As the Wildcats took on Eastern Washington in their final home match of the season, seniors Sydnie Brough, Kelsi Jones and Celeste Anderson said goodbye to the Wildcat Soccer Field.
After all three players were honored in a pregame ceremony on Oct. 22, the Eagles ended up with a 2–1 victory over the ’Cats to end Weber State University’s playoff hopes.
The Wildcats took an early 1–0 lead on junior forward Morgan Quarenberg’s eighth goal of the season, but Eastern Washington rallied — tying the match and then taking the lead in the 78th minute.
“It’s always mixed emotions, we are excited to have them move onto the next phase of their lives, but you are going to miss them when they’re gone,” Weber State head coach Tim Crompton said. “The three seniors we have are great kids and tremendous student athletes who will end up doing great things beyond their sport here.”
Brough took the field to begin the match, making her 43rd career start at goalkeeper. She was then replaced by redshirt sophomore Nikki Pittman, receiving an ovation from the crowd.
“The moment was bittersweet and very challenging,” Brough said. “But I knew we were going to perform today and I feel like we still played well.”
For Jones, a midfielder for the ’Cats, the reality of the end had not yet sunk in. She was born in Ogden and graduated from Weber High School before joining the Wildcats.
“It was kind of surreal,” Jones said. “It doesn’t feel like it was my last game. But I loved going out there with this team and all the hard work they do for us. We are like sisters out there.”
Anderson has spent four years as a Weber State midfielder and will now shift her full attention to furthering her education.
“I am going to focus on school,” Anderson said. “I will graduate next spring and then go do my Masters program at Utah State.”
With the 2–1 victory, Eastern Washington remained undefeated and atop the standings in Big Sky competition.
Weber State dropped to 2–5 in conference play and 3–12 overall. The ’Cats will play Idaho State on the road in their season finale on Oct. 27.
Even in a down year for Weber State, Brough was able to walk away with some positives. The team’s 3–12–2 record was their worst as a team since the 2010 season.
“It has been a lot of fun this season,” Brough said. “I enjoyed it. I haven’t figured out my future yet, but just taking things one step at a time and looking forward to it.”
Even though the season may be coming to a close, coach Crompton and his squad will remain hard at work.
“It’s all about getting ready for next year,” Crompton said. “We have some kids returning that started every game last season and went on missions, and they will be back. We have a really good group coming in. Hopefully all these one-point losses will fuel this team.”