With 17 underclassmen rostered, the Gonzaga University women’s soccer team (14-5, 4-4 WCC) has an abundance of youthful talent. However, in GU’s 2-0 victory over the University of San Francisco (6-9-2) on Wednesday, it was the seniors who led the way.
GU senior defenders Jordan Thompson and Haley Archuleta anchored the team’s defense, stopping opposing scoring attacks and disrupting the rhythm of USF’s offense. The pair guided GU to its 11th shutout of the season in the team’s last regular season home game, likely the final home game of any kind for its four seniors.
Thompson was happy with the way her team played on both sides of the ball.
“It felt like that was our first 90 [minute] game that we put together a really good performance and that we were able to be strong on both defense and offense,” Jordan said.
The strong performance of Thompson and Archuleta is no surprise to GU head women’s soccer coach Chris Watkins, who appreciates what the defensive duo has brought to the program during their time at GU.
“Haley is steady every game, she’s boring and steady every game — you know exactly what she’s going to get, she’s an all-conference type of player,” Watkins said. “Jordan may be the best player in program history at this point.”
Senior midfielder Hannah Hale also excelled for the Zags. In the 58th minute, she scored by deflecting a kick from a USF defender into the goal which gave GU a 2-0 lead. Hale’s goal came eight minutes after a goal from junior forward Erin Healy, who was set up by sophomore midfielder Isabelle Moultray.
For Hale, the game meant so much and she’s grateful for the experience she’s had at GU.
“It was surreal coming off today, just realizing that was the last time we’ll be playing here, but I wouldn't trade the experience for the world,” Hale said. It was everything I could have hoped for.”
Thompson is also thankful to get the win and for her time playing for GU.
“It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime and it’s been so fun and it’s so cool getting to play your favorite sport with your best friends for a school that you love,” Thompson said. "And it was just awesome stepping off the field today for the last time at home ever with a win and with a really solid performance.”
For the last game of the season, GU will go on the road to play Loyola Marymount University.
Even though it will be the last game of the season, LMU is still searching for its first win. Holding an 0-17 overall record, LMU has given up the most goals of any team in the WCC. That will certainly benefit a GU team that has the second-most goals scored in the conference this season.
The game is on Saturday at 4 p.m. While the game isn’t at home, fans can follow the match on the Gonzaga University Athletics website.