No. 13 Men's Soccer Opens Pac-10 Play Hosting Fresno State, No. 2 UCLA
Sept. 29, 2003
Having won five straight matches and still unbeaten with a 6-0-1 record, 13th-ranked Washington men's soccer looks to continue its winning ways when its opens the Pac-10 Conference slate at home with Fresno State and defending NCAA champion UCLA this weekend. UW will face Fresno State, Fri., Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m., before the second-ranked Bruins come to town, Sun., Oct. 7, at 2:30 p.m. The Huskies are in the midst of a four-game homestand, the longest of the season. Washington won its own Husky Fever Classic last weekend with victories over Kentucky (2-1) and then No. 11 South Carolina (3-0). The Huskies, who jumped from No. 22 to 13 in the NSCAA/adidas rankings this week, are off to the best start since a 7-0 record to open the 1998 season. UW is the only undefeated Pac-10 team when conference action begins this weekend.
Noting The Huskies:
Washington captured its third tournament title of the season last weekend, winning its own Husky Fever Classic for the first time since 2000. With six victories so far this season, UW has already equaled its number of wins from last year after a 6-10-3 overall record in 2002. The Huskies' unbeaten record will surely be tested when the Fresno State Bulldogs and UCLA Bruins come to town. The Huskies are a young team with freshmen and sophomores filling eight starting roles. Led by senior goalkeeper Danny Waltman, the Husky defense has allowed just six goals to their own 17. Anchoring the UW backline are freshmen Ty Harden and Will Flanagan, and sophomore Kevin Murray. Sophomore newcomer Leo Totev, a center midfielder, has emerged as the Huskies' top offensive player to this point, with five goals and two assists. Junior midfielder C.J. Klaas has three goals and three assists. Senior forward Sean Giudice is the team leader with four assists. Nine different Huskies have recorded either a goal or an assist so far this season. In goal, Waltman boasts an 0.83 goals against average and has posted two shutouts.
Scouting Fresno State:
Fresno State comes to Seattle with a 3-5-0 overall record, having split a pair of games at the St. Mary's Invitational in the Bay Area last weekend. The Bulldogs fell to St. Mary's 2-1 on Friday, before recording a 3-2 victory over San Francisco on Sunday. FSU opened the season losing its first four straight, but has rebounded winning its last three of four. Chris Murphy leads the team with three goals and one assist, while Jeremiah LeRoy has two goals and one assist. Freshman goalkeeper Eric Kronberg has started all eight games and was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for Sept. 16-22. He registered his first career shutout vs. Alabama A&M, Sept. 21.
Washington leads the all-time series with Fresno State, 6-3-4. Last year, these teams split a pair of games, each winning on their home field. UW defeated FSU 1-0 in Seattle on Oct. 25, before Fresno State came back to post a 3-2 win over the Huskies Nov. 3 in Fresno.
The defending NCAA champion Bruins open Pac-10 play this weekend with a 6-1 record, their only loss coming to then second-ranked Maryland, 1-0, Sept. 5. Since then the Tarpins have claimed the No. 1 spot in the national rankings, moving UCLA down to No. 2. The Bruins have posted four straight shutouts, its latest over Loyola Marymount, 2-0, on Sept. 27. UCLA, having outscored its opponents 19-3, has only given up one goal to Maryland and two to then-No. 16 Penn State. Chad Barrett and Matt Taylor lead the Bruin offense. Barrett has five goals and seven assists, while Taylor has seven goals. Goalkeeper Zach Wells has been credited with four shutouts and has an 0.30 goals against average.
Washington trails the all-time series with UCLA, 8-10-1. The teams split a pair of matches last year, with the Bruins defeating the Huskies 1-0 on Oct. 27 in Seattle before Washington pulled a dramatic 2-1 double overtime upset over UCLA in Westwood on Nov. 1. C.J. Klaas scored the gamewinner. Dating back to 1998, the Huskies have won six of the last eight games with UCLA.
UW Wins Husky Fever Classic:
Led by timely goal scoring and an unrelenting defense, Washington won its own Husky Fever Classic last weekend. UW defeated Kentucky 2-1 in its opening round match, led by goals from sophomore Jeff Hoover and junior C.J. Klaas. The Huskies came seconds away from posting a shutout as the Wildcats' lone goal was scored off a corner kick with 40 seconds left in the game. Not intimidated by a No. 11 national ranking, Washington proceeded to sink South Carolina 3-0. Sophomore Leo Totev, the tournament's Most Outstanding Offensive Player, led the charge scoring two goals and assisting a third. Senior Sean Giudice assisted both goals by Totev, while sophomore Kevin Murray also scored for Washington. Totev got the Huskies on the board in the 25th minute, finessing his way around Gamecock goalkeeper Brad Guzan and finding the open net. After the intermission, the Huskies scored twice in just two minute early in the second frame. A corner kick from Totev found the head of Armstrong for a goal in the 54th minute, before Totev blasted a 30-yard shot to the upper right corner of the net for goal No. 3. South Carolina threatened in the second-half but the Husky defense led by freshmen Ty Harden and Will Flanagan, and Murray staved off the Gamecocks. Senior goalkeeper Danny Waltman made six saves, all in the second half, and posted his second shutout of the year. Portland also finished the tournament with a 2-0 record, but Washington was awarded the title based on goal differential. Portland's Paul Robinson was voted Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
After making its season debut in the rankings last week at No. 22, the Huskies have jumped to 13th in this week's edition of the NSCAA/adidas poll. Washington made its debut in the Soccer America rankings this week with a No. 12 billing. UW also jumped from No. 19 to No. 10 in the Soccer Times poll. College Soccer News has the Huskies ranked 10th, as well.
The Huskies are 5-0 when they are the first team to score in a match this season. Only twice has UW failed to net the first goal of the game, with both efforts coming in the first two matches of the season. Washington came back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat UNLV 5-1. After trailing Oakland 1-0, UW came back to knot the game at 1-1 but the match eventually ended in a tie.
Leading The Pac:
Washington is still the only remaining undefeated team in the Pac-10 heading into this weekend's action. Second-ranked UCLA has the second-best record with a 6-1-0 mark, followed by Oregon State (6-3-0), Cal (4-4-1), Fresno State (3-5-0) and Stanford (2-5-1). League standings will truly begin to count this week, when Pac-10 play opens.
Newcomers Making An Impact:
Coach Wurzberger is already heavily relying upon his younger players with eight starters being either freshmen or sophomores. Four of those underclassmen are newcomers to the team in sophomore Leo Totev and true freshmen Kevin Forrest, Will Flanagan and Ty Harden. Totev has recorded either a goal or an assist in four of seven games and leads the team with five goals and 12 points. Forrest has already netted two goals to go along with one assist. Flanagan and Harden have shored up a Husky back line that has allowed six goals in seven games.
Washington has played the first seven matches of the season without the services of two of its top players, senior Seth Marsh and junior Brett Wiesner. Marsh is rehabilitating a sprained right knee (MCL), while Wiesner has been out with a strained left hamstring, an injury suffered in UW's exhibition game with Seattle University. Wiesner is listed as day-to-day. Marsh's projected return looks to be sometime in October.
Head Coach Dean Wurzberger:
In his 12th season at the helm of the Washington men's soccer program, head coach Dean Wurzberger looks to lead his Huskies to their eighth NCAA tournament berth in nine seasons. He reached the 150 career-win milestone with a 1-0 victory over Portland, Sept. 5. Wurzberger has an overall head coaching mark of 154-65-27 (11 years at Washington, one year at Sacramento State). Under Wurzberger's guidance, Washington was one of only seven schools in the country to make seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 1995 to 2001. His 2000 team won the inaugural Pac-10 Conference championship, following two consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles. Wurzberger's overall record of 146-57-22 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Bill May, Seth Spidahl and Darren Sawatzky.
2003 Recruiting Class Nationally Recognized:
The Huskies received a No. 28 billing in the College Soccer News ranking of the Top-40 recruiting classes in the nation. The Huskies 2003 recruiting class is made up of Northwest standouts Derek Crismier (Redmond, Wash.), Matt Fischer (Sammamish, Wash.), Will Flanagan (Ridgefield, Wash.), Ty Harden (Junction City, Ore.) and Kevin Forrest (Edmonds, Wash.). UCLA's recruiting class received top billing, followed by St. Louis, Notre Dame, SMU and North Carolina to round out the Top-Five.
Mike Chabala Online Diary:
Starting sophomore midfielder Mike Chabala is chronicling the 2003 Husky soccer season in an online diary at www.gohuskies.com. From the UW front page, click on the men's soccer link to see Chabala's weekly entries.
Season tickets are available for the 2003 Washington men's soccer season and can be obtained through the Husky Ticket Office (206-543-2200). Advanced single-game tickets are also available at the ticket office or on-line at www.gohuskies.com. General admission prices are $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors. Other ticket options are also available, including group and family plans.
Washington will hit the road and head to the Bay Area next weekend for Pac-10 matches at Cal, Fri., Oct. 10 (2 p.m.) and at Stanford, Sun., Oct. 12 (1 p.m.).
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