Husky Men's Soccer Opens 2006 Season Against UC Davis at Husky Soccer Field
Aug. 22, 2006
This Week: Washington men's soccer (0-0) kicks off the 2006 season at home against U.C. Davis (0-0) on Friday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field. Live scoring and live video streaming will be available at www.gohuskies.com.
The Huskies have been on the road for their last seven consecutive season openers, posting a 4-1-2 record in those games while outscoring their opponents 18-10. UW is 28-11-4 all-time in its opening games. Following the matchup with U.C. Davis, the Huskies will hit the road for tournaments in Portland, Ore. and Madison, Wis. UW is set to face Air Force and Vermont at the Nike Portland Invitational on Sept. 1st and 3rd, and will take on Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee at the Wisconsin Soccer Invitational on Sept. 8th and 10th. The Huskies will be challenged early, as UW-Milwaukee is ranked 24th in the preseason Soccer America poll.
2006 Season Preview: Washington returns 11 letterwinners and seven starters from the 2005 squad and welcomes eight newcomers including three transfers. Leading the way for the Huskies will be returning all-conference players Ty Harden, Kevin Forrest and Ely Allen. Harden is a central midfielder, a two-year captain and three-time All-Pac-10 honoree. Forrest, a 2004 first-team All-Pac-10 pick, returns to active duty this year after redshirting the 2005 season with an injury. Junior forward Allen is a two-time all-conference player and was the Pac-10's Freshman of the Year in 2004.
With an explosive one-two punch up front with Allen and Forrest, returning to help strengthen the center of defense will be senior Matt Fischer. Fischer and Harden, along with midfielder Mike Cusenza who is back for a fifth year, round out the three seniors who will shoulder the team's leadership role.
As is the case every year the Huskies will need to do their best to replace holes vacated by some valuable graduated seniors. Among those players were All-American midfielder Mike Chabala and all-conference goalkeeper Chris Eylander. Fortunately Coach Dean Wurzberger has some talented players waiting in the wings to take over those positions - junior Derek Crismier in center mid and redshirt freshmen Rylan Hawkins at goalkeeper.
Scouting UC Davis: The Aggies return all of their scoring from last year's squad and begin their 10th season under the guidance of head coach Dwayne Shaffer. After a 1-0-1 exhibition season, they are coming off an upset of No. 11/20 California, shutting out the Golden Bears 1-0.
Preseason Rankings: Washington was tabbed 25th in the NSCAA Preseason poll, and received votes in the Soccer Times and College Soccer News Poll.
Huskies Tabbed To Finish Third In Pac-10 Coaches Poll: The Washington men's soccer team was projected to finish third in the 2006 Preseason Pac-10 Coaches' Poll. The four-time defending conference champion UCLA Bruins were tabbed to repeat their title, followed by California and Washington. UCLA received five first-place votes while the Huskies earned one. San Diego State was picked to finish fourth, with Oregon State and Stanford to round out the conference in that order.
2005 Season Review: In 2005, UW finished fifth in the conference with a 3-5-2 record, but culminated the season with the third most wins overall at 10-7-2 and fourth highest overall winning percentage (.579). The Huskies started hot, recording a 6-1 record, but lost three of their last four games and failed to qualify for postseason play for the first time in three years. Senior Mike Chabala earned NSCAA and Soccer Times third-team All-America honors, while also landing on the NSCAA All-Far West Region first team. Senior goalkeeper Chris Eylander was named an ESPN The Magazine third team All-American, and also made the Pac-10 All-Academic first team. Junior Ty Harden and senior Jeff Hoover made the Pac-10 All-Academic second team. Harden was the only Husky on the All-Pac-10 first team, while Ely Allen and Mike Chabala were honored on the second team. Evan Cummings, Eylander, Brett Hite, Hoover and Leo Totev garnered honorable mention All-Pac-10 accolades.
Head Coach Dean Wurzberger: Husky coach Dean Wurzberger enters his 15th year at the helm of the Washington men's soccer program. The 2004 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year and the all-time winningest coach in program history, Wurzberger has spent over a decade building the Husky program into one of the nation's finest, fielding teams that annually compete for conference and national championships. Under his tutelage, the Huskies have reached the NCAA Tournament nine times in the last 11 years, including a school-record Sweet 16 trip in 2003. UW was one of only seven schools in the country to make seven straight NCAA trips from 1995-2001. His 2000 team won the inaugural Pac-10 Conference championship, on the heels of two consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles. His record in 14 seasons stands at a stellar 174-76-27 (.677). His consistency is amazing, as his teams average more than 12 wins a year against just more than five losses and two ties per season. In 2004, Wurzberger - the longest tenured Pac-10 head coach - was named Co-Pac-10 Coach of the Year for guiding UW to a second-place tie in the conference standings. His 2000 squad tore through the initial season of Pac-10 play, posting an undefeated record on the road, recording upsets at perennial powers Stanford and UCLA. In 1996 and 1998, he was named the NSCAA Far West Region Coach of the Year, and he was the MPSF Mountain Division Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1999. He also was MPSF Coach of the Year in 1998. His MPSF record of 43-6-6 (.836) was the best in the Mountain Division since its inception in 1992.
Ticket Information: Tickets for all Husky home matches are on sale now either online at gohuskies.com or by calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200. Tickets may also be purchased at the field on game day. Individual tickets prices are $5 for adults, $3 for children/seniors and $2 for groups of 15 or more purchased in advance. A general admission season pass is also available that provides admission throughout the year to volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, baseball, softball and non-conference women's basketball games. Prices for the season pass are $35 for adults, $25 for children and $75 for a family of four.
Up Next: The Huskies hit the road for the Nike Portland Invitational, facing Air Force on Fri., Sept. 1 at 4:30 p.m., and Vermont on Sun., Sept. 3 at 11 a.m.