Allen's Clutch PK Keeps UW's NCAA Hopes Alive
Nov. 23, 2007
SEATTLE - Pacific-10 Conference co-Player of the Year Ely Allen scored on a penalty kick in the 86th minute to give the University of Washington a spirited 1-0 first round NCAA Tournament victory over Portland Friday night at Husky Soccer Field.
Washington, which improved to 9-7-4 on the season, goes on the road to play its second round contest at 12th-seeded UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday. The 12-3-4 Gauchos were one of 16 seeded teams to earn a NCAA first-round bye. The winner of the UW at UCSB match will face the winner of Louisville at fifth-seeded Ohio State in the tournament's third round.
'We've seen each other five times (this season) and played each other already,' said Washington head coach Dean Wurzberger, in reference to the passion and intensity exhibited by the two teams. 'You're going to get a close game. In general, that's what you're going to find in those situations.'
The Huskies outshot Portland by a narrow 12-10 margin during the match but were unable to penetrate UP's first-team all-West Coast Conference keeper Austin Guerrero, who snagged a match-high four saves. The Pilot freshman was unable, however, to stop Allen's penalty kick as the two teams battled furiously to grab a late game-winner.
The Pilots committed 20 fouls and earned two yellow card cautions in the match but it was a harsh tackle from behind by Portland's Brayton Knapp on Husky freshman Matt Van Houten inside the UP penalty area that proved to be the difference in the match.
Allen stepped-up to the penalty spot and buried the ball to the lower right corner of the goal to put the Huskies ahead with just over four minutes remaining in the match.
'If I could explain the feeling I felt when the ball hit the back of the net, I would,' said Allen, the Pac-10 leader in goals scored and overall points. 'There was a lot of pressure on me. The world was quiet. It was a great feeling when the ball hit the back of the net.'
The match served as the eighth time since 1989 that Washington and Portland have faced each other in the NCAA Tournament and neither team has won consecutive games in the series during the postseason. The last time the two teams met in the postseason saw Portland take a high-scoring 5-3 victory in 2004 in Seattle.