Men’s Soccer Suffers Heartbreaking First Round WAC Exit



Grand Canyon beats Rio Grand Valley on Sunday as Seattle U hosts the WAC tournament.

The Seattle University Men’s Soccer team fell to San Jose State University (SJSU) in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament, thus ending their season in a nail-biting game at Championship field on Nov. 7.

“Kudos to them, you gotta give them credit for finding a way to get it done. That’s a lifetime memory for their players and their team. Unfortunately, it is one for us too but not the kind you want to remember,” Seattle U Head Coach Pete Fewing said. “When you look and see teams that you have beaten this year and teams you’ve played well against going to the tournament, it gets a little more painful, but then again, that’s sports.”

The Redhawks started the game strong as redshirt sophomore Noe Meza scored in the 19th minute, putting the Redhawks up 1-0. The Redhawks continued this momentum as redshirt junior Kees Westra added a goal of his own. The Redhawks did not relent at the beginning of the first half. Continuing their offensive onslaught, junior Connor Noblat scored in the 47th minute giving the Redhawks a comfortable 3-0 lead.

Victory seemed all but inevitable for the Redhawks but SJSU struck back, scoring three goals in the final 17 minutes of the game.

This would result in a penalty-kick shootout. SJSU prevailed 6-5 to advance.

Controversy arose after the game as several SJSU players displayed distasteful hand gestures and used offensive language towards Seattle U fans. As a result of these actions, three SJSU seniors Jonathan Partida, Alex Clewis, and Zach Penner received institutional suspensions from the men’s soccer team. Partida had been suspended for the remainder of his senior season, while Clewis and Penner were suspended from their semifinal match against UTRGV.

“18-20-year-old athletes not knowing how to handle their celebration and making these gestures to SU fans and ignoring their teammates as they should be celebrating their victory with them, really ruined it and put a stain on it as they come up and mock the fans,” Junior Psychology major Steve Brown said. “It was an embarrassment for the WAC and for the whole tournament, to be honest.”

Coming off of a historic 2017 season in which the Redhawks won the WAC tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament after beating the University of Washington in the first round, the 2018 season was a different story and one that ended in heartbreak.

“I think we return a really good group, we’re returning guys that can put the ball in the back of the net. We also have some good recruits coming in,” Fewing said. “We have a very tough schedule next year, we have our work cut out for us.”

Caylah may be reached at
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