Husky Men Back In The NCAA Tournament, Host Second-Round Action Nov. 26

Nov. 17, 2003

SEATTLE, Wash. - Following a one-year absence, the Washington men's soccer team returns to postseason play, earning a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the selection committee announced today. The Huskies received a first-round bye and will host the winner of the Portland versus Oregon State first round match-up, Wed., Nov. 26, at 7 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field.

Portland (9-8-1) and Oregon State (13-6) will face each other in first-round action, Sat., Nov. 23, at 12 p.m. in Corvallis, Ore.

The Huskies (12-4-2 overall, 5-4-1 Pac-10) received their 15th-all-time NCAA berth, and the ninth selection under head coach Dean Wurzberger. This year's berth is the eighth in the last nine seasons for Washington. With the first-round bye, the Huskies will face a very familiar second-round opponent in either Portland or Oregon State.

Washington defeated Portland 1-0 at home on Sept. 5, and split the season series with Oregon State. The Beavers downed Washington 3-1 in Corvallis on Oct. 19, while the Huskies bounced back blanking OSU, 1-0, in Seattle on Nov. 15. The Huskies had never been defeated by an Oregon State team until last year. Since then, the Beavers have held the upper hand, winning three of the last four matches in the series.

In Washington's other half of the bracket, No. 7 St. Louis (13-3-3) received a first-round bye and will face the winner of Fairleigh Dickinson (14-4-1) versus Binghamton (11-2-7).

Washington ended the regular season with twice as many wins as last year, after a 6-10-3 overall record in 2002. The Huskies won five of their last eight games and finished fourth in the Pac-10 standings. UW and second-place Oregon State were two of four Pac-10 teams to be selected to the 48-team NCAA field, along with No. 1 seed UCLA, and California.

The Huskies are 5-15 in the NCAA Tournament, and have advanced as far as the second round six times. The last NCAA tourney appearance in 2001 saw Washington also earn a first-round bye, before being ousted by Portland in the second round, 1-0. In fact, the Huskies have faced the Pilots five times in NCAA play, posting a 2-3 record against their Northwest rival. Washington and Oregon State have never met in postseason play.

The NCAA Tournament format calls for first-round games to be played, Fri., Nov. 21, or Sat., Nov. 22, at campus sites with second-round contests scheduled for Wed., Nov. 26, also at campus sites. Third-round games will be played on campus sites, Sat., Nov. 29, or Sun., Nov. 30, as will quarterfinal matches on December 5, 6, or 7.

The NCAA Division I Men's College Cup will be played Dec. 12 (semifinals) and Dec. 14 (final) at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

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