After a scoreless first half, Nebraska Omaha struck quickly with two goals early in the second half, forcing Seattle University to play from behind the rest of the day, and the Redhawks' efforts fell just short as the Mavericks held on for a 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon in men's soccer action at UNO Soccer Field.
The Redhawks earned the early scoring opportunities, led by three shots from Race Sciabica (Bellevue, Wash.) in the first 27 minutes of the match, but none of those shots were on frame. In the 34th minute, Nebraska Omaha's first shot came from Giovanni Giattino, but Redhawk goalie Jake Feener (Rocklin, Calif.) was able to make the save. Feener also kept a shot by Devin Diego out of the net in the 40th minute to maintain the scoreless tie after 45 minutes of action.
Nebraska Omaha (2-2) took advantage of a Redhawk foul in the box less than three minutes into the second half, as Diego converted on a penalty kick chance to put the Mavericks on top, 1-0. Less than two minutes later, Diego struck again, blasting a shot from 14 yards out into the upper right corner of the net to increase UNO's lead to 2-0.
Brady Ballew (Marysville, Wash.) put Seattle U on the board in the 60th minute, as his long shot from the right sideline eluded Maverick goalie Matt Grosey. The Redhawks continued the offensive pressure over the next seven minutes, as Sciabica took three shots, two that Grosey needed to save, and Austin Sweeney (Federal Way, Wash.) also took a shot that was blocked by the UNO defense.
The Mavericks withstood the Seattle U rally and increased the lead back to two goals in the 69th minute when, on a free kick, Diego found Vance Rookwood, whose header beat Feener. With 5:41 remaining in regulation, Bobby Segal (Portland, Ore.) set up Sciabica with a long crossing pass, and after six previous shots, Sciabica finally converted to once again bring the Redhawks within one goal. However, Seattle U could not put together another offensive charge before the clock ran out in the match.
Each team finished with 14 total shots in the match. Grosey was credited with three saves and the victory, while Feener earned four saves. Sciabica took one-half of Seattle U's shots, ending the afternoon with seven total shots, while Logan Mendez and Diego took four shots apiece to lead the Mavericks.
Seattle University (1-3) returns to Championship Field next Sunday, Sept. 16, for a match against nationally-ranked UC Santa Barbara starting at 3 p.m. The Redhawks will play four straight matches in Seattle to end September, including home matches against Portland (Sept. 21) and San Jose State (Sept. 30).