Men's Soccer Opens 2003 Season Hosting Exhibition Matches With Seattle U. and Seattle Pacific

Aug. 18, 2003

THIS WEEK:
Washington men's soccer opens the 2003 season this week, hosting a pair of exhibition matches with city rivals Seattle University, Wed., Aug. 20, and Seattle Pacific, Sat., Aug. 23 Both matches will be held at 7 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field on the UW campus. Adult admission to the games will be $5, while children and seniors' tickets are $3 each. Washington students are free when they present their student ID at the gate.

UW SEASON PREVIEW:
The Huskies return 13 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's squad that went 6-10-3 overall, and finished fifth in conference play with a 3-7 Pac-10 record. The 2002 season was quite uncharacteristic of previous Husky tradition, as it was UW's first non-winning season since 1991 and the first losing season since 1968. Last year also marked the first time in eight seasons that UW did not earn an NCAA Tournament berth. But led by 12-year head coach Dean Wurzberger, Washington will be eager to take the field this fall with the goal of restoring its winning tradition. The 2003 squad features returning All-Pac-10 selections C.J. Klaas (first-team), Brett Wiesner (second-team) and Seth Marsh (honorable mention). Klaas, a junior midfielder, was also an NSCAA All-Far West Region second-team pick last season. Wiesner, a junior forward, returns as the Huskies' leading scorer from a year ago, after notching a team-high seven goals in 2002. Seniors Sean Giudice (F), Marsh (D), Troy Ready (MF) and Danny Waltman (GK) will also be looked upon to provide leadership for this Husky squad that is made up of 65 percent freshmen and sophomores. Additional returning players who should make an impact include juniors Joe Birklid (D) and Casey Armstrong (F), as well as sophomores Gavin Hobbs (MF/D), Mike Chabala (MF), Chris Eylander (GK), Jeff Hoover (MF) and Kevin Murray (D). Nine newcomers have joined the team this year, including five freshmen and four transfers. Eight of those nine players hail from the Pacific Northwest.

SEATTLE U SERIES:
The Husky-Redhawks rivalry dates back to 1967. Since then, Washington leads the all-time regular season series with SU, 36-5-4. The last time these teams met during the regular season was Sept. 20, 2001, when the Huskies pulled out a 3-1 victory at home. Last year, the Redhawks posted an overall record of 11-6-2 and finished runner-up in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with a 3-1 mark. Seattle University is coached by Peter Fewing.

SEATTLE PACIFIC SERIES:
Like Seattle U., the rivalry between the Huskies and Falcons began in 1967. The last regular season meeting between these two teams was in 1999 when Washington shutout SPU 1-0 at home on Oct. 2, of that year. UW leads the all-time series 31-12-13. SPU compiled an overall record of 11-6-2 last year. The Falcons placed third in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with a 2-2 league mark. SPU returns 19 letterwinners and eight starters from last season. Seattle Pacific is coached by Cliff McCrath.

UP NEXT:
The 2003 regular season kicks off for the Huskies at the Portland/Nike Invitational, Aug. 30 and Sept. 1. Washington will face UNLV in its season opener at noon on Fri., Aug. 30, followed by a match with Oakland University, Mon., Sept. 1, at noon as well. Washington's home opener will be Fri., Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. with rival Portland at Husky Soccer Field.

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