Husky Men Close Out Regular Season Hosting Oregon State Sunday
Nov. 13, 2003
Washington men's soccer closes out the regular season slate hosting Oregon State, Sun., Nov. 16, at 2 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field. This Northwest rivalry has heated up the last two seasons, with the Beavers looking for their fourth-straight win over the Huskies. Until last year, Oregon State had yet to defeat a Washington squad. With UCLA being crowned Pac-10 champion last week, second-place OSU and fourth-place Washington aim to be among the 48 teams invited to compete in the NCAA Championship when the announcement is made, Mon., Nov. 17. Sunday's result could help in determining home-field advantage or a first-round bye for either team in postseason play. Washington has won three of its last five matches, while Oregon State has won seven of the last eight. UW's three seniors, Sean Giudice, Troy Ready and Danny Waltman, will be honored in pre-game festivities, Sunday. The Huskies are ranked 16th according to Soccer America, but are unranked in the NSCAA/adidas Coaches Poll. Oregon State is ranked 13th by Soccer America and 16th in the NSCAA/adidas poll.
Top-ranked and defending NCAA Champion UCLA clinched its second-straight Pac-10 men's soccer title with a win over Oregon State last week. OSU has second-place locked up with a 7-2 league mark heading into Sunday's season finale. Cal sits in third place (5-4-1), while the Huskies are in fourth place (4-4-1). A Cal loss coupled with a UW win could move Washington into third place. Cal and Stanford face-off on Saturday. Fresno State, which plays UCLA in its season finale, Saturday, is in fifth with a 2-6 record. Last-place Stanford is still in search of its first Pac-10 win at 0-9.
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 1 p.m. on ESPNews. Four Pac-10 teams have been invited to the 48-team NCAA men's soccer championship in each of the last two seasons, while three teams made the field in 2000.
Noting The Huskies:
UW split a pair of matches on the road last weekend, falling to No. 1 UCLA 1-0, before a 3-1 victory over Fresno State. With 11 wins in 2003, Washington has almost doubled its number of wins from 2002 (6-10-3), the first losing season for Washington since 1968. All four losses this year have come to Pac-10 opponents, including a pair of 1-0 losses to UCLA. The Huskies have also been shutout in three of four losses, while averaging 2.4 goals per game in victory. UW opened the season unbeaten in its first eight games, the best start to a season since an 8-0-2 start in 1990. 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 15 goals in 17 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 29-15. UW has also scored at least two goals in eight games. Anchoring the backline are freshmen Ty Harden and Will Flanagan who have started all 17 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. Junior forward Casey Armstrong has four goals, just ahead of Klaas and Forrest with three each. Klaas leads the team with six assists and 42 shots. Fifteen different Huskies have recorded either a goal or an assist so far this season. In goal, Waltman boasts an 0.86 goals against average, which ranks 11th on UW's single-season list.
Scouting Oregon State (13-5-0, 7-2-0):
Oregon State (ranked 16th in the NSCAA/adidas poll, 13th in Soccer America) has won seven of its last eight matches and heads to Seattle in search of a school-record 14th win. OSU has tied last year's school-record total of 13 victories. The Beavers had a seven-match winning streak snapped by No. 1 UCLA in Westwood last weekend, falling to the Bruins 5-0. OSU's only other loss in its last nine games was also to UCLA, a 2-1 loss in Corvallis, Oct. 3. Oregon State opened last weekend with a 2-1 overtime win over Fresno State. Alan Gordon leads the team with 11 goals and 25 points, while Robbie Findley has 10 goals and two assists for 22 points. Ryan Johnson has a team-high 13 assists and Ross Duncan has 10 assists. Goalkeeper Peter Billmeyer has tallied a 1.31 goals against everage in 18 games. He has been credited with all but one Beaver win and has recorded five shutouts.
Oregon State has won three straight against Washington, including a 3-1 victory in Corvallis on Oct. 19. The Beavers scored three first-half goals, two by Alan Gordon, to down the Huskies. UW's Troy Ready prevented a shutout, scoring a goal in the 81st minute. The Huskies had posted a 24-0-2 overall record versus Oregon State until last year. Oregon State snapped its winless streak, first defeating UW 3-2 in Seattle, before completing the season sweep with a 6-3 victory in Corvallis.
C.J. Klaas Named Hermann Semifinalist:
Preseason All-American C.J. Klaas was named one of 15 semifinalists for the prestigious Hermann Trophy, the NSCAA announced this week. Three finalists will be named at the NCAA College Cup, while the winner will be announced Jan. 9. Klaas, who has started 16 games for Washington, has three goals and six assists for 12 points. This year he has also garnered offensive MVP honors at the Portland Nike Invitational, as well as tournament MVP acclaim at the Marquette Invitational.
Last Week Recap:
Washington split a pair of Pac-10 matches on the road last weekend, falling to No. 1 UCLA 1-0 in Westwood on Friday night, before bouncing back with a 3-1 victory over Fresno State in Fresno, Sunday afternoon. The only goal of the game on Friday was scored by UCLA's Aaron Lopez in just the fourth minute of the match. Lopez knocked a 24-yard shot that slipped between the fingers of UW senior goalkeeper Danny Waltman. Waltman made seven saves in the game. The Husky defense, led by freshmen Ty Harden and Will Flanagan, held the Bruins to one goal, a squad that averaged 2.5 goals going into the match. Washington bounced back with a 3-1 victory over Fresno State. Junior forward Casey Armstrong scored twice in the second-half to give UW a 2-0 lead. Sophomore midfielder Evan Cummings extended the Husky lead to 3-0 with his first collegiate goal in the 69th minute. His score was assisted by sophomore Mike Cusenza, also a career-first for the Husky midfielder. Ernesto Vega scored the lone goal for FSU on a penalty kick in the 82nd minute.
Washington is not ranked in the NSCAA/adidas Coaches Poll for the second-straight week, but checks in at No. 16 according to Soccer America. The Huskies are ranked 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 9-0-1 when scoring first this year. Seven times has UW failed to net the first goal of the game, resulting in a 2-4-1 record. 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 pair of 1-0 losses 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 11 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 netted three goals to go along with one assist. Flanagan and Harden have shored up a Husky backline that has allowed 15 goals in 17 games. Both have helped Washington's offensive 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 75 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. 9, Waltman ranks second in the Pac-10 in goals against average (0.86), saves (75), save percentage (.843) and is tied for second in shutouts (five).
Washington will honor its three seniors prior to the Sunday's match. Sean Giudice, Troy Ready and Danny Waltman have all been major contributors to the 2003 Husky squad. Giudice, a transfer from Cal State Fullerton prior to his junior year, has played in 16 games, starting 11. He has six points on one goal and four assists. Ready is having a breakout senior year after battling through a career full of injuries. Ready has played in 14 games, starting nine, and is tied for second on the team with 12 points. He is also tied for the team lead in goals with five and has added two assists. Waltman is also having the best season of his career, posting a 0.86 goals against average and recording five shutouts. Waltman has started all but one game in goal. His 75 saves are a career-high and rank second in the Pac-10. The Huskies do have a fourth senior on the roster in Seth Marsh, but Marsh is redshirting this year.
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 159-69-28 (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 151-61-23 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Bill May, Seth Spidahl and Darren Sawatzky.
NCAA Tournament play begins next week and should the Huskies be selected to participate, first round games will be held, Fri., Nov. 21 with second-round to follow, Wed., Nov. 26.