Men's Soccer Set To Host NCAA Second-Round Action
Nov. 18, 2003
Washington men's soccer (12-4-2, 5-4-1 Pac-10) earned a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in nine seasons, and following a first-round bye will host either Portland or Oregon State in the second-round, Wed., Nov 26, at 7 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field. Portland and Oregon State will meet in first-round action in Corvallis, Ore., Sat., Nov. 22, at 12 p.m. with the winner advancing to play the 10th-seeded Huskies in Seattle. Washington received its 15th all-time NCAA Tournament selection and ninth under head coach Dean Wurzberger. The Huskies return to postseason play after a one-year absence in 2002. Up until last season, Washington had made seven-straight NCAA appearances. The Huskies culminated the regular season Sunday in Seattle with a 1-0 shutout over Oregon State, giving Washington 12, doubling last year's total.
Washington has an all-time record of 5-15 in NCAA Tournament play, advancing as far as the second round six times. The Huskies' last postseason appearance in 2001 saw UW also receive a first-round bye before hosting Portland in the second-round and falling to the Pilots, 1-0. In 1999 and 2000, the Huskies earned first-round wins but fell in second-round matches. Washington also advanced to the second round in 1992, 1996 and 1997. The Huskies made seven-straight trips to the tournament from 1995-2001, and have hosted their last four-straight NCAA matches. A win in this year's second-round match over either Portland or Oregon State, would mark the Huskies' first-ever trip to third-round play.
Whether Portland or Oregon State, the Huskies will face a very familiar second-round opponent on Nov. 26. Washington's all-time series with Portland dates back to 1965, while its series with Oregon State dates back to 1974. This year, Washington defeated Portland, 1-0, in Seattle 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. 16. 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. The Huskies have faced the Pilots five times in NCAA play, posting a 2-3 record agains their Northwest rival. Washington and Oregon State have never met in postseason play. Washington leads the all-time series with both foes, leading Portland, 22-12-3, and leading Oregon State, 25-3-2.
The NCAA men's soccer tournament is a single-elimination play-off that features a 48-team field. 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.
Washington played 10 games against opponents from the 48-team NCAA Tournament Field, posting a 4-4-2 overall record. Two of those losses came to top-ranked and top-seeded UCLA (both 1-0 scores), while the other two came to Oregon State (3-1) and California (1-0). Washington picked up wins versus Portland (1-0), No. 12-seed Michigan (3-2), Kentucky (2-1) and Oregon State (1-0). The Huskies tied Oakland (1-1) and Cal (1-1).
Scouting Washington (12-4-2, 5-4-1 Pac-10):
Following its1-0 regular season finale victory over Oregon State on Sunday, Washington finished the regular season with an overall record of 12-4-2 and tied for third with Cal in the Pac-10 standings with a 5-4-1 league mark. With 12 wins in 2003, Washington doubled its number of wins from 2002 (6-10-3), the first losing season for Washington since 1968. All four losses this year have come to Pac-10 opponents, including a pair of 1-0 losses to top-ranked UCLA. The Huskies have also been shutout in three of four losses, while averaging 2.3 goals per game in victory. UW opened the season unbeaten in its first eight games, the best start to a season since an 8-0-2 start in 1990. UW recorded a nearly unblemished mark against non-conference opponents, going 7-0-1. The Husky defense, led by senior goalkeeper Danny Waltman, has frustrated opposing teams, recording six shutouts and allowing 15 goals in 18 games. Washington's offensive firepower has been bolstered by the additions of newcomers sophomore Leo Totev and freshman Kevin Forrest, while senior Troy Ready and juniors C.J. Klaas and Casey Armstrong are also among the team leaders on offense. Washington has outscored its opponents 30-15. UW has also scored at least two goals in eight games. Anchoring the backline are freshmen Ty Harden and Will Flanagan who have started all 18 matches, along with sophomore standout Kevin Murray. Totev and Ready share the team lead in goals (five), and points (13). Armstrong has four goals, just ahead of Klaas and Forrest with three each. Klaas leads the team with six assists and 44 shots and is second with 12 points. Fifteen different Huskies have recorded either a goal or an assist so far this season. In goal, Waltman boasts an 0.81 goals against average, which ranks ninth on UW's single-season list.
Scouting Portland (9-8-1, 3-2-1 WCC):
Portland finished the season in third place in the West Coast Conference standings with a 3-2-1 record. With its 2-1 regular season finale win over Cal Poly, the Pilots secured their 17th consecutive winning season. Portland's NCAA berth is its 11th in the last 15 years. The Pilots were one of four WCC schools to earn postseason bids, joining Santa Clara, San Diego and Loyola Marymount in the 48-team field. Last season, Portland and Oregon State also met in the NCAA first-round with the Pilots defeating the Beavers, 2-0, at home. Portland beat OSU earlier this year, 2-0, at Merlo Field on Sept. 7. Alejandro Salazar leads the squad with 10 goals, while Josh Simpson and Jarrod Weis each have four assists. Goalkeeper Luis Robles has started 18 games, posting a 1.13 goals against average along with five shutouts.
Scouting Oregon State (13-6-0, 7-3-0 Pac-10):
Oregon State (ranked No. 18 by Soccer America) will play Portland in the first round of the NCAA Championship for the second straight year. OSU will host tournament action for the first time in school history. The Beavers are 6-1 at Lorenz Field this year. OSU has won three of the last four meetings in the series with Washington. The Beavers were invited to the NCAA Championship for the first time ever last season, falling to the PIlots 2-0 in first-round action. Portland defeated OSU 2-0 this season, Sept. 7, at Merlo Field. OSU has lost its last two matches but head into their contest with Portland having won seven of the last nine. Alan Gordon leads the Beavers with 11 goals, while Ryan Johnson has 13 assists. Goalkeeper Peter Billmeyer has a 1.30 goals against average in 19 games.
Huskies To Play NCAA Tourney Without Klaas:
Junior midfielder C.J. Klaas, a preseason All-American and a semifinalist for the 2003 Hermann Trophy, will miss Washington's NCAA second-round game and possibly more. Klaas is a defender on the Under-20 U.S. National Team and will be competing with the squad at the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates from Nov. 27-Dec. 19. The U.S. team will travel to UAE on Sat., Nov. 22 and conduct a week of training. The U.S. was drawn into Group F and will face Paraguay, Nov. 29, before meeting Germany on Dec. 2 and South Korea on Dec. 5. If the Huskies make a run in the tournament and the U.S. National Team does not advance past its group, there is a chance Klaas could rejoin the squad in later NCAA rounds. Klaas has been a mainstay in the Husky midfield all season. Having started 17 games, Klaas has three goals and six assists this year.
Harden Fourth Husky Named Pac-10 POW:
Freshman Ty Harden was the fourth Husky this season named Pac-10 Player of the Week, on Nov. 18. Harden played a big role in UW's 1-0 shutout over Oregon State, Nov. 16, marking OSU forward Alan Gordon and holding him to just one shot. Gordon had scored six goals in the last three games with Washington.
Last Game Recap:
With postseason seeding and home-field advantage on the line, Washington shutout then-No. 16 Oregon State, 1-0, in both teams regular season finale Sunday at Husky Soccer Field. Junior forward Brett Wiesner scored the gamewinner in the 76th minute, his second goal of the year. The lone goal of the contest came on a play sequence started by a long through ball by sophomore midfielder Mike Chabala to senior midfielder Troy Ready, who delivered a cross to Wiesner. Wiesner flicked the ball into the upper-left corner of the net, just out of reach of the out-stretched OSU goalkeeper Peter Billmeyer. The win marked the sixth shutout for UW senior goalkeeper Danny Waltman who recorded three saves on the day. Washington's defense held the Beavers to just three shots on goal and none through the first 72 minutes of play. UW freshman defender Ty Harden closely marked OSU forward Alan Gordon, holding Gordon to just one shot. Gordon had scored six goals in the previous three matches versus Washington. The win also snapped a three-game losing streak for Washington versus Oregon State, dating back to 2002.
Washington received votes in the final NSCAA/adidas Coaches' Poll released Nov. 17, but was absent from the Top-25 for the third-straight week. The Huskies are ranked 13th by Soccer America, 12th by Soccer Times and 12th by College Soccer News. UW's highest rank in the coaches' poll this season was seventh in the Oct. 13 poll.
Postseason play will be a first for many Washington players, with only six Huskies on the active roster having been on a UW squad that played in the NCAA Tournament. Seniors Troy Ready and Danny Waltman were members of the 2000 and 2001 squads, while with juniors C.J. Klaas, Joe Birklid, Casey Armstrong and Brett Wiesner were members of the 2001 team that played in the postseason.
C.J. Klaas Named Hermann Semifinalist:
Preseason All-American C.J. Klaas was named one of 15 semifinalists for the prestigious Hermann Trophy, the NSCAA announced last week. Three finalists will be named at the NCAA College Cup, while the winner will be announced Jan. 9. Klaas, who has started 18 games for Washington, has three goals and six assists for 12 points. This year he has also garnered offensive MVP honors at the Portland Nike Invitational, as well as tournament MVP acclaim at the Marquette Invitational.
The Huskies are 10-0-1 when scoring first this year. Seven times has UW failed to net the first goal of the game, resulting in a 2-4-1 record. Washington came back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat UNLV 5-1. After trailing Oakland 1-0, UW came back to knot the game at 1-1 but the match eventually ended in a tie. The Huskies weren't as fortunate versus UCLA and Oregon State, failing to score in a pair of 1-0 losses to the Bruins and scoring in the 81st minute vs. Oregon State. UW postedjust its second come-from-behind victory over Stanford on Oct. 31 (3-1), before failing to score versus Cal on Nov. 2 (1-0).
Newcomers Making An Impact:
Coach Wurzberger has been heavily relying upon his younger players with 11 freshmen or sophomores filling a starting role at some point during the season. Four of those underclassmen are newcomers to the team in sophomore Leo Totev and true freshmen Kevin Forrest, Will Flanagan and Ty Harden. Totev is tied for the team lead in goals (five), including a pair of two-goal performances vs. UNLV and South Carolina. He is also tied for the team lead with 13 points. Forrest has netted three goals to go along with one assist. Flanagan and Harden have shored up a Husky backline that has allowed 15 goals in 18 games. Both have helped Washington's offensive cause, as Harden has scored two goals and Flanagan has scored one.
Senior Danny Waltman is making the most of his senior campaign, excelling for the Huskies this season. Waltman's current goals against average is 0.81 which ranks ninth on UW's single all-time season list. His season-high save performance was eight versus Michigan, two shy of his career-high of 10 set versus Cal last year. Waltman has made 78 saves this year, surpassing his previous season-high of 60 set in 2002. This year, he has posted six shutouts and allowed just two goals in in a span of five games from Sept. 28 through Oct. 12. Through Nov. 16, Waltman ranks second in the Pac-10 in goals against average (0.81) and save percentage (.848) . He is tied for second in shutouts (six, and is third in saves (78).
The collegiate careers of three Washington seniors is coming to an end as Sean Giudice, Troy Ready and Danny Waltman are playing their final matches in a Husky uniform. All three have been major contributors to the 2003 Husky squad. Giudice, a transfer from Cal State Fullerton prior to his junior year, has played in 17 games, starting 12. He has six points on one goal and four assists. Ready is having a breakout senior year after battling through a career full of injuries. Ready has played in 15 games, starting 10, and is tied for second on the team with 12 points. He is also tied for the team lead in goals with five and points with 13, while adding two assists. Ready has either a goal or an assist in five of the last seven games, including Brett Wiesner's game winner versus Oregon State, Sunday. Waltman is also having the best season of his career, posting a 0.81 goals against average and recording six shutouts. Waltman has started all but one game in goal. His 78 saves are a career-high and rank third in the Pac-10. The Huskies do have a fourth senior on the roster in Seth Marsh, but Marsh is redshirting this year.
Head Coach Dean Wurzberger:
In his 12th season at the helm of the Washington men's soccer program, head coach Dean Wurzberger has led his Huskies to their eighth NCAA tournament berth in nine seasons. He reached the 150 win milestone for both his career and Washington overall records this year. Wurzberger's 150th career win came with a 1-0 victory over Portland, Sept. 5, while his 150th win as Husky head coach came with Washington's 3-1 win over Stanford, Oct. 31. Wurzberger has an overall head coaching mark of 160-69-28 (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 152-61-23 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Bill May, Seth Spidahl and Darren Sawatzky.
On The Horizon:
Should Washington win its second-round match, it could face any of these three teams in the third-round depending on the outcome of their first and second-round games: No. 7 seed Saint Louis (13-3-3), Fairleigh Dickinson (14-4-1) or Binghamton (11-2-7). Third round games will be played at the campus site of the highest seeded team. Should Saint Louis suffer an upset, Washington could have a chance of hosting a third-round game which would be played on Sun., Nov. 30.
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