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December 19, 2019
No. 16 Seattle University men's soccer raised the bar in 2019, going unbeaten in Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time since 2013.
Coach Pete Fewing guided his squad to a fourth NCAA Tournament appearance, winning a game in the postseason for the fourth consecutive showing. SU ended its season with the longest active unbeaten streak in the country at 16 games. It is the lone Division I program to win at least 11 games in each of the last seven seasons.The Redhawks finished the season ranked 16th in the College Soccer News poll
In the NCAA Tournament, SU headed to Loyola Marymount for the first round. Connor Noblat scored first and then freshman Jesse Ortiz placed a brilliant free kick for the go-ahead goal in the second half. The scores marked the first goals of the year for Noblat and Ortiz. Harrison Kurtz later found the back of the net in a 3-1 win that pushed the Redhawks to the second round of the tournament.
Seattle U then drew No. 7 Stanford. It went shot-for-shot with the Cardinal and Noe Meza's header goal tied the match late in the second half. The Redhawks created several dangerous chances as time ran out, but the neither side scored as the match went to penalty kicks. Stanford advanced from there, ending the Redhawks' season in heartbreaking fashion.
Facing a challenging non-league slate, SU opened with a 5-0 beatdown of San Francisco and then played a scoreless draw with Denver. Seattle U followed with a trip to Notre Dame, where it lost to the Irish before tying then-second-ranked Indiana, 0-0. It then claimed the 2019 Caffe Darte Coffee Cup, blanking Portland, 2-0, at Championship Field.
The Redhawks rolled through the WAC, going unbeaten and establishing a new conference record for most points accumulated (31). They became the first team to win 10 WAC matches in a season and just the fourth team in conference history to go unbeaten.
After Akili Kasim and the backline posted shutouts in the first two league contests, McGlynn took his turn in the spotlight on Oct. 6 against Kansas City. The sophomore tallied a hat trick in a 4-1 win at Championship Field, becoming just the second Redhawk to score three goals in a game and the first since Nov. 1, 2015, when David Olsen accomplished the feat. McGlynn earned United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week honors for his effort.
SU picked up a tie and a win on the road before heading to CSU Bakersfield on Oct. 19. There, freshman James Morris stepped forward. He notched three goals, all in the first half, of a 3-2 win over the `Runners. Morris became the third Redhawk with a hat trick and then won United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Week for his work.
The next week, Seattle U returned home for two key games. Noe Meza and Hal Uderitz scored in a 2-1 win over Air Force on Oct. 25, setting up a showdown between the two top teams in the WAC standings at Championship Field. Utah Valley struck first, but a Wolverine red card gave SU a man advantage for the majority of the match. Meza converted a penalty kick in the 85th minute to force overtime. In the 93rd minute, Meza found McGlynn open in the box, where the sophomore scored the golden goal for a 2-1 victory that all but clinched the WAC regular-season title for the Redhawks.
On Nov. 1, SU traveled to Incarnate Word, needing a win to secure the conference crown. The defense stood tall and in the 63rd minute, Uderitz blasted a liner through the Cardinal backline and into the net, giving the Redhawks all the scoring they would need to claim the WAC title. They closed the regular season with two more wins, including a 3-1 win over San Jose State on senior day at Championship Field.
In the WAC Tournament at Air Force, SU earned a first-round bye before facing CSUB. Kasim and the defense shut out the `Runners in a 1-0 that propelled the Redhawks to the tournament final. In a tight game with UVU, the teams battled to a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes. Kasim dominated from there, saving three Wolverine penalty kicks, while Morris and Uderitz both scored for a 2-1 decision that gave Seattle U its fourth WAC Tournament Championship since 2013 and sent SU back to the NCAA Tournament. Kasim won Tournament MVP, as Burgess, McGlynn, and Julian Avila-Good were chosen all-tournament.
Burgess claimed WAC Defensive Player of the Year and United Soccer Coaches All-Region First Team. Avila-Good and McGlynn were both selected All-WAC First Team and United Soccer Coaches All-Region Second Team. McGlynn led the Redhawks with 10 goals and eight assists, both careers highs. Meza put up nine goals and Morris logged eight.
In 2020, the Redhawks will look to replace the strong senior class of Avila-Good, Burgess, Kurtz, Mickoski, Noblat, Cody Buchanan, Hamish Ritchie, and Kees Westra. McGlynn, Kasim, Uderitz, and Morris headline a stellar group of returners for Fewing next year.
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