By: Natalie Van Dyke/GCU Staff
The number zero and number one were paramount this weekend for Grand Canyon University Women’s Club Soccer as its GCU Purple team upheld their undefeated record, and GCU White earned its first win of the season.
Friday: GCU Purple 3, Arizona Christian 1
In a rematch of a 2-2 draw between the two sides in the season opener, GCU Purple actually came from behind to earn a 3-1 victory over Arizona Christian University Friday night at Prescott Field. ACU scored a goal in the ninth minute, but that lead didn’t last long. Just 90 seconds later, the Lopes scored to tie the game, and scored another in the 18th minute to take the lead into halftime.
GCU goalkeeper Ana Barajas made 10 saves in the second half alone to keep the Lopes ahead. Lexi Baca was the standout offensive player of the night with a goal of her own as well as assists on the other two goals by Hannah Rowlands and Kaitlyn Halverson.
“We played really well as a team,” said Baca. “Our team chemistry has improved a lot since our first matchup with ACU, and it’s great to see this group come together.”
Friday: Arizona State 3, GCU White 0
At the same time, across town in Tempe, GCU White trailed, 1-0, at halftime to Arizona State University, and maintained the narrow deficit until the final five minutes of the match in a 3-0 loss.
“We just didn’t have depth on the bench,” said Lopes Head Coach Hannah Bolton. “They held on for as long as they could against a really impressive ASU club team.”
Saturday: GCU Purple 3, GCU White 0
GCU Purple played against GCU White in an all-Lopes showdown on Saturday afternoon, with Purple taking a 3-0 victory thanks to contributions from several players. Halverson, Carmen Zavala and Kennedy Griffith provided the goal scoring, while Zavala and Gabrielle Duff-McGaughey added assists.
“It’s not a GCU White or a GCU Purple win,” said Bolton. “It’s a GCU win, and we are developing our program as one, so that’s how we want to see it. It’s good to see where we are at and celebrate all being out here together.”
Sunday: GCU White 1, Northern Arizona 0
GCU White came away with a 1-0 win against Northern Arizona University in the last match of the weekend on Sunday. Possession of the ball was equally divided, and it appeared that the teams would head to halftime scoreless until GCU freshman Eleni Pappas scored with just two seconds left on the clock.
Despite NAU’s numerous scoring opportunities, GCU goalkeeper Alyssa Kuhn tallied five saves in the last four minutes of the match to lead her team to the shutout.
“It was a good win,” said Bolton. “NAU definitely upped the pressure in the last five minutes, and there were some moments we got lucky, but we also did a nice job of controlling the things we can do right.”
The GCU women’s club teams join the GCU Men’s Club Soccer program as they head to San Diego this weekend to play in the Aztec Cup. The tournament begins Friday, Sept. 27. Take a look at the entire schedule and results for the season.