Huskies Host NCAA Soccer Action Friday, Sunday

Nov. 22, 2001

Seattle - No. 16 Huskies Earn NCAA Tournament Bid
UW to Meet Winner of Gonzaga-Portland First Round Match

Fri., Nov. 23: NCAA First Round - Gonzaga vs. Portland, 2 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 25: NCAA Second Round - No. 15 UW vs. Gonzaga-Portland winner

All homes games played at Husky Soccer Field on the UW campus.

This Week
The 16th-ranked Washington men's soccer team (13-5-0, 4-4-0) earned an at-large bid to its seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament and the opportunity to host first and second round games at Husky Soccer Field. Washington, which received a bye to the second round, will host Northwest neighbors Portland (11-5-1) and Gonzaga (9-4-2) at 2 p.m. Fri., Nov. 23 and then will meet the winner at 1 p.m., Sun., Nov. 25. Both games will be held at Husky Soccer Field.

Washington capped a 13-5-0 season with a 4-2 win over California last weekend to finish third in the Pac-10 Conference. It marked the first time in three years the Huskies had not won a conference championship, dating back to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation days. This year marks the Huskies' seventh straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Huskies stand at No. 16 in the Nov. 19 Soccer America rankings and remained at No. 11 in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll from Nov. 11. They are ranked No. 10 by

Dawgbite: Washington's loss to Stanford last weekend (1-0, 2ot) is the lone blemish on the Huskies' 2001 home record.

Postseason Tournament Field Expands: The NCAA Executive Committee approved the expansion of the fields for the Division I men's and women's soccer championships, effective with the 2001 tournaments. The men's bracket increased from 32 to 48 teams. It is the first expansion for the men's tournament since the bracket was increased from 28 to 32 teams following the 1992 championship.

In the men's championship, 20 conferences will receive automatic bids with the remaining 28 being awarded to at-large teams. There will be no play-in games for qualification. The Pacific-10 Conference champion does not receive an automatic berth to the tournament because only five schools in the league sponsor the sport (UW, OSU, UCLA, Stanford, California).

Sixteen campus sites will host the first and second rounds of the men's tournament. Three teams will be selected to the 16 sites with the first round being played November 23. In the second round, the winning team of the first round will play the team with the first-round bye on November 25. The third round will be played the weekend of December 1-2, and the quarterfinals will be played December 8-9. The 2001 NCAA Men's College Cup will be played December 14 and 16 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Dawgbite: Husky head coach Dean Wurzberger enters the weekend with a mark of 134-46-18 in his 10-year tenure at Washington. He has an 11-year career mark of 142-54-23. Wurzberger is the all-time winningest coach among eight men's soccer leaders at Washington.

Dawgbite: Washington and Gonzaga were supposed to play a regular season non-conference match Sept. 16 at Husky Soccer Field. The game was cancelled following the events of Sept. 11.

Series History
Washington owns an unblemished 15-0 record in its series with Gonzaga. The Huskies also lead the series with Portland, 20-10-2, including a dramatic 4-3 win at Husky Soccer Field on Nov. 9 of this season. It's a 2-2 split in the previous four meetings, prior to this season. The Huskies and Pilots have met in the NCAA Tournament four times, and are 2-2 in those meetings. The most recent postseason meeting was a 2-1 Washington win in 1999 at Portland.

According to Coach Wurzberger
'We're excited about playing at home. We set a goal of being seeded in the top 16 and we achieved that. Now it's all about performance in postseason. Unlike the three previous years, we haven't won a conference title, so I don't think there is a satisfaction that we've accomplished anything. There is a sense of motivation. We have seven seniors and all of them could play and start at any time. That experience matters in postseason.

'I think we've played one of the toughest schedules ever in the history of this program. I think that matters when you face battles and you've been there, both at home and on the road. We are battle-tested against quality teams. We aren't going to see any surprises other than playoff intensity. There is a 'no tomorrow' attitude. You've got to play to your maximum each and every game.

'The fact that we play one game a week now is a positive for us. We worked long and hard all season to gain a slight advantage of meeting a team that had to play Friday. Now we have to turn that advantage into a result.'

Washington is making its 15th NCAA tournament appearance since the program's inception in 1968, including seven straight under coach Dean Wurzberger. UW has a 5-14 record in the tournament, with Wurzberger's teams at 5-7. Last year, Washington went to four overtime periods to win its first round game versus Alabama-Birmingham (1-0) before falling, as they did in 1999, to final four participant Indiana (2-1).
1968 - 1st round, lost at San Francisco, 16-0, final record: 5-6-2
1972 - 1st round, lost at UCLA, 5-0, final record: 12-3-2
1973 - 1st round, lost at UCLA, 3-0, final record: 13-4-4
1976 - 1st round, lost at San Jose State, 4-1, final record: 15-2-3
1978 - 1st round, lost at Santa Clara, 2-0, final record: 13-7-2
1982 - 1st round, lost at San Francisco, 3-2 OT, final record: 18-2-1
1989 - 1st round, lost at Portland, 1-0 OT, final record: 15-6-1
1992 - 1st round, won at Portland, 2-1
- 2nd round, lost at Indiana, 2-0, final record: 15-3-3
1995 - 1st round, lost at Portland, 1-0, final record: 12-5-4
1996 - 1st round, won vs. Santa Clara, 2-1 OT
- 2nd round, lost vs. Fresno State, 2-1, final record: 15-3-1
1997 - 1st round, won vs. Stanford, 2-1 OT
- 2nd round, lost at UCLA, 1-0, final record: 15-3-2
1998 - 1st round, lost vs. UNC Greensboro, 2-1, final record: 16-4
1999 - 1st round, won at Portland, 3-2
1999 - 2nd round, lost at Indiana, 2-0, final record: 15-5-2
2000 - 1st round, defeated UAB, 1-0 in four overtimes
2000 - 2nd round, lost to Indiana, 2-1, in Seattle, final record: 14-6-0

Tournament Time
Washington's six fourth-year seniors (the seventh, Trevor Frobose, is a transfer) have been to the NCAA tournament each of the three previous seasons. Washington is one of nine schools in the nation to have made six consecutive trips to the postseason tournament. Ironically, the Huskies have been knocked out of the tournament in the second round the last two season, each time at the hands of Indiana. The Hoosiers also handed the Huskies their only loss this season, at the adidas Invitational in Portland Sept. 8.

A Glance at the Huskies
Washington enters the postseason after a home split in its final regular season games, falling to Stanford, 1-0, in two overtimes and defeating California, 4-2.

Washington won its final non-conference game on a dramatic goal with seven seconds remaining for a 4-3 victory over rival Portland Nov. 9. The Huskies were right back on the road following the game, for a Sunday afternoon match at UCLA. A tight match saw Washington holding a 2-1 lead with less than three minutes remaining in regulation when UCLA scored the equalizer and sent it to overtime. It was all UCLA after that, as the the Bruins scored the golden goal in the 12th minute of overtime and knocked the Huskies out of contention for the Pac-10 title. The Huskies completed a season sweep of Oregon State with a 1-0 victory over the Beavers in Corvallis. It was a pleasant rebound off a weekend in which the Huskies suffered their first back-to-back losses since the opening two games of the 2000 season and had its eight-game win streak snapped with losses at California (1-0) and Stanford (4-1). Prior to that, the Huskies had not lost since since Sept. 8. It also marked the first Pac-10 road losses since league play began last year. The Huskies have been ranked in the top 15 since the first week of the season. Statistically, senior co-captain Ben Somoza continues to lead the way with 12 points off five goals and six assists.

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