Huskies Earn Huge 2-0 Win At No. 25 San Diego State
Nov. 6, 2009
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Washington men's soccer team broke its recent streak of ties and earned a huge victory in conference play, knocking off No. 25 San Diego State, 2-0, Friday at SDSU Sports Deck.
The win upped UW's record to 5-5-6 overall and 2-1-5 in Pac-10 play while San Diego State drops to 6-5-5 and 3-3-2. More importantly, the victory moved UW into a tie for third in the conference standings with the Aztecs with two games remaining for both teams.
The Huskies, who settled for double-overtime ties in five of their previous seven matches, earned their first victory since Oct. 9, when they defeated then-No. 5 Cal on the road. UW has been a tough road team this season, going 4-1-2 away from Husky Soccer Field.
The Huskies jumped out to the early lead on Friday, scoring in the fourth minute on sophomore Brent Richards' team-leading fifth goal of the season. Richards stole a pass deep in SDSU's end and beat an Aztec defender one-versus-one, firing a left-footed shot into the right corner of the net from 15 yards out.
UW had another good chance just a few minutes later when Taylor Mueller's header was tipped over the crossbar by SDSU goalkeeper Brad Byrns.
San Diego State's best chance of the first half came in the 24th minute when Matt McManus got free on the right side and slid a shot toward the net but it was saved by UW senior goalkeeper Rylan Hawkins and Tyler Klein was there to clear it off the line.
The teams went back and forth over the remainder of the first half, with San Diego State outshooting UW, 10-8, for the half, but the Huskies held firm through the first 45 minutes, with Hawkins making four saves.
The second half was much of the same, as both teams took turns controlling the possession but Hawkins and the Husky defense proved resilient as they have all season. Hawkins made seven more saves in the second half to give him a career-high 11 for the match.
With time winding down, UW added some much-needed insurance in the 88th minute when Matt Van Houten took the rebound from his own shot and blasted in his third goal of the season to put the game away.
San Diego State outshot UW, 21-16, in the slugfest, but many of the Aztecs' shots late in the match were in desperation.
It was Hawkins' sixth shutout of the season. The Husky defense has been tough in conference play, allowing just five goals in eight matches, second in the Pac-10.
'That was just an awesome result. It was a huge team effort and I'm really proud of the effort everyone gave,' Washington head coach Dean Wurzberger said. 'It was unified and well played. We were up against it and playing against a good side that was motivated but Brent, who hasn't been scoring much lately, gave us a huge lift with that early goal and we were able to hang in against a lot of pressure in a tough place to play. We defended well and we got great individual effort by Brad Keller who chased a ball down and centered it back to Matt who scored on his own rebound. Both were just fantastic goals. It was exactly what we were looking for. The road form has been magnificent this season and now we have the big one in UCLA who's at the top of the conference. We'll enjoy this win and get ready for Sunday.'
The Huskies next face No. 4 UCLA on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m., their final regular season road game. Should UCLA fall to Oregon State tonight and the Huskies on Sunday, UW would move into a tie for first in the Pac-10 heading into the final game.
UW closes out the regular season at home on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 5 p.m. against Oregon State when they will honor their six seniors.
Pac-10 Men's Soccer
Washington 2, San Diego State 0
SDSU Sports Deck; San Diego, Calif.
Scoring - UW, Brent Richards (unassisted), 3:08. 2, UW, Matt Van Houten (unassisted), 87:01.
Shots - UW 16, SDSU 21
Corners - UW 4, SDSU 6
Saves - UW 11 (Rylan Hawkins), SDSU 7 (Brad Byrns).
Fouls - UW 9, SDSU 13
Offsides - UW 5, SDSU 0
Attendance - 552