NAIA: Rio Grande gives Seattle U. the boot
Special to The Seattle Times
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Maurice Muteti's goal in the 84th minute was the dagger in the heart of Seattle University's men's soccer team yesterday.
Muteti drilled a shot into the top left corner of the net to lead Rio Grande to a 3-2 win over the Redhawks in the second round of the NAIA national tournament.
The Redmen (23-0-1) rallied from a 2-0 halftime deficit to remain undefeated.
"It's like our coach always says: The soccer gods give and the soccer gods take away," Seattle forward Danny Ferris said. "I guess they took it away from us today."
Joe Watson gave Seattle a first-half boost with two goals. Watson scored in the eighth minute off assists from Evan McNeley and Matt Hulen.
Watson struck again in the 30th minute off a feed from Ferris.
"A two-goal lead is the worst to have at the half," Seattle Coach Peter Fewing said. "That's a good team we played, and there's a reason they're undefeated. We didn't have the composure to keep them out."
Fewing, whose Redhawks won the NAIA national title in 1999, said he was proud of his squad's effort.
"We played back-to-back games at 1 p.m. in the 70-degree sun," he said. "We lost our legs in the second half, and we weren't able to stay composed."
The Redmen made it 2-1 in the 66th minute when Jason Harvey fired a low liner from about 30 yards out past Seattle goalkeeper Brandon Sewell.
Sewell appeared to have a bead on the shot, but the ball got bounced off line and rolled underneath him as he tried to make the diving stop.
Harvey scored the equalizer two minutes later on a penalty kick as Seattle was assessed a foul in its goal box.
"That was an easy save for (Sewell), but it just hit off his chest and went under," Ferris said. "That seemed to get them going and they were tough to stop. We had our chances too, but we couldn't finish."
Seattle ends its season at 16-6. Next year, the Redhawks will move up to NCAA Division II.
"Hopefully, we'll be in the Division II playoffs next year," Fewing said. "There's a terrific amount of talent here in NAIA. I'd think the talent is just as strong, if not stronger, than Division II."
Huskies face Portland
Washington faces host Portland today in a second-round match of the NCAA tournament at Merlo Field.
The Pilots have eliminated the Huskies from the tournament three times, including last year, each by 1-0 scores.
The 17th-ranked Huskies (13-4-1) earned another shot at Portland with a 2-0 victory over San Diego on Friday. The Pilots shut out Idaho State, 5-0, on Friday.
Jamie Carstensen and Tina Frimpong scored the UW goals Friday, and junior goaltender Hope Solo, named Pac-10 Player of the Year earlier this week, earned her seventh shutout of the season and 16th of her career, tying Tina Thompson for the Huskies' all-time career record. Solo has allowed just three goals in her last 653 minutes (seven-plus games) in goal.
The third-ranked Pilots beat the Huskies 1-0 this season in Seattle on Sept. 29.