Seattle University men’s soccer (11-8-4) found themselves down early but recorded their second straight come-from-behind win, fifth of the season, to top Creighton, 2-1, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
This historic win marked the first Seattle U win in an NCAA Division I Tournament since March 14, 1964 when Seattle U men’s basketball defeated Utah State, 88-78. The win also snapped a two-year streak for Creighton in which they advanced to the Final Four and extended a 12-game unbeaten streak for Seattle U.
“I’m thrilled,” said WAC Coach of the Year Pete Fewing. “Creighton is a fantastic team. They’ve been to the Final Four two years in a row so to come here and play a team with that kind of history and our [Division I] history, which is just starting, is a big thrill. I’m proud of the team because it’s not easy to come into this kind of situation and get this result, so we’re happy for our guys.”
Timo Pitter earned the first shot of the game for Creighton just over four minutes in, but the ball sailed wide left of the goal. Ricardo Perez added a shot off a cross from Jose Ribas at the beginning of the seventh minute, but it bounced just wide of the left goalpost.
At the beginning of the 14th minute, Sonny Makh broke through with his first career goal on an assist by Carlos McCrary to take the 1-0 lead.
Ian Hines-Ike (Littleton, Colo.) earned a corner kick in the 20th minute and Justice Duerksen (San Clemente, Calif.) took the first shot for the Redhawks in the 23rd minute, but it flew high over the net.
The Bluejays added three straight shots, broken up by a corner kick, as Jake Feener (Rocklin, Calif.) earned a save on two of the three.
In the 31st minute, Miguel Gonzalez (Yelm, Wash.) added his team-leading 14th goal of the season with a shot from 10 yards out to tie the game, 1-1.
Michael Roberts (Issaquah, Wash.) took a shot in the 35th minute, which was blocked, followed by two big saves by Feener to keep the score tied at the halftime break.
Brady Ballew (Marysville, Wash.) opened up the second half with a shot in the 48th minute, but it went wide left, hitting hard against the concrete wall directly behind the goal. Gonzalez added another shot on goal to give Elmar Bolowich his first save of the match in the middle of the 52nd minute.
In the 65th minute, Myles Englis was taken down in the box resulting in a penalty kick as Bruno Castro had the opportunity to take the lead for Creighton, but he missed it as the shot went high above the goal to keep the score tied at one.
Gonzalez gained the lead for Seattle U, 2-1, in the 72nd minute with his 15th goal of the season, second of the match, assisted by Roberts and Jeff Rose (Carmichael, Calif.). The shot flew just underneath the crossbar from 25 yards out to find the back of the net.
Pitter added a shot from the left corner in the beginning of the 81st minute but the shot sailed just wide of the goal. In the 85th minute, Feener made two key saves on back-to-back shots by Pitter and Englis to preserve the Redhawks’ victory.
Gonzalez led the Redhawks with three shots, scoring both goals, while Feener made eight saves in goal, his 12th match of the season recording eight or more saves. Despite the loss, Creighton outshot Seattle U, 20-7, led by Pitter with eight shots.
Prior to this match, Creighton (9-9-2) had won 13 straight home matches when scoring first and seven straight NCAA Tournament matches at Morrison Stadium, dropping to 11-2-0 all-time in NCAA Tournament play in the 11-year old stadium.
Seattle U’s season continues as they make the short trip to face Washington, the No. 2 overall seed, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 5 p.m. PT. Fans can buy tickets on ticketmaster.com, by calling the Husky Ticket Office at (206) 543-2200, or by purchasing a ticket at the box office, which opens an hour prior to kickoff.