SEATTLE - A testing and exciting exhibition match between Seattle University men’s soccer and the visiting University of Portland Pilots ended in a 4-4 draw on a perfect night for soccer at Championship Field. Cody Gibson, Noe Meza, Gabriel Ruiz, and Sergio Rivas were the goal-scorers for Seattle U.
The Redhawks came out flying with the front line combination of redshirt junior Cody Gibson and Meza, a redshirt sophomore, connecting quick, decisive passes with the members of the midfield, sparked through seniors Rivas and Orlando Neto.
The opening goal from the Redhawks came in the fifth minute. After a scramble from a set piece, Gibson was in the right place at the right time for the tap-in to the Pilot keeper Kienan Weekes’ lower-right side. Ten minutes later, Meza opened the scoring gap further after finishing a rebound from a save from Weekes.
Four minutes after Meza’s effort, Gibson would pressure the Pilot’s keeper into an errant pass in his own half, resulting in Ruiz unleashing a 30 yard chip, bringing the fans at Championship Field to their feet.
Portland would eventually become frustrated after continuous possession from Seattle U, resulting in two, first-half yellow cards. The Redhawks would take the 3-0 lead into the half.
Going into the second 45, Portland came out composed and aggressive in both midfield and in the front, continually testing the new Redhawk center-back pairing of Hal Uderitz and Steven Rogers, along with Redhawk debutant in goal, sophomore Akili Kasim.
Five minutes into the second half, Seattle University’s shutout would eventually end through a slot from Portland forward Benji Michel. In the 55th minute, the Pilots would add on to their lead from the penalty spot from sophomore Caua Soares, with a finish to the top-right corner of the Redhawks’ net.
The rest of the match was a back-and-forth affair, with the energy and physicality of a NCAA Tournament game. Things would get chippy between the two teams going on as a total of five yellow cards were handed out.
The pace of play would increase for the Redhawks halfway into the second half, and would eventually be rewarded for their efforts from a one-time finish from Sergio Rivas twelve yards out, coming from a cross on the ground from freshman Declan McGlynn.
Although the Redhawks remained strong in midfield and in the backline, the Pilots would soon find two, unanswered goals within two minutes coming Francesco Tiozzo and Jake Arteaga off of set-pieces in the 67thand 68th minute, respectively.
“I was pleased in the first half with our effort. We were cohesive, we won balls, and we worked hard. In the second half, I give credit to Portland for making a comeback. We have plenty to work on for our first game next week.”
Coming up, the Redhawks take the road to the University of New Mexico on August 24 to open up the 2018 regular season. Kick-off is set at 6 pm.