Husky Rally Falls Short Against Portland

Sept. 17, 2009

Box Score

SEATTLE - Despite sophomore Brent Richards' third goal in the last two games, the Washington Huskies were unable to overcome a 2-0 halftime deficit and dropped their home opener, 2-1, to Portland Thursday at Husky Soccer Field.

Washington falls to 2-3-0 on the season while Portland improved to 3-1-1.

Portland came out as the aggressor in the match, taking it to the Huskies for the first 45 minutes and firing eight shots to just four for UW. The Pilots scored the first goal of the match on a perfectly placed ball by Keith Grubisich in the 20th minute and just four minutes later they increased their lead when Michael Nielsen headed in a goal off a rebound of his own shot from close range.

The Huskies picked things up tremendously in the second half, controlling play for much of the final 45 minutes and managing 11 second-half shots. They broke through in the 51st minute when freshman Ryan Moore centered a perfect pass for Richards, who fired a shot from 15 yards out into the upper right corner to pull the Huskies within one.

UW had a handful of good chances down the stretch, but Portland's Austin Guerrero came up with a couple of clutch saves to allow the Pilots to hang on to the lead.

All three of UW's losses this season have now come by a 2-1 margin.

The Huskies outshot Portland for the match, 15-10. Casey McCool came off the bench to fire four shots, including a couple good looks from close range which Guerrero was able to stop. Casey Cunningham and Matt Van Houten had three shots apiece.

'It was a poor first half showing and I was really surprised at how we came out on our heels. Portland is a good team but our guys dropped their heads on the first goal and then compounded that by letting them get the second-chance goal,' Washington head coach Dean Wurzberger said. 'It's a performance we can't be happy with. We have played a lot of really top teams and we accept that but this step-forward and step-back doesn't cut it. We can look at the second half and find some positives: Brent was a threat all night, but we have to get other people going. We came back and had some chances and I thought we were going to get back in it, but we need to recover quickly, learn from these losses and turn it around for the next game.'

The Huskies will hit the road this weekend to face 2008 NCAA Tournament team Denver on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. PT. Of UW's eight non-conference matches, six are against teams that made the postseason a year ago while tonight's opponent Portland has been a perennial NCAA team despite missing out last season.

NCAA Men's Soccer
Portland 2, Washington 1
Husky Soccer Field; Seattle, Wash.

Scoring - 1, UP, Keith Grubisich (unassisted), 19:52. 2, UP, Michael Nielsen (unassisted),23:25. 3, UW, Brent Richards (Ryan Moore), 50:52.
Shots - UW 15, UP 10
Corners - UW 3, UP 3
Saves - UW 3 (Rylan Hawkins), UP 4 (Austin Guerrero)
Fouls - UW 10, UP 7
Offsides - UW 0, UP 0
Attendance: 591

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