SAN ANTONIO – The second member of the 2023 UTSA soccer team to receive a National Team call-up this season, UTSA defender Sasjah Dade has been selected to join the Samoa Women’s National Team in training and competition at the 2023 Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands.
A 2023 American Athletic Conference Preseason Watch List honoree and member of the 2022 All-Conference USA third team, Dade was a crucial defender for this year’s UTSA team that set the program record for goals-against-average (0.72), garnered seven shutouts and produced five more games with only a single goal allowed. In addition to her defensive prowess, Dade scored two game-winning goals and distributed an assist in 2023. She was also a core defender on the 2022 UTSA Conference USA Championship squad while earning the most points by a defender – 13 points off five goals, including three game-winners, and three assists.
“This is a tremendous honor and achievement for Sasjah,” sixth-year head coach Derek Pittman said. “I have watched her grow and develop as a player for the last four years, so it is a proud moment for our program to know all of her hard work has paid off. Sasjah is a tough, blue collar competitor that will lead with her effort and attitude in the Samoan camp. She is a tenacious defender with the ability to help this team in a variety of ways. We can’t wait to cheer her on in her upcoming matches and we wish her and her teammates all the best in this competition.”
Named to the 22-woman National Team by Football Federation Samoa, Dade shares Samoan lineage on her mother’s side. Dade arrived in the capital of Samoa, Apia, last week for training camp. The squad departed for the Solomon Islands off the coast of Papua New Guinea on Nov. 15th, local date – since Samoa is on the western side of the International Dateline, that’s Tuesday, Nov. 14th, for family and teammates back in the U.S.
Under the guidance of head coach Paul Ifill, Samoa will be in Pool Group B of the 2023 Pacific Games with Tahiti and Tonga. The squad will face Tahiti on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 12:00 p.m. locally and then Tonga on Friday, Nov. 24 at 12:00 p.m. All pool matches will be played at Lawson Tama Stadium. The top team in each group advances to the semifinal, as well as the best second-place group team overall. Also competing in Group A are Papua New Guinea, Cook Islands, New Caledonia and American Samoa, while Group C consists of Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. The semifinals are set for Monday, Nov. 27 with the final scheduled for Friday, Dec. 1 at Lawson Tama.
- UTSA -