Sonoma State men’s soccer team split first matches of 2017

Overtime is often proclaimed as one of the most nerve-wracking moments in sports, but if we learned anything in Thursday night’s thrilling 2-1 overtime victory over host Western Washington, it’s that the intensity of the moment doesn’t faze the Sonoma State University men’s soccer team.

After falling into an early 1-0 deficit on a goal by Western Washington’s Luke Olney, Sonoma State had a response of their own in the form of senior forward Andrew Ogilvy, squaring the score at 1-1 with 26:27 left in the first half. 

The finish on the far post gave Ogilvy his first goal of the season, with senior midfielder Josh Sanchez earning credit for the assist on the play.

Following an eventful first half that included goals from both squads, the second half remained without a shot finding the net, leaving the score knotted at 1-1 heading into the first overtime period of the season. 

With six minutes left in the period, the Seawolves pressed, with a shot fired wide of the post by sophomore striker Luis Mendoza. 

Then came the moment of truth. After securing the ball across Western Washington’s half of the field, sophomore midfielder Evan Roehrig jetted past a defender, evading a tackle attempt to reach the top of the goal box. 

He then took a shot that the keeper deflected, but the Seawolves remained in possession of the ball. Following the deflection, he let it fly, rifling a guided missile past Western Washington keeper Tyler Visten to settle the score at 2-1 in favor of Sonoma State. 

Roehrig’s golden moment earned the Seawolves their first win of the 2017 season, leaving the squad with positive vibes en route to their next game against Seattle Pacific Saturday night. 

“We’re looking really good right now - probably the best I’ve seen since being here,” said senior defender Eric Alvarado. “Seattle is coming off a loss, and us a win. So we’ve got the momentum right now going into Saturday.”

Following their scrappy overtime victory against Western Washington, the Sonoma State men’s soccer team ran into a proverbial wall known as Seattle Pacific, falling 4-1 at Interbay Stadium Saturday afternoon. 

The loss is the team’s first of the season, leaving it with a record of 1-1-0 to kick off 2017.

The Seawolves struggled to make the most of their scoring opportunities, firing four shots without hitting twine, leaving them without a goal in the first 45 minutes of play. 

Opposite of Sonoma State, Seattle Pacific looked strong in its pursuit, netting two goals in the opening frame. Early goals from the Falcon’s striker, Gabe Kellum, (14:22) and Titus Grant (28:52) earned Seattle a 2-0 lead heading into the second half. 

The subsequent half continued with the story of the afternoon –– the Falcon’s ability to thrive off the counterattack and Sonoma State’s inability to take advantage of missteps left by the opposition.

“Seattle was pretty opportunistic with their chances,” Sanchez said. “We had the same amount of shots, but they did just a little better at finishing their chances than we did.”

With 30 remaining in regulation play, the Seawolves were dealt a stinging blow when Kellum added to his team’s lead, scoring his second goal of the game to give Seattle Pacific a 3-0 advantage. 

Following Kellum’s strike, Sonoma State ignited a chance to get back into the game as freshman midfielder Kyle Owings scored the Seawolves’ first goal of the game from the left side of the six-yard box. 

The short-yardage score gave Owings’ his first career collegiate goal, shrinking the deficit to 3-1. 

Unfortunately, any hope of staging a comeback was squashed on an own goal in the 88th minute, sealing the score at 4-1 in favor of Seattle Pacific. 

Following the road loss, the Seawolves will take on California Baptist at home, marking their first game on home turf this year. The tilt will kick off at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Seawolf Soccer Field.