Burnaby, B.C. – In an intense game between two bitter rivals at Terry Fox Field on Saturday night, the Simon Fraser University Clan men’s soccer team defeated Seattle Pacific University by a score of 4-3. Both teams came into the match undefeated in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play. With the win tonight, SFU moves to 9-0-0 on the season and 5-0-0 in GNAC play while SPU falls to 6-2-1 on the season and 3-1-0 in GNAC competition.
“This game was a battle from start to finish against a very tough opponent,” said Head Coach Alan Koch after the game. “We played a man down for nearly 40 minutes but our players really stepped up and filled the void.”
Carlo Basso (Coquitlam, BC) put home a strike from the right side to open the scoring, beating SPU goalkeeper Zach Johnson in the 18th minute.
SPU had five shots on goal in the first half while Simon Fraser only had two, however SFU went into halftime with a 1-0 advantage thanks to the Basso goal.
The bulk of the scoring came in the second half. Basso struck again early in the half, scoring a crafty goal off a feed from Justin Wallace in the 47th minute just before Michael Winter (Vancouver, BC) was sent off with a red card in the 54th minute.
Falcons leading scorer Tyler Schultz responded in the 55th minute with a goal from a shot off a corner kick and five minutes later, Josh Bennett (Hamilton, ON) restored Simon Fraser’s two-goal lead with his fourth goal of the season. The back and forth action continued when Blaine Carver answered for Seattle Pacific in the 67th minute to cut the SFU lead to 3-2.
SFU got some insurance when the team’s go-to player for corner kicks was able to lob a ball into the box where Matt Besuschko (Port Moody, BC) put home what would be the eventual game winning goal.
In the 76th minute, SPU again answered with a goal from Jon Pearman to bring Seattle Pacific within a goal but that was as close as they would get, as SFU held on for the 4-3 victory.
The game was intense from start to finish as a total of 34 fouls were committed between the two teams. Seven yellow cards and one red card were also handed out.
“The composure our team showed tonight in a big game was very commendable and speaks to their maturity. This team seems to get better every game,” said Koch.
Overall, SPU outshot SFU 17-to-14. SFU goalkeeper Sheldon Steenhuis (Morgan Hill, CA) made seven saves to earn the win while Johnson made five saves in the loss.
Next up, SFU will travel to Hawaii to play three games, starting with a match against BYU-Hawaii on October 5. Kickoff is scheduled for a 3pm start.