Men's Soccer Signs Five Northwest Players To Letters Of Intent

Feb. 11, 2003

SEATTLE, Wash. - Five top Northwest student-athletes, including four from the state of Washington, have signed national letters of intent to play for the Washington men's soccer team beginning in fall 2003, Husky head coach Dean Wurzberger announced Tuesday.

This year's Husky men's soccer recruiting class includes Derek Crismier (Redmond, Wash./Lake Washington HS), Matt Fischer (Sammamish, Wash./Eastlake HS), Will Flanagan (Ridgefield, Wash./Jesuit HS-Portland, Ore.), Kevin Forrest (Edmonds, Wash./Edmonds-Woodway HS) and Ty Harden (Junction City, Ore./Junction City HS).

'This is definitely a recruiting class we're excited about,' Wurzberger said. 'The class has a very Northwest flavor to it and that goes in concert with our vision of how we think we should build our program. Every successful year we've had at Washington had a nucleus of the Northwest's best players, especially Washington, but Oregon as well.

'It's a very talented class. When it's all said and done, I think it will be recognized as one of the top recruiting classes in the West, given that all of them have the potential to play as freshmen. Certainly, from last year's team we have to look at reducing the number of goals scored on us and tightening our defense. Four of the five we are signing have the potential to play a key defensive role either in the back-line or defensive mid. So we're excited about fortifying an area of concern from last year. '

Those four defenders include Crismier, Fischer, Flanagan and Harden. Possibly the most decorated player according to Wurzberger is central midfielder Crismier, having been a starter on the Region IV ODP team. He has also played for Tynecastle F.C., leading his team to the 2001 state finals. Although hampered by an ankle injury during his junior season at Lake Washington High School, Crismier was a three-time All-Eastside team member and three-time 4A first-team All-KingCo selection.

Flanagan, also a Region IV ODP team member, hails from Ridgefield, Wash., but attends Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore., where he helped lead his team to two Oregon 4A state championship crowns. Flanagan played for F.C. Portland, a club team that won two Oregon state titles (1999, 2000) and was a regional finalist in 2000. Wurzberger may look to Flanagan to fill the spot left by graduated senior Aaron Heinzen in the outside back or wide-defender position.

Fischer, a two-time All-KingCo 4A defender from Eastlake High School, who also played four years for District II ODP, is a player Wurzberger feels can serve a utility-type role for the Huskies, playing as either a fullback or central defender.

Harden also brings a dazzling resume to Seattle, as a two-time District 5 and two-time Class 3A state Player of the Year for Oregon. He led his Junction City High School team to back-to-back state titles and played for a defense that allowed just eight goals during his senior season. Wurzberger will look to Harden to possibly fill the role of central defender left by graduated senior Zac Tallman.

Rounding out the 2003 UW men's soccer class is Forrest, whose father, Ward, played soccer for Washington from 1972-75 and was a teammate of Wurzberger with the Seattle Sounders. Forrest is the only offensive-minded player of the group, who will most likely see time as a wide midfield player. Forrest, a first-team All-WesCo and All-Area player for Edmonds-Woodway High School, also helped lead his prep team to the 2002 4A WesCo league championship.

'These are five quality players,' Wurzberger said. 'All of them were fairly heavily recruited by other schools and we feel they are going to make a positive impact on our program. '

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