SEATTLE – The No. 23 University of Denver women’s soccer team won a share of the Western Athletic Conference regular season title on Sunday, as the Pioneers shut out Seattle 2-0 in both team’s regular season finale on Sunday afternoon at Championship Field.
“I thought that we did a great job of managing the game today,” head coach Jeff Hooker said. “We had a couple of great goals, on great runs and some clinical finishing. I thought that we did a good job of keeping the ball in the second half. Even when we brought fresh players off the bench, we kept possession very well. It was a team effort this afternoon. It was nice to accomplish one of our goals from the beginning of the season today, which was to win the conference title.”
The Pioneers (14-1-4, 6-0-2 WAC, 20 pts.) opened the scoring in the 11th minute on senior forward Kaitlin Bast’s (Centennial, Colo.) ninth goal of the season. Junior defender Cassidy Larson (Eldorado Springs, Colo.) played a cross to the near post for Bast, who beat her defender and headed it inside the woodwork to give the Pioneers the early breakthrough against the Redhawks (8-8-2, 3-3-2 WAC, 11 pts.). With the goal, Bast has now scored in four-consecutive matches.
Denver’s other two starting forwards combined to give the Crimson and Gold a two-goal cushion in the 56th minute. Junior Kristen Hamilton (Littleton, Colo.) scored the goal on an assist from senior Kalie Vaughn (Fort Collins, Colo.). Vaughn played a through ball behind the Redhawks' backline to Hamilton, who pump-faked a couple of times before finishing into the side netting. Hamilton leads the WAC with 31 points and 13 goals this season.
DU outshot Seattle 14-4 and held a 12-4 advantage in corners.
Denver and Utah State share the 2012 WAC regular season title, but the Aggies have the top seed heading into next week’s conference tournament in Logan, Utah. With the No. 2 seed, Denver earned a first-round bye and will play in the conference semifinals next Friday at 12 p.m. MT. The Pioneers will play the winner of Texas State and Idaho.
-EXPERIENCE DENVER ATHLETICS-
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