KANSAS CITY, Mo. – For the third time in four years, UMKC women’s soccer faced Seattle U in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament championship match. Despite the Roos’ best efforts, they fell to the Redhawks 2-1, coming up just short of an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
UMKC (8-9-4, 3-2-2 WAC) fired the opening salvo of the championship match, scoring in the seventh minute of the match. Sophomore forward and All-WAC first-team honoree Kelsey Mothershead (Smithville, Mo.) sent a cross into the box near the six-yard box, and fellow sophomore Lexie Howard (Kearney, Mo.) made a tremendous play, deflecting the pass in the air to put the ball in the back of the net.
With the momentum seemingly on the UMKC side, Seattle U (13-5-1, 7-0-0 WAC) restarted play, and quickly turned the game back around, scoring just 76 seconds later, on a shot from the 18 that was placed perfectly above the reach of sophomore goalkeeper Anna Lillig (Kansas City, Mo.).
With the score tied a one goal each, both teams kept playing tough, tactically maneuvering and looking for the perfect opportunity to score. Neither team was able to find an opening, and the game remained tied at the half.
Out of the break both teams continued the same approach, but the defense on each side seemed to solidify making it difficult for either team to attack. The two teams battled without taking a shot until the 72nd minute, when Seattle U found a seam and snuck their second goal of the game past Lillig for the 2-1 lead.
UMKC attempted to level the score, but couldn’t make it happen, and ultimately fell to the Redhawks 2-1.
Howard, Herndon, and Pellens were each named to the All-Tournament Team. Howard scored two goals and tallied one assist for a total of five points, while Herndon and Pellens each notched four points with two goals apiece.
Natasha Howe, Sr., MF, Seattle U
Kaneika Webster, Fr., D, CSU Bakersfield
Haley Vicente, So., F, CSU Bakersfield
Libby Weber, Jr., MF, Utah Valley
Linley Brown, So., D, Utah Valley
Lexie Howard, So., F, UMKC
Emily Herndon, Sr., MF, UMKC
Niekie Pellens, Sr., D, UMKC
Karli White, So., F, Seattle U
Brie Hooks, Sr., F, Seattle U
Isabelle Butterfield, So., F, Seattle U
– UMKC –