Sacramento State struck early and late in the first half, and then maintained its advantage in the second half to defeat Seattle University in men's soccer action, 2-0, Wednesday evening at Hornet Soccer Field.
Sacramento State (2-1-1) needed only 36 seconds to take the lead, as Alex Lopez sent a pass through the Redhawk defense onto the foot of Gabe Silveira, who sent a shot inside the far post to give the Hornets a 1-0 lead. Seattle U earned a scoring chance in the fourth minute, as a corner kick by Miles Rodriguez-Nilsen (Bremerton, Wash.) found the head of Race Sciabica (Bellevue, Wash.), but the header shot sailed high over the crossbar.
Lopez set up another scoring chance for the Hornets in the 15th minute with a corner kick, but Chimdum Mez's shot went wide. With 18 minutes gone in the first half, Sciabica put a shot on net, but Sacramento State goalie Bryan Oliver was able to make the save. After another Sciabica shot sailed high, the Hornets came back down the field, but Redhawk goalie Jake Feener (Rocklin, Calif.) was able to stop a shot by Lopez for his first save of the match.
Seattle U nearly got on the board in the 27th minute, but Miguel Gonzalez's (Yelm, Wash.) shot hit the post. Feener turned away a shot by Isaac Ikyurav in the 30th minute for his second save of the match. In the 35th minute, Rodriguez-Nilsen set up another scoring chance off a corner kick, but this time it was Jens Klitgaard (Nykobing-Falster, Denmark) whose header sailed high.
With just 1:22 remaining before halftime, Sacramento State struck again, as Ikyurav beat his defender and sent a crossing pass to Issac Flores, who chipped the ball into an open net for his first goal of the season, increasing the Hornet lead to 2-0. Sacramento State kept the heat on as the first half ended, with Ikyurav hitting the crossbar with a shot and Silveira forcing Feener to make his third save of the half.
The Hornets maintained their offensive intensity early in the second half, as Mez challenged Feener with a shot four minutes into the second half. In the 58th minute, back-to-back shots by Silveira and Lopez sailed high. On the counterattack, Hamza Haddadi (Shoreline, Wash.) created a scoring chance, but Oliver was ready to make the save.
The Seattle U defense rose to the occasion in the 64th minute, as Ikyurav's corner kick found the head of Mez, but his header was turned away by one of the Redhawk players. Almog Strikowski followed with a shot that Feener saved, and Haddadi followed with another counterattack, but his scoring chance was blocked by the Hornet defense.
The Redhawks enjoyed a flurry of scoring chances late in the second half, but a shot by Sciabica went wide and back-to-back opportunities from Gonzalez and Rodriguez-Nilsen were blocked. With 12 minutes left, Sciabica challenged Oliver with his fifth shot of the match, but the Hornet goalie again kept the ball out of the net.
Sacramento State continued to press even as time would down in the match, forcing Feener to make saves on two shots by Silveira as well as one from Bert Corona. With just over seven minutes remaining in regulation, Mez nearly added another tally, but his shot hit the post. Haddadi earned one final chance with just over a minute and a half left, but Oliver made his fourth and final save of the match to preserve the shutout.
Feener tied his career high with nine saves, originally established against Sacramento State at Hornet Soccer Field Oct. 15, 2010. Sciabica led the Redhawk offense with five total shots, while Silveira had the same total to pace the Hornet offense, which outshot Seattle U 20-14 in the match.
Seattle University (1-2-0) will spend a couple of days in San Francisco before flying to Omaha, Neb., for Sunday's match against the Nebraska Omaha Mavericks. The contest at the UNO Soccer Field is set to start at 5 p.m. local time (3 p.m. Pacific Time).
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To catch all the action this season, visit www.GoSeattleU.com or call the Redhawk ticket office at (206) 398-GOSU (4678) to purchase season tickets. Men's and women's soccer season tickets are $75 apiece for reserved seats and $50 for general admission. Single game tickets are available at the gate 60 minutes prior to kickoff before each match.