In the final home match of the 2012 season, the Seattle University men's soccer team lost to #10 New Mexico, 3-0, Sunday afternoon in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation match at Championship Field.
Seattle U put pressure on New Mexico in the first two minutes of the match, as Miguel Gonzalez (Yelm, Wash.) and Marshall Kosaka (Burien, Wash.) took two shots apiece and the Redhawks earned two corner kick opportunities. The Lobos took control of the possession and kept it for the remainder of the first half.
Seattle U goalie Shane Haworth (Puyallup, Wash.) turned away a scoring opportunity by Blake Smith, but that created a corner kick for the Lobos in the 30th minute. Smith and Michael Calderon teamed up on a short corner, and Smith's pass into the box was headed into the net by Ben McKendry for his third goal of the season to put New Mexico ahead, 1-0.
It took about 10 minutes for the action to pick up in the second half, but New Mexico earned four scoring chances in the span of three minutes, with Haworth making saves on shot attempts from James Rogers and Devon Sandoval. In the 60th minute, Rogers advanced the ball into the box, eluded Haworth, and saved the ball from going over the end line by tapping it in front of the net, where Sandoval chipped it into the open net for his 13th tally of the season.
New Mexico (14-3, 7-2 MPSF) added another goal with 22 minutes remaining in regulation, as Calderon stole the ball and blasted a shot from about 25 yards out into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
Seattle U created a couple of chances later in the second half, with the best one coming in the 76th minute after a Lobo foul, when Renato Bandeira (Sammamish, Wash.) took a long shot off a free kick that was deflected over the crossbar by a leaping effort from New Mexico goalie Patrick Poblete, who had come on in the 71st minute for starting keeper Victor Rodriguez.
New Mexico outshot Seattle U, 20-11, led by four shots from Rogers and three shots each from McKendry and Smith. Hamza Haddadi (Shoreline, Wash.) was credited with three shots on goal to lead the Redhawks. Haworth finished the match with four saves, the same number of saves that Rodriguez and Poblete combined to make for the Lobos.
Before the match, seniors Ryan Blair (Albuquerque, N.M.), Troy Bratten (Gresham, Ore.), Tyler Hanson (Federal Way, Wash.), Kosaka, Bobby Segal (Portland, Ore.), and Devin Thomas (Puyallup, Wash.) were honored for their service to the Redhawk men's soccer program.
With the victory, New Mexico clinched the regular season MPSF title and will be the number one seed for the MPSF Tournament, to be held on its home field Nov. 8-11. Seattle U was mathematically eliminated from qualifying for the postseason tournament.
"There were improvements this season, but it is hard to see some of those from the outside. The guys did not give up, not today and not any other game, and I expect the same from them next week," Seattle U head coach Peter Fewing said. "We have to get better. Our offseason work is going to be extremely important. We have to become stronger and more skillful."
Seattle University (3-12-1, 1-7-1 MPSF) will finish the 2012 season next Saturday, Nov. 3, at San Jose State beginning at 7 p.m. The Redhawks and the Spartans played to a scoreless tie at Championship Field Sept. 30.