By Ryan Kuhn
Eighty minutes was not enough for Stuart Hall and University to find the back of the net, as the two battled to a 0-0 tie Thursday at Treasure Island, in the first Bay Counties League West match of the year for both teams.
The game started with Stuart Hall (1-2-1, 0-0-1) coming out aggressive in the first 10 minutes, as freshman William Hackel had a clear shot on the University goaltender, but he was turned back by the Red Devils’ defense.
Five minutes later, Stuart Hall forward Will Campbell missed another opportunity to score, sailing the ball out of bounds on a header from Grant Kawahatsu’s free kick.
University (3-1-1, 0-1-1) also had chances to get on the board, but was plagued by a series of offside calls.
“We kept pushing from the beginning to the end, but we couldn’t make that adjustment,” said University assistant coach Jovan Yamagishi. “We had many offsides that were called, so we needed to be a little smarter, [and] that’s what we tried to tell our players.”
In the second half, the Red Devils saw more opportunities to score while also tightening up their defense, holding the Knights to only three shots on goal.
But offsides and missed chances kept Stuart Hall in the game.
“We were pushing at the end,” said Stuart Hall senior forward Tim Connolly said. “We knew if we kept solid that we could keep it a tie.”
With a final surge in the 70th minute, the Red Devils had three open looks from sophomore forward Parker Walls, but missed passes and turnovers gave them their first tie of the season.
University senior captain Kirk Horton said the team just needs to move forward.
“With missed opportunities, you just have to forget about it and move on to the next game,” he said. “We really have to step it up. [The] aspirations we have are high. We have to beat better teams like this, especially since it is our first league game.”
Connolly was happy with his team’s performance.
“It showed that we have young players, but we can play,” Connolly said. “We are a really young team right now, so we [were] playing for that tie at least. We don’t want to lose our first game of the season.”
University will play its next game Monday against Novato, while Stuart Hall travels to Athenian on Friday.