Athletics The Scholar-Athlete
Men’s Soccer Team Breaks Win Streak Record, Wins Conference
Autumn Sports Update
By Mark Moschetti | Photo by Andrew Towell
Earning the No. 1 seed in the NCAA West Regional tournament, the men's soccer team hosted the tournament at Interbay Stadium. Mark Collings was named GNAC coach of the year, and the entire 11-man starting lineup was named on the All-GNAC teams.
Even a power outage couldn’t pull the plug on what’s emerging as one of the best men’s soccer campaigns in Seattle Pacific history.
Along with a sweep of the Alaska schools and victories at Simon Fraser and Montana State Billings, the SPU men were very much back in the national picture, making a return to the top 25 rankings. The 92–87 double-overtime win at Billings on January 25 closed out the first half of Great Northwest Athletic Conference play.
Coach Mark Collings’ Falcons are back in the NCAA Division II Tournament for the fourth straight year, coming on the heels of their first outright Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship since 2006. As of November 19, they already had one playoff victory in the books, a 2–1 decision against GNAC rival Northwest Nazarene in the West Regional semifinals on November 15.
That put SPU into the tournament’s Sweet 16, with that round and the quarterfinals both coming to Interbay Stadium. The last team standing there would be off to Louisville, Kentucky, for the national semifinals and finals on December 4 and 6. (See spufalcons.com for results.)
Seattle Pacific’s 16–1–2 overall mark heading into the Sweet 16 game against Cal State Los Angeles on November 20 included a school-record 13-game winning streak and 15-game unbeaten streak. Part of those streaks was a 1-0 win against the University of Mary on October 25 that was called after 81 minutes when the Interbay lights went out.
Not even the school’s five national title teams won that many games in a row. The record-breaking 11th straight victory was on the field of archrival Western Washington, a come-from-behind 2–1 double-overtime decision on October 18.
The women’s soccer team captured its second straight GNAC Tournament title — and just like last year, won it in a penalty-kick tiebreaker. That secured a 12th consecutive NCAA Tournament berth for coach Chuck Sekyra’s squad. The season ended with a 2–1 double-overtime loss to Cal State Stanislaus in the first round, but the Falcons still posted a 12–5–3 final record.
After a fifth-place finish at the GNAC Championships, the women’s cross country team was preparing for a trip to Billings, Montana, for the NCAA West Regionals. A top-6 finish in that meet would send them to nationals for the third straight year.
The volleyball season ended with a three-set sweep of Saint Martin’s on November 15. The Falcons wound up at 12–14 overall.