The last time the Seattle University men’s soccer team lost a game, COVID-19 was still months away from being identified in the U.S.
The Redhawks have not officially lost since Sept. 19, 2019, at UC Santa Barbara, either winning or tying their next 16 games (13-0-3), making Seattle U the answer to this trivia question: What team has the longest unbeaten streak in men’s Division I college soccer?
That streak has not been tested in a long time, with the scheduled fall season this year being postponed until the upcoming spring because of coronavirus.
The team’s last game was Nov. 24, 2019, when it was knocked out of the second round of the NCAA tournament by Stanford in penalty kicks, but it’s officially a tie for both teams in the record books.
“Let’s go by months now, not games,” Seattle U coach Peter Fewing joked about his team’s unbeaten streak. “I like the streak, but I’m a realist and we lost to Stanford in penalty kicks. … We’ve had some good streaks in my time at Seattle U, and this is one we want to keep going.”
The Redhawks are eager to get that chance, with the first game on the schedule being Feb. 6 against Texas-Rio Grande Valley.
Seattle U began training in the fall (four hours a week with the ball, and four hours of strength and training) and ended those practices at Thanksgiving. Fewing noticed a big difference when the team went from drills with groups of five to 9-on-9 competitions.
“After practice, the guys were giddy,” Fewing said. “They were so happy to play and compete with each other and kick each other. They were all smiling because it gets old after awhile, the groups of five. I think once we get going (in 2021), it will be really exciting to start playing,”
The Redhawks will report for the upcoming season on Dec. 28 and begin to quarantine, then get tested for the coronavirus on Jan. 3 and begin training Jan. 4.
Fewing is hoping to add six nonconference games to the Western Athletic Conference slate already in place, including a pair of games against Washington, which has become quite a rivalry – albeit a friendly rivalry – in recent years.
The Seattle U men’s soccer program has been the most successful of the school’s sports since moving back to Division I just more than a decade ago. The Redhawks have won games in the NCAA tournament three of the past five seasons.
Soccerwire.com recently had a poll of the top 25 Division I men’s soccer programs in the past five years and only three teams from the West were in the top 20: Stanford at No. 1, Washington at No. 13 and Seattle U at No. 18.
“I’m more proud of (that ranking) than the (unbeaten) streak,” Fewing said.
Declan McGlynn, Noe Meza and James Morris combined to score 27 of Seattle U’s 43 goals last season, and all three are back. But Seattle U lost nine seniors from the 2019 team, including three starting defenders.
“The old axiom that defense wins championships is very true in soccer,” Fewing said.
Still, it will be no surprise if Seattle U successfully defends its WAC title, with the Redhawks having a 15-match unbeaten streak in WAC play that was started in October of 2018.
Busy months ahead for Seattle U athletics
With the traditional fall sports being moved to the spring, the upcoming months will be packed with Seattle U sporting events.
Women’s soccer will begin WAC action in February, as will volleyball. The cross-country teams are planning on a schedule this spring, but nothing is set.
The basketball teams started playing games in November and will end in March, as will the swimming teams.
Throw in the traditional spring sports starting soon, including softball, baseball, rowing, golf, tennis and track and field, and well, it’s a lot.