SFU women’s soccer season comes to a heartbreaking end against Western Washington University

Defending champions beat Clan late in GNAC Semi Finals

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The Clan came so close in their last match of the season. (Photo courtesy of SFU Athletics)

A fantastic season has come to an abrupt end. On Thursday night, the SFU women’s soccer team travelled to Portland, Oregon to compete in the GNAC Championship Semi Finals. Unfortunately, they were matched up against defending GNAC champions Western Washington, who also finished this GNAC season at the top of the table with a 10–1–1 conference record. In other words, the Clan were in for a tough game.

Despite this adversity, SFU played admirably. The first half saw a stellar performance from SFU goalkeeper Nicole Anderson, who did everything possible to keep Western Washington off the scoreboard. She made four saves in the first half, three of which were over a three minute stretch early in the game. Her efforts gave the Clan a fighting chance going into the second half with a score of 0–0.

This momentum was quickly stopped at the beginning of the second half, as the Vikings were able to get off to a quick lead. The goal came off the foot of defender Lindsay Fujiwara, who let a shot fly from 30 feet out. The ball flew over the head of the unsuspecting Anderson, for a rare goal for the WWU defender.

The highlight of the game for the Clan came after a hard-fought 30 minutes by SFU. In the 80th minute, Jenna-lee Baxter lined up for a free kick. After putting the ball in the box, Vikings keeper Natalie Dierickx attempted to punch the ball into safety. Luckily for the Clan, the ball landed on the foot of Samantha Donald, who calmly placed the ball into the net for the late equalizer.

This excitement would be very short-lived, however, as Western Washington answered back almost immediately. Again it was via a free kick, as defender Taylor Hallquist was able to find forward Emily Bunnell in the box, who scored her first goal of the season. While SFU were able to create one more chance with Katelyn Erhardsen dribbling into the box, they were unable to find another late goal.

This final battle marked the end of the Clan season, but there is still a lot to be excited about with how the team played this year. The team finished with a 10–6–1 overall record, and a 8–3–1 conference record. Their attacking style of play was exciting to watch, and it often produced great results for the team. Check out our article on the awards that the SFU women’s team won this season, and be sure to catch the men’s soccer team as they continue on their quest for a national title.