Makena Rietz (17) and Madison Ibale (2) celebrate with teammates by hoisting the NCAA Division II West Region women’s soccer championship trophy.

Women’s soccer wins NCAA West Region title and advances to NCAA Elite 8

Seattle Pacific women’s soccer defeated 13th-ranked Western Washington 2-1 in December to clinch their fourth NCAA West Region title. The game was part of top-seeded SPU’s late-season hot stretch, extending its unbeaten streak to 15 games with 10 straight wins and a 14-0-1 record during that span. The Falcons advanced to the quarterfinal round of the tournament, where they ended their season with a 1-0 loss to Dallas Baptist.

Men’s soccer wins first GNAC title since 2015, advancing to NCAA tournament

In November, SPU men’s soccer defeated Saint Martin’s 1-0 and secured a spot in the NCAA Division II men’s soccer tournament, capping a 12-4-2 record for the season. It marked men’s soccer’s 36th trip to the tournament and its first postseason appearance since 2015. The team lost 1-0 to Colorado State Pueblo in the first tournament match in Los Angeles, California.

SPU Falcons receive academic excellence award

For the 11th year in a row, SPU has been presented with the NCAA Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence, one of only 10 NCAA Division II schools to win it all 11 years it has been presented. The award recognizes a four-year academic success rate — the percentage of student-athletes who graduate within six years of enrollment — of 90% or higher. For the most recent four-year period, Seattle Pacific’s rate was 95%. “To be recognized again as an institution and department that consistently lives out our mission of academic excellence is exciting and also a testament to our students, coaches, faculty, and staff at SPU,” said Athletic Director Jackson Stava.

“I’m super thankful for the community I’ve built on campus as well as the opportunity to be on the track and field team. And none of this would be possible without donations.” —Charisma, Class of 2024

Student-athletes earn Academic and Team All-American awards

Five SPU athletes were nationally recognized for their extraordinary combination of academic and athletic excellence. Men’s basketball guard Harry Cavell earned such honors for a second consecutive year with a 3.78 GPA. Women’s soccer forward Sophia Chilczuk was honored for a third time with a 3.92 GPA. Two other women’s soccer players were also lauded — defender Madison Ibale, with a 3.85 GPA, and midfielder Makena Rietz, with a 3.72 GPA. Men’s soccer midfielder Travis Swallow was a rare four-time recipient with his 3.94 GPA.

Women’s soccer player Sophia Chilczuk also won an All-American award, recognizing her as one of the best soccer players in the country. Joining her on the soccer All-American list were teammates Makena Rietz and Madison Ibale. Also earning All-American awards were distance runner Annika Esvelt for women’s indoor track and field, and women’s volleyball standout Hannah Hair. Men’s soccer forward Alex Mejia was honored as a double All-American for his league-leading 14 goals.

Varsity four women’s rowing team place fourth in NCAA regatta

In May, for only the second time in SPU history, a four-oared boat advanced into the grand final at an NCAA regatta. The Falcons four, coxed by Moxie McCandless, featured rowers Megan Popielak, Kristin Grassell, Avalon Tarbet-Mendoza, and Audrey Rekedal. At the same regatta, Seattle Pacific took part in the overall team competition for just the third time in school history, placing sixth.