Huskies Host Pac-10 Showdown With UCLA Friday Night
Nov. 2, 2004
After splitting a pair of matches in the Bay Area last week, seventh-ranked Washington men's soccer (11-4-2, 4-1-1) returns to Seattle to host its regular season home finale versus fourth-ranked UCLA (10-2-2, 5-1-0), Friday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The match has major implications on the race for the Pac-10 title, with UCLA sitting in first place and Washington in second heading into Friday. The contest will be televised by Fox Sports Net Northwest on a tape-delayed basis and will air Saturday, Nov. 6 at 1 p.m. Randy Hahn and former UCLA women's soccer assistant coach Michelle French will be calling the action. The Huskies will also celebrate the careers of their four seniors with a special presentation prior to Friday's match. Casey Armstrong, Joe Birklid, C.J. Klaas and Brett Wiesner will be making their final regular season appearances at Husky Soccer Field.
Friday's match between the Bruins and Huskies will be televised on a tape-delayed basis in both the Los Angeles and Seattle areas. The contest will air on FSN Northwest on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 1 p.m. and will air on FSN West 2 that same day at 5 p.m. An additional replay can be seen on FSN Northwest on Nov. 8, at 3 a.m.
Pac-10 Title Hopes On The Line:
The Huskies control their own destiny when it comes to winning the 2004 Pac-10 title. Should Washington, which currently sits in second place behind UCLA, win its last two Pac-10 matches versus UCLA (Nov. 5) and Oregon State (Nov. 14), the Huskies would be crowned the outright conference champion. But the Bruins can clinch their third consecutive title with a win over the Huskies on Friday. The Bruins, who face Oregon State on Sunday, need to either beat Washington or notch at least four points this weekend to win the league crown outright. Multiple scenarios exist in which either UCLA or Washington could win or tie based upon the outcome of Friday night's match, the Bruins' match against Oregon State on Sunday and the UW-OSU match next week. UCLA is the lone Pac-10 team to conclude conference competition this weekend.
Huskies Split In The Bay Area:
Washington traveled to the Bay Area last week and came away with a dramatic win over No. 17 Stanford and a heartbreaking loss to No. 18 California. Junior midfielder Jeff Hoover scored his first goal of the season in the 89th minute versus the Cardinal to lift the Huskies to a 1-0 victory. The win was the 10th shutout of the year for junior goalkeeper Chris Eylander and extended the Huskies' unbeaten streak to six matches. In Berkeley on Sunday, Washington became the victim of a dramatic finish when Cal's Calen Carr scored the golden goal in the second overtime period to hand UW its first Pac-10 loss, and its first loss since Sept. 26 versus Akron.
Huskies In The National Rankings:
Washington remained a Top-10 team this week, despite falling from No. 4 to No. 7 in the national rankings by Soccer America. In other polls, UW is ranked 17th by NSCAA/adidas, 11th by Soccer Times and 13th by College Soccer News.
A Look At The Bruins:
UCLA is the hottest Pac-10 team at the moment, bringing a five-game win streak to Seattle. The Huskies were responsible for handing the Bruins their only Pac-10 loss and one of just two losses all year. UW used an early goal from senior Brett Wiesner and held on to defeat UCLA 1-0 on its home pitch in Los Angeles, Oct. 3. The Bruins' other loss came to Creighton, a team which UW defeated 2-1. Mike Enfield leads the team with nine goals and two assists, while Chad Barrett has four goals and five assists.
Washington trails the all-time series with UCLA 9-12-1 and has a break even 5-5 record versus the Bruins in Seattle. Until last month's victory, the Huskies had lost four of the last five meetings with the Bruins. The last time Washington swept UCLA in the season series was 2000, the year UW won the inaugural Pac-10 title.
Huskies Against Ranked Opponents:
Washington has faced eight ranked opponents this season, compiling a 5-2-1 record. UW's victories came against No. 5 UConn, No. 25 Creighton, No. 12 UCLA, No. 3 California and No. 17 Stanford. The two losses came to then-No. 2 St. John's and No. 17 Cal, with the draw coming versus then-No. 7 Stanford. This week's match versus UCLA marks the fourth time UW has played a Top-5 opponent.
Casey Armstrong, Joe Birklid, C.J. Klaas and Brett Wiesner have all made valuable contributions over the last four seasons. Klaas is one of the most decorated Huskies to leave the UW program, becoming the first NSCAA first-team All-American in school history last year. He also has the chance to become UW's first three-time first-team All-Pac-10 player this season. Armstrong and Wiesner have provided UW with offensive firepower over the last few years, while Birklid has contributed to the consistency of the Husky defense.
In 11 victories, Washington has shutout its opponent 10 times...only once have the Huskies allowed a goal in a winning effort, coming in a 2-1 win over Creighton, Sept. 12...the Huskies are winless when playing past regulation...UW has recorded two draws and two losses in overtime...Washington is 3-0 when playing on a Friday night at home this season, defeating St. Mary's (1-0), UC Irvine (2-0) and California (3-0)...the Huskies are perfect in penalty kick attempts, going 3-for-3...junior midfielder Mike Chabala has scored all three of his goals this year on penalty kicks...UCLA assistant coach Peter Van de Ven was a two-year letterwinner for the Huskies in 1997 and 1998...three Huskies lead the team with five assists each - C.J. Klaas, Casey Armstrong and Mike Chabala.
Strong Conference Start:
The last time the Huskies went unbeaten in their first four conference matches was 2000 - the year they won the inaugural Pac-10 crown. That season UW opened Pac-10 play with wins over Oregon State, Stanford and Cal. This year UW defeated UCLA, Cal and Oregon State, while tying with Stanford in the first half of conference play.
Eylander Making Most of Starting Role:
After platooning with Danny Waltman as a freshman and serving as a back-up to Waltman last season, junior Chris Eylander finally owns the starting goalkeeping position for the Huskies in 2004. Eylander has made the most of his new role, recording 10 shutouts in UW's 17 games and allowing just 10 goals. His 0.56 goals against average ties for fifth on UW's single-season list, while his 10 shutouts rank third. Only Mark Schuur has tallied more shutouts in a single season, posting 14 shutouts in 1982 and 11 in 1981. Eylander started out the year allowing just one goal in UW's first four games, with that lone goal coming from the nation's second-ranked team in St. John's. For his early season efforts, Eylander became the first Husky this year to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors.
Harden Solidifies The Defense:
Sophomore Ty Harden, a second-team All-Pac-10 player as a freshman, has been a model of consistency for the Huskies being the only player besides goalie Chris Eylander to start all 17 games. A central defender, Harden has been the glue for the Husky backline which has held its opponents to 10 goals in 17 matches. UW has not allowed more than two goals in a single game and has held its opponents scoreless 10 times. Harden got involved in UW's offensive attack versus Cal on Oct. 8, scoring his first goal of the year on a header off a corner kick.
UW's six-game road trip to open the season was its longest since opening with its first seven games on the road in 1999. That year, UW played in three tournaments before coming home to Husky Soccer Field. In 1999, Washington posted an overall record of 15-5 and finished first in the Mountain Division of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
Sharing The Wealth:
Eleven different Huskies have accounted for UW's 26 goals this season. Sophomore Kevin Forrest leads the team with six goals, while senior C.J. Klaas has four and senior Casey Armstrong and junior Mike Chabala have three. Freshman Ely Allen, freshman Brett Hite and senior Brett Wiesner each have two. Juniors Leo Totev, Jeff Hoover and Evan Cummings each have one goal, as does sophomore Ty Harden.
Klaas Named To M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List:
Senior C.J. Klaas is one of 25 players named to the watch list of candidates for the 2004 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual honor in intercollegiate soccer. The list was compiled by a coaching panel for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), which serves as the official selection body for the MAC's Hermann Trophy. The 25 players on the watch list are considered to be among the top players entering the 2004 college season. A list of 15 semifinalists will be announced in November, with three finalists selected in early December. The winner will be announced at a dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., on Jan. 8, 2005. Klaas was one of 15 semifinalists for the Hermann Trophy as a junior in 2003. Already a highly decorated athlete for the Huskies, Klaas became the first Washington player to ever earn NSCAA first-team All-America acclaim last year. This year he is also vying to become the first three-time first-team All-Pac-10 player in school history.
Head Coach Dean Wurzberger:
In his 13th season at the helm of the Washington men's soccer program, head coach Dean Wurzberger has guided the Huskies to eight NCAA tournament berths in nine seasons. He reached the 150 win milestone for both his career and Washington overall records last year. Wurzberger's 150th career win came with a 1-0 victory over Portland, Sept. 5, 2003, while his 150th win as Husky head coach came with Washington's 3-1 win over Stanford, Oct. 31, 2003. Wurzberger has an overall head coaching mark of 172-74-30 (12 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 164-66-25 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Seth Spidahl, Matthew Olson and Darren Sawatzky.
Joe Birklid Online Diary:
Senior defender Joe Birklid is chronicling the Huskies' 2004 season with an online diary at www.gohuskies.com. The diary can be accessed by clicking on the men's soccer page.
Washington will play its regular season finale at Northwest rival Oregon State, Sunday, Nov. 14, at 1 p.m. in Corvallis, Ore. Postseason fates will be determined when the NCAA selections are made, Monday, Nov. 15.