Willamette University’s women’s soccer team had an eventful weekend with two conference wins, one overtime and their Play with Pride game.
On Saturday afternoon Sparks Field filled with rainbows as the women’s soccer team played Linfield in their Play with Pride game.
Senior Hannah Deighton explains: “We decided to join the Play for Pride movement with United Soccer Coaches to celebrate inclusion and diversity amongst players and coaches across sports. The movement supports all gender identities and sexual orientations and is identified by rainbow laces. This movement is especially important to our team because of our team motto #ICEU. The hashtag stands for Inclusion-Community-Excellence-United, values that support all for being their authentic self. I think it is important as an athlete to use your platform and the resources we are given to be an advocate.”
Willamette beat Linfield 3-1 behind strong defense. The win put their conference record at 1-0. The Bearcats kept the Wildcats out of the goal the entire first half of the game. On 14 shots by the Wildcats, only one slipped into the goal.
The first goal of the game was scored just under 12 minutes into the first quarter by senior Shanna Keil. Keil was also responsible for an assist on the last goal of the game as well.
In a post-game interview, Keil said: “ It felt awesome to help my team to a hard-earned victory; I’m glad we were able to come out strong in our conference opener. I feel good about this season. We have a great team chemistry and everyone’s hard work over summer and during practice is really showing. I think that winning both at home and away will give us some great momentum into the rest of season.”
In the George Fox University game on Sept. 22, WU won 1-0. Junior Lacey Jones scored the only goal on a header with an assist from Keil in the first quarter.
Deighton voiced an extremely positive outlook towards the rest of the season, saying: “We are feeling more confident to take on the rest of conference knowing what it takes to grind out wins against Linfield and George Fox in overtime. Every weekend counts so we know that we can’t get comfortable, but we will continue to work hard and stay invested in the team.”
Not only does the women’s team have a lot to look forward to on the field, but they have other events planned to help support their community. The women’s soccer team is going into their next game with an unblemished 2-0 record in the NWC. The next women’s soccer home game will be on Sept. 28 at noon. They will also have a home game on Oct. 2nd, where they will be honoring Domestic Violence Awareness Month.