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Washington Advances To First College Cup In Program History

Dec 4, 2021

SEATTLE -- For the first time in program history, the Washington men's soccer team is going to the College Cup. 

After back-to-back seasons ending one win short of reaching college soccer's final four, the Huskies broke through in a big way on Saturday in front of a record crowd of 3,629 at Husky Soccer Stadium. 

UW's opponent was Saint Louis, the lone remaining undefeated team in the country at 16-0-4. The Billikens have won 10 national championships in program history and were ranked No. 2 in the TopDrawerSoccer poll heading into Saturday's match. 

"Kevin Kalish, their coach, is one of my favorite people and one of the people I respect the most,' head coach Jamie Clark said of the opposition. "He has turned Saint Louis back into the powerhouse they once were. Getting a win against them is a big deal."

The visitors from the Gateway City came out with fire, getting off three shots and two corner kicks in the first 18 minutes, while also forcing Husky goalkeeper Sam Fowler to make an early save. 

Washington would settle into the game and take a lead against the run of play in the 22nd minute. The Saint Louis goalkeeper went to play a long ball out of his own end, but Nick Scardina jumped up and deflected it with his body. The ball fell to the feet of Gio Miglietti, who fired it home for the 1-0 lead. 


"Even though we weren't playing perfectly at the beginning of the game, we seized our moments and soccer is about capitalizing on moments," head coach Jamie Clark said of the breakthrough. 

"I saw Nick Scardina going. We took the chance on stepping through. We've been working on that -- being brave," Miglietti said of the play. "Like Jamie said, we just have to believe and take chances. Scardina just did that, went through and stepped to the keeper and it just happened to bounce straight to me."

Less than five minutes later, Miglietti would find the back of the net again, sending Husky Soccer Stadium into a frenzy. 

Christian Soto carved through the Saint Louis defense and found Miglietti at the near post. Miglietti roofed it in with his left foot to put the Huskies up 2-0 just 26 minutes into the match. 

The next 65 minutes would prove to be a challenge, as the Billikens did not go down without a fight. The visitors would manage 17 shots in the match and three on target, but Sam Fowler was up to the task and made saves on all three. It was his fourth career postseason shutout for UW. 

After two years of disappointment in the Quarterfinals, the Huskies didn't give an inch and stood their ground for the rest of the game to earn the win. 

"We're all family on this team. We were in it together and it feels great," Christian Soto said.