LAS VEGAS , NV—No. 23 Seattle University men’s soccer advanced, 4-2 on penalty kicks, at UNLV Friday night. Josh Adachi made five saves and then came up with two stops in penalties to lift the Redhawks in a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship semifinals at Johann Memorial Field. (Photos from WAC Facebook.)
With the win, the Redhawks return to their third WAC Championship game in the last five seasons. They will face fourth-seeded San Jose State, who defeated No. 12 Air Force, 1-0, earlier Friday.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” said Coach Pete Fewing. “Josh was very good all night. He stays level-headed and his save in overtime gave him confidence for the penalty kicks.”
After a scoreless match, the decision came down to a shootout. UNLV scored first, but Sergio Rivas answered to even the round. The Rebels scored again, but Alex Roldan replied to SU level.
In the third round, Adachi dived left and turned away a shot to put the Redhawks in position. Anthony Ayala converted his try to put Seattle U ahead, 3-2. On a Marco Gonzalez attempt, Adachi moved quickly to his right and stopped the shot, putting SU on the verge. Cody Buchanan, who did not appear in the match, stepped up and deposited the winner into the goal, putting the Redhawks in the final.
The teams squared off for 110 tense minutes, with neither side able to strike for a goal. Adachi was on fire throughout, making five saves for the Redhawks. UNLV was the aggressor in the first half, holding SU to two shots. Adachi made three stops in the first half to keep the match scoreless.
In the second frame, the Redhawks put more pressure on the Rebels, earning a pair of corner kicks. Seattle U received a red card midway through the half, putting it down a man for the rest of the night. It worked to compensate and eventually sent the contest to OT.
Adachi came up with the play of the match with a terrific save in the first extra session. The Pearl City, Hawaii, native made a diving stop to turn away a UNLV header at 96:43. A few minutes later, Josh Greene made a run and put a strong shot on goal, but the Rebels were there to send the game to another overtime.
The second OT came and went, setting up the drama of penalty kicks.
Adachi posted his 10th shutout of the season.