CHALLENGE AT HOME: The Seattle University men's soccer team returned home after a tough road trip in which the Redhawks lost matches at Sacramento State and at Nebraska Omaha. The Redhawks have practiced all week in preparation of a challenging non-conference match, as UC Santa Barbara, currently ranked sixth in the national coaches poll, comes to Championship Field this Sunday. This is the first of three teams currently ranked in the NSCAA Top 20 that Seattle U will play this season.
LIVE STATS: Live stats will be available for Sunday's match. All links can be found on the men's soccer schedule page on GoSeattleU.com.
LAST WEEK: Seattle University left home last Tuesday for a road trip, starting with Wednesday's match against former conference rival Sacramento State. The Hornets scored just 36 seconds into the match and then added another goal with just 1:22 remaining in the first half. Sacramento State held off the Redhawks in the second half for the 2-0 victory. Junior goalie Jake Feener tied his career high, first set on the same field, with nine saves, keeping the Redhawks within striking distance. Race Sciabica led Seattle U with five total shots, including two shots on goal, while Hamza Haddadi contributed the other two shots on goal. After spending some time in San Francisco, Seattle U made its way to Omaha, Neb., to face the UNO Mavericks, currently in their second year of men's soccer varsity competition. After a scoreless first half, UNO's Devin Diego scored twice within the span of 1:50 to give the Mavericks a 2-0 lead five minutes into the second half. A long blast by Brady Ballew found the back of the net in the 60th minute to cut the Maverick lead in half, but Diego assisted on a goal by Vance Rookwood in the 69th minute to reestablish a two-goal advantage for the home team. Sciabica, who led all players with seven total shots in the match, finally converted in the 85th minute to bring the Redhawks back to within one goal, but Seattle U was unable to notch the equalizer before time ran out. Feener was credited with four saves in the contest.
MPSF STATS: Race Sciabica is tied for the lead in the MPSF in total shots with 16. Meanwhile, Jake Feener leads the conference in saves per match, averaging 5.5 saves per contest through four matches.
SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA: The Gauchos come into the weekend with a 3-0-1 overall record and are ranked sixth in this week's NSCAA coaches poll. UC Santa Barbara will face San Diego Friday before making the trip north to face Seattle U Sunday. UC Santa Barbara has earned victories at WCC schools Loyola Marymount and Gonzaga, plus it played Oregon State to a 2-2 tie. Achille Campion has been the team's leader offensively, earning three goals and one assist for seven total points, plus he has taken a team-high 13 shots so far this season. Nic Ryan has also scored three goals this year for the Gauchos, while Ema Boateng leads the way with two assists. Austin Mansker started the first three matches for UCSB and came on in relief in the team's last match against Valparaiso. Mansker has posted a 0.81 goals against average and a .700 save percentage.
SEATTLE U VS. UC SANTA BARBARA: These two teams clashed in Santa Barbara, Calif., to open the 2011 season. David Opoku started the scoring for the Gauchos in the 19th minute off an assist from Peter McGlynn. Opoku struck again three minutes into the second half to increase the Gauchos' lead to 2-0. Travis Heim assisted on a goal by Kevin Cook in the 71st minute to cut the UCSB lead in half, but the Gauchos held off the Redhawks, with McGlynn earning his second assist of the match on a goal by Peter Schmetz with just over three minutes remaining in regulation. Andre Grandt was credited with two saves for the Gauchos, while Jake Feener finished with six saves on behalf of the Redhawks.