Gonzaga women’s soccer braved the elements and won at home Sunday, defeating the Seattle University Redhawks by a score of 4-0 on a wet Luger Field.
The Bulldogs (4-2-0) jumped on the Redhawks (3-2-1) early after freshman forward Lauren Elwer dribbled her way through the Redhawks defense and shot past the goalkeeper’s hand just seven minutes into the match. It was Elwer’s fourth goal of the season.
“We had a lot of fun with it,” Elwer said. “[The Redhawks] are obviously a really good team, but I think it was important that we had fun this game.”
As the first half was ending, sophomore midfielder Sophia Braun put the Bulldogs up 2-0 after she scored her first goal of the season off a cross from teammate Madeline Gotta.Head coach Chris Watkins pointed out the importance the team’s offense had in the victory.
“Anytime we can play that much offense on the second day of a weekend against a really good team… we’re happy with the result,” he said.
GU outshot the Redhawks 9-5 in the first half, and 18-12 overall. Redhawks forward Jessie Ray led the team in shots with five, while Elwer led GU with five as well.
The offense continued to push the pace into the second half, when freshman forward Erin Healy scored off a header in a wild sequence for the Zags.It was Healy’s fourth goal of the season.
While the offense was firing on all cylinders, the Bulldogs’ defense had a big impact on the game as well. The Redhawks only managed two shots on target due to the Zags’ stifling defense.
“We’re coming along nicely,” Watkins said. “You can see every game we’re connecting a little bit better on the offensive end, and defensively we’re developing a little bit of a shell so we can withstand some attacks.”
As for the conditions of the game, the Zags were prepared for the rain and the wet.
“We knew we had to play (the ball) quick” Elwer said.
The rain picked up early in the first half, soaking Luger Field even more than it already was from the precipitation earlier that morning. Perhaps one of the most impressive goals of this young season came late in the second period, when sophomore midfielder Payton Stiles received a pass from teammate Taylor Kernion and shot from near the left corner, a perfectly placed ball that went into the right corner of the goal.
“That was a beautiful shot,” Elwer said of her teammate’s first career goal as a Bulldog.
The Redhawks’ goalkeeper Madison Waguespack had four saves in 72 minutes, while GU’s Isabel Jones and LyzaBosselmann each had one save apiece. There were 25 total fouls, with the Bulldogs committing 14 of them. Elwer led the Zags in fouls with three, while forward/midfielder Rakel Leosdottir committed the most fouls on the Redhawks with two.
Gonzaga travels to Kansas State Thursday for their next match, the first ever meeting between the two schools.