After Seattle University and the University of Portland combined for six goals in the first half, no scoring took place in the second half until Redhawk senior Marshall Kosaka (Burien, Wash.) earned his second goal of the match with just over three minutes remaining in regulation to give Seattle U a 4-3 victory over the Pilots Friday afternoon in men's soccer action at Championship Field.
Portland (2-3-1) had a chance to go ahead itself in the 84th minute when Colin Anderson sent a corner kick into the box, but Seattle U goalie Shane Haworth (Puyallup, Wash.) stopped Steven Evans's header to keep the match tied. The Redhawks drove down the field, with Travis Heim (Ridgefield, Wash.) sending a crossing pass from the left side through the box. Brady Ballew (Marysville, Wash.) corralled the ball and sent it back towards the middle, where Kosaka finished the play to put Seattle U ahead for good.
Portland furiously attempted to tie the match and send it into overtime, but Haworth, in his first career start, was stellar in the second half, saving a shot from Ricardo Carrillo with 30 seconds left in regulation and making sure Anderson's subsequent corner kick did no damage before time ran out.
"We're a young team trying to figure out how good we are and if we can play in these games with a program like Portland," Seattle U head coach Peter Fewing said. "The team battled today, it wasn't the prettiest of games and it was not the most skillful. At the end of the day, it could have gone either way."
The Redhawks jumped on top of the Pilots in the fifth minute when Hamza Haddadi (Shoreline, Wash.) flicked the ball towards Miguel Gonzalez (Yelm, Wash.), who trapped it and shot it past Portland keeper Justin Baarts. Just 21 seconds later, Haddadi set up fellow freshman Austin Sweeney (Federal Way, Wash.), who blasted a shot from 10 yards out past Baarts to extend Seattle U's lead to 2-0.
The Pilots responded, beginning just four minutes later when Michael Escobar sent a crossing pass into the box, where Evans was waiting with a scoring chance that eluded Haworth. In the 13th minute, Portland drew a foul within the box, creating a penalty kick opportunity, which Evans converted on to pull the visiting team into a 2-2 tie.
Seattle U had several scoring chances through the midpoint of the first half, but Baarts and the Portland defense held off the Redhawk attack. In the 39th minute, Evans completed the hat trick, dribbling the ball into the middle of the box and then taking a shot that found the back of the net for his seventh goal of the season, putting the Pilots ahead, 3-2.
In the final minutes of the first half, the Redhawks pressured the Pilot defense, as Enrique Bello (Caracas, Venezuela) sent a header towards net that Baarts was forced to deflect away, creating a corner kick opportunity for Seattle U. Bello's corner kick found Gonzalez, who lifted the ball off the ground enough for Kosaka to get his head on it and direct it into the net for the game-tying goal with 1:29 remaining before halftime.
"As soon as we scored the second goal, I turned to Bill (Colello) and said that this match is nowhere near over," Fewing said. "They (Portland) are not going to roll over, they have a great history. My biggest concern was exactly what we saw, which is three quality goals from them. I am proud of us getting the third goal in the first half."
Portland outshot Seattle U in the second half, 10-8, forcing Haworth to make five saves after halftime. The Redhawk defense did a better job of marking Evans, preventing him from creating any more offense for the Pilots. He finished the match with six total shots, including four shots on goal.
Kosaka led all players with seven total shots, including three shots on goal, while Gonzalez continued to create opportunities for the Seattle U offense, earned four shots during the match. The win was the first for the Redhawks since the season opener against Cal Poly Aug. 24, and Seattle U has now equaled the total amount of victories it earned during the entire 2011 season.
Seattle University (2-4-0) will head across town to the University of Washington to face the Huskies Sunday, Sept. 23, beginning at 12 noon in a match that will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. That will be the final non-conference match for the Redhawks in 2012, as they prepare for the start of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action next weekend.