Talebi's Header Lifts UW Men to Husky Fever Classic Title

Sept. 25, 2005

SEATTLE - The 24th-ranked Washington men's soccer team earned its fifth consecutive non-conference victory Sunday, defeating Hartwick College, 1-0, in the championship game of the Husky Fever Classic at Husky Soccer Field. Washington will begin Pac-10 Conference play Sunday with a 6-1 overall record, including three shutouts.

UW sophomore Ely Allen was named the tournament's offensive MVP, as much for his relentless offensive pressure in the two games this weekend as for his game-tying effort late in the second half of UW's 2-1 double-overtime win over Wisconsin on Friday. Hartwick goalkeeper Josh Wagenaar, meanwhile, was the tournament's defensive MVP, his 15 saves in two games helping the Hawks (5-3) to a 1-1 tourney record.

Husky sophomore Bobbak Talebi scored the game's only goal in the 21st minute, after some nifty passing by teammates Derek Crismier and Leo Totev. Totev - hero of Friday night's last-minute win -- corralled Crismier's cross at midfield and chipped it forward to a sprinting Talebi, whose striding header from 15 yards out nestled into the right side of the net.

The goal came just two minutes after what would prove to be Hartwick's best scoring chance of the afternoon, a 12-yard blast from Hawks' forward John Paul Boyle that UW keeper Chris Eylander was able to get just enough of to deflect into the crossbar and over the net. Hartwick's six first-half corner kicks were all cleared easily by a UW defense that forced Eylander to make just two saves, total, in the contest, and just three, combined, in the team's two wins this weekend.

'We expected a battle and it was certainly a tough game,' Washington head coach Dean Wurzberger said. 'These guys upset Portland on Friday night and came into this game on a real high, so we wanted to be sure and get ahead early.'

Both teams slowed the pace after the goal, the game's 26 total shots reflective of a game played largely in midfield. Talebi had both of Washington's most dangerous first-half chances following the goal, fanning on a one-timer in the box from 15 yards out and missing just wide on another one-timer from just beyond the right corner of the goal box.

Sophomore Brett Hite just missed putting the Huskies two goals ahead midway through the second half, breaking in behind the Hartwick defense only to be stoned by a charging Wagenaar. In the absence of a second goal Hartwick pushed forward for an equalizer, coming closest when Barry Pearson's one-timer off a corner kick in the 79th minute beat Eylander but was headed off the goal line by Husky senior Evan Cummings.

Washington finished with 16 shots to Hartwick's 10, including a 7-3 advantage in shots on goal.

In the day's early game, Portland claimed third-place with a 1-0 win over Wisconsin, the lone goal courtesy of Pilots freshman Alex Elliott. Hartwick was a 2-1 winner over Portland on Friday.

Washington will open Pac-10 play Sunday at Oregon State, before returning home to host UCLA and San Diego State in Pac-10 Conference games Oct. 7 and Oct. 9 at Husky Soccer Field.

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