Men's Soccer Heads South For Portland's Nike Invitational This Weekend

Aug. 26, 2003

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This Week:
The 2003 season officially begins for Washington men's soccer this weekend, as the Huskies head south to play in the Nike Invitational hosted by the University of Portland at Merlo Field. Washington will open with a match vs. UNLV, Sat., Aug. 30 at 12 p.m., while the Pilots will take on Oakland University (Rochester, Mich.) in the other first round contest at 2:15 p.m. The Huskies will counter Oakland on Mon., Sept. 1, at noon, followed by Portland's match with UNLV, also at 2:15 p.m. The Huskies will not face their main Northwest rival in this tournament, but will host the Pilots in their home opener, Fri., Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field.

Portland Invitational:
The Huskies have competed in all but one of the 13 previous Portland Invitationals, winning on five occasions. The Huskies claimed championships in 1990, 1992, 1996, 1998 and 2000. The Pilots have won their own tournament eight times, including the previous two seasons. Last year, Washington played to a pair of ties with Central Florida (2-2) and DePaul (1-1) and finished as the tournament's runner-up.

Tournament Opponents:
The Nike Invitational is also the season opening tournament for UNLV and Oakland. UNLV, coached by Barry Barto, is coming off a 12-8 season from a year ago. The Huskies lead the all-time series with the Rebels, 4-2-2. The last time these two teams met was at the 2001 Husky Classic in Seattle, with UW earning a 2-0 shutout. This weekend marks the first-ever meeting between UW and Oakland. The Golden Grizzlies, coached by Gary Parsons, compiled an overall record of 10-8-3 in 2002. Portland, ranked No. 22 in the NSCAA and Soccer America preseason polls, is coached by Clive Charles. Last season, the Pilots went 13-6-1, won the West Coast Conference crown with a 5-1 league record and advanced as far as the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Klaas Named Soccer America Preseason All-American:
Junior midfielder C.J. Klaas was named a Preseason All-American by Soccer America, announced Aug. 26. Klaas was one of three Pac-10 players on the list, joined by Stanford defender Chad Marshall and UCLA midfielder Adolfo Gregorio. Klaas was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection and an NSCAA All-Far West Region second team pick in 2002. He was also the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2001.

Preseason Rankings:
Washington did not appear in either the NSCAA/adidas coaches or the Soccer America Top-25 Preseason Polls. The Huskies were tabbed 23rd in the College Soccer News preseason poll.

2003 Husky Preview:
The Huskies return 13 letterwinners and eight starters from last year's squad that went 6-10-3 overall, and finished fifth in conference play with a 3-7 Pac-10 record. The 2002 season was quite uncharacteristic of previous Husky tradition, as it was UW's first non-winning season since 1991 and the first losing season since 1968. Last year also marked the first time in eight seasons that UW did not earn an NCAA Tournament berth. But led by 12-year head coach Dean Wurzberger, Washington will be eager to take the field this fall with the goal of restoring its winning tradition. The 2003 squad features returning All-Pac-10 selections C.J. Klaas (first-team), Brett Wiesner (second-team) and Seth Marsh (honorable mention). Klaas, a junior midfielder, was also an NSCAA All-Far West Region second-team pick last season. Wiesner, a junior forward, returns as the Huskies' leading scorer from a year ago, after notching a team-high seven goals in 2002. Seniors Sean Giudice (F), Marsh (D), Troy Ready (MF) and Danny Waltman (GK) will also be looked upon to provide leadership for this Husky squad that is made up of 65 percent freshmen and sophomores. Additional returning players who should make an impact include juniors Joe Birklid (D) and Casey Armstrong (F), as well as sophomores Gavin Hobbs (MF/D), Mike Chabala (MF), Chris Eylander (GK), Jeff Hoover (MF) and Kevin Murray (D). Nine newcomers have joined the team this year, including five freshmen and four transfers. Eight of those nine players hail from the Pacific Northwest.

Exhibition Recaps:
The Huskies played a pair of exhibition games at home to tune-up for the regular season slate. Washington opened with a 1-0 loss to Seattle University on Aug. 20, the only goal coming on a header by Pat Doran off James Vert's corner kick in the 40th minute. The Redhawks outshot the Huskies 16-11, including 11 first-half shots. Six Husky newcomers saw action in the match, including starts for freshman Will Flanagan, sophomore transfer Hans Esterhuizen and freshman Derek Crismier. Washington bounced back with a 2-1 victory over Seattle Pacific on Aug. 23. Goals from second-half substitutions Kevin Forrest and Sean Giudice, llifted UW to the win. SPU's goal came on a free kick by Michael Morris.

Head Coach Dean Wurzberger - Two Shy Of 150 Career Wins:
In his 12th season at the helm of the Washington men's soccer program, head coach Dean Wurzberger looks to lead his Huskies to their eighth NCAA tournament berth in nine seasons. He is also just two wins shy of reaching 150 career victories with an overall head coaching mark of 148-65-26 (11 years at Washington, one year at Sacramento State). Under Wurzberger's guidance, Washington was one of only seven schools in the country to make seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances from 1995 to 2001. His 2000 team won the inaugural Pac-10 Conference championship, following two consecutive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation titles. Wurzberger's overall record of 140-57-21 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Bill May, Seth Spidahl and Darren Sawatzky.

Huskies Picked To Finish Fourth In Pac-10 Coaches Poll:
The Washington men's soccer team has been picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10 standings this season, as voted upon by the league's coaches and announced by the conference office. Defending NCAA and Pac-10 champion UCLA was selected to repeat its first-place finish from last year. The Bruins received four first-place votes, while Stanford, picked to finish second, received two. Cal was chosen to finish third, followed by Washington, Oregon State and Fresno State. In last year's Pac-10 standings, Cal finished second behind UCLA, while NCAA runner-up Stanford placed third. Oregon State was fourth, followed by fifth-place Washington and sixth-place Fresno State. In addition to UCLA and Stanford, Cal and Oregon State advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

2003 Recruiting Class Nationally Recognized:
The Huskies received a No. 28 billing in the College Soccer News ranking of the Top-40 recruiting classes in the nation. The Huskies 2003 recruiting class is made up of Northwest standouts Derek Crismier (Redmond, Wash.), Matt Fischer (Sammamish, Wash.), Will Flanagan (Ridgefield, Wash.), Ty Harden (Junction City, Ore.) and Kevin Forrest (Edmonds, Wash.). UCLA's recruiting class received top billing, followed by St. Louis, Notre Dame, SMU and North Carolina to round out the Top-Five.

Ticket Information:
Season tickets are available for the 2003 Washington men's soccer season and can be obtained through the Husky Ticket Office (206-543-2200). Advanced single-game tickets are also available at the ticket office or on-line at General admission prices are $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors. Other ticket options are also available, including group and family plans.

Up Next:
Washington will make its home debut at Husky Soccer Field, Fri., Sept. 5, with a 7 p.m. match with Northwest rival Portland. After a week off, Washington heads to Milwaukee, Wis., for the Marquette Invitational, Sept. 19 and 21.

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