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No. 4 UW Hosts No. 22 Seattle U. In Derby Match

Sep 4, 2014

Pac-12 Networks | Live Stats

SEATTLE -- No. 4 Washington (1-0-0) opens their home season with a derby battle against Seattle U. (2-0-0). The Dawgs and Redhawks will renew the annual rivalry at 7:30 p.m. at Husky Soccer Field for a game that will also be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.

The Dawgs and Seattle U. renewed their rivalry back in 2009 with the Redhawks' return to D-I. The Dawgs won that game 1-0 and are 5-0-1 against Seattle U. over the past five years since renewing the derby matchup. Overall, Washington is 41-5-5 against the Redhawks, which is the most wins for UW against any school all-time. Last year, the two schools played twice, Washington winning the regular season match, 2-0, then knocking Seattle U. out of the NCAA Tournament in the second round. The tournament match featured 3,100 fans at Husky Soccer Field with the Dawgs prevailing, 4-2.

This year's match marks the first time both schools are nationally ranked since Seattle U.'s return to D-I. It also marks the first-ever matchup between the Roldan brothers. Husky sophomore Cristian Roldan was the Pac-12 Freshman of the year last year, while his younger bother Alex is a freshman for the Redhawks this season. Both players have been starters and play in the central midfield, so will see plenty of each other.

A year after scoring 45 goals, the Dawgs began the 2014 season by putting four on the board in the opener at Gonzaga. Darwin Jones scored twice on penalty kicks, while Josh Heard added a goal and the Huskies forced a Gonzaga own goal. Jones now has nine for his career, while Heard enters Thursday's game with a history against Seattle U. He scored both goals in last year's 2-0 regular season win and added another goal against the Redhawks in the NCAA Tournament. The Dawgs return their top two scorers in Jones and Roldan who each scored seven goals in 2013. Mason Robertson chipped in six goals last year and should have another prolific season as the Dawgs target forward.

The Husky backline saw two players loss to graduation in All-American Taylor Peay and Michael Harris. Despite the losses, it returns an experienced group. Justin Schmidt started every game at center back last season and returns to pair with Michael Gallagher who played holding mid last year after starting at center back as a freshman. Senior Andy Thoma leads the Husky defense from his left back where he has played since he was a freshman. At right back, fifth-year senior Charlie Ranahan has earned the job, but will be pushed by freshman Justin Fiddes and sophomore Jose Ocampo.

Last year, Washington won its second Pac-12 title and first since 2000. The Dawgs clinched the Pac-12 crown by winning its last three games and leapfrogging UCLA and California in the conference standings. The Huskies 7-1-2 record was good for 23 points or two more than UCLA who finished second.

The Dawgs earned the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Elite 8 with wins over Seattle U. and Stanford, before falling to New Mexico one win shy of the College Cup.