THE SECOND SEASON: After seven non-conference matches, Seattle University enters the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation portion of the 2012 schedule, with 10 matches against its conference foes over the next six weekends. First up is a home match against the San Jose State Spartans, who will be the Redhawks' travel partner this season after Sacramento State left the conference and Houston Baptist joined the league. The goal is to be one of the top six teams at the conclusion of the regular season in order to qualify for the MPSF Tournament Nov. 8-11 in Albuquerque, N.M. The winner of the conference postseason tournament receives an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. Seattle U was not eligible to participate in the 2009 conference tournament, and the Redhawks have failed to qualify for the postseason tourney in each of the last two seasons, a trend they would like to break this year.
THE HUSKY CLASSIC: The first day of the Husky Soccer Classic featured a flurry of goals, as both the Brown-Washington and Portland-Seattle U matches ended in 4-3 scores. At Championship Field, the Redhawks scored twice in the span of 21 seconds, as Hamza Haddadi first set up Miguel Gonzalez for his second goal of the year, and then fellow freshman Austin Sweeney for his first tally of the 2012 campaign. Portland came right back, as Steven Evans scored the next three goals of the match to earn a hat trick and give the Pilots a 3-2 lead. With 1:29 remaining in the first half, Enrique Bello and Gonzalez set up Marshall Kosaka, whose header from five yards out found the back of the net, tying the match at 3-3 heading into the halftime break. There were a lot of shots, but no goals in the second half until Kosaka struck again, assisted by Brady Ballew and Travis Heim, with 3:04 left in regulation to clinch the victory for Seattle U. Two days later at Husky Soccer Field, Seattle U and Washington played to a scoreless tie in the first half before the Huskies scored twice in the second half, the first time just 10 seconds after halftime, to earn a 2-0 victory. Brown defeated Portland, 3-0, to win the Husky Soccer Classic.
SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE: The Spartans enter Sunday's match with a 3-4 overall record after also winning one of two matches last weekend, defeating Bradley (3-2) and losing to NJIT (4-2). Steve Sanchez leads the Spartans with six goals and 13 total points, second in the MPSF in both categories. Jonathan Salceda leads the team and is third in the conference with four assists to go along with two goals for eight total points, while Dylan Murphy also has eight points so far this season on three goals and two assists. Michael Schwinn has played every second in net for the Spartans, posting a 2.43 goals against average and a .638 save percentage.
SEATTLE U VS. SAN JOSE STATE: This will be the seventh meeting between Seattle U and San Jose State since 2008, with the Spartans holding a 5-0-1 series advantage over the Redhawks. The teams met twice last season, with San Jose State winning both by identical 2-1 scores. First, on Oct. 7 in San Jose, Allen La Spina scored both Spartan goals, including the game-winner 3:13 into overtime, after Mikey Ramos had tied the match for Seattle U in the 79th minute. In the rematch Oct. 14 at Championship Field, the two teams exchanged penalty kick goals and the match seemed destined for overtime tied at 1-1. However, with 15 seconds remaining in regulation, Steve Sanchez's shot deflected off the Redhawk defense into the net to give San Jose State the victory.
FREE YOUTH CLINIC: A free youth clinic sponsored by Seattle U men's soccer is taking place Sunday at 11 a.m. at Championship Field. Pete Fewing will start the clinic with a pep talk as well as best practices for improving one's soccer skills. After that, the players will show the kids how to make those improvements with interactive skills training. Interested parties should contact Aaron Menard by Friday, Sept. 28, at firstname.lastname@example.org.