Sounders on Campus: Slew of sophomores continue to shine

Bwana Washington 2016-10-03

With programs across the country preparing for the start of conference play, dozens of Sounders Academy alums have cemented themselves as key contributors to their squads. This week’s edition of Sounders on Campus features several sophomores in excellent form for their respective programs.

Handwalla Bwana (University of Washington)

After winning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year last season with four goals and seven assists, the University of Washington starlet is on pace to shatter those numbers in his second season. Against Utah Valley, Bwana tore apart the Wolverine’s backline in the first half, tallying four shots on target. A herculean performance from the goalkeeper kept him off the scoresheet, but it was his assist early in the second half that opened the floodgates for UW, pacing the Huskies to a comfortable 4-0 win.

In the next match, a cross-town rivalry matchup with Seattle University, Bwana’s man-of-the-match showing led the Huskies to a 2-0 win. The Academy alum broke the deadlock in the 57th minute off a feed from Scott Menzies. Bwana, playing on the shoulder of the center back, checked way from his marker before curling his run and hitting the gap between two defenders to latch onto Menzie’s through-ball. His first touch settled the pass, and his second slid the ball underneath the goalkeeper. Bwana then put the match to bed in the 74th minute when his picture-perfect corner kick found Luke Hauswirth at the top of the six-yard, giving the Huskies a 2-0 advantage.

With 14 points from just seven starts in 2017, Bwana is just one-point shy of his entire 2016 output, and conference play hasn’t even begun yet.

Saif Kerawala (University of Washington)

Speaking of Sophomores at UW, Redshirt Sophomore goalkeeper Kerawala is taking full advantage of his first season as a starter. With two consecutive shutouts, against Utah Valley and Seattle U, the Issaquah native’s Goals Against Average stands at just .89, with five clean sheets from nine starts.

In the match against Seattle U, Kerawala played a massive part in the victory, commanding his 18-yard-box and exhibiting top-notch distribution throughout. With the Redhawks throwing the kitchen sink at him in the latter stages of the match, the young goalkeeper stood tall and repelled wave after wave of attack. When the match was still 1-0, he produced an acrobatic diving save to tip a point-blank shot over the bar.  

Harrison Kurtz (Clemson University)

Attacking midfielder Kurtz continued his strong start to the 2017 season with an impressive showing in Clemson’s 4-1 win over Charlotte. With the Tigers lined-up in a 4-3-2-1, Kurtz was handed the playmaker’s role, operating just underneath the striker and tasked with providing creativity in the attack. This tactical switch paid off, as the sophomore from Seattle tallied his third assist of the season on Clemson’s decisive third goal. Kurtz provided plenty of clever touches and incisive passes throughout the match.

Nick Hinds (Akron University)

A member of Sounders Academy’s 2015 class alongside Kurtz and Bwana, Hinds is catching fire for Akron as the Zips prepare for the start of conference. Hinds, a left back for the Rave Green and U.S. Youth National Teams, has played in an attacking midfield role since the end of his freshman season. And after a slow start to 2017, he’s exploded onto the scene with two goals and an assist from just three starts. His first goal, the fourth in a 5-0 win over UMass Lowell, was a powerful blast into the top corner from outside the box.

Against No. 1 Michigan State, Hinds assisted the opening goal of a commanding 4-0 win. Receiving the ball on the right-hand side, Hinds slalomed through four defenders and slipped in Nate Schultz with a no-look pass for a volleyed goal. In the second half, Hinds finished off the upset with a fantastic solo goal.

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