Seattle University, Federal Way residents looking to repeat as national champs


The Mirror

The Seattle University soccer team’s bid for a repeat of its 2004 NCAA Division II national championship will have a lot to do with how four Federal Way residents perform.

Seniors Bobby McAlister (Kennedy), Alex Chursky (Decatur) and Nick McCluskey (Decatur), along with junior Jason Bressler (Decatur) all return for the Redhawks, who rolled to a perfect 22-0-1 record and a 2-1 win over South Illinois-Edwardsville in the national title game.

“Looking back on the season, it was truly a great and wonderful year,” said SU head coach Peter Fewing. “But we’re going to continue to take it one game at a time. We’re not going to worry about rankings. Being the defending national champions we understand that we have a bulls-eye on us.”

McAlister and Chursky might have the biggest of those bulls-eyes.

The ultra-talented duo combined for 31 goals and 13 assists in just 23 games last year.

McAlister pulled in virtually every award following his junior season. He was named the NCAA Division II National Player of the Year, the Final Four Most Outstanding Offensive Player, first-team All-American, first-team All-Far West Region, Greater Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year and the GNAC co-Male Athlete of the Year. He set GNAC and school records for single-season goals scored (22), total points (49) and game-winning goals (11).

“Bobby was clutch,” said Fewing. “Anyone who scores 22 goals in 23 games is remarkable. I’m proud of how he represents our program and Seattle University.”

Chursky tallied nine goals and eight assists and tied a GNAC record for most consecutive matches with a goal or an assist (10). He also earned his third straight first-team All-GNAC honor — also a record.

“I think that Bobby, Alex and (SU’s third forward) Cameron Weaver have the potential to be the top-three forwards and the top combinations in the country,” Fewing said. “You can’t ignore any of them, because any of them can change the game by themselves.”

McCluskey is coming off a broken leg he suffered late last season after starting 17 straight games. The midfielder tallied three goals.

Bressler played in 11 games a season ago as a sophomore and enters the 2005 season as a backup.

“We’re not even going to talk about the national championship,” Fewing said. “Our goal is just to be more fit than last year, playing one game at a time and playing well.

Seattle U. opens their 2005 season in Chino, Calif. against Fresno Pacific next Thursday.

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