SEATTLE -- No. 3 Washington (8-0-3) finished off an unbeaten non-conference season, topping Seattle U. (2-8-1), 2-0. The Dawgs spoiled a festive atmosphere as the Redhawks recently added lights to Championship field and were playing a night game for the first time.
“It was a nice night for Seattle soccer,” said head coach Jamie Clark. “We were happy to be a part of it. I thought the team came out pretty lethargic and Seattle U. took it to us in the first half. Fortunately we did not allow a goal and regrouped and were the better team after the half.”
Josh Heard was the hero for the Dawgs, scoring twice in the second half to win it. Washington had taken control of the game after the break, but had yet to breakthrough against the stingy Redhawk defense.
Heard gave the Huskies the lead in the 69th minute when he finished a cross from Darwin Jones. Jones received a long though ball into space down the right wing and outran the defense into the corner. He gathered the ball and crossed it through the six-yard box where a hard-charging Heard was able to get to it and one-time it for a goal.
Just nine minutes later, Heard scored another with a similar finish. This time Andy Thoma made a long run down the left wing and hit a perfect cross to Heard. Again, Heard charged the net and one-timed his shot past the Seattle U. goalkeeper.
The goals were the second and third of the season for Heard, while Jones picked up his fourth assist and Thoma his first. Through 11 games, the Dawgs now have 24 goals scored to just six allowed.
Defensively, Washington did not allow much in the way of chances for the Redhawks after the half, but survived a scare in the early going. Seattle U. forced Ryan Herman into three tough saves in the first 25 minutes, including a 1v1 opportunity.
Herman picked up his third shutout of the season and lowered his goals against average to 0.61.
“We didn’t want to make any excuses coming into the game, but we still came out flat,” said Clark. “The nice thing about soccer is you don’t have to be the better team for 90 minutes. We gutted it out when we were struggling and then looked like a team deserving of the win late in the game. Our legs started looking fresh once we scored the first goal.”
Next up, Washington resumes Pac-12 play by hosting Oregon State on Monday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. It is the first of three-straight conference games at the Husky Soccer Stadium. The Dawgs are tied atop the Pac-12 standings with No. 1 California, despite opening with the first two games on the road.