The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
SEATTLE – The turning point of Monday’s clash of collegiate contenders came while neither of the teams was on the field.
The 15 minutes of halftime proved decisive as Seattle Pacific men’s soccer coach Mark Collings made two critical adjustments. During intermission, he implored his team to play with more passion. He also inserted freshman Ian Adams into the lineup to start the second half.
Adams, who did not play in the opening 45 minutes, scored twice during the game’s final 11 minutes as the fifth-ranked Falcons rallied for a 2-1 victory over No. 19 Grand Canyon in an NCAA Division II non-conference contest at Interbay Stadium.
“We’ve talked about the depth of this team and each night is going to be a different guy’s time to shine. Tonight was Ian’s,” Collings exclaimed. “He came in and changed the game.”
Seattle Pacific (4-0) remained undefeated while dealing GCU (3-1) its first setback. The Antelopes beat top-ranked Fort Lewis (Colo.) 3-2 on Saturday in their last outing.
A product of nearby Shorecrest High School, Adams netted his first two collegiate goals. His first, at 79:08, evened the score. Evan Robicheau sent a pass through to the right flank for Kyle Peterman, who crossed the ball to Adams for a four-yard header at the left post.
Just over five minutes later Adams raced to a ball on the goal line and tapped it in for the game-winner at 84:28. Caleb Nyone set up the goal with a long free kick that was fumbled by GCU goalkeeper Joshua Zehring on the right side of the goal.
“It’s a big game so the goals were great to get during this game,” said Adams, who was asked afterwards if the winning goal was the easiest he has ever scored.
“Yeah. On the second one it was kind of a fluke. Caleb Nyone sent a ball in and the keeper just happed to bobble it and I was there to just poke it in for the finish.”
In the first half, the Antelopes claimed the lead after Chris Green collected a clearance outside the box and directed it into the goal at 37:56.
Saeed Robinson initiated the scoring play, sending a corner kick from the left that was punched away by SPU goalkeeper Zach Johnson (Snohomish, Wash./Snohomish). The ball carried to the feet of Green, who quickly drove a low, 21-yard shot through the crowded box and into the right corner.
GCU outshot the hosts 6-3 in the first half, prompting a halftime lecture from Collings.
“That was one of those where you have a heart-to-heart with your team. We really played a little timid in the first half, almost like we were playing not to lose instead of to win.”
What was the content of his successful halftime speech?
“We just talked about needing to increase our pressure and the guys really responded,” Collings said. “The second half we had 12 shots, where in the first half we only had three. That really tells the story. We put them under quite a bit of pressure and luckily it worked.”
Johnson had two saves for the Falcons, who outshot GCU 15-10, including a 12-4 advantage in the second half. Zehring stopped two shots for the Antelopes.
The SPU men bring a perfect record into Great Northwest Athletic Conference play that begins at home on Thursday against new league member Sioux Falls. Kick-off is 7 p.m. at Interbay Stadium.
“Finishing up non-conference play without a blemish on the record is certainly a good feeling,” said Collings. “Hopefully that gives us some momentum heading into conference play which will be very difficult.”
NCAA MEN’S SOCCER
Monday, September 10, 2012
Interbay Stadium/Seattle, Wash.
at (#5) Seattle Pacific 2, (#19) Grand Canyon 1
Scoring – 1, GCU, Chris Green, 37:56; 2, SPU, Ian Adams (Evan Robicheau, Kyle Peterman), 79:08; 3, SPU, Ian Adams, 84:28.
Shots – GCU 15, SPU 10.
Saves – GCU 2 (Joshua Zehring), SPU 2 (Zach Johnson).
Corner kicks – GCU 3, SPU 3.
Fouls – GCU 11, SPU 16.
Offsides – GCU 0, SPU 1.
Ejections – None.
Seattle Pacific 4-0-0
Grand Canyon 3-1-0
Sioux Falls at (#5) Seattle Pacific
Thursday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m., Interbay Stadium