Husky Men Kick Off 2005 Season At Nike Portland Invitational

Aug. 30, 2005

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This Week:
Washington men's soccer kicks off the 2005 season at the Nike Invitational hosted by the University of Portland at Merlo Field this weekend. In their season debut, the Huskies (0-0) will face Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (0-0), Friday, Sept. 2, at 4:30 p.m. UW will then counter No. 12/24 Creighton (0-0) on Sunday, Sept. 4, at 12 p.m. The host Pilots (0-0) entertain Creighton Friday at 7 p.m. and Cal Poly Sunday at 2:30 p.m. This weekend marks the first of five consecutive road matches for Washington, whose schedule includes trips to Northern California and Denver before its home opener versus Wisconsin, Sept. 23. The Huskies will be challenged early, as Creighton is ranked 12th and 14th in the preseason NSCAA and Soccer America polls, respectively. Live scoring for all matches of the Nike Portland Invitational will be available at www.portlandpilots.com.

2005 Season Preview:
Washington returns 14 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's squad that tied for second in the Pac-10 (4-3-1, 11-7-2 overall) and advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Among UW's returners are 2004 All-Pac-10 selections Chris Eylander (Sr., GK, first-team), Kevin Forrest (Jr., F, first-team), Mike Chabala (Sr., MF, second-team) and Ty Harden (Jr., D, second-team). 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Ely Allen (So., F) will also look to build upon his stellar rookie campaign in 2005. Harden and Chabala will lead the squad as team captains. Head coach Dean Wurzberger, the 2004 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year, welcomes seven newcomers to the squad. Sophomore transfer Bobbak Talebi joined the team for the spring season, while six freshmen arrived at Montlake for preseason training in August.

Scouting Cal Poly:
The Mustangs will also be making their season debut Friday. Cal Poly finished fifth in the Big West last season with a 3-6-1 league mark, and 7-7-4 overall. The Mustangs return 15 letterwinners and six starters from 2004 and will be led by midfielders Nikhail Erlebach (So.) and Matthew Robinson (So.) Erlebach accounted for 18 points with six goals and six assists last year, while Robinson tallied 12 points on six goals. Starting goalkeeper Jeremy Coupe (So.) also returns, who made 72 saves and recorded a 1.77 goals against average. Washington is 2-1-0 in the all-time series against Cal Poly, having won the last two straight. The last meeting between these teams was Oct. 29, 1999, a match that UW won 2-1 at Cal Poly.

Scouting Creighton:
The Bluejays return 18 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's squad that advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Creighton finished with an overall record of 14-4-2 and ranked 13th (NSCAA) and 12th (Soccer Times) in 2004 final polls. CU will be led by second-team All-Region selection Matt Wieland (Sr., D) and returns its top two goal scorers from 2004 in Brian Biggerstaff (eight goals, four assists) and Vince Odorisio (six goals, seven assists). Washington is 1-2-0 against Creighton in the all-time series and will look to make it two straight after a 2-1 victory over the Bluejays at the UNLV Fila Invitational last season.

Preseason Rankings:
Washington was tabbed 26th in the College Soccer News Preseason Top-30, but did not appear in either preseason polls for the NSCAA or Soccer America. The Soccer Times preseason rankings have not been released.

Top Frosh:
Newcomers George John and Jo Jo Katz were named to the '100 Freshmen To Watch' list by College Soccer News. Katz, a midfielder from Mission Viejo, Calif., and John, a midfielder from Shoreline, Wash., lead a talented incoming recruiting class that could make an immediate impact. Katz was a four-year member of the ODP Region IV team and led his club team, Irvine Strikers FC, to both the California State title and National State Cup title in 2005. John, a local standout from Shorewood High School, was a 2004 NSCAA High School adidas All-American and led Emerald City FC to back-to-back state cup titles in 2003 and 2004.

Huskies Picked To Finish Second In Pac-10 Coaches Poll:
The Huskies were picked to finish second in this year's Pac-10 standings according to a vote of the leagues coaches, the conference announced Aug. 16. The Huskies, who tied for second in last year's Pac-10 standings, received one first-place vote, while the other five went to UCLA. The Bruins were selected to win a fourth-straight Pac-10 crown. UCLA recieved 25 points, followed by Washington's 19. The Huskies edged out California, picked third with 18 points. Stanford (13 pts.) was picked to finish fourth, followed by Oregon State (10) and San Diego State (5). This year marks the first year in the Pac-10 for SDSU.

2004 Season Review:
Last year, Washington compiled an overall record of 11-7-2 overall and tied for second in the Pac-10 with a 4-3-1 mark. The Huskies started hot, winning nine of the first 13 matches including eight via shutout. After playing the first half of the Pac-10 slate, UW was 3-0-1 against conference opponents and poised to win a second Pac-10 title. But UW ended the regular season losing three straight, two in overtime, and had its year come to an end with a 5-3 loss to Portland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Senior C.J. Klaas became the first player in UW history to earn back-to-back first-team NSCAA All-America honors and was selected by the San Jose Earthquakes in the 2005 Major League Soccer Draft. Klaas, a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy for the second consecutive year, was also named the 2004 Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year and earned first-team all-league honors. Joining Klaas on the All-Pac-10 team were goalkeeper Chris Eylander (first-team), forward Kevin Forrest (first-team), midfielder Mike Chabala (second-team) and defender Ty Harden (second-team). UW's honorable mention picks were forward Ely Allen, forward Casey Armstrong, defender Will Flanagan and midfielder Jeff Hoover. Allen was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year while head coach Dean Wurzberger was named Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year. Klaas and Harden were All-Region picks, Klaas to the first-team and Harden to the third-team.

Head Coach Dean Wurzberger:
In his 14th season at the helm of the Washington men's soccer program, head coach Dean Wurzberger has guided theHuskies to nine NCAA tournament berths in 10 seasons. Wurzberger is the longest tenured Pac-10 coach and was named the 2004 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year. He reached the 150 win milestone for both his career and Washington overall records in 2003. 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 172-77-30 (13 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 164-69-25 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Seth Spidahl, Richard Reece and Darren Sawatzky.

Ticket Information:
Tickets for Husky soccer matches can be purchased by visiting www.gohuskies.com, by calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200 or at the Husky Soccer Stadium box office beginning one hour prior to the game. General admission ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for youth (18 and under) and seniors. Group discounts are available by calling 206-616-6194.

Up Next:
Washington's road trip continues, as the Huskies head to Moraga, Calif. to face St. Mary's, Sunday, Sept. 11, at 3 p.m.

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