The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
Kasey Keller, the long-time soccer goalkeeper who, after playing professional soccer overseas for 16 years, returned home to play for Seattle Sounders FC from 2009 to 2011, will participate in the captain’s coin toss before the men’s collegiate soccer match between Seattle University and the University of Portland at Championship Field this Friday, Sept. 21.
The coin toss between the captains of Portland and Seattle U is scheduled to take place right before the 4 p.m. kickoff time. Portland leads the overall series against Seattle U, 18-5-1, with the tie coming in the last meeting between the Northwest rivals, a 1-1 draw on Sept. 26, 2010, also at Championship Field when the two teams agreed, just like this time, to move their match within the Husky Classic from the University of Washington.
Keller, originally from Olympia, Wash., played for the University of Portland from 1988 to 1991 and still holds the Pilot career records for lowest goals against average (0.64) and most shutouts (43). He allowed just seven goals in his freshman season of 1988 for a 0.33 GAA and 14.5 shutouts, and followed that with a sophomore season in which he earned 12.5 shutouts and allowed only nine goals for a 0.40 GAA. He was the Adidas Goalkeeper of the Year in 1991 and a two-time Hermann Trophy and M.A.C. Player of the Year Finalist (1990 and 1991).
Keller is a four-time FIFA World Cup participant and was the first American goalkeeper to become a regular in the German Bundesliga, the English Premier League, and the Spanish La Liga. When Seattle was granted an expansion MLS franchise, Keller signed with Seattle Sounders FC in August 2008 and played three seasons, helping the squad to three consecutive Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup championships. Keller is now the color analyst for the local broadcasts of Seattle Sounders FC matches.
Single-match tickets for Friday’s match, as well as for all future Seattle U home soccer matches, are available at the front gate, located on the corner of 14th and Cherry, beginning 60 minutes before the listed start time for the match.
Evergreen’s Collin Harlow, a junior from Kirkland, Wash., has been chosen the Cascade Collegiate Conference Red Lion Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week.
In his Evergreen debut, the transfer from Shoreline CC was a wall, as the only goal he allowed came on a penalty kick against College of Idaho. Anchored the defense that allowed the Geoduck offense to be, well, more offensive.
Honorable mention: Joe Galbraith, Northwest; Nash Yamauchi, Corban.
Evergreen’s Willie Spurr, a freshman from Seattle has been chosen as the CCC Red Lion Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week.
Spurr had a breakout weekend as he had a part in five of seven Geoducks goals as Evergreen earned two conference wins. He is looking to become the first Geoduck men’s soccer player since 2007 to win Player of the Week honors and the first Geoduck in any sport to be named player of the week since December 2010.
Honorable mention: Ryan Gamache, Northwest.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 –
Western Washington at Seattle Pacific
7:00 p.m. PDT, Interbay Stadium (900), Seattle, Wash.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 –
Central Washington at Seattle Pacific
7:30 p.m. PDT, Interbay Stadium (900), Seattle, Wash.
LiveStats for Both Games: http://www.sidearmstats.com/spu/wsoc
*** TRAFFIC & PARKING ADVISORY ***
Fans are encouraged to arrive early for games at Interbay Stadium due to nearby construction that could congest traffic and has greatly reduced the number of available parking spaces. Currently there is no parking on 17th Avenue West and West Barrett Street is closed.
A rare Wednesday game is on tap to start a two-game homestand this week for the Seattle Pacific women’s soccer team. The third-place Falcons (4-2-0, 1-1-0 GNAC) entertain Great Northwest Athletic Conference co-leader Western Washington (5-1-0, 2-0-0) on Sept. 19. Kick-off is 7 p.m. at Interbay Stadium. The Vikings, who own a five-game winning streak, were swept by SPU in the season series last year. On Saturday, Sept. 22 Central Washington (2-3-1, 1-1-0) visits Seattle for a 7:30 p.m. contest. The Falcons won 12 of the last 13 encounters with Central, including both meetings lastseason.
Senior forwardMegan Lindsay scored twice this season, pushing her careerfigure to a total of 31 goals that ties her for third among all-time SPU scorers. She is tied with Jocelyn Charette (2007-09) and they trail the school record of 49 goals compiled by Sarah Martinez (2004-07) and the 42 of No. 2-ranked Shannon Lovejoy (2002-05). An honorable mention All-American, Lindsay led all GNAC players with 12 goals in 2011.
Tickets for SPU soccer games can be purchased on game day at Interbay Stadium(3027 17th Ave. W., Seattle 98119). Ticket windows open one hour prior to kickoff. All seats are general admission and priced at $6 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens. SPU students and staff are admitted free. Groups or teams of 10 or more may qualify for reduced ticket rates by calling (206) 281-2085 in advance.
Home Sweet Home
The SPU women lost just three times in their last 64 homes games with a 55-3-4 mark since Sept. 30, 2006. They had a 45-game home unbeaten streak snapped on Sept. 30, 2010 with a 1-0 loss to Western Washington. The Falcons posted a 9-2-0 home record last season and were 7-1-1 in 2010, 11-0-1 in 2009, 11-0-2 in 2008 and 15-0 in 2007.
GNAC Title Chase
Three-time defending GNAC champion Seattle Pacific was projected by a preseason poll of the league’s coaches to collect a fourth consecutive women’s soccer title. SPU received all eight first-place votes. The Falcons seek to match the record of the SPU squads from 2002-2005 that collected four straight GNAC crowns. They return six starters from last season’s team that captured the GNAC crown with a 13-1 record. SPU won eight of the 11 titles since the GNAC began sponsoring women’s soccer in 2001.
Seattle Pacific seeks to return to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the 10th straight year. The Falcons won the 2008national championship. Last season they advanced to the West Region semifinal before losing 2-1 at Cal State L.A. on an 80th-minute goal. SPU advanced to the Final Four on three occasions (2005, 2007, 2008).
Six starters return from the GNAC championship SPU squad that reached the West Regional semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Division II Tournament. Topping the list of returnees is leading scorerMegan Lindsay, a senior who netted 12 goals last year. She had four game-winning strikes and helped SPU outscore opponents 56-13. Lindsay is joined on the forward line by sophomoresAli Martin and Heather Young, who both started strong last year before being sidelined with mid-season injuries. A pair of award-winning midfielders are back in second-team all-conference seniorBrittany Langdon and sophomore Riley Dopps, the 2011 GNAC Freshman of the Year. The backline features first-team all-region defenderJosie Graybeal. Junior goalkeeper Natalie Harold compiled a 0.62 goals against average in 11 starts last season.
The SPU women registered a 17-3-0 overall record in 2011, won their eighth GNAC title and participated in the postseason for the ninth straight season. They routed Grand Canyon 4-0 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament before falling 2-1 at Cal State L.A. Departed midfielder Kelsey Jenkins was the 2011 GNAC Player of the Year after leading the team with 11assists. SPU lost its No. 2 scorer in Kellie Zakrzewski who netted 10 goals. The back line took the biggest blow with the departures of starting defenders Taylor Sawyer, Andrea Chan and Janie Wurth.
The Falcons drew a split of two road games. They gave up two first-half goals to lose the conference opener 2-1 at Montana State Billings (Sept. 13).Josie Graybeal scored in the 51st minute, but SPU could not equalize. The Falcons won 3-1 at Northwest Nazarene (Sept. 15) behind a pair of assists fromHeather Young.
This Week’s Opponents
Western Washington (5-1-0, 2-0-0 GNAC) — The Vikings scored two or more goals in every outing during their current five-game winning streak. They are tied atop the GNAC standings with MSU Billings. Tenth-year coach Travis Connell, a four-year Seattle Pacific men’s soccer letterman from 1991-95, own WWU’s all-time mark with 107 coaching wins. Kristin Maris paces the Western attack with four goals. Goalkeeper Jamie Arthurs has four shutouts and a 0.33 goals against average. SPU swept the season serieslast year to increase its series lead to 16-4-3.
Central Washington (2-3-1, 1-1-0 GNAC) –The Wildcats won their GNAC opener 3-0 at Northwest Nazarene before falling 2-0 at Montana State Billings. Kelsy Villegas accounted for over half of CWU’s offense with four of the team’s seven goals. Goalkeeper Kayla Lipston compiled three shutouts and a 1.67 goals against average. SPU leads the all-time series 19-2-1 and won the last four meetings, including a 5-2 last season in Ellensburg and 4-2 in Seattle. The last Wildcat win in the series was a 3-1 decision in Ellensburg during the 2009 season.
Coach Chuck Sekyra
In his 10th season, Chuck Sekyra has guided Seattle Pacific to a remarkable 171-21-14 record, three Final Four appearances and the 2008 national championship. He directed seven of those teams to GNAC championships, and all nine of his squads participated in the NCAA tournament. His Falcons advanced to the 2005 championship game. Sekyra was a defender on the SPU men’s soccer teams that won back-to-back NCAA titles in 1985 and 1986. He served as an assistant men’s coach at SPU in 1998 and 1999 under Cliff McCrath, then was an assistant women’s coach at Washington for three years before being named head coach of the SPU women in 2003. Sekyra was named GNAC Coach of the Year six times (2003-05, 2007, 2009, 2011) and the Regional Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2007. He received the NSCAA National Coach of the Year award in 2007.
With eight championships in the 11-year history of the program, it’s no surprise that Seattle Pacific is the favorite once again to win the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title. This time, it’s unanimous. The Falcons received all eight first-place votes and the maximum of 64 points in the conference preseason coaches poll. Coming closest to SPU in the polling was Western Washington, which was a near-unanimous second with 55 points. From there, it was a significant drop to third-place Montana State Billings with 44 points. SPU also drew attention nationally, opening the season in the No. 19 position of the national coaches rankings.
The SPU women visit Western Oregon on Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. before returning home for a Saturday, Sept. 29 contest against Saint Martin’s at 7 p.m.