TWU fourth year forward Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) scored the first goal of 2018 in a preseason game against the Seattle University Redhawks. File photo

Off to a good start: TWU Spartans take preseason opener

TWU team scored two goals in under a minute late in the first half against Seattle

A spirited come back from the Seattle University women’s soccer fell just short as the visiting Trinity Western Spartans came out of Championship Field with a 2-1 exhibition victory.

The TWU team scored two goals in under a minute late in the first half to defeat the Seattle University Redhawks in the Spartans 2018 preseason opener Saturday night in Seattle.

TWU fourth year forward Rachel Hutchinson (Cloverdale, B.C.) scored the first goal of 2018 when she opened the scoring for the Spartans in the 33rd minute to give TWU the 1-0 lead. Spartans fifth year forward Danae Derksen (Delta, B.C.) made it 2-0 when she converted a pass from Hutchinson less than 20 seconds later.

The Spartans held the 2-0 lead after the first 45 minutes.

Seattle’s Paige Malm got the Redhawks to within one goal when she beat TWU fifth year keeper Rachel Sydor (Tsawwassen, B.C.) in the 76th minute.

Sydor made five saves and played the full 90 minutes to earn the win for the Spartans. Seattle split the goal keeping duties between Mackenzie Curry, who played the first 62 minutes, and Ariana Romero who played the final 28 minutes. Curry made two saves in the loss.

Seattle finished the match outshooting TWU 14-6, with a 6-4 edge in shots on goal. The Redhawks also had a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.

“We had a bit of a make shift line up, but we had a good performance in our work rate and understanding on how we can play at this level,” said TWU Head Coach Graham Roxburgh.

“We were lively in the first half, but didn’t generate a lot of chances in the second half. Overall I was pleased that we were able to get a number of rookies their first taste of university soccer and get a good run for 18 of our players.”

TWU third year midfielder Gabi Short (Calgary) led the Spartans with two shots, while Seattle’s Laura Hooper led the Redhawks with four shots.

Rookie midfielder Sierra Halldorson (Winnipeg) got her first point as a Spartan with an assist on Hutchinson’s opening goal.

Rookies Halldorson, Shaila Weflen (Chilliwack, B.C.), Makenna Dieterich (Langley, B.C.), Syd Duquette (Winnipeg), and Katelyn Ward (Abbotsford, B.C.) saw their first game action wearing the Spartan blue and gold.

READ MORE: Bronze for Spartans soccer

Trinity Western’s women’s soccer team will open its Canada West championship defence with a rematch of last year’s gold medal game against Victoria Sept. 7 at the Spartans Chase Office Field.

READ MORE: Centre-back Brooklyn Tidder scores eventual game winner as TWU edges Victoria 2-1 in final

The Spartans season-opening contest is part of a key home weekend in which the Spartans will also host UBC Sept. 8. TWU capped last year’s Canada West campaign with a 3-0 semifinal win over the Thunderbirds followed by a 2-1 win over the Vikes in the conference final.

TWU posted a 10-3-1 regular season record last year, which included a 10-match shutout streak. The Spartans went on to win the conference title before earning a bronze medal at the national championship.

The Spartans have played in each of the last seven Canada West championship games, winning four times (2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017).

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