SEATTLE – Washington is moving on in the NCAA Tournament, defeating Seattle U., 4-2, in front of standing room only crown at the Husky Soccer Stadium. The Dawgs advance to their second-ever Sweet 16 on a tremendous night of soccer for the derby matchup.
Washington improved to 15-1-4 on the season, eliminating the Redhawks in front of 3,100 fans in a showcase of Seattle soccer. The Dawgs dominated the match, earning a 4-0 lead, before Seattle U. scored two late goals to make things tenuous.
The Dawgs took a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute when Darwin Jones finished his seventh goal of the season. The Dawgs had several dangerous chances in the early minutes, but it was the junior that broke through to give Washington the lead. Cristian Roldan played a horizontal ball to Jones on the left wing where he used a touch to get the ball to his left foot and blasted it by the Seattle U. keeper into the far corner.
Washington continued to hold the majority of the possession, but went to the half up just one goal. The Dawgs outshot the Redhawks, 12-7, in the half and took four corners.
Out of the break, Washington extended the lead almost immediately, scoring just 2:50 into the second half. Michael Harris started the play with a flip throw into the box with Seattle U. clearing to James Moberg who fired a shot on goal. The shot was blocked, but Josh Heard was there to collect the rebound and slot home his fifth goal of the year. Heard scored both goals in the regular season win over Seattle U., giving him three goals in two games against the Redhawks.
Washington continued to keep the pressure up, adding to their lead in the 57th minute. Again it was Heard and Moberg combining in the box, this time setting up Roldan for the goal. It was Roldan’s seventh goal of season as the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year continues to impress.
The Dawgs added a fourth goal in the 66th minute for what seemed to put the game away. Heard slotted a perfect ball to Mason Robertson who blast a shot just under the crossbar for his sixth goal of the season and fourth-consecutive game with a goal.
Despite the four-goal deficit, Seattle U. did not give up. The Redhawks scored twice in the 72nd minute with goals coming just 27 seconds apart. Still leading by two, the quick goals seemed to unnerve Washington a bit. The Redhawks continued to press and had some solid chances, but the Husky backline stabilized and after few scary moments, regained control of the game.
The Dawgs finished the last couple of minutes strongly and celebrated a return trip to the Sweet 16. Washington has just one previous trip to the Sweet 16 coming in 2003. That team fell to Saint Louis in overtime in the third round, but remains the most successful team in school history until this year.
Washington hopes to continue to advance, beginning Sunday, December 1, at 5 p.m., when the Huskies face Stanford at the Husky Soccer Stadium. The Dawgs were 2-0 against the Cardinal this season, but Stanford has finished the season strong winning their last four games, including eliminating 15th-seeded Cal-State Northridge tonight. Tickets will be available beginning Monday morning at the Husky ticket office as well as online HERE and over the phone at (206) 543-2200.