Just one team moves on, but two hometown college soccer programs shared a postseason stage Sunday night and, beyond the result, showed how far each has come.
In a second-round NCAA men’s soccer tournament match, the 48-team field’s No. 2 seed, Washington, roared to a big lead over Seattle University, then had to withstand a late offensive outburst before closing out the Redhawks 4-2 in front of an overflow crowd of 3,100 at Husky Soccer Stadium.
It was a matchup of Pac-12 champion (Washington) vs. Western Athletic Conference champion (Seattle U). The Huskies (15-1-4), unbeaten at home, are viewed as serious national title contenders who next Sunday host unseeded Stanford, a 1-0 winner over Cal State Northridge on Sunday night.
The Redhawks (11-9-4 after starting the season 0-6-1) are celebrated by their fans for going unbeaten in their previous 12 matches. With a 2-1 first-round tournament win over favored Creighton three days earlier, Seattle U gave its school its first victory in any Division I tournament since 1964.
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“I think (Seattle U president) Father (Stephen) Sundborg wanted us to go D-I for nights like tonight,” said SU coach Peter Fewing. “Crosstown rivals, packed stands. He had a vision it could be like it was, and I think it’s great for the community. It was fun.”
It wasn’t much fun for zealous SU fans when UW expanded a 1-0 halftime lead with three goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Some fans had already headed to the exits when the Redhawks blasted home two goals within a 27-second span in the 71st minute.
Chase Hanson blasted in one shot and Brad Ballew sent home another rocket just moments later from 20 yards out.
UW coach Jamie Clark conceded everyone, coaches and players, eased up a bit after Mason Robertson powered UW’s fourth goal into the upper corner of the goal in the 65th minute.
“That fourth goal finally goes in and people in soccer think, OK, that’s the one; the game’s done. Including us,” Clark said. “Were looking at, hey what subs, what should we do? We want to play guys 90 minutes if we have to to win games. I think we’ll learn that lesson now.”
One UW sub, sophomore forward Josh Heard, made the most of his 53 minutes. After Darwin Jones (one of three first-team Pac-12 players on UW’s roster) scored on a 15-yard blast in the 27th minute for the 1-0 halftime lead, Heard scored from close range on a rebound of a James Moberg shot in the 47th minute for a 2-0 lead.
Heard then assisted on goals by freshman of the year Cristian Roldan in the 56th minute and on Robertson’s goal for a 4-0 lead.
Heard had scored both goals in UW’s regular-season win over Seattle U on Oct. 8.
“I had no idea Seattle U was my team to play against,” Heard said.
• The stadium attendance record, considered unofficial by the school, is 3,403, set in 2000.