Huskies Take Break From Pac-10 Play To Host Gonzaga Sunday
Oct. 20, 2003
Following a three-game road swing which saw Washington men's soccer post a 1-1-1 record, the Huskies will be eager to return to Seattle this weekend. Washington (8-2-2, 2-2-1 Pac-10) will take a break from conference play to host cross-state rival Gonzaga (5-6-1, 0-2-0 West Coast Conference), Sun., Oct. 26, at 2 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field. The match marks the final regular season non-conference contest for the Huskies, who have posted an unblemished record of 6-0-1 versus non-Pac-10 opponents. Sunday's match with Gonzaga will be the first time these teams have squared off since the 2000 season. The Huskies fell from this week's NSCAA/adidas Coaches Poll, but remain ranked by Soccer America (12th), Soccer Times (12th) and College Soccer News (11th).
Noting The Huskies:
With eight wins this year, Washington has already proven it was capable of rebounding from a sub-par season in 2002. UW has surpassed its win total of six from last year, with its only two losses in 2003 coming to top-ranked UCLA (1-0) and Oregon State (3-1). Until its match with the Bruins on Oct. 5, UW had opened the season unbeaten in its first eight games, the best start to a season since an 8-0-2 start in 1990. Since then, the Huskies have won just one of their last four matches, downing Stanford 1-0. UW suffered losses to UCLA and Oregon State, while battling to a 1-1 draw with Cal. The Husky defense, led by senior goalkeeper Danny Waltman, has frustrated opposing teams, recording four shutouts and allowing 11 goals in 12 games. Washington's offensive firepower has been bolstered by the additions of sophomore Leo Totev and freshman Kevin Forrest, while senior Troy Ready and junior C.J. Klaas are also among the team leaders in goals scored. Washington has outscored its opponents 22-11 and has outshot them 150-147. UW has also scored at least two goals in half of their games. The Huskies are a young team with freshmen and sophomores filling eight starting roles. Anchoring the backline are freshmen Ty Harden and Will Flanagan, along with sophomore Kevin Murray. Totev has emerged as the Huskies' top offensive player to this point, with team-highs in goals (five) and points (13). Klaas, Ready and Forrest all have three goals each, while Klaas leads the team with five assists and 31 shots. Thirteen different Huskies have recorded either a goal or an assist so far this season. In goal, Waltman boasts an 0.90 goals against average. The three goals allowed to Oregon State on Sunday were a season high for Waltman.
The Bulldogs come to Seattle with a 5-6-1 overall record and having lost their last three straight. Gonzaga dropped a 2-1 game at No. 8 Santa Clara on Sat., Oct. 18, after suffering losses at home versus Cal Poly (1-0) and Portland (3-2, double overtime). The Zags and Huskies have played four common opponents so far this year. Both teams have defeated UNLV and both have lost to Oregon State. Washington picked up wins against Fresno State and Portland, while Gonzaga was defeated by those opponents. Junior Arni Pjeturrson and senior Scott Yuska share the team lead in goals with five. Pjetturson also has a team-high five assists for 13 points. Yuska has three assists and 12 points, while senior Scott Bertram has four goals and four assists for 11 points. A pair of freshmen have split time in goal, with Vito Higgans playing in 10 matches and Kris Wright playing in four. Higgns has allowed 17 goals and has a 1.78 goals against average, while Wright has allowed five goals and has a 1.77 goals against average. The Zags have outscored their opponents 24-22 and scored a season-high five goals versus Air Force in their season opener.
Washington has never lost to Gonzaga, leading the all-time series dating back to 1981, 16-0-1. The lone tie came in the second-to-last meeting between these two teams, a 2-2 double overtime draw in Spokane on Sept. 1, 1999. The last time these teams met was on Oct. 27, 2000, a match which the Huskies won 3-0.
Last Week Recap:
Oregon State scored three first-half goals, including two by senior Alan Gordon, as the Beavers handed Washington a 3-1 upset in Corvallis, on Sunday. The loss marked just the second for the Huskies, who have now lost three-straight to the Beavers dating back to last season. UW had dominated the all-time series between these two teams, 24-0-2, before OSU won its first-ever meeting on Oct. 20, 2002 (3-2), in Seattle and added to that on Nov. 10 with a 6-3 victory in Corvallis. The Husky defense allowed a season-high three goals to the Beavers. UW had allowed just two goals in its last five games until Sunday's contest in Corvallis. The Huskies found themselves down early, something they have not been accustomed to this season after scoring first in eight of their previous 11 matches. Freshman sensation Carlos Cornejo put the Beavers on the board in the eighth minute with his third goal of the year. Then it was Gordon who took over, scoring in the 15th and 32nd minutes. The Huskies thwarted any chances of a shutout when senior midfielder Troy Ready scored UW's only goal in the 81st minute, a 15-yard shot from the middle of the box. It was the third goal of the season for Ready, who led the Husky attack with four shots. Junior Casey Armstrong, junior C.J. Klaas and midfielder Jeff Hoover each added three shots. Washington outshot Oregon State 23-16, including a 14-7 advantage in the second-half. UW's output was a season-high, eclipsing its previous high of 17 shots versus UNLV. Waltman tallied six saves and allowed a season-high three goals.
After boasting a season-high national ranking of seventh in the NSCAA/adidas Coaches Poll last week, the Huskies dropped completely out of the Top-25, but were one of four teams to receive votes. Washington remained ranked in the Soccer America and Soccer Times polls at 12th, while College Soccer News has the Huskies ranked 11th.
The Huskies are 7-0-1 when scoring first this year. Only four times has UW failed to net the first goal of the game, resulting in one win, one tie and two losses. 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. The Huskies weren't as fortunate versus UCLA and Oregon State, failing to score in a 1-0 loss to the Bruins and scoring in the 81st minute vs. Oregon State.
In The Pac:
Washington enters Sunday's match tied for third place in the Pac-10 standings with a 2-2-1 conference record. The Huskies are tied with Cal, who also has a 2-2-1 record. Coincidentally these teams tied 1-1 in their only meeting of the year. UCLA, undefeated at 5-0, is the conference leader, followed by second-place Oregon State (4-1). Fresno State is in fourth place (1-4-0), followed by last-place Stanford (0-5). The Cardinal was the NCAA runner-up one year ago. As of last week's conference rankings, midfielders C.J. Klaas and Leo Totev ranked among the league's top-10 in every single offensive category.
Newcomers Making An Impact:
Coach Wurzberger has been 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 is the team leader with five goals, including a pair of two-goal performances vs. UNLV and South Carolina. Forrest has already netted three goals to go along with one assist. Flanagan and Harden, who have each scored one goal, have shored up a Husky backline that has allowed 11 goals in 12 games.
Senior Danny Waltman is making the most of his senior campaign, excelling for the Huskies this season. After allowing three goals to Oregon State, Waltman's current goals against average is 0.90, just 0.10 shy of ranking on UW's single season top-10 list. His season-high save performance was eight versus Michigan, two shy of his career-high of 10 set versus Cal last year. Waltman has made 55 saves this year, five away from matching his previous season-high of 60 set in 2002. This year, he has posted four shutouts and had allowed just two goals in five games leading up to the Oregon State game on Oct. 19. Through the first 11 games of the season, Waltman ranked second in the Pac-10 in goals against average (0.71), saves (49) and save percentage (.860). Pac-10 stats have not yet been released for this week.
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 156-67-28 (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 148-59-23 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Bill May, Seth Spidahl and Darren Sawatzky.
Washington's Pac-10 match with Stanford on Fri., Oct. 31 (7 p.m.) at Husky Soccer Field will be televised by Fox Sports Northwest and broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on Nov. 1.
Alumni Festivites To Be Held Nov. 2:
Come out to cheer on your favorite former Huskies at the annual alumni game, Sun., Nov. 2, at 10 a.m. The game will be held at the East Practice Field, adjacent to Husky Football Stadium. The 2003 Huskies will take on Cal later that day at 2 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field.
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 returns to Pac-10 play next weekend, hosting Stanford and Cal, Oct. 31, and Nov. 2. Friday's game will be played at 7 p.m., while Sunday's match will be held at 2 p.m.