Huskies, Pilots To Battle In NCAA First Round In Seattle
Nov. 21, 2007
Fri., Nov. 23, 2007 NCAA FIRST ROUND
Portland (10-5-5, 6-2-4 WCC) at Washington (8-7-4, 3-4-3) 6 p.m. PT
Husky Soccer Field Seattle, Wash.
Live Internet Coverage: Video Broadcast/GameTracker at GoHuskies.com
---NCAA SECOND ROUND
Wed., Nov. 28 - Portland/UW Winner at UC Santa Barbara (12-3-4) 7 p.m.
Washington earned an at-large berth to the 2007 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship and will host Northwest rival Portland in the first round, Friday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field on the UW campus. The Huskies are making their second-straight postseason appearance, 11th in the last 13 seasons and 19th overall. Washington finished the regular season with an 8-7-4 overall record and placed fifth in the Pac-10 standings with a 3-4-3 league mark. The Huskies ended the regular season on a high note, losing just one of its last five matches - the loss coming to Pac-10 champion California. Portland tallied a 10-5-5 overall mark and finished third in the West Coast Conference with a 6-2-4 league record. Washington and Portland are long-time postseason rivals having met seven previous times in the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies and Pilots met earlier this season in Seattle, with UW winning the match 1-0. The winner of Friday's match advances to the second round to face 12th-seed and reigning NCAA champion UC Santa Barbara (12-3-4) on the Gauchos' home field, Wed., Nov. 28, at 7 p.m.
A free live video broadcast of Friday's NCAA First Round game between Washington and Portland, as well as live statistics, will be available at GoHuskies.com. Fans must sign up for a Dawg Channel All-Access pass but there is no charge for viewing the game.
Ticket prices for Friday's match are $7 for adults, $5 for children, seniors and students with group tickets available for $4. Tickets are available online at GoHuskies.com or by calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200.
In the Rankings:
The Huskies were not ranked by the NSCAA/adidas or Soccer America polls, but are receiving votes in the Soccer Times and College Soccer News polls. UW is tabbed No. 36 according to Top Drawer Soccer for the fourth-straight week. Huskies were ranked as high as 14th in Soccer America's preseason poll.
Scouting the Huskies:
It's a new season for the Huskies who are making their second-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. With their backs against the wall last weekend, UW recorded a pair of draws against Oregon State and San Diego State to keep their postseason hopes alive. The Huskies are riding the momentum of their strong finish to the regular season, losing just once in their final five matches. Their only loss during that span was to Pac-10 Champion Cal (Nov. 9). UW is one of three Pac-10 teams to earn NCAA nods, a group that also includes Cal and UCLA. UW is led by Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year Ely Allen. Allen earned the distinction this week after leading the conference in points (24) and goals (11). The Husky senior forward was joined by five other teammates on the all-conference team including fellow first-team honoree junior midfielder George John. Washington has made a habit of coming through in big games this season, with five of its eight wins coming against ranked opponents. UW's accomplishments this season are quite notable considering the injuries the team has been forced to overcome. Before the year even began, the Huskies lost two returning starters (midfielders Jo Jo Katz and Steve Mohn) to offseason injuries and during the season lost starting goalkeeper sophomore Rylan Hawkins to a facial injury in just the fourth game of the year, as well as 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year Kevin Forrest who was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his left foot in mid-October. Allen stepped up big in Forrest's absence, scoring eight of his 11 goals since the injury, while redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Stephen Fung has been a solid replacement for Hawkins. The Huskies are a young team, starting as many as six or seven freshmen and sophomores on a regular basis. Anchoring the defense have been sophomore Taylor Hoss and freshman Brad Keller who have started all 19 matches. Freshman Matt Van Houten has made an immediate impact playing in the midfield, while freshman forward Ellis McLoughlin has three goals and three assists in the 11 matches he's played. Despite his injury, Forrest still is second on the team with six goals and 15 points. McLoughlin and junior midfielder Raphael Cox each have three goals to rank third on the squad. Forrest, McLoughlin and Van Houten are tied for the team lead in assists with three. Season highlights this year have featured the program's 500th all-time win (Sept. 18 vs. Portland), while 16-year head coach Dean Wurzberger picked up his 200th career victory (Sept. 23 vs. Furman).
Allen Named Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year:
Washington senior forward Ely Allen was named Co-Pac-10 Men's Soccer Player of the Year and six Huskies were named to the All-Pac-10 Team, conference commissioner Tom Hansen announced Tuesday. In addition to his Player of the Year honor, Allen was selected to the All-Pac-10 first-team along with junior midfielder George John. Second-team honorees included senior forward Kevin Forrest and junior midfielder Raphael Cox, while sophomore defender Casey Cunningham and freshman forward Ellis McLoughlin earned honorable mention nods. Allen becomes the third player in Washington history and the second in as many years to be named Pac-10 Player of the Year, joining Forrest (2006) and C.J. Klaas (2004). He shares the honor this year with California senior midfielder Andrew Jacobson. Allen and Klaas hold the distinction of being the only two players to earn Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and Pac-10 Player of Year honors during their careers. A two-time All-Pac-10 first-team selection and the 2004 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, Allen finished the regular season leading the conference in points (24), goals (11) and goals per game (.058), and also tied for the first in game-winning goals (four). His 11 goals are a career-high, eight of which he scored in Pac-10 play. Allen was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Oct. 30 as he scored the team's lone goal in a 1-0 upset of UCLA. He tallied two multiple goal games with a hat trick versus San Diego State (Oct. 19) and two goals versus Stanford (Nov. 11). Other conference honors for 2007 included Stanford's Bobby Warshaw named Freshman of the Year and California's Kevin Grimes named Coach of the Year.
NCAA Tournament Format:
The NCAA men's soccer tournament is a single-elimination play-off that features a 48-team field. Twenty-two teams received automatic bids to the tournament, while 26 earned a spot via an at-large selection. The 16 seeded teams received first round byes, while the others will duke it out in first-round matches played at campus sites, Friday, Nov. 23 or Saturday, Nov. 24. All matches through the quarterfinals will be played at campus sites, with the 2007 NCAA Men's College Cup to take place Dec. 14 (semifinals) and Dec. 16 (finals) at SAS Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
Huskies In The Postseason:
Washington is making a postseason appearance for the second-straight year, advancing as far as the second round in 2006. UW is also making its 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last 13 seasons and 19th overall. The Huskies have an all-time record of 7-18 in tournament play, with their school-record finish coming with a Sweet 16 appearance in 2003. Until 2003, UW had not won a second-round match in the postseason. Last year, the Huskies dominated Creighton to the tune of a 3-0 shutout in Seattle thanks to a hat trick from forward Kevin Forrest in their first round game. UW then traveled to California to face 10th-seeded Santa Clara, but that was where the Huskies' postseason run came to an end with a 3-2 overtime loss. In 2003, UW received a first-round bye before hosting Portland in the second round and defeating the Pilots 1-0. Making school history, 10th-seeded Washington boarded a plane for Saint Louis and nearly pulled an upset over the seventh-seeded Billikens, losing a heartbreaker in overtime, 2-1. Washington has hosted six of its last eight NCAA matches, hosting first and second round games in 2000, a first round game in 2001, a second-round match-up in 2003, a first round game in 2004 and a first-round game in 2006. Including 2003, the Huskies have played through to the second round eight times. Washington made seven-straight trips to the tournament from 1995-2001.
Huskies Against The Field:
Washington faced eight tournament teams in the regular season this year, compiling a record of 5-5 against those sides. All five of Washington's wins over teams competing in the postseason came via shutout defeating Southern Methodist (2-0), Portland (1-0), New Mexico (1-0), UCLA (1-0), and Furman (1-0). Losses came to No. 8 seed Creighton (1-2, OT), Gonzaga (1-2), twice to California (1-2, 0-1) and UCLA (2-3).
Washington has eight players on its active roster with previous postseason experience. Playing in NCAA Tournament games last year were sophomore defender Casey Cunningham, junior midfielder Raphael Cox, senior forward Ely Allen, sophomore defender Adam Lang, junior midfielder George John, senior midfielder Derek Crismier, sophomore defender Taylor Hoss and sophomore midfielder Daniel Phelps. Crismier was also a member of the 2004 team that lost in the first round to Portland at Husky Soccer Field. From the coaching standpoint, head coach Dean Wurzberger has led the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament 12 times in 16 seasons.
Portland is making its 13th all-time appearance in the NCAA postseason after receiving an at-large bid. The Pilots' last tournament appearance was in 2004 when they advanced to the second round after a 5-3 first round win over the Huskies in Seattle. Portland finished the regular season with a 10-5-5 overall record and placed third in the West Coast Conference with a 6-2-4 league record. Junior midfielder/forward Alex Elliott, sophomore midfielder Collen Warner and freshman goalkeeper Austin Guerrero were all named to the All-WCC First-Team this week. Elliott leads the Pilots and the WCC with 10 assists, 24 points and four gamewinning goals. Warner tallied three goals and four assists, while Guerrero leads the conference with eight shutouts and 81 saves.
All-Time Series With Portland:
UW leads the all-time series with Portland, 24-16-3, but trails the Pilots in seven postseason meetings 3-4. The Huskies' earlier season win over Portland in Seattle on Sept. 18 (1-0) snapped a four-game losing streak dating back to the 2004 season. That streak included a 5-3 loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Seattle in 2004. Prior to earlier this season, UW had not defeated the Pilots since 2003.
Senior forward Ely Allen ranks 30th in the nation in goals per game (0.58) and is 44th in points per game (1.26). The Huskies as a team rank 56th in scoring offense which tops the Pac-10 (1.47) and is tied for 57th in shutout percentage (0.37).
Leading The Pac:
Washington's senior forward duo of Kevin Forrest and Ely Allen are among the Pac-10 leaders in almost every offensive statistical category. Allen leads the league in points (24), goals (11) and goals per game (0.58), and is second in points per game (1.26). Even though Forrest is out for the season, he still leads the conference in shots per game (4.09) and points per game (1.36). As a team, Washington leads the Pac-10 in points (76), goals (28) and goals per game (1.47)
UW has scored first in all eight of its wins this season...the Huskies are 8-1 overall when they score first, the only loss coming at Gonzaga (Sept. 7)...all but one of UW's seven losses have come by one goal...five of UW's eight wins have come over ranked teams...five of the team's eight wins have come via shutout...the only goals allowed by the Huskies in a winning effort were to Cal State Bakersfield and San Diego State...UW won two of the three tournaments it played in during their non-conference stretch - the Nike Portland Invitational and the Nike/Crescent Financial Solutions Invitational...the Huskies have defeated three teams in the final NSCAA/adidas Top-25 this season (No. 5 SMU, No. 22 Furman and No. 24 New Mexico).