country Team Wins WAC Title
This year, Seattle University’s women’s cross country team collected the 2014 WAC Women’s Cross Country Championship title. The effort of everyone on the team was notable and just what they needed to pull out a narrow-margined victory. The combined efforts of senior Sophie Curatilo, sophomore Lila Rice and the remainder of the team worked to move Seattle U ahead of the competition and earn the university a title win. The Redhawks collected 43 points, just two points ahead of second-place Utah Valley. The Redhawks earned another historic first in the 2014 season, receiving a 15th place ranking in the West Region—one of the most competitive regions in the country. Head Coach Trisha Steidl was named WAC Coach of the Year having led the Redhawks to the first-ever Division I conference title since the program’s conception.
2. Stephanie Verdoia SUCCESS ABOUNDS
Stephanie Verdioa has become a household name within the Seattle U soccer program over the last four years. Her tenacity and work both on and off the field have earned her a legacy at a program she helped build. A starter since she arrived in 2011, Verdoia’s accomplishments are too many to list in full here, but they include setting the Seattle U all-time single season leader in goals, WAC All-Tournament Team, WAC Tournament MVP and the Capital One Academic All-American of the Year. This year, she is ranked second nationally with 22 goals and is the only player to rank in the top for goals as well as assists. She’s also one of 10 national finalists for the Senior CLASS Award, given her exemplary work in the classroom and with the community, as well as her high quality performance on the pitch.
3. Women’s Basketball Wins WAC Title
In 2013 Seattle University women’s basketball earned the university the first WAC regular season title since the DI move with a 55-53 win over Idaho . Brenda Adhiambo and Sylvia Shephard led Seattle U to victory with 13 points each. They also tacked on five and seven rebounds, respectively. Kacie Sowell also recorded her 14th double-double of the season, contributing 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Redhawks in the win. Stalwart defense and solid team play greatly contributed to the title victory, which was necessary given that the opposing Vandal’s Stacey Barr collected 17 points and was one of three players on her team to collect six rebounds.
4. Jake Feener in the Net
Jake Feener had a monster season in 2013 at goalie for the Seattle University men’s soccer team. Collecting five shutout wins and 161 saves over just 35 goals allowed, Feener helped the Redhawks finish a very strong season and win a WAC title. In addition to leading the nation in saves for a significant chunk of the season, he was named the WAC Tournament MVP and named to the All-Tournament team. He capped his college career with 11 combined shutout performances, a noteworthy number at any level of play.
5. Women’s Soccer Completes Historic 2014 Season
Seattle U closed the 2014 season after winning their second straight WAC tournament title and making their first NCAA DI Tournament second round appearance after defeating Washington State 2-1 in double overtime of the first round. While they proceeded to lose in penalty kicks to the South Carolina Gamecocks, the season itself was remarkable. The Redhawks competed in their first NCAA Tournament victory, making them the only team of thirty-two in their first all-time appearance. Lastly, in their final four matches heading into the NCAA Tournament, the team outscored the opposition 25-0. They shut out five of the final six teams they faced, including a string of four straight such wins.
Men’s Soccer WinS 2013 WAC tournament and NCAA 1st Round
The 2013 men’s soccer season didn’t start as planned for Coach Fewing and crew. After the first seven games their record was an ugly 0-6-1. But the Redhawks turned it around for conference play and won all but three games against WAC opponents and never lost. They stormed into the WAC tournament with a number one seed and defeated both Air Force and San Jose State for the championship. With the regular and postseason WAC championships in hand, Seattle U traveled to snowy Nebraska to face Creighton in the first round of the NCAA tournament. A late goal from senior Miguel Gonzalez propelled Seattle U to the second round where they fell to cross town rival, University of Washington.
Baseball claims 2014 season series over ranked Washington
When UW showed up to Bannerwood park in Bellevue last April to take on the Redhawks, they probably figured the game was well in hand. Seattle U had other plans. Pitchers Skylar Genger and Mac Aker combined for a superb three hit shutout of the fifth ranked Huskies. Seattle U scored off a defensive error to clinch the 1-0 win. At the end of the month Seattle U traveled across town to play on Huskie turf and they brought their bats with them. The top ranked WAC offense shelled Washington’s pitchers for 12 hits and six runs. Seattle U’s pitching was solid again and held UW to three runs. The two victories over the Huskies clinched the season series and marked the highest ranked opponent Seattle U has beaten since reinstating the baseball program in 2010.
Isiah Umipig goes off for 36 points as SU crushed Idaho on Senior night
Senior nights are meant to honor, well…seniors. Last March’s senior night for men’s hoops was the Isiah Umipig show. He went off for 36 points which nearly accounted for half of Seattle U’s total as the Redhawks slipped by Idaho 76-68. Umipig shot 12-22 from the field including eight threes in one of the greatest offense performances in Seattle U history. The shots started falling for him early and they never ceased. Senior D’Vonne Pickett Jr went out with a memorial performance of his own by tallying 15 points to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Idaho stayed close throughout but the back court combo of Pickett Jr. and Umipig kept Seattle U in the driver’s seat to finish out the game
Star Women’s Hoops trio finishes career at Connolly, Sowell joins 1000 rebounds club
When coach Joan Bonvicini came to Seattle University, so came her top three recruits: Sylvia Shephard, Kacie Sowell and Ashley Ward. For all four years of their eligibility, those three remained the heart of the Seattle U women’s hoops program and were the top D1 scorers in its history. Their junior season saw them take the WAC regular season title and a bid to the women’s NIT tournament while Sowell was named the WAC player of the year. They handled Chicago State on their senior night and Sowell became just the fourth player in program history to record 1000 rebounds. After the game, coach Bonvicini had to suppress tears when she tried to express what those three meant to Seattle University basketball, a tall order indeed.
Men’s Soccer cracks NCAA top 25
Up until late September, Seattle U hadn’t had a top 25 sports program since returning to DI. Men’s soccer changed that when the new soccer polls came out on Sept. 29 by rolling in at #24. Two impressive back to back victories over a ranked Oregon State team and a tough Gonzaga squad earned them the nod. The Redhawks didn’t hold the ranking throughout the season, but it marked a new trend of Seattle U teams earning national notoriety.
Will McQuilkin is a senior Communication major, hailing from a small California farm town in the San Geronimo Valley, often described as a hamlet. He has survived not one, but two surgeries on his right hand (pinky finger and thumb) due to baseball related injuries. His favorite candy is Sugar Babies.