Huskies Take Final Regular Season Road Trip To UCLA, Fresno State
Nov. 4, 2003
With just three matches remaining on the regular season slate, Washington men's soccer (10-3-2, 3-3-1 Pac-10) takes its final road trip of the regular season to face Pac-10 opponents UCLA (15-1-0, 7-0-0 Pac-10) and Fresno State (5-10-0, 2-5-0 Pac-10) this weekend. The Huskies will face the top-ranked Bruins, Fri., Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. at Frank W. Marshall Field at Drake Stadium. Washington looks for a season split with UCLA, as the Bruins handed UW its first loss of the season on Oct. 5 (1-0). UW will then head to Fresno to take on the Bulldogs, Sun., Nov. 9, at 2 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium. After a 2-0 victory over FSU in Seattle, Oct. 3, the Huskies aim for a season sweep over the Bulldogs. Washington, having won three of its last five contests, is ranked 15th according to Soccer America, but is unranked in the NSCAA/adidas Coaches Poll.
Sitting in fourth place in the Pac-10 standings entering this weekend's matches, Washington is still very much in the running for a high conference finish. The Huskies (3-3-1) can finish as high as second if they win their final three matches versus UCLA (7-0), Fresno State (2-5) and Oregon State (6-1). First-place UCLA is in the driver's seat and can control its own destiny, needing a pair of wins against Washington and Oregon State to clinch the Pac-10 crown this weekend. The second-place Beavers, in turn, can clinch at least a share of the Pac-10 title if they win their final three contests (including their season finale at Washington, Nov. 16) . Both Cal, in third place, and Stanford, in sixth place, take a break from league action this week. The Bears and Cardinal conclude the regular season by playing each other in Palo Alto on Nov. 15. Fresno State is currently in fifth place.
NCAA Tournament Selection Show:
Washington is aiming to clinch its eighth berth to the NCAA Tournament in the last nine years. The NCAA bracket announcement will be made Mon., Nov. 17, at 12:30 p.m. on ESPNews.
Noting The Huskies:
With 10 wins this year, Washington has 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 three losses in 2003 coming in Pac-10 play to top-ranked UCLA (1-0), Oregon State (3-1 and Cal (1-0). UW 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 posted a 3-3-1 record. UW recorded a nearly unblemished mark against non-conference opponents, going 7-0-1. The Husky defense, led by senior goalkeeper Danny Waltman, has frustrated opposing teams, recording five shutouts and allowing 13 goals in 15 games. Washington's offensive firepower has been bolstered by the additions of newcomers sophomore Leo Totev and freshman Kevin Forrest, while senior Troy Ready and junior C.J. Klaas are also among the team leaders on offense. Washington has outscored its opponents 26-13 and has outshot them 198-180. UW has also scored at least two goals in seven games. Anchoring the backline are freshmen Ty Harden and Will Flanagan who have started all 15 matches, along with sophomore standout Kevin Murray. Totev and Ready share the team lead in goals (five), while Totev's 13 points are also a team-high. Klaas and Forrest have three goals each, while Klaas leads the team with six assists and 39 shots. Fourteen different Huskies have recorded either a goal or an assist so far this season. In goal, Waltmanboasts an 0.86 goals against average, which ranks 11th on UW's single-season list.
Scouting UCLA (15-1-0, 7-0-0):
No. 1 UCLA, having won its last 13-straight matches, has a chance to clinch a second consecutive Pac-10 title with a pair of wins over Washington and Oregon State (Sunday) this weekend. The Bruins own a perfect 7-0 league record, with Oregon State (6-1) being the only team who can pass the UCLA in the standings. The Bruin defense has been stifling, posting 12 shutouts and allowing six goals for a team goals against average of 0.38. Senior goalkeeper Zach Wells has a 0.34 GAA with just five goals allowed and nine solo shutouts. Matt Taylor leads UCLA with 13 goals and 31 points. Freshman sensation Chad Barrett has eight goals and eight assists for 24 points.
Washington trails the all-time series with UCLA 8-11-1, but has won three of the last four meetings in Westwood. Last year, UW upset the eventual NCAA Champions 2-1 in double overtime on their home field (Nov. 1, 2002). C.J. Klaas scored the game-winner in the 108th minute. UCLA defeated Washington earlier this season, 1-0, at Husky Soccer Field on Benny Feilhaber's goal in the 65th minute.
Scouting Fresno State (5-10-1, 2-5 Pac-10):
Fresno State will play two matches this week before facing Washington, travelling to Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday, before returning home to host Oregon State Friday. The Bulldogs have lost five of their last seven matches, all Pac-10 contests. Chris Murphy and Jeremiah LeRoy are tied for the team lead with three goals and seven points. Dan Oka, Marvin Sorto and Corey Sipos all have two assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Eric Kronberg has allowed 26 goals and has a 1.72 goals against average. The Bulldogs will honor their four seniors (D Nino Rivas, F Mat Herold, MF Ernie Vega and D Jeremiah LeRoy) prior to Sunday's game against the Huskies.
Washington leads the all-time series with Fresno State, 7-3-4. The Huskies are in the hunt for a season sweep over the Bulldogs after their 2-0 victory in Seattle on Oct. 3. Junior midfielder C.J. Klaas assisted second-half goals by freshmen Ty Harden and Kevin Forrest to lead UW to the win. The match also marked one of five shutouts for senior goalkeeper Danny Waltman.
Last Week Recap:
Washington split a pair of Pac-10 matches at home last weekend, completing a season sweep over Stanford with a 3-1 victory before falling to California 1-0. UW head coach Dean Wurzberger clinched his 150th victory at the helm of the Husky program on Friday. Senior Troy Ready scored twice, including the game-winner, to lead Washington. Stanford got on the board quickly, scoring first in the ninth minute. UW wasted no time getting even as freshman Ty Harden scored the equalizer on a header off a C.J. Klaas corner kick. Ready scored to put Washington up for good in the 18th minute and again at the 69:05 mark. On Sunday, Cal handed Washington just its third loss of the season. Tyson Wahl scored the game's only goal in the 60th minute off a corner kick from Nick Hatzke. It marked the second time all season that Washington has been held scoreless, the first time being to UCLA.
Washington fell from this week's NSCAA/adidas Coaches Poll after a No. 25 billing last week. The Huskies are ranked 15th by Soccer America, 12th by Soccer Times and 16th by College Soccer News. UW's highest rank in the coaches poll this season was seventh in the Oct. 13 poll.
The Huskies are 8-0-1 when scoring first this year. Six times has UW failed to net the first goal of the game, resulting in two wins, one tie and three 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. UW posted just its second come-from-behind victory over Stanford (3-1), before failing to score versus Cal on Nov. 2 (1-0).
Newcomers Making An Impact:
Coach Wurzberger has been heavily relying upon his younger players with eight freshmen or sophomores filling a starting role at some point during the season. 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 tied for the team lead in goals (five), including a pair of two-goal performances vs. UNLV and South Carolina. He also leads Washington with 13 points. Forrest has already netted three goals to go along with one assist. Flanagan and Harden have shored up a Husky backline that has allowed 13 goals in 15 games. Both have helped Washington's offense cause, as Harden has scored two goals and Flanagan has scored one.
Senior Danny Waltman is making the most of his senior campaign, excelling for the Huskies this season. Waltman's current goals against average is 0.86 which ranks 11th on UW's single all-time season 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 68 saves this year, surpassing his previous season-high of 60 set in 2002. This year, he has posted five shutouts and had allowed just two goals in in a span of five games from Sept. 28 through Oct. 12. Through Nov. 2, Waltman ranks second in the Pac-10 in goals against average (0.86), saves (68), save percentage (.840) and is tied for second in shutouts (five).
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 win milestone for both his career and Washington overall records this year. Wurzberger's 150th career win came with a 1-0 victory over Portland, Sept. 5, while his 150th win as Husky head coach came with Washington's 3-1 win over Stanford, Oct. 31. Wurzberger has an overall head coaching mark of 158-68-28 (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 150-60-23 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Bill May, Seth Spidahl and Darren Sawatzky.
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.
Washington returns home to host its regular season finale with Oregon State, Sun., Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field. The Huskies will honor their three seniors prior to the match - Sean Giudice, Troy Ready and Danny Waltman.
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