In a back-and-forth affair, the Seattle University men's soccer team took the early lead before falling behind late in the first half and, despite its comeback efforts in the second half, the Redhawks lost to CSU Bakersfield, 4-3, Sunday afternoon in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at the Main Soccer Field.
Seattle U jumped on the board right away, drawing a CSU Bakersfield foul in the box 1:08 into the match for a penalty kick opportunity. Hamza Haddadi (Shoreline, Wash.) converted on the penalty kick for his second goal of the season. CSU Bakersfield started pressuring the Redhawks, earning two corner kicks, but the headers resulting from both corner kicks were off target.
The offensive pressure from the Roadrunners continued, as shots by Joe Masumiya and Gyasi Zardes were stopped by Redhawk goalie Jake Feener (Rocklin, Calif.). After a shot by Christian Duarte was blocked, Seattle U went on the counterattack, but Marshall Kosaka's (Burien, Wash.) scoring attempt was turned away by CSUB keeper Eric Shannon.
Feener made three more saves in the span of 80 seconds later in the first half, but CSU Bakersfield finally converted to tie the match. A pass from Masumiya was directed by Zardes to Jesus Sanchez in front of the goal, and Sanchez was able to put the ball in the back of the net in the 29th minute for his third goal of the season.
In the 38th minute, Masumiya took advantage of a Redhawk defensive miscue, setting up Zardes for a shot from 15 yards out that eluded Feener to put the Roadrunners ahead, 2-1. After Shannon kept his team ahead with a couple of saves in the final portion of the first half, Sanchez set up Zardes for a blast from 20 yards out with 17 seconds remaining on the clock to increase the CSUB lead to 3-1.
CSU Bakersfield (5-2-4, 2-1-0 MPSF) maintained its offensive intensity at the start of the second half, with Zardes and Duarte earning scoring chances in the first 10 minutes of the session. However, Seattle U started to rally, as Brady Ballew (Marysville, Wash.) sent a cross into the box, where Haddadi got his head on the ball from three yards out for his second goal of the match.
Exactly one minute later, Masumiya picked up his third assist of the match, taking a free kick that was redirected into the net by Kory Kindle on a header for his fourth goal of the season. Three-and-a-half minutes after that, the Redhawks once again cut their deficit down to one as Race Sciabica (Bellevue, Wash.) set up Ballew from 10 yards out for his second goal of the year.
Haddadi had a chance to tie the match in the 76th minute, but his header was blocked by Shannon. The Roadrunners had their own opportunity to extend the lead in the 83rd minute, but Feener stopped Duarte's scoring chance and a shot by Zardes off the rebound was cleared away by the Redhawk defense.
CSU Bakersfield outshot Seattle U, 20-11, led by Zardes with eight shots, six of them on goal. Ballew led the Redhawks with four total shots, while all three of Haddadi's shots were on net. Feener finished with seven saves for Seattle U, while Shannon was credited with four saves for the Roadrunners.
Seattle University (2-7-1, 0-2-1 MPSF) will host the teams it faced this weekend in two rematches, starting Friday, Oct. 12, against UNLV at 3:30 p.m. in the second match of a soccer doubleheader at Championship Field with the Redhawk women's soccer team. Seattle U will then host CSU Bakersfield next Sunday, Oct. 14, beginning at 1 p.m. in the Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Game.