Three of the Falcon athletic teams found themselves in precarious positions regarding NCAA postseason competition this fall. Coach Cliff McCrath started as many as five freshmen on the men's soccer team and was still 10-6-1 going into the final two regular season games. Late-game heroics by David Smith and James Ward earned a much-needed win and tie during a late-October trip through Texas. The opening round of the NCAA tournament is November 10, and SPU is bidding for its 12th straight berth and 29th in 31 years.

In volleyball, Seattle Pacific's bid to return to the NCAA regional for a second time has been hampered by injuries to key players. Senior Leah Wiiest and freshman Cathleen Price helped the Falcons survive a six-match absence of Leilani Kamahoahoa and take a 17-6 record into the final week of October. Three of the last four matches are scheduled at home, where SPU has won 21 of its last 22.

The cross country team was also slowed by injuries, but Coach Doris Heritage expected two-time conference champion Rachel Ross and season top scorer Jamie Witt to both be available for the West Regional Novem- ber 3 in Bellingham. The top four women's teams will advance to the NCAA Championships November 17 in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania. Heri-tage's teams have qualified for nationals in six of the last seven years.

With three games remaining in women's soccer, the Falcons found themselves in contention for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference crown and perhaps a winning record. SPU was undefeated at home in conference play and stands 8-8-1 overall.


Acclaim for the new Seattle Pacific University women's soccer team is rolling in. Alumni and students alike think Coach Bobby Bruch's squad is, in the words of soccer fans Kathi Teel and her daughter, Julie, "a classy program."

"Bobby is doing a great job and the team looks sharp," says Kathi, a 1965 Seattle Pacific graduate and supporter of the team.

Senior Casey Robinson-Pierce, a communication major from Fresno, California, and women's soccer fan, believes the team will be an exciting one to watch for years to come. "They've got some natural kinks to work out being new, but that will come. It's a team with great potential to succeed and really enchant the whole Seattle community."

Stephen Hynden's 5-year-old daughter, Melanie, is already smitten. He took her to the Falcon women's inaugural home game, which they won 2-1 against Central Washington University. "I want to indoctrinate her early," says the 1987 SPU alumnus and counselor at Inglewood Junior High. "She likes soccer and screamed and yelled with the rest of us. Leagues start at first grade where we live, and it's good for her to see women athletes having fun and doing well. This is something great for a father and daughter to do together."

Interbay Stadium was nearly full for the kickoff home event on September 8, which was particularly noteworthy given that students had not yet arrived for the new academic year.


Both of Seattle Pacific University's basketball teams should pack plenty of punch this winter, if the preseason predictions are any indication.

A relatively experienced men's squad features two all-conference selections — Brannon Stone and Nick Johnson — and is ranked 16th nationally. The Falcons, who were 21-6 and NCAA playoff participants for the seventh time in eight years in 2001, begin the regular season November 16-17 by hosting the Vitamilk Tip-Off Classic in Brougham Pavilion.

The SPU women's program must replace its entire starting frontline, yet Coach Gordy Presnell is confident his team can rebuild quickly. Much of his optimism is founded on the skills of 6-foot-3 junior Kelley Berglund, the starting center for Washington State a year ago. Seattle Pacific plays four of its first five games at home, beginning November 17 versus Western Baptist.

Please read our disclaimer. Send any questions, comments or correspondence about Response to jgilnett@spu.edu
or call 206-281-2051.
Copyright © 2001 University Communications, Seattle Pacific University.

Seattle Pacific University
Office of University Communications
3307 Third Avenue West
Seattle, Washington 98119-1997
United States of America