Husky Men To Face Tough Test In New Mexico This Weekend

Sept. 12, 2007

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Nike/Crescent Financial Solutions Invitational
Albuquerque, N.M. • UNM Soccer Complex

Fri., Sept. 14 - Washington (1-1-1) vs. New Mexico (2-2-0) • 6:00 p.m. PT
Sun., Sept. 16 - Washington (1-1-1) vs. #3/4 SMU (2-0-1) • 11 a.m.
Live scoring and live video at GoHuskies.com/GoLobos.com

This Week: Coming off its first loss of the season, the Washington men's soccer team will look to get back on the winning track when it heads to Albuquerque, N.M. for the Nike/Crescent Financial Solutions Invitational this weekend. The Huskies (1-1-1) will take on the host New Mexico Lobos (2-2-0) on Friday, Sept. 14, at 6:00 p.m. PT, followed by a contest with No. 3/4 SMU (2-0-1), Sunday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m. PT. This tournament marks the end of the Huskies' five-game season-opening road trip, but at the same time begins a stretch that will see UW play five games in 10 days. Following this weekend's matches in New Mexico, the Huskies will make their home debut versus Portland (Sept. 18, 7 p.m.) and then host the Husky Fever Classic (Sept. 21 and 23).

Tournament Coverage: Live scoring and live video for the Nike/Crescent Financial Solutions Invitational will be available at either GoHuskies.com or GoLobos.com.

In the Rankings: Washington fell from both the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America polls following its 2-1 loss at Gonzaga, Friday. The Huskies, who did receive votes in the NSCAA/adidas rankings this week, are still in the Soccer Times (24th) and Top Drawer Soccer (14th) Top-25 polls. UW opened the season ranked 18th by the NSCAA and 14th by Soccer America.

Scouting the Huskies: A big test awaits the Huskies this weekend, who will be facing their first ranked opponents this season. UW will look to rebound from its first loss of the season at Gonzaga, a tough 2-1 battle in Spokane last Friday. Prior to the setback, UW won the Nike Portland Invitational title in its opening weekend, tying New Hampshire in double overtime (0-0) and defeating Cal State Bakersfield (5-1). Offense continues to be the Huskies' strong suit led by senior forward Kevin Forrest, a preseason All-American and MAC Hermann Trophy candidate. Forrest leads the team with three goals and one assist, all racked up in the 5-1 win over the Roadrunners (Sept. 2). Forrest already is tied for sixth in the nation in goals per game (1.00) and is tied for 11th in points per game (1.00). Forrest is joined up front by fellow senior forward Ely Allen, a three-time All-Pac-10 honoree. Allen has two goals this season. Freshman midfielder Matt Van Houten has emerged a reliable playmaker, leading the squad with two assists early on. Sophomore goalkeeper Rylan Hawkins has manned the net all three games, tallying a 0.90 goals against averaged.

Tourney Tidbits: Some of the top collegiate soccer teams and players will be showcased at the Nike/Crescent Financial Solutions Invitational this weekend. All four teams - including defending NCAA champion UC Santa Barbara which the Huskies will not face - are ranked in at least one national poll and all four team advanced to at least the second round of last year's NCAA Tournament. UCSB, ranked 14th in the NSCAA/adidas poll, will take on SMU on Friday in the first game of the double-header and will face the host Lobos in the second game of Sunday's double-header. Between the four sides, four Hermann Trophy candidates and five preseason All-Americans will take to the pitch at New Mexico this weekend.

Last Time Out: Freshman defender Taylor Mueller scored his first collegiate goal in the third minute of the match but Washington wasn't able to sustain its momentum, dropping its first game of the season to Gonzaga, 2-1, at Martin Field in Spokane, Friday. After the Huskies jumped ahead 1-0, Gonzaga got the equalizing goal from George Josten in the 15th minute. Both teams battled for the duration until Bulldog Ben Funkhouser knocked in the gamewinner in the 85th minute. It was the first-ever victory for the Zags over Washington in the all-time series.

Scouting New Mexico: The Lobos are currently ranked No. 28 according to CollegeSoccer News.com but have dropped out of the other polls this week. UNM is 2-2-0, most recently splitting a pair of games in its home opening weekend. The Lobos fell to Loyola Marymount, 1-0 Friday, but came back with a 1-0 victory over Cincinnati, Sunday. New Mexico is led by goalkeeper Mike Graczyk who is a preseason All-American and has tallied a 1.25 goals against average so far. Diego Barrera leads the team with four points on one goal and two assists. The Lobos posted a 14-4-3 overall record last year and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Friday's meeting between Washington and New Mexico will be the first in program history.

Scouting SMU: SMU enters the tournament ranked as high as third and fourth in the NSCAA/adidas and Soccer America polls. The Mustangs are undefeated early on at 2-0-1, having defeated then-No. 3 Virginia (5-1) and Georgetown (1-0). SMU also battled to a 1-1 draw with then-No. 22 Saint Louis. Junior midfielder Bruno Guarda, a Hermann Trophy candidate and the reigning Conference USA Player of the Week, leads the team with two goals and two assists. The Mustangs went 17-2-4 last season, their second loss of the year coming in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to eventual champion UC Santa Barbara. SMU won the 2006 Conference USA title with a 5-1-2 league mark. Washington leads the all-time series with SMU, 3-2-0. The last time these teams met was at the UNLV Snickers/FILA Rebel Classic in 1999, a game which the Huskies lost 0-1.

Four Wins and Counting...: Husky head coach Dean Wurzberger, in his 16th season at the helm of the Husky men's soccer program, needs just four more wins to reach 200 in his career. Wurzberger was the head coach at Sacramento State for one season (1985) before taking over the reins at Washington. His career record stands at 196-92-34, while his UW record is 188-84-29. Under Wurzberger's guidance, the Huskies have reached the NCAA Tournament 11 times and annually rank among the nation's top teams.

Another Milestone To Look For...: The Huskies need just three more wins to reach 500 in the history of the UW men's soccer program. The all-time men's soccer record, dating back to 1963, is 497-198-78.

Huskies Open With Tourney Title: Although getting off to a sluggish start in its season opener versus New Hampshire (Aug. 31), Washington was able to turn things in its second match versus Cal State Bakersfield (Sept. 2) around in time to take home the Nike Portland Invitational title. The Huskies battled through to a scoreless double overtime draw with UNH, but came back with a five-goal scoring output to pick up their first win of the season versus Cal State Bakersfield. Senior forward Kevin Forrest racked up his third career hat trick and senior forward Ely Allen added two goals of his own to pace UW over the Roadrunners, 5-1. Forrest also picked up an assist on one of Allen's goals and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Offensive Player. Sophomore goalkeeper Rylan Hawkins played all 210 minutes in goal, allowing just one score and posting nine saves in the two matches. A pair of true freshmen got their feet wet early as defender Brad Keller and midfielder/forward Matt Van Houten each got the starting nod in both matches, with Van Houten picking up his first career point with an assist on Forrest's first goal versus Cal State Bakersfield.

Forrest Earns Pac-10, National Honors: Senior forward Kevin Forrest garnered the season's first Pac-10 Player of the Week honor, Sept. 4, for his performance in the Nike Portland Invitational (Aug.31/Sept. 2). Forrest was also named to Soccer America and Top Drawer Soccer's National Teams of the Week. His hat trick versus Cal State Bakersfield was the third of his career. Scoring the three goals, Sunday, moved him into UW's Top-10 career goals list where he ranks eighth (31). With 67 career points, Forrest needs 10 more to tie his father Ward for 10th on UW's all-time list for points.

Forrest Garners Preseason Accolades: Senior forward Kevin Forrest began the year with a couple preseason accolades under his belt, being named to the 2007 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy Watch List and earning preseason first-team All-America status from College Soccer News and Soccer America. Forrest was the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year and a 2006 first-team NSCAA/adidas All-Far West selection. He led the Pac-10 in every offensive statistical category last year including goals (16), while ranking eighth in the nation in goals per game (0.84) and 14th in points per game (1.74). Not only a standout on the field, Forrest was named an NSCAA Scholar All-American last season as well. Players are selected to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List by a committee of Division I coaches who are NSCAA members. In November, the list will be narrowed to 15 semifinalists. Three finalists will be named in early December in conjunction with the NCAA Division I College Cup and will be invited to the Missouri Athletic Club on Fri., Jan. 11, 2008. The winner of the 2007 award will be announced during a nationally-televised new conference that evening.

Injury Update: Junior midfielder Jo Jo Katz (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and senior midfielder Steve Mohn (Kent) will most likely miss the season due to injuries. Katz is recovering from a torn ACL suffered during the 2007 spring season and Mohn suffered a broken leg during summer league play.

Huskies Projected To Tie For Second In Pac-10 Coaches' Poll: Washington was projected to tie for second in the 2007 Pac-10 standings according to a preseason poll of the league's coaches, the Pac-10 office announced Aug. 13. The Huskies received 20 points - including a pair of first-place votes - and were predicted to tie for second with California which captured its first-ever Pac-10 title last season. NCAA runner-up UCLA was picked to win the conference crown for the sixth consecutive season. UCLA (23 votes) received three first-place votes with the remaining first-place tally going to California. Stanford (13 votes) was predicted to finish fourth, followed by San Diego State (nine) and Oregon State (five). Last season the Pac-10 received four NCAA Tournament berths for the first time since 2003, as California, San Diego State, UCLA and Washington all made their way into the 48-team field.

Fab Frosh: Washington's 2007 incoming recruiting class is ranked 17th in the nation by College Soccer News. For good measure, the online publication has selected defender Taylor Mueller (Sammamish, Wash.) as one of its 100 'Freshman to Keep An Eye On' this season.

2006 Season Review: In 2006, Washington finished the season with a 13-7-1 overall record and placed fifth in the Pac-10 (4-5-1). The Huskies earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the 10th time in 12 years and advanced as far as the second round. Behind Kevin Forrest's hat trick, UW defeated Creighton 3-0 in the first round in Seattle before falling at Santa Clara in the second round in overtime, 3-2. The Huskies started the year 8-0-0, their longest unbeaten and untied streak to open a season in program history, which garnered them a No. 4 national ranking for three weeks. Scoring a Pac-10 leading 16 goals, Forrest was named the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year while six of his teammates also earned All-Pac-10 acclaim. Forrest (first-team) was joined on the NSCAA All-Far West Region team by senior defender Ty Harden (first-team), junior forward Ely Allen (second-team) and sophomore midfielder George John (second-team). Harden earned NSCAA third-team All-American honors and was drafted by the L.A. Galaxy in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

Head Coach Dean Wurzberger: Husky coach Dean Wurzberger is in his 16th 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 10 times in the last 12 years, including a school-record Sweet 16 trip in 2003. His record at Washington seasons stands at a stellar 188-84-29 (.673).

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 $6 for adults, $4 for children/seniors and $3 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 $40 for adults, $30 for children/seniors and $85 for a family of four.

Up Next: UW will make its home debut hosting Portland, Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m., and remain at Husky Soccer Field for the Husky Fever Classic, Sept. 21 and 23. The four-team field includes Furman, Denver and Portland. UW will face Denver (Sept. 21, 7 p.m.) and Furman (Sept. 23, 1:30 p.m.).

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