Husky Men Wrap Road Trip Facing Denver and Air Force
Sept. 13, 2005
Washington men's soccer heads to Denver, Colo., for a pair of matches with the University of Denver and Air Force, as the Huskies wrap their season-opening five-game road trip this weekend. Washington (2-1-0) will face Denver (2-1-1) Friday, Sept. 16, at 3 p.m. PT, before taking on Air Force (2-2-0) Sunday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m. PT. Both matches will be played at Pioneer Field on the University of Denver campus. The Huskies enter the week ranked 21st by Soccer Times and 25th by College Soccer News.
UW vs. Saint Mary's Recap:
Sophomore defender Nick Loveless' header off a throw-in at the 44-minute mark was all Washington would need as it blanked Saint Mary's College, 1-0, at Saint Mary's Stadium Sunday. It was the first career goal for Loveless. Senior midfielder Mike Chabala's long throw-in was headed by sophomore forward Ely Allen to Loveless who in turn headed the ball past SMC goalkeeper Brian Mason. The shutout was the first on the season for Washington and senior goalkeeper Chris Eylander. The UW backline was greatly improved by the return of junior co-captain Ty Harden who sat out the first two matches with a hamstring injury. UW outshot Saint Mary's 12-8, including seven shots in the first half. Sophomore forward Spencer Schmidt tallied a team-high three shots for UW, while freshman Michael Clegg led the Gaels with three shots. Mason grabbed five saves.
Denver is 2-1-1 coming into Friday's match, having won two straight over Florida Atlantic (5-0) and Wisconsin-Green Bay (2-1). The Pioneers' loss was in their season opener to Michigan (1-0) and they ended in a 1-1 draw with Michigan State. Denver is 2-0 at home thus far. The Pioneers are led by junior midfielder Ben Mendoza who has two goals and one assist. Senior defender Thomas Flynn also has a pair of goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Matt Bredehoft has played every minute guarding the net, posting one shutout and allowing three goals in four matches. The Huskies are 1-0-1 against Denver, its victory coming at Pioneer Field (4-3) on Oct. 17, 1999. These teams met last year in Seattle, battling to a 1-1 double overtime draw.
Scouting Air Force:
Air Force is 2-2 heading into this week and will face UC Davis Friday at home before the neutral site game with Washington, Sunday. Air Force is coming off a 2-0 victory over Florida Atlantic that snapped a brief two-game losing streak with losses vs. UW-Green Bay (0-1) and Seton Hall (0-6). Air Force won its season opener with Army (1-0). The team is led by senior forward Scott Muir who has three assists. All three Air Force goals have been scored by three different players: senior forward David Schill, sophomore midfielder Andy Nigro and junior midfielder Duncan McNabb. Washington leads the all-time series with Air Force 5-1, having won the last five straight. The last time these teams met was Sept. 30, 2001 in Seattle, where the Huskies won 2-1. Air Force won the first ever meeting, defeating UW 1-0 in 1992.
Washington was tabbed 21st in this week's Soccer Times poll and 25th in the College Soccer News Top-30, but did not appear in either polls for the NSCAA or Soccer America for the second-straight week.
Senior Mike Chabala is off to a hot start, already making the most of his final season in purple and gold. The Husky midfielder nearly equaled his career total for goals in UW's first two matches. Chabala had three goals coming into 2005 and scored a pair at the Nike Portland Invitational. Versus Cal Poly, his goal on a penalty kick tied the match at 1-1 and he assisted the third goal on a throw-in. Versus Creighton, Chabala scored a goal on a free kick. After his second assist on a throw-in versus Saint Mary's, he leads the team with six points. Four of his five career goals have been scored on penalty kicks (he is a perfect 4-for-4 in PK attempts) and all five have come on restarts. Chabala has played every single match for the Huskies since his freshman season and has started all but one since his sophomore campaign.
Four Huskies scored their first career goals in UW's three matches: sophomores Nick Loveless, Spencer Schmidt and Adam West, along with redshirt freshman Eric Blythe. West and Schmidt paired up for back-to-back goals versus Cal Poly, while Blythe made his collegiate debut in that match and scored his first goal the next game versus Creighton. Loveless got on the board for the first time, scoring the gamewinner versus Saint Mary's. Loveless played just two matches last season, but has played all three this year, starting two. He is second on the team with three points, also adding an assist on Blythe's goal versus Creighton.
Eylander Climbs Career Charts:
Senior goalkeeper Chris Eylander is looking to etch his name in the Husky record books before his career is complete. With the shutout versus Saint Mary's, Eylander now has 12 career shutouts which ties him for fifth on UW's career list with Jeff Koch (1987-88). Eylander needs three more to reach Dusty Hudock (1991-93) in fourth place with 15. Mark Schuur (1980-82) holds the school record with 31 career shutouts.
For the second-straight season, the Huskies open the year with at least five-straight road matches. Last year, UW opened with six-straight on the road, going 4-2 in those games and losing only to then-No. 2 St. John's and rival Portland. So far the Huskies' only loss this season has been to nationally-ranked Creighton.
Washington welcomed the return of central defender Ty Harden versus Saint Mary's...the junior co-captain missed the first two matches with a hamstring injury...although he left Sunday's match around the 70th minute, he is expected to be back in the lineup Friday versus Denver...Harden had not missed a start until this season...UW has also missed the services of junior forward Kevin Forrest...he is battling a foot injury (plantar fasciitis) but could be ready to play this weekend.
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. 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. Both Katz and John have come off the bench in all three matches this season.
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 the Huskies 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 174-78-30 (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 166-70-25 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Seth Spidahl, Richard Reece and Darren Sawatzky.
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.
Washington finally returns home for the first time this season, hosting the Husky Fever Classic, Sept. 23 and 25. UW makes its home debut versus Wisconsin, Fri., Sept. 23 at 7 p.m., a match preceded by Portland versus Hartwick at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Portland will face Wisconsin in the first match of the double header at 11 a.m., followed by Washington versus Harwick at 1:30 p.m.