Huskies' Run Ends in Sweet 16 With OT Loss
Nov. 30, 2003
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Conference USA Freshman of the Year Vedad Ibisevic scored two goals, including the overtime game-winner, to lead seventh-seeded St. Louis to a 3-2 win over 10th-seeded Washington in the third round of the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship at Robert H. Hermann Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. Husky senior Troy Ready scored both goals for Washington, which was eliminated from the tournament with the loss.
Ibisevic' goal - his second OT winner in the last four days - came in the 97th minute, as the freshman intercepted a Husky clearance attempt in front of the net, dropped the ball to his feet and slammed it past UW goalkeeper Danny Waltman from eight yards out. The goal was Ibisevic' second of the day, on only two shots.
'I thought we controlled paly for most of the game, and had plenty of good chances in front of the net,' said 12th-year head coach Dean Wurzerger, who piloted the Huskies into the NCAA Tournament's third round for the first time in program history. 'The difference in the game was that when they had chances, their forwards put the ball away.'
Most of the game's action came in an exciting first half that saw 20 shots, three goals, two shots plucked off the goal line by defenders, two non-goals in one-on-one situations, and another shot hit the post.
Ibisevic put the Billikens on the board in the 15th minute, scoring on a short-range shot after Brian Grazier's cross in the box beat a diving Waltman.
The Huskies would need just six minutes to equalize. Sean Giudice - who had subbed in for injured starter Casey Armstong in the 10th minute - dribbled around a defender at midfield and found Brett Wiesner, who in turn sent the ball out to a streaking Troy Ready on the left wing. Ready's shot from 18 yards out blazed into the upper-right corner of the net for his second goal of the 2003 postseason.
St. Louis was quick to respond, however, with midfielder Cooper McKee dribbling along the baseline and into the box in the 36th minute before firing a shot into the net off the heel of a Husky defender.
With the Billikens dropping attackers back on defense, Washington controlled the early part of the second half, firing six shots in the early going. In the 62nd minute, substitute Gavin Hobbs sent a cross from the right side into the box that Casey Armstrong headed to the feet of Ready, who slammed the ball home for his second goal of the game, and eighth of the season.
While Washington threatened throughout the remainder of the half and overtime - outshooting St. Louis, 8-5, after the first intermission while earning eight total corner kicks - the team could not put the ball past Billikens' keeper Martin Hutton, who finished with nine saves.
'We're obviously disappointed to have lost the game, but we're a young team,' Wurzberger said. 'Our seniors took this program from its worst year ever, in 2002, to the third round of the NCAA Tournament this year, and I have no doubt that Husky soccer will be roaring back again next year.
For results of all of Sunday's NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship games, visit www.ncaasports.com.