SEATTLE - A competitive comeback from Seattle University men’s soccer (11-6-0, 5-4-0 WAC) resulted in a 2-1 victory against UTRGV in what proved to be a vital win in the Redhawks’ WAC campaign. Goals from Hal Uderitz and Noe Meza powered Seattle U from a goal down in Coach Pete Fewing’s 300th win as head coach of the program.
The opening ten minutes at Championship Field was eventful for both sides. The Vaqueros (11-5-0, 6-3-0 WAC) opened the scoring in the sixth minute on a volley from Kyle Edwards. Just four minutes later, after technical passing spells that opened up much of the UTRGV defensive shape, Sergio Rivas found the foot of Julian Avila-Good who chipped in a curling cross from the corner of the 18-yard box. Uderitz then put the ball in the net with a thumping header, giving the Vaqueoros’ keeper no chance and leveling the contest.
The defensive shape of Seattle U kept the Redhawks in the match during the first half. UTRGV came in with the game plan of baiting Seattle U by knocking the ball around the back then using their speed up top to spring a counter-attack. The centerback pairing of Nathan Aune and Anthony Ayala stayed on their toes and won important tackles that prevented chances for the Vaqueros.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Josh Adachi was dominant between the posts as well. Adachi made a huge one-on-one save after using his reflexes to deflect a powerful shot from Kyle Edwards eight yards out.
After an exciting first 45 minutes of play, the teams went into the break tied at one.
At the beginning of the second half, it was evident Fewing’s tweaks at halftime played a part in his side’s performance going forward. High defensive pressure from Cody Gibson, Declan McGlynn, Connor Noblat and Rivas pinned UTRGV in their own defensive third for a majority of the match, resulting in giveaways that generated chances for the Redhawks.
In the 65th minute, McGlynn was taken down 25 yards out from net. Meza stepped up to the ensuing free kick and fired an absolute beauty of a curler, dipping just below the crossbar and lighting up the 681 fans on hand at Championship Field.
Through more possession and clutch defending in the final minute, Seattle U ended the match on top with a final score of 2-1.
“We had patience, more patience than we have been against them in the past,” said Fewing, “Noe scored a fantastic free-kick, Hal’s header was great, and I was proud of the way the guys played.”
With tonight’s win, the Redhawks extended their stellar streak of 11-win seasons to six straight years.
The WAC home regular season comes to a close on Sunday at Championship Field against Incarnate Word where Seattle U’s seven seniors will be honored for their contributions to the program. Kick-off is set at 1:00 pm.