Despite attempting more shots during the match, the Seattle University men's soccer could not convert on enough of its chances, as the University of British Columbia held on for a 2-1 victory in an exhibition match Saturday afternoon at Championship Field.
Just over two minutes into the contest, the Redhawks were able to find success on their first scoring chance, as Marshall Kosaka (Burien, Wash.) sent a pass to Miguel Gonzalez (Yelm, Wash.), who flicked a touch pass onto the foot of Travis Heim (Ridgefield, Wash.). Heim, one of the team's leading goal scorers during the 2011 season, blasted a shot past UBC goalie Luke O'Shea to put Seattle U ahead, 1-0.
After Seattle U goalkeeper Jake Feener (Rocklin, Calif.) turned aside a couple of Thunderbird shots, the Redhawks dominated the possession during the middle of the first half, but none of the five shots attempted by Seattle U players during that span were on target. After a Seattle U foul in the 38th minute, Marco Visintin sent a free kick into the box, and Paul Clerc was able to guide the ball with his head into the back of the net to tie the match at 1-1, where it would stay at halftime.
Early in the second half, Visintin again found himself with the ball, this time setting up Brandon Bonifacio for a blast from about 25 yards out that eluded Feener and went into the goal. Gonzalez had two golden opportunities to pull the Redhawks even, as O'Shea left the net open on two different occasions, but by the time Gonzalez attempted a shot each time, O'Shea had recovered and was able to make the save.
The Redhawks increased the offensive pressure by switching to an offensive formation in the 72nd minute, but again most of the shots were not on target. Seattle U's final scoring chance came with less than four minutes remaining in regulation, as Heim sent a ball into the box that Hamza Haddadi (Shoreline, Wash.) attempted to steer into the goal, but his deflection attempt sailed wide.
"We don't like the result, but today was a start. Our guys battled and created chances, which is good. We figured out a couple of positions that guys can play. We learned a lot of lessons about things on the positive side as well as about things we need to fix," Seattle U head coach Peter Fewing said. "We were going for the win, so I am not happy that we lost. However, the effort was there and the desire was there."
Gonzalez and Heim led the Redhawks with four total shots apiece, followed by Brady Ballew (Marysville, Wash.) with three shots. Bonifacio led the Thunderbirds with three total shots, with Kent O'Connor earning two shots on goal during the match. O'Shea was credited with five saves, and Feener finished with four saves.
Seattle University will open the regular season Friday, Aug. 24, by hosting the Cal Poly Mustangs at Championship Field beginning at 5 p.m. To catch all the action this season, visit www.GoSeattleU.com or call the Redhawk ticket office at (206) 398-GOSU (4678) to purchase season tickets. Men's and women's soccer season tickets are $75 apiece for reserved seats and $50 for general admission. Single game tickets are available at the gate beginning 60 minutes prior to the start of each match.