Things could hardly have gone better for the Clan as they held their home opener on Saturday, September 15 against Western Oregon. The team dominated in all aspects of the game, and showed off the attacking style of play that head coach Annie Hamel discussed to The Peak in a preseason interview. With the win, SFU is now 1–0 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC). Here’s how it happened.
Jenna-lee Baxter got the GNAC season started on the right track, scoring a goal into the top-left corner of the net six minutes and 11 seconds into the season. Before the end of the first half, she would show off her playmaking abilities, putting in a perfect cross to Emma Pringle who headed it in for the second goal of the game. The teams would go into the half with a score of 2–0.
Things weren’t as easy to start the second half, as a goal for Western Oregon by Alexie Morris made the score 2–1 in the 63rd minute. Less than 10 minutes later, however, Pringle responded in a big way. She took a pass at the top of the box for Baxter and could not have placed it better into the net, as the ball hit off of the crossbar and in. Shortly after, Teagan Mackay’s first goal of the season ended all possibilities of a comeback, making the game 4–1, which would end up being the final score.
When asked after the game what it means for the team to start the season off so strongly, Hamel responded with:
“It was good performance. Good and bad moments today throughout the game but thankfully we were able to capitalize on some great opportunities and put the game away on Emma’s second goal to make it 3–1.”
Peak player of the game: Emma Pringle/Jenna-lee Baxter
The attacking tandem was at its best today, and both players played excellently. The pair continuously made each other better last season, and this season looks to be no different. When asked after the game on their efforts, this is what Hamel had to say:
“Emma and Jenna have a great partnership, it just clicks. The fun thing this year is that we are getting production from different players at different times, something we’ve struggled with in the past.”
When asked about Pringle’s scoring abilities, Hamel responded with:
“Emma is an extraordinary player, she is always a threat for the opponent and a player they have to account for. Her work ethic and positioning are brilliant. We are so lucky to have her on our team.”
Next, the team will travel to Western Washington University to face off against the Vikings, a team that will also look to compete at the top of the conference. The game is on Saturday, September 22 and kicks off at 4 p.m. This is what Hamel had to say about SFU’s next opponent:
“Western Washington [is] a tough opponent with quality players. We will be looking to build off our performance today and fine tune some detail in our defensive and attacking structure to limit the mistakes in our next game.”