SEATTLE – (Nov. 16) Gabriel Ruiz scored in overtime to lift No. 22 Seattle University men’s soccer to a 3-2 win at No. 26 Washington in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night. The Redhawks advanced to a second-round match at Akron on Sunday morning.
With the score even at 2, the sides headed to overtime. After handling a Huskies’ challenge, the Redhawks went on the attack. Robbie Landeros missed a shot high, but late in the first OT session, Alex Roldan found himself with space in the middle of the field. The senior pressured the UW (12-7-1) defense and dished to Ruiz on the left side. The freshman made a move and got a shot off from 15 yards out. The ball deflected at the release and curled into the top right side of the net, pushing Seattle U to its third NCAA Division I Tournament victorysince 2013.
Ruiz was tackled and mobbed and Redhawk fans rushed the field as SU celebrated its second OT win of the season.
“We’re thrilled,” said Coach Pete Fewing. “Washington is very good and they punish you when you a mistake. Our university gets behind us and the crowd was great tonight. They pushed us on tonight.”
SU started the game hot, dictating the action. The hosts withstood the rush and eventually grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute. UW held the edge for much of the rest of the half, but a Redhawk counter attack resulted in a tying goal. Rivas passed ahead to Barry, who beat the goalkeeper to the ball and converted at 38:51 to make it 1-all. The match went into the half square.
The teams worked for a go-ahead goal in the second half, with both testing the opposition. In the 54th minute, the Huskies earned a corner kick. The ball entered dangerous territory, and a UW header went towards an open net, but Nathan Aune was there to knock the attempt away and keep the contest tied.
Hustle from the Redhawks set up a go-ahead goal a few minutes later. Medo Youssef came off the bench early in the second half and worked to harass Washington all over the field. Eventually, it paid off, as Youssef found Rivas on the right side, where Rivas scored from outside of the box for a 2-1 edge at 62:01.
SU appeared to be on its way, but the hosts had a final push in them. In the 80th minute, the Huskies evened the match at 2, deflating the Redhawks and sending the game into OT.
Rivas leads SU with eight goals this season. He also has six assists. Roldan has a team-high eight assists on the year.
The Redhawks will play at fifth-seeded Akron, who earned a first-round bye, on Sunday at 10 a.m. Pacific. The teams met last season, with the Zips taking a 1-0 win in Ohio.
Fewing has now taken SU to an NCAA Tournament in each of the team's last three appearances. The Redhawks beat Creighton in 2013 and UCLA in 2015.