Men's Soccer Faces Road Test at UCLA
Oct. 11, 2000
This Week: The No. 7 Washington men's soccer team (8-3-0), winners of five straight games and undefeated in the Pac-10, hit the road for a conference game against perennial national power UCLA (8-1-0, 0-1-0). It is the only match for Washington this weekend.
Series History: UCLA holds an 8-4-1 lead in the series with Washington but the Huskies have won three of the last four. It's been an interesting series over the last three meetings. Last season, the 14th-ranked Huskies upset No. 1 UCLA, 2-1, in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title game in Seattle to claim a second straight MPSF championship. In 1998, the No. 7 Huskies shut out No. 1 UCLA, 2-0, en route to winning their first MPSF title. UCLA's last win came in 1997, when they handed UW a 1-0 loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins went on to win the national championship that year.
Dean Wurzberger Says: 'Obviously going 3-0 in conference is a good start. The conference is valuable to us in terms of strength of schedule, since we don't have an automatic bid. The big benefit of beating a team like Stanford on the road is that it's a huge confidence boost. If you look at where we were, and how far we've come - we've grown as a team. To face a challenge like that at the midpoint of your season, it's a huge step forward. We are off to the start in conference that we'd hoped for. We've grown as a team. We'll find out more, obviously, playing at UCLA Sunday.'
A Quick Look at the Huskies: The Huskies, on a five-game win streak, return to the road again after a huge weekend in which they knocked off No. 4 Stanford, 2-1, in Palo Alto and followed with a 7-0 thumping of Cal at home. Junior defender Bryn Ritchie earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors after the weekend. He assisted on the first goal at Stanford and then put the game-winner in, in overtime, as the Huskies handed the Cardinal their first home defeat in 19 matches and first since 1997, to a team that had given up just one goal all season. The Huskies got the kinks out against Cal, putting seven goals on the scoreboard as both Dayo Oyetuga and Greg Foisie came off the bench to score two a piece. Washington vaulted to No. 7 in the current Soccer America poll and will face another tough test, on the road at No. 5 UCLA. Eight different Huskies have scored goals this season and six players have three goals each to their credit. Jake Sagare leads the team with 28 shots so far this season.
A Look at UCLA: UCLA is coming off its first loss of the season, handed to them by a Stanford squad coming off its first defeat two days earlier by Washington. After being ranked the consensus No. 1 team for the last five weeks, UCLA dropped to No. 5 in the current Soccer America poll. Senior forward McKinley Tennyson, a Hermann Trophy nominee, has scored nine goals in eight games this season.
Against Ranked Opponents: Washington has stood up to the test in its games against top 10 opponents. The Huskies knocked off No. 4 Stanford last weekend and two weeks earlier, it was No. 6 Fullerton ... the Huskies opened the 2000 season on the road and suffered losses to then No. 13 Creighton (2-0) and No. 21 SW Missouri State (3-0).