LAS VEGAS – (Nov. 12) No. 23 Seattle University men’s soccer won the 2017 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship with a 2-1 win over San Jose State Sunday afternoon. The Redhawks won the WAC title for the third time in five seasons and will head to the NCAA Tournament next week.
“It’s terrific,” said Coach Pete Fewing. “Both teams took some time to settle down at the start. Nathan’s goal was fantastic and got us going in the right direction. It’s an honor to win the WAC.”
In Sunday’s final at Johann Memorial Field, Nathan Aune and Alex Roldan both scored to lead the way. After tying for second in the WAC regular season standings, Seattle U (14-3-4) claimed the WAC Championship, conceding one goal in three contests in Las Vegas.
The NCAA Tournament Selection Show is on Monday at 10 a.m. Pacific. Forty-eight teams will be chosen, with the top 16 earning first-round byes.
Josh Adachi was named Tournament MVP, while Aune, Roldan, and Sergio Rivas were all-tournament choices. Adachi played all 290 minutes in net, allowing just one goal. He made two saves in SU’s penalty kick win over UNLV in Friday’s semifinal.
On Sunday, SU looked to impose its style on the game in the first half, but the Spartans worked to find a goal. The Redhawks earned a pair of early corner kicks, and then struck late in the frame. Rivas bent a corner to the middle of the box, where Aune leapt and headed a shot over the head of the SJSU goalkeeper and into the upper right corner of the net. The goal at 35:46 gave SU the lead and re-energized the match.
Less than a minute later, a Spartan foul sparked a fracas that resulted in each side receiving a red card. The game would be played with 10 men on each team the rest of the day.
SU controlled action for much of the second half, pressuring SJSU. In the 75th minute, the Redhawks broke through. Rivas made a strong cross on the right side, finding Roldan, who scored from in close to make it 2-0 at 74:10.
The Spartans recorded a goal late, but it was not enough as Seattle U won the title for the third time since 2013.
The Redhawks held an 11-3 lead in shots and posted seven corner kicks on the day.