SEATTLE - An electric night at Championship Field ended in elation for Seattle University men’s soccer as the Redhawks came back to defeat the visiting #14 University of Akron 2-1 behind goals from senior Sergio Rivas and sophomore Gabriel Ruiz. The victory was Seattle U’s first win over a top-25 team this season.
The Redhawks (3-1-0) withstood adversity early on. High-pressing from the Zips front line on top of a torrential downpour caused problems for the home side in possession in the first ten minutes. After getting the match under its feet, Seattle U was able to knock the ball around the park with ease, creating chances left and right through Rivas as well as switches from junior Julian Avila-Good.
Despite the run of play, the Zips (1-2-1), who qualified for the Final Four after beating SU in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, would get on the board first in the 30th minute behind a 15-yard strike from senior Marco Micaletto.
In the closing seconds of the half, the ball would be knocked out in the Redhawks’ defensive third. The ensuing throw by senior captain Nathan Aune, who would launch the ball 35 yards to the head of freshman Hal Uderitz. Uderitz then flicked the ball over Akron’s backline to an on-rushing Rivas who then buried the flick to the back corner.
The second half was much of the same for Seattle U. A good defensive shape on top of support from the midfield frustrated the Zips forwards all night, allowing for quick counter-attacking spells through the feet of Rivas.
In the 75th minute, the Redhawks won a corner kick after a bright period of attacking play. The corner was cleared to the top of the box to a waiting Ruiz who chested the ball down and ripped a rocket of a volley to the lower-right of the diving Zips keeper, giving Seattle U the 2-1 lead and making the home crowd erupt.
After a gutsy final 15 minutes of play, the defensive effort from the men in red would pay off, allowing for a massive 2-1 victory.
Knowing the importance and history of the match, coach Pete Fewing was elated with his team’s production on the pitch.
“That was a great win for our program and our department. I was very pleased with our play tonight.”
The Redhawks continue their 2018 season at home on Sunday, Sept. 9, against visiting CSUN. Kick-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Championship Field.