Huskies Take On Northwest Rivals Gonzaga, Portland

Oct. 25, 2006

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Fri., Oct. 27, 2006
Gonzaga (6-7-2, 3-5-1 WCC) at Washington (10-5-1, 3-5-1 Pac-10)
7 p.m. • Husky Soccer Field • Seattle, Wash.
Free Live Video and Live Scoring at GoHuskies.com

Sun., Oct. 29, 2006
Washington (10-5-1, 3-5-1 Pac-10) at Portland (6-7-2, 3-6-0 WCC)
12 p.m. • Merlo Field • Portland, Ore.
rankings according to NSCAA adidas poll/Soccer America poll

This Week:
Washington men's soccer (10-5-1, 3-5-1 Pac-10) takes a break from Pac-10 play this week to face Northwest non-conference rivals Gonzaga and Portland. UW will host the Zags on Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in what will be the regular season home finale for the Huskies. Then UW will travel south on I-5 to face the Pilots in Portland, Sunday, Oct. 29, at noon. Friday will be senior night as midfielder Mike Cusenza and defenders Matt Fischer and Ty Harden will be recognized in a pregame ceremony prior to playing their final regular season home games at Husky Soccer Field. The match concludes a three-game homestand, as UW will play its last two matches on the road with its regular season finale at Oregon State, Nov. 3.

Live TV Coverage:
Free live video and live scoring for UW's match with Gonzaga will available at GoHuskies.com. Live stats and audio for Sunday's match at Portland can be found at PortlandPilots.com.

In the Rankings:
UW is unranked in the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America polls for the third straight week. The Huskies are still ranked by Soccer Times (23rd). Washington was ranked as high as fourth for three weeks in the NSCAA/adidas poll.

Husky Hits:
• With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pac-10 race is still tightly contested. UW sits in third place with 10 points (3-5-1) but only three points separate the Huskies with second place teams UCLA and Stanford. Cal is the conference leader with 18 points, San Diego State is fourth with 11 points and Oregon State is in sixth place with one point.
• The Huskies are coming off a pair of shutout performances at home versus San Diego State (0-0 double overtime draw) and No. 10 UCLA (2-0). UW is only the second team to hold UCLA scoreless this season, the other being second-ranked Virginia.
• Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Rylan Hawkins was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for posting back-to-back shutouts last weekend. It is the first career honor for Hawkins, and the third for the Huskies this season.
• Washington started the year 8-0-0, its longest unbeaten and untied streak to open a season in program history. Since then, the Huskies are 2-5-1.
• The Huskies were the last standing unbeaten or untied team in NCAA Division I men's soccer before falling to UCLA in double-overtime, Sept. 29.
• The Huskies' 8-0-0 start included three tournament title wins: Nike Portland Invitational, Middleton Fitness and Cycle Invitational and the Husky Fever Classic.

Senior Salute:
The Huskies will honor their 2006 senior class on Friday - Mike Cusenza, Matt Fischer and Ty Harden. All three players were a part of the 2003 and 2004 squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament, including UW's school record run to the Sweet 16 in 2003. Cusenza, a midfielder, is in his fifth year in the program. He played in 14 games, recording two assists including one versus UC Davis in the team's season opener this year. Three-year starter Fischer and four-year starter Harden have anchored the center of defense for the Huskies. Fischer contributed to 25 shutouts in his career and in his final season has become an offensive threat, scoring three goals and adding an assist this year. Harden has established himself as one of the top center backs on the West Coast, earning three All-Pac-10 nods and a third-team All-Region selection in 2004.

Hawkins Named Pac-10 Player of the Week:
Rylan Hawkins came up big for the Huskies in the goal over the weekend as Washington posted a pair of shutouts against Conference foes San Diego State and UCLA. For the weekend, Hawkins failed to concede a goal through 200 minutes of soccer that included a double-overtime draw against the Aztecs and a 2-0 win over the Bruins who have only been shutout by one other team this year, then-No. 3 Virginia. On Friday, Hawkins did not give up a goal versus San Diego State through double overtime. He recorded two saves on six Aztec shots, including one in the first overtime period. His impressive play continued through Sunday against UCLA. Hawkins grabbed five saves on nine Bruin shots, including saving a penalty kick attempt by Kyle Nakazawa in the 84th minute. Hawkins' saved penalty kick maintained Washington's 2-0 lead and helped the Huskies hold on for the win. Four of Hawkins' five saves came in the second half. Washington's 2-0 win snapped a six-game unbeaten streak for UCLA, which had not lost since Sept. 22. Hawkins now has six shutouts this season, tying him for the league lead with Justin Myers from California.

Huskies Rank Among The Nation's Best:
The Huskies have ranked among the nation's best offensive teams all season. Through 16 games, Washington ranks 24th in the nation in scoring offense with 1.94 goals per game. Individually, junior forward Kevin Forrest ranks 14th in goals per game (0.79) and tied for 19th in points per game (1.64).

Scouting Gonzaga:
The Bulldogs are 6-7-2 overall, 3-5-1 in the West Coast Conference. They come to Seattle having lost their last two conference matches, 2-1 to San Diego and 4-1 to Loyola Marymount. Gonzaga and Washington have had two common opponents this year, UC Davis and Oregon State. While UW defeated the Aggies 5-0, Gonzaga fell 4-0. Both UW and Gonzaga defeated OSU, with the Huskies winning 3-1 and the Bulldogs winning 4-1. Gonzaga is led by junior George Josten who has nine goals and four assists.

All-Time Series With Gonzaga:
UW leads the all-time series with Gonzaga 19-0-1. The draw between these two teams came in 1998 (2-2) and since then the Huskies have won four straight. Last year's meeting in Spokane was a wild affair. With UW trailing 2-1, the Huskies scored two goals in the last five minutes of the game to come away with a 3-2 win. Ely Allen scored the equalizer in the 86th minute and George John knocked in the gamewinner in the 88th minute.

Scouting Portland:
The Huskies and Pilots have played in two of the same tournaments this season, but Sunday will be their first actual meeting. Portland will host USF on Friday night before entertaining UW. Portland is 6-7-2 this year, 3-6-0 in the West Coast Conference. The Pilots have struggled as of late, losing four of their last five matches. Portland split a pair of games at home last weekend, defeating Loyola Marymount 2-1 and falling to San Diego, 3-2. Sunday will be the home finale for Portland. Alex Elliot leads the squad with nine goals and 18 points.

All-Time Series With Portland:
UW leads the all-time series with Portland, 23-15-3, but the Pilots have won the last three straight meetings. Last year, Portland defeated UW 1-0 in Seattle and handed the Huskies two losses in 2004 (including a 5-3 defeat in the NCAA Tournament). Longtime rivals, the first meeting in this series dates back to 1965.

UW Ties SDSU, Defeats UCLA:
The Huskies returned home last weekend and were greeted with two tough opponents, San Diego State and UCLA. UW battled through double overtime to tie SDSU on Friday, despite ending the game with a 20-6 shot advantage. On Sunday, the Huskies got on the board first versus the Bruins and never looked back. Ely Allen connected on a penalty kick and George John added a second goal - all in the first 18 minutes. It was then up to the UW defense to hold UCLA at bay, which is exactly what they did. It was the first win for UW over UCLA since 2004 and the first win at home since 2001. UW goalkeeper Rylan Hawkins registered five saves including a saved penalty kick in the 84th minute.

Forrest, Allen Tandem Lead Scoring Barrage:
Junior forwards Kevin Forrest and Ely Allen have combined to create a lethal scoring attack for the Huskies this season. Forrest, who redshirted last season due to injury, has tallied 11 goals in 14 matches, already eclipsing his career-high of nine set as a sophomore. Forrest has three games with two or more goals, including a hat trick versus Air Force (Sept. 1). He also has six gamewinning goals, tops in the conference. Allen has scored seven goals in 14 matches that included a pair of two-goal performances. Allen himself has set a new career-high, surpassing his total of four goals last season. Allen and Forrest teamed to earn back-to-back Pac-10 Player of the Week honors the first two weeks of the season. Forrest is also a two-time selection to the Soccer America Team of the Week this year.

Top Defenders Get Into Scoring Act:
Senior central defenders Matt Fischer and Ty Harden have not only played a huge role in the Huskies' stellar defensive success, they have contributed to the team's offense. The two players have combined to score five goals this season. After having never scored or tallied an assist during his first three years on the team, Fischer already has three goals and one assist to his credit this season. Two of his three goals have come on headers off corner kicks. Harden came into his final season with three goals and has added two more. Harden accounted for a critical goal in UW's double overtime loss at UCLA, Sept. 29. With the Huskies trailing 1-0, Harden knocked in the equalizer in the 89th minute to send the game into overtime. Harden and Fischer have been the backbone of a UW defense that has allowed 14 goals in 16 games and posted seven shutouts. Harden is a three-time All-Pac-10 selection and third-team all-region player.

Fab Frosh:
Three freshmen have been making solid contributions to the Huskies' success thus far. Defender Taylor Hoss has played in all 16 matches and started 15, providing a solid presence at the left fullback position and contributing to a UW backline that has allowed just 14 goals. Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Rylan Hawkins has put up impressive numbers early. Hawkins is tied for the league lead in shutouts (six) and is fourth in goals against average (0.89). Defender Adam Lang has also seen increased minutes on the pitch, getting the starting nod at right fullback the last three matches and playing a key role in back-to-back shutouts last weekend.

UW Leading the Conference:
The Huskies are dominating the Conference statistics, leading the league or sharing the lead in all six offensive categories: shots (245), points (5.50/game), goals (31), goals per game (1.94), assists (26), and assists per game (1.62). Defensively, UW is tied for second in goals allowed (14), second in goals against average (0.84) and is second in shutouts (seven). Kevin Forrest leads in shots (84), shots per game (6.00), points (23), points per game (1.64), goals (11), goals per game (0.79) and gamewinning goals (six). The next closest player to Forrest in terms of offensive stats is fellow forward Ely Allen who is second in the league with 18 points, 1.29 points per game, seven goals and .50 goals per game. Midfielders Jo Jo Katz and Raphael Cox rank among the top players in assists. Cox and Katz are both tied for second in assists (seven) and assists per game (.44).

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 predicted to round out the conference in that order.

Head Coach Dean Wurzberger:
Husky coach Dean Wurzberger is in 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. His record at Washington seasons stands at a stellar 184-81-28 (.676).

Ticket Information:
Tickets for all Husky home matches are on sale 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 travel to Oregon State for their regular season finale, Friday, Nov. 3, at Oregon State (7:30 p.m.).

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