Unbeaten Men's Soccer Returns Home To Host Husky Fever Classic
Sept. 22, 2003
After winning the Marquette Invitational last weekend, unbeaten and 22nd-ranked Washington men's soccer (4-0-1), returns home to host the 15th Annual Husky Classic, Fri., Sept. 26 and Sun., Sept. 28, at Husky Soccer Field. The Huskies welcome Kentucky (4-1-1), No. 11 South Carolina (7-0-0) and Portland (3-5-0) to the four-team tournament. First-round matches on Friday feature Portland vs. South Carolina at 2 p.m. and Washington vs. Kentucky at 7 p.m. Sandwiched between the men's games, Friday, will be a Husky women's match with Portland at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Portland will take on Kentucky at 11 a.m., while the Huskies will face-off with South Carolina at 1:30 p.m. Washington made its season debut in the rankings this week with a No. 22 billing in the NSCAA/adidas poll. UW is the only remaining undefeated team in the Pac-10. This weekend marks the beginning of a four-game homestand for the Huskies, the longest of the season.
Washington men's soccer has hosted the Husky Classic dating back to the 1989 season. The Huskies have won seven of 14 tournament titles including the first five, while Portland has captured a total of five tournament crowns. Marquette (1997) and Connecticut (2002) are the only two teams beside Washington and Portland to capture Husky Classic titles. The Husky Classic champion will be determined based first on win-loss record, followed by head-to-head competition, goal difference, goals scored and goals allowed. Individual awards will be presented for a Most Valuable Player on both offense and defense.
Noting The Huskies:
Washington's unbeaten record will be tested this weekend, as the Huskies are 4-0-1 this season. The last time UW was undefeated in the first five matches of the season was 1998, when the Huskies opened with a 7-0 record. The Huskies are a young team with freshmen and sophomores filling eight starting roles. UW won its second tournament title of the season last weekend, taking home the Marquette Invitational crown following victories over Michigan (3-2) and Marquette (2-1). Junior midfielder C.J. Klaas was named tournament MVP. Klaas scored the game-winner in the 88th minute to lift UW over Michigan, before scoring one goal and assisting the other in the first five minutes of the match with Marquette. Klaas shares the team in points (seven) with sophomore newcomer Leo Totev. Totev is also the team-leader with three goals, to go along with one assist. Senior Danny Waltman continues to put up strong numbers in goal, posting a 0.95 goals against average, allowing five goals in five games. The Huskies have outscored their opponents 12-5.
Kentucky, having yet to lose on the road this year, brings a 4-1-1 overall record to Seattle. UK has already posted three shutouts, allowing just three goals in six games. The Wildcats had won four straight heading into last weekend until a 1-1 double overtime tie with UCF on Sept. 19, and a 1-0 loss to Butler, Sept. 21. Jamal Shteiwi leads the team with two goals and four assists, while Thomas Senecal has recorded two goals and two assists. Friday marks the first-ever meeting between Washington and Kentucky. South Carolina's 7-0 record will also be put to the test this weekend. Ranked 11th in the NSCAA/adidas poll and 25th according to Soccer America, the Gamecocks downed UW 3-1 in their tournament in Columbia, S.C., last season. The Huskies have yet to defeat South Carolina, trailing the all-time series 0-2-1. The Gamecocks have posted five shutouts in seven games and have not allowed a goal in their last three games. USC most recently defeated Appalachian State 1-0 on Sept. 21. Ayo Akinsete leads the team with six goals and two assists, while Ryan Deter has tallied five goals. Portland (3-5-0) is looking to snap a three-game losing streak this weekend. The Pilots are coming off a rough trip to Southern California, falling 3-2 in overtime to Cal State Fullerton, Sept. 19, before a 2-0 loss to second-ranked UCLA, Sept. 21. Christopher Sanders leads Portland with three goals and one assist, while Alejandro Salazar has also recorded three goals.
Washington made its season debut in the Top-25 national rankings this week with a No. 22 billing in the NSCAA/adidas poll. UW also made its debut in the Soccer Times poll, checking in at No. 19. The Huskies remain unranked in the Soccer America poll. College Soccer News has the Huskies ranked 15th.
Leading The Pac:
Washington is the only remaining undefeated team in the Pac-10 heading into this weekend's action. Second-ranked UCLA has the second-best record with a 5-1-0 mark, follwed by Oregon State (5-3), Cal (3-3-1), Fresno State (2-4-0) and Stanford (1-4-1). League standings will truly begin to count next week, when Pac-10 play opens. UW will make its conference debut hosting Fresno State, Fri., Oct. 3, and UCLA, Sun., Oct. 5.
Last Weekend Recap:
The Huskies won the Marquette Invitational with a 2-0 record after wins versus Michigan (3-2) and Marquette (2-1). Junior midfielder C.J. Klaas was named the tournament MVP, while Casey Armstrong, Kevin Forrest and Danny Waltman were named to the all-tournament team. Klaas scored the game-winner in the 88th minute vs. Michigan. Klaas sealed the win for UW in dramatic fashion. A hand ball by a Wolverine defender gave Washington a penalty kick. Klaas' attempt was initially blocked by goalkeeper Peter Dzubay, before Klaas pounced on the rebound and blasted the gamewinner. The Huskies had taken a 2-0 lead into halftime on goals by Armstrong and sophomore Leo Totev, only to have the Wolverines come back to tie 2-2 in the second-half. Against Marquette, Washington struck twice in the first five minutes with goals by Klaas and Forrest. The Golden Eagles followed suit with a goal at the 9:27 minute mark, but both team were held scoreless for the remaining 80 minutes.
Newcomers Making An Impact:
Coach Wurzberger is already heavily relying upon his younger players with eight starters being either freshmen or sophomores. Four of those underclassmen are newcomers to the team in sophomore Leo Totev and true freshmen Kevin Forrest, Will Flanagan and Ty Harden. Totev has recorded either a goal or an assist in three of five games and leads the team with three goals. He shares the team lead in points with C.J. Klaas (seven). Forrest has already netted two goals to go along with one assist. Flanagan and Harden have shored up a Husky back line that has allowed five goals in as many games.
Hot Start For Ready:
Redshirt-senior Troy Ready, whose Husky career has been plagued by injury, kicked off his final year at Washington scoring one goal in each of the first two matches of the season, the first two of his career. Ready's first collegiate goal came in the 59th minute of play against UNLV, Aug. 30, the fourth goal on the day for Washington. Then versus Oakland, his 12-yard bullet tied the match at 1-1 just 42 seconds into the first half. A tie proved all that the Huskies needed to win the Portland Invitational on goal differential. Heading into this year, Ready had played 12 matches and started three. He did not play in 2000 and redshirted the 2001 season due to injuries.
Washington has played the first five matches of the season without the services of two of its top players, senior Seth Marsh and junior Brett Wiesner. Marsh is rehabilitating a sprained right knee (MCL), while Wiesner has been out with a strained left hamstring, an injury suffered in UW's exhibition game with Seattle University. Wiesner is listed as day-to-day. Marsh's projected return looks to be by October.
Head Coach Dean Wurzberger:
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 reached the 150 career-win milestone with a 1-0 victory over Portland, Sept. 5. Wurzberger has an overall head coaching mark of 152-65-27 (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 144-57-22 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Bill May, Seth Spidahl and Darren Sawatzky.
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.
Mike Chabala Online Diary:
Starting sophomore midfielder Mike Chabala is chronicling the 2003 Husky soccer season in an online diary at www.gohuskies.com. From the UW front page, click on the men's soccer link to see Chabala's weekly entries.
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 www.gohuskies.com. General admission prices are $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors. Other ticket options are also available, including group and family plans.
The Huskies continue a four-match homestand, opening the Pac-10 slate with Fresno State, Fri., Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. and second-ranked UCLA, Sun., Oct. 5, at 2:30 p.m.