Huskies Kick Off 2004 Season At Gonzaga Wednesday, Continue On To UConn and St. John's

Aug. 31, 2004

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This Week:
The 2004 season officially gets underway this week for Washington men's soccer, as the Huskies (0-0) embark on a six-match season opening road trip. The Huskies will have their hands full early on, as two of their first three opponents are ranked in the Top-5 of the preseason Soccer America poll. Not to be overlooked is Washington's season opener Wed., Sept. 1, versus intrastate rival Gonzaga (0-0) which begins the road trip. Kick-off at Martin Field in Spokane is slated for 4 p.m. PT. The Huskies will then head to the East Coast for a showdown with Connecticut (0-0), Sat., Sept. 4, at 4 p.m. PT. The match will be played at UConn's Morrone Stadium. The 'other' Huskies are ranked fifth in the preseason Soccer America poll and 10th in the NSCAA/adidas poll. It doesn't get any easier as Washington's next stop will be the home field of last year's NCAA runner-up, St. John's (0-0). The Huskies and Red Storm do battle on Labor Day, Mon., Sept. 6, at 5 p.m. PT. St. John's is ranked second according to the NSCAA poll and third in the Soccer America poll. Washington received votes in the NSCAA poll, but opens the season at No. 21 according to Soccer America.2004 Husky Preview - Reaching New Heights:
The sky is the limit for a Husky team that returns a wealth of talent from the 2003 squad which made a school-record trip to the NCAA Sweet 16. This year's edition features 12 returning letterwinners from last year's team, including eight starters. Among those starters is senior All-American C.J. Klaas (D), who already begins this year on the watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy. Klaas was one of 15 semifinalists for the 2003 trophy. Additional returners looking to make a big impact on this year's squad will be seniors Casey Armstrong (F), Joe Birklid (D) and Brett Wiesner (F). UW also returns All-Pac-10 player, sophomore Ty Harden (D). Juniors Mike Chabala (MF), Leo Totev (MF) and Jeff Hoover (D) will also make big contributions this season. Sophomores Will Flanagan (D) and Kevin Forrest (F) will continue to build off stellar rookie campaigns. After serving as the backup goalkeeper for the last two years, junior Chris Eylander will take over the starting duties beginning this week. In addition to returning a strong corps of players, Washington will welcome 10 freshman into the mix, led by the highly decorated prep forward, Ely Allen.Scouting Gonzaga:
Wednesday also marks the season opener for the Bulldogs. Gonzaga returns 16 letterwinners and seven starters from last year's squad that went 5-11-1 and placed seventh in the West Coast Conference with a league mark of 0-6-0. Washington leads the all-time series with Gonzaga 17-0-1. The last meeting between these two teams was Oct. 26, 2003, where Washington blanked the Zags, 1-0, at Husky Soccer Field. UW has never lost to Gonzaga on the Zag's home field.Scouting Connecticut:
A battle of the 'Huskies' will take place on Saturday. The UConn Huskies have high hopes coming into the 2004 season, donning Top-10 rankings in both major polls. Last year, UConn compiled an overall record of 9-8-4 and a 5-3-2 mark in the Big East Conference. Like Washington, UConn advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16, but fell to St. John's on penalty kicks. The Huskies already have two exhibition contests under their belts, defeating Iona 3-0 and battling to a 1-1 tie with Duke. Before they take on UW, UConn will make its season debut on Wednesday at home versus Michigan. Washington owns a 2-1-0 advantage in the all-time series. The last meeting between these two teams was in Seattle on Sept. 29, 2002. The UConn Huskies defeated the UW Huskies, 2-0. UW won the other two meetings in 2001 and 1990.Scouting St. John's:
The Red Storm enters the 2004 season as one of the top teams in the nation. St. John's is ranked No. 2 and No. 3 by the two national polls and the future looks bright, as the Red Storm returns 12 letterwinners and nine starters from its 2003 squad. Last year, St. John's compiled an overall record of 17-6-3 and won the Big East title with an 8-2 conference mark. The Red Storm advanced to the College Cup championship game, falling to Indiana 2-1. St. John's has already played two exhibition contests against Indiana and Kentucky. The Red Storm makes its regular season debut at home versus West Virginia, Fri., Sept. 3, before the Huskies come to Jamaica. Washington and St. John's have only met once before, battling to a scoreless tie on Oct. 9, 1992, on a neutral field.Preseason Rankings:
Washington received votes in the preseason NSCAA/adidas poll and was ranked 21st in the Soccer America Preseason Top 25. The Huskies were one of four Pac-10 teams represented in the Soccer America poll, along with No. 2 UCLA, No. 10 California and No. 18 Stanford.Klaas Named To M.A.C. Hermann Trophy Watch List:
Senior C.J. Klaas is one of 25 players named to the watch list of candidates for the 2004 Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual honor in intercollegiate soccer. The list was compiled by a coaching panel for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), which serves as the official selection body for the MAC's Hermann Trophy. The 25 players on the watch list are considered to be among the top players entering the 2004 college season. A list of 15 semifinalists will be announced in November, with three finalists selected in early December. The winner will be announced at a dinner at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis, Mo., on Jan. 8, 2005. Klaas was one of 15 semifinalists for the Hermann Trophy as a junior in 2003. Already a highly decorated athlete for the Huskies, Klaas became the first Washington player to ever earn NSCAA first-team All-America acclaim last year. This year he is also vying to become the first three-time first-team All-Pac-10 player in school history.Huskies And Falcons Battle To Scoreless Draw:
The Huskies have played one exhibition leading up to this week's season opener with Gonzaga, battling to a scoreless 0-0 draw with Seattle Pacific at SPU's Interbay Stadium on Aug. 23. Despite owning a 10-3 shot advantage, the Huskies were held scoreless. A pair of scoring chances were thwarted by the play of SPU goalkeeper James Ward, who saved a 14-yard drive from UW sophomore defender Will Flanagan in the 47th minute. Sophomore forward Kevin Forrest also had an 8-yard shot blocked by Ward with 30 minutes remaining.2003 Season Review:
Last year, Washington compiled an overall record of 13-5-2, quite a turnaround from winning only six matches in 2002. The Huskies finished tied for third in the Pac-10 standings with a 5-4-1 conference mark. A win over Oregon State in its regular season finale gave the Huskies a first-round bye in the NCAA Tournament. UW hosted its second round game, defeating Portland 1-0 for its first trip ever to the Sweet 16. A trip to the Elite Eight felt almost in reach when the Huskies took fourth-ranked Saint Louis into overtime, but ended up falling 3-2. Junior C.J. Klaas became the first UW player to ever earn NSCAA First-Team All-America honors and joined seven of his teammates on the All-Pac-10 team. Klaas was a first-team selection for the second-straight year, while freshman Ty Harden and seniors Troy Ready and Danny Waltman earned second-team acclaim. Four Huskies earned honorable mention honors. Also honored for his efforts in the classroom, Waltman was named a second-team NSCAA Academic All-American.Head Coach Dean Wurzberger:
In his 13th season at the helm of the Washington men's soccer program, head coach Dean Wurzberger has guided theHuskies to eight NCAA tournament berths in nine seasons. He reached the 150 win milestone for both his career and Washington overall records last year. Wurzberger's 150th career win came with a 1-0 victory over Portland, Sept. 5, 2003, while his 150th win as Husky head coach came with Washington's 3-1 win over Stanford, Oct. 31, 2003. Wurzberger has an overall head coaching mark of 161-70-28 (12 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 153-62-23 at Washington makes him the winningest head coach in Husky history. His assistant coaches are Seth Spidahl, Matthew Olson and Darren Sawatzky.Huskies Picked To Finish Third In Pac-10 Coaches Poll:
The Huskies were picked to finish third in this year's Pac-10 standings according to a vote of the leagues coaches, the conference announced Aug. 17. UCLA, coming off its second consecutive Pac-10 title in 2003, was picked to win a third straight conference crown. UCLA received three first place votes, while Cal (picked to finish second) received one. The final first-place vote went to Washington. Stanford was selected to finish fourth, followed by Oregon State.2004 Husky Promotions:
The Washington men's soccer promotional schedule has been announced for the 2004 season, a slate that includes autograph day on Sun., Oct. 10, and Washington State Youth Soccer Day, on Sun., Oct. 17. Washington's opening home weekend will be the Husky Invitational held Sept. 17, and Sept. 19, which will be Camp Reunion and Tyee Weekend. A very popular promotion is Autograph Day, where all Husky players will sign autographs following their match with Stanford on Sun., Oct. 10, at 1 p.m. On Sun., Oct. 17 will be WSYSA Day, which includes free admission for all WSYSA members (under 12) with a coupon. The Huskies play Oregon State at 2:30 p.m. that afternoon, a part of a doubleheader with the UW women's team that takes on UCLA at 12 p.m. Senior Night will take place on Fri., Nov. 5. That night is also UW Faculty/Staff Night and is also a part of a doubleheader with the Husky women. The women counter Stanford prior to the men's game at 5 p.m. A complete schedule of this season's promotional events can be found on', the official website for Husky Athletics. Just click on the men's soccer page. Tickets can be purchased by visiting, by calling the Husky Ticket Office at 206-543-2200 or at the Husky Soccer Stadium box office beginning one hour prior to the game. Group discounts are available by calling 206-616-6194.Up Next:
Washington's road trip continues, as the Huskies will participate in the UNLV FILA Invitational in Las Vegas, Sept. 10 and 12. Washington will play the host Rebels, Fri., Sept. 10, at 7 p.m., followed by a contest with Creighton, Sun., Sept. 12, at 2:30 p.m.

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