After withstanding an early offensive run from the Cal Poly Mustangs, the Seattle University men's soccer team gained more possession as the season-opening match progressed, and a goal by Miguel Gonzalez (Yelm, Wash.) in the 39th minute held up as the Redhawks won, 1-0, Friday afternoon at Championship Field.
"It was a little scrappy and not as clean as we will be, but I appreciate the fight and the desire the guys had," Seattle U head coach Peter Fewing said. "Cal Poly is a good team, and we had to adjust. It was a good goal, one you could feel coming, as we were able to penetrate their defense more as the match went along."
Cal Poly (0-1-0) earned five shots in the first 25 minutes of the match, but the Seattle U defense was up to the task, either blocking the shots or giving goalie Jake Feener (Rocklin, Calif.) space to make the save. As the first half counted down to less than eight minutes left, the Redhawks started a flurry, with Gonzalez sending a shot wide and Austin Sweeney (Federal Way, Wash.) having his own shot attempt blocked.
Right after Sweeney's shot was deflected, Gonzalez put his own shot towards the goal, but the Mustang defense turned it away. The junior picked up the rebound, dribbled in closer, and beat Cal Poly goalie Wade Hamilton for his first career Seattle U goal.
In the second half, Gonzalez had another golden chance in the 59th minute, but his shot hit the crossbar, and Sweeney's follow was blocked away by the Mustang defense. A few minutes later, Brady Ballew (Marysville, Wash.) was able to put a shot on net, but Hamilton was able to make one of the two saves he was credited with during the contest.
Cal Poly's best chance of the second half came in the 71st minute, as a shot by Chris Gaschen was destined for the lower right corner of the net before Feener laid out and deflected the ball away harmlessly. The Mustangs' final good chance came in the 77th minute, as Feener made a save on a shot by Mackenzie Pridham, and Benny Estes followed with an attempt that hit the outside of the right post and bounced toward Pridham, whose header sailed wide.
Gonzalez took nine of Seattle U's 17 shots in the match, with Ballew and Sweeney each earning three shots. Pridham and Alex Loeffelman led Cal Poly with three shots apiece as the Mustangs finished with 14 total shots. Feener earned his fifth career shutout by making six saves during the contest.
Seattle University (1-0-0) heads to Spokane, Wash., for a matchup against the Gonzaga Bulldogs Sunday, Aug. 26, beginning at 3 p.m.