Seattle climbed the Division II men's soccer ladder quickly, winning its first title December 5 at Midwestern State just four years after becoming a Division II member and less than two months after qualifying for its first NCAA tournament.
The Redhawks earned their first NCAA title in any sport at any level with a 2-1 win over Southern Illinois Edwardsville. Seattle was an NCAA Division I member before joining the NAIA more than 20 years ago. The Redhawks won an NAIA title in both men's soccer (1997) and men's swimming (2001) before rejoining the NCAA.
Bobby McAlister scored the game-winning goal, the 11th time this year he has done so. The unassisted goal in the 70th minute was his 22nd tally of the season. The tournament's most outstanding offensive player also scored the game-winner in Seattle's 2-1 semifinal victory over Dowling.
Seattle finished the year 22-0-1, becoming the school's first undefeated team and just the ninth in Division II history to finish a season as undefeated national champions.
Though gusty conditions affected play throughout the game, each team scored its first goal upwind. Seattle's Adam Jensen connected just two minutes before halftime -- his third goal of the tournament -- while Southern Illinois Edwardsville tied the score early in the second frame on a goal by Victor Pacheco.
That set up McAlister's heroics. The junior juked goalkeeper Nicholas Frasca and netted the game-winner.
Southern Illinois Edwardsville, which finished the season 19-3-2, beat North Carolina-Pembroke, 4-1, in the semifinals. Four players, including Pacheco, scored goals for the Cougars. McAlister scored his game-winner in Seattle's semifinal against Dowling off a throw-in in overtime.
"We actually worked on that play quite a bit," McAlister said. "Sometimes it gets monotonous when you're working on throw-ins, but coach said some day we're going to score on it."
McAlister was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Santa Maria Rivera (who was named the most outstanding defensive player), goalkeeper Jeremiah Doyle and Pat Doran. Southern Illinois Edwardsville placed Kevin Thibodeau, John Matthews and Mike Banner. Others named to the team were Trond Myrland and Ali Erdal from North Carolina-Pembroke, and Sergine Babacar Mbsup and Chris Kenney from Dowling.
|SIU Edwardsville||1||3 -- 4|
|UNC Pembroke||0||1 -- 1|
First half: SIUE -- Michael Burgund (Kevin Thibodeau), 33:22.
Second half: UNCP -- Graeme Little (Trond Myrland), 46:03; SIUE -- Pete Cacciatore (unassisted), 61:30; SIUE -- Victor Pacheco (Adam Lanter), 72:28; SIUE -- Mike Banner (Lanter), 89:02.
Shots: SIU Edwardsville 14, UNC Pembroke 16. Goalkeeper saves: SIU Edwardsville (Nicholas Frasca) 6, UNC Pembroke (Richard Sallin) 4. Corner kicks: SIU Edwardsville 5, UNC Pembroke 2.
|Dowling||1||0||0 -- 1|
|Seattle||0||1||1 -- 2|
First half: D -- Chris Kenney (Morten Jensen), 4:58.
Second half: S -- Adam Jensen (unassisted), 86:41.
Overtime: S -- Bobby McAlister (Alex Chursky), 94:08.
Shots: Dowling 13, Seattle 14. Goalkeeper saves: Dowling (Neal Kitson) 4, Seattle (Jeremiah Doyle) 8. Corner kicks: Dowling 9, Seattle 3.
|SIU Edwardsville||0||1 -- 1|
|Seattle||1||1 -- 2|
First half: S -- Adam Jensen (Cameron Weaver, Santa Maria Rivera), 43:00.
Second half: SIUE -- Victor Pacheco (unassisted), 48:55; S -- Bobby McAlister (unassisted), 69:58.
Shots: SIU Edwardsville 12, Seattle 10. Goalkeeper saves: SIU Edwardsville (Nicholas Frasca 6, Greg Crook 0) 6, Seattle (Jeremiah Doyle) 6. Corner kicks: SIU Edwardsville 3, Seattle 4.