Dec. 6, 2008

 

Courtesy of Seattle Pacific

TAMPA, Fla. – Janae Godoy delivered Seattle Pacific’s first women’s soccer title on a golden goal with 2:13 left in the final overtime Saturday for a 1-0 victory over previously undefeated West Florida in the NCAA Division II championship game at Pepin Stadium.

Godoy (Yakima, Wash./West Valley) directed a 10-yard blast from the left side of the goalmouth into the upper right at 107:47 for her eighth goal of the season. The junior midfielder has been a clutch performer recently with five game-winning goals in the last seven games. She was responsible for the deciding goal in three of the Falcons five playoff victories.

“Being in my position you have to run a lot to get to the back post, but it pays off when you get there,” Godoy exclaimed. “The other team just didn’t get a good clearance and it was touched right to me. I knew the ‘keeper had already gone out, so I didn’t have to worry about her. I just hit it on frame.”

Junior Jocelyn Charette (Tacoma, Wash./Curtis) was credited with an assist after receiving an Alex Butler (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep) cross from the right flank. Charette headed the ball down, setting Godoy up with an opening to shoot.

Charette distributed the game-winning assist in each of the last four victories, including Thursday’s 3-1 semifinal win over No. 12 Metro State, a 1-0 quarterfinal victory over No. 22 Truman State and a 1-0 double-overtime, third round decision against No. 12 Western Washington.

The fourth-ranked Falcons (22-1-2) were competing in their third Final Four in the last four years and their second championship game.

This marked the fourth consecutive year the Division II title contest went into overtime, including 2005 when the Falcons lost a 2-1 decision to Nebraska-Omaha. They were on the happy end of a championship golden goal this time, producing the school’s ninth national title. The SPU men won five soccer championships and the women’s gymnastics team is a three-time titlist.

The Falcons ended the season with a 17-game unbeaten streak. They outscored opponents by a combined 52-6 margin during that span.

Coach Chuck Sekyra is no stranger to winning. He led SPU into the NCAA Tournament in each of his six seasons. As a player, he was a starting defender on the Falcons back-to-back men’s championship teams in 1985 and 1986.

But Sekyra was unprepared for the emotions he felt following his team’s dramatic triumph.

“I always wondered what this would feel like and it’s feels even better than I thought it would,” Sekyra explained as he choked up. “We never gave up. We stayed the course and believed that what we do well would get it done in the end. I thought we got stronger as the game went on.”

Saturday’s golden goal was a fitting end for an overtime dominated by the Falcons, who outshot West Florida 6-2 during extra time.

SPU can sympathize with the second-ranked Argonauts (24-1-1), who tasted defeat for the first time. West Florida entered the game having outscored opponents by a remarkable 92-6 margin. Last season, the Falcons brought a perfect 23-0 record into the Final Four and then suffered a 2-0 semifinal setback against Franklin Pierce.

SPU sustained a single loss and two ties this season and had to play from behind on occasion. All that made his team more resilient this year, according to Sekyra.

Sophomore Maddie Dickinson (Vancouver, Wash./Skyview) posted her fourth consecutive playoff win in goal for SPU. She recorded all three of her saves in the opening half when the Falcons adjusted to the speedy pace of the West Florida attack.

Dickinson registered her 10th shutout and the 17th for the team.

Argonauts goalkeeper Courtney Jones stopped five shots before surrendering just her sixth goal of the season.

SPU finished with a 19-11 advantage in shot attempts, including a 14-4 margin after halftime.

The Falcons were the aggressors in the second half. They had an 8-2 shot lead with several quality chances.

Senior Meredith Teague (Redmond, Wash./Bellevue Christian) gathered the ball during a 58th-minute scramble in the UWF box and, with the goalkeeper out of her box, sent a shot that was cleared off the line by Sheka Codner.

In the final minute of regulation, SPU senior Shannon Oakes (Boise, Idaho/Boise) sent a 25-yard free kick into the wall. Senior Katie Taylor (Vancouver, Wash./Columbia River) collected the rebound and fired a shot just wide of the goal.

The Argonauts posted a 7-5 edge in first-half shots, but three of them were denied by Dickinson.

The Falcons possessed the ball in the UWF end early in the first half and attempted the first two shots of the game, including a flicked header in the sixth minute by Charette that was easily saved by Jones at the center of the Argonauts goal. Two minutes later, Teague pounded a long shot over the crossbar.

Teague had another chance in the 27th minute, but her volley off a corner kick travelled just right of the upper corner.

The most dangerous opportunity in the opening half came in the 29th minute when West Florida's Dernelle Mascall got the ball with some space in the box. She pushed a roller that Dickinson collected at the left post.

The Argonauts had another near miss in the 37th minute when Marcela Franco’s blast to the upper right was tipped over the goal by Dickinson.


NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Tournament
Championship Game
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Pepin Stadium; Tampa, Fla.

(#4) Seattle Pacific 1, (#2) West Florida 0

Scoring -- 1, SPU, Janae Godoy (Jocelyn Charette), 107:47.

Shots – SPU 19, UWF 11.
Saves – SPU 3 (Maddie Dickinson), UWF 5 (Courtney Jones).
Corner kicks – SPU 9, UWF 13.
Fouls – SPU 14, UWF 20.
Offsides – SPU 2, UWF 2.
Attendance – 351.

Records --
Seattle Pacific 22-1-2
West Florida 24-1-1