Huskies Fall 1-0 To UC Santa Barbara In NCAA Second Round

Nov. 28, 2007

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Washington's run in the NCAA Tournament came to a close in the second round Wednesday night, as the Huskies fell to defending NCAA champion UC Santa Barbara, 1-0, in front of 9,641 raucous fans at Harder Stadium.

The Huskies outshot UCSB 13-7, including a 7-1 advantage in the second half, but weren't able to find the equalizer as the Gauchos converted on just their first shot of the game in the 10th minute.

Washington, making its second-straight appearance in the NCAA second round and 19th overall trip to the postseason in school history, ended its season with a 9-8-4 overall record. UC Santa Barbara improved to 13-3-4 and advanced to face Ohio State in the NCAA Sweet 16, Sunday, Dec. 2.

UCSB sophomore midfielder Jon Curry scored what proved to be the gamewinner at the 9:58 minute mark when he settled a cleared corner kick and struck a curving shot from 25-yards out past UW goalkeeper Stephen Fung to the far upper corner of the net. It was Curry's second goal of the season.

'I'm very proud of the way our team played,' UW head coach Dean Wurzberger said following the match. 'We asked them to stick to a game-plan, and to play 100 percent with their effort. When you give those things you hope the results come out your way, but sometimes they don't. We just didn't have that special moment with an attacking play to get us a goal.'

Down early, the Huskies proceeded to put pressure on the Gaucho defense, especially in the second-half. Washington controlled much of the possession after the intermission and had many scoring opportunities. Freshman forward Ellis McLoughlin led UW with four shots, while junior midfielder Raphael Cox added three. Senior forward Ely Allen, sophomore midfielder Casey Cunningham and freshman midfielder Matt Van Houten each added two shots.

'I thought that we got some good chances and that we were overrunning them at times,' Cox said. 'I felt like UCSB had good possession but they weren't really dangerous with their attacking. Every time we had an attacking opportunity it was almost a goal. It was just one of those nights where we couldn't get one. It wasn't falling our way.'

The Huskies forced UCSB goalkeeper Bryant Rueckner to make three straight saves with just under 20 minutes remaining. Allen nailed a shot off a corner kick which was stopped by Rueckner, as was a shot from McLoughlin on a nice give-and-go play and a floating shot from Cox from about 25 yards out.

The Huskies and Gauchos played a fairly even first half with both team taking six shots. Washington had some good chances in the opening stanza, including a flurry of attempts from McLoughlin and Van Houten in the 14th minute. McLoughlin's first shot was deflected by a UCSB defender and his second - a header off a nicely placed cross - ended up in the hands of Rueckner. Van Houten nailed a high shot off a corner kick in between McLoughlin's attempts.

One of Washington's better scoring opportunities came late in the opening half. With just over six minutes left until the intermission, McLoughlin made a run down the right wing and was taken down by UCSB defender Andy Iro. Iro was issued a yellow card and the Huskies nearly scored on the free kick from Cox, whose shot from just outside the box was saved by a diving Rueckner.

NCAA Second Round
No. 12 seed UC Santa Barbara 1, Washington 0
Harder Stadium; Santa Barbara, Calif.

Scoring - 1, USCB, Jon Curry (unassisted), 9:58.
Shots - UW 13, UCSB 7
Corners - UW 4, UCSB 2
Saves - UW 0 (Stephen Fung), UCSB 6 (Bryant Rueckner 4, Team 2)
Fouls - UW 16, UCSB 9
Attendance - 9,641

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