Sounders on Campus

Sounders on Campus: Washington Huskies fall in NCAA tournament

Henry Wingo UW

In a field that once contained nine teams with Sounders Academy products, only University of Denver and Clemson remain in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament.

The University of Washington fell to the University of Denver in the Sweet 16 in a closely contested 2-1 loss on Saturday night. Former Sounders youth team standouts Handwalla Bwana and Henry Wingo started the match for Washington, and the pair helped mount a second-half comeback in which the Huskies recorded 15 shots, but they couldn’t find the equalizer against the Pioneers.

Redshirt freshman Ryan Schaefer saw action off the bench in the Pioneers’ victory. The pacey striker from Burien, Wash., is joined in Denver’s squad by fellow Rave Green youth team products Tobi Jnohope and Tosh Samkange.

With the win over UW, the trio will face University of Clemson and freshman midfielder Harrison Kurtz in the Elite Eight. While the Pioneers have not lost since their elimination in last year’s College Cup, Clemson will hope to replicate its run to the 2015 tournament final.

A native of Seattle, Kurtz has appeared in 15 games for the Tigers in 2016.

Akron freshman phenom Nick Hinds, meanwhile, saw his first college season end in an agonizing 1-0 loss to Indiana on Nov. 20. Hinds nearly handed the Zips an early lead when he beat three Hoosiers on the dribble and broke into the box, only to see his shot turned away by a spectacular save from the goalkeeper.

After falling behind on a corner kick in the 54th minute, the SSFC Academy standout drove the team forward in search of an equalizer, but Indiana held onto its narrow advantage to advance.

Hinds finished his first collegiate campaign with an impressive five goals and four assists.

UCLA and Seyi Adekoya, meanwhile, lost 2-1 on the road at Lousville in the second round on Nov. 20. The Bruins gave up an early goal in the 3rd minute, but battled back to send the match into overtime.

Adekoya nearly set up match-winning goals both in regulation and overtime, only for teammates to waste the opportunities with poor shots. In the 60th minute, Adekoya’s perfectly timed run in behind the backline saw him latch onto a through ball before whipping in a cross on the floor. His inch-perfect service fell right at the feet of Abu Dunladi whose first time shot was turned away by the goalkeeper.

In overtime, Adekoya beat two defenders on the dribble and cut the ball back from the byline, but his teammate somehow contrived to fire over from 10-yards outs. Just three minutes later, Louisville scored a golden-goal winner off a header from close range.

The University of Portland and Paul Christensen were bounced in the first-round after a shootout loss to New Mexico. In an end-to-end affair the former U-17 U.S. national team goalkeeper, and Sounders Academy No. 1, kept the Pilots in the match with a string of stunning saves in regulation. The WCC Goalkeeper of the Year then sent the match to PKs when he made an unbelievable point-blank reaction save on a header from five-yards in the 103rd minute.

The Lobos jumped out to a 3-1 in penalties, leaving New Mexico one spot kick away from advancing to the second-round. Christensen handed the Pilots a lifeline by saving two PKs in a row to tie it up at 3-3. However, Portland eventually fell 6-5. 

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