START IT UP: 45 years ago, the Seattle University men's soccer program was established. The 2012 season begins this weekend with Seattle U hosting the Cal Poly Mustangs before making the trek across the state to Spokane to face Gonzaga. The Redhawks begin their fourth year in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation looking for their first trip to the postseason tournament since entering the league and becoming eligible for the conference championship.
LIVE STATS/VIDEO: Live stats will be available for both matches this weekend. Live video will also be available for the Sunday match at Gonzaga. All links can be found on the men's soccer schedule page on GoSeattleU.com.
BACK TO THE FUTURE: On January 10, 2012, it was announced that Peter Fewing would return as the head coach of the Seattle University men's soccer program. His first tenure lasted from 1988 to 2005, when he posted an overall record of 223-127-26 (.628). He coached the 1997 squad to the NAIA National Championship, Seattle U's first-ever team national title. Seven years later, Fewing guided the 2004 squad to the NCAA Division II National Championship. A two-time national coach of the year, Fewing has also been named regional coach of the year five times and conference coach of the year on three occasions. Fewing was the head coach of the Kitsap Pumas of the Professional Development League (PDL) in 2010 and 2011, helping the Pumas win the 2011 PDL National Championship. He co-authored the book Coaching Principles for Development of Championship Teams, and he has been an analyst during the local television broadcasts of Seattle Sounders FC matches.
COMING BACK: There are 11 letterwinners back from the 2011 squad for this season, led by six seniors. Midfielder Marshall Kosaka (Burien, Wash.) comes into the season with seven career goals and two assists for 16 points, while defender Ryan Blair (Albuquerque, N.M.) has appeared in 48 matches during his Seattle U carrer. The other seniors on the squad include Troy Bratten (Gresham, Ore.), Tyler Hanson (Federal Way, Wash.), Devin Thomas (Tacoma, Wash.), and Bobby Segal (Portland, Ore.). Junior Jake Feener (Rocklin, Calif.) has been the starting goalkeeper over the past two seasons.
SCOUTING CAL POLY: The Mustangs enter the 2012 season after posting a 6-9-3 overall record in 2011, including a 3-6-1 record good enough for sixth place in the Big West Conference. Cal Poly lost six players that were All-Big West selections last season and have 11 freshmen on its 2012 roster. Cal Poly played two exhibition matches leading into Friday's season opener, scoring in the 73rd minute to tie San Francisco, 1-1, and scoring goals early in each half on its way to a 3-1 victory over Santa Clara. Chris Gaschen scored in each of the exhibition contests, while Wade Hamilton started in net both times before being replaced by Chase Hauser.
SEATTLE U VS. CAL POLY: These two teams met each other in San Luis Obispo, Calif., last Sept. 4. After a scoreless first half, Brandon Hamer was able to work the ball past the Mustang goalie in the 73rd minute to give the Redhawks a 1-0 lead. Cal Poly tied the game with less than five minutes remaining in regulation, forcing overtime. With seven seconds left in overtime, Travis Heim scored the game-winning goal to give Seattle U its first victory of the season.
SCOUTING GONZAGA: The Bulldogs come into the 2012 season after a 4-12-3 record in the 2011 campaign, including a 2-8-2 mark within the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga split its first four matches before a five-match winless streak, and then the Bulldogs ended the season winless in their last eight matches. Clark Phillips returns after leading the team in scoring last season with four goals and three assists for 11 total points. Goalkeeper Ryan Caballero is also back for the Bulldogs after starting 16 matches last year.
SEATTLE U VS. GONZAGA: This will be the third meeting between the in-state rivals since Seattle U made the move back to Division I. Gonzaga has won the previous two matchups, both taking place at Championship Field in Seattle. On Sept. 10, 2010, Gonzaga overcame an early Seattle U goal, scoring the game-tying goal in the 24th minute, followed by the eventual game-winner with less than two minutes remaining in the first half, for a 2-1 victory. Last season, on Sept. 14, 2011, Gonzaga again scored late in the first half, and then added two more second half goals for a 3-0 victory. Seattle U doubled Gonzaga's shot total, 18-9, including an 11-3 advantage in the first half, but Ryan Caballero made five saves for the shutout.
TICKETS: Season tickets for Seattle U men's soccer are on sale by visiting GoSeattleU.com. Single game tickets are available at the entrance (corner of 14th and Cherry) beginning 60 minutes before kickoff.
SMILE, YOU ARE ON CAMERA: The Seattle University men's soccer team will appear on the Pac-12 Network Sunday, September 23, when it heads across town to Montlake to face the Washington Huskies starting at 12 noon. For Comcast subscribers, the Pac-12 Network can be found on channels 430 (Washington) and 431 (National), while Wave Broadband subscribers can access the Pac-12 Network on channels 123 (Washington) and 124 (National).
HOME SCHEDULE HIGHLIGHTS: Seattle U will host 2011 NCAA Tournament participants UC Santa Barbara (Sept. 16), CSU Bakersfield (Oct. 14), and New Mexico (Oct. 28) during the 2012 campaign. The Redhawks also welcome regional rival Portland (Sept. 21) to Championship Field this season.