SEATTLE -- Washington head coach Jaime Clark has announced the schedule for 2013. The 19-match season will provide a challenging non-conference schedule, before the always tough home and away Pac-12 season.
Clark and the Huskies are looking for a return trip to the NCAA Tournament as well a Pac-12 title. The Dawgs have been the conference runner-up each of the past two seasons and hoping the third time is a charm.
“The fun of coaching at UW, and in particular this team, is that I get to work with some of the top players in the country,” said Clark. “These types of players want to play against the very best teams in college soccer and be challenged every week. Understanding this, we create the most challenging schedule possible. As a member of the Pac-12 conference, we are ensured of facing some of the most exciting attacking teams in the country and also of facing many of most talented players in college soccer. This year we also made sure our out of conference schedule was just as challenging facing NCAA tournament teams Brown, SMU, Florida Golf Coast and Connecticut.”
The non-conference schedule should be a demanding stretch for the Huskies with three games against some of the top programs from the West Coast Conference, a trip to the East Coast to face returning NCAA teams and then a home stand against three nationally competitive programs.
The Dawgs open with a trip to Gonzaga, before hosting Santa Clara and Portland in a three-game West Coast Conference swing. The Broncos were the WCC runner-up in 2012, but were an NCAA snub.
Next up, Washington travels to the East Coast for a difficult trip to face NCAA teams from a year ago, UConn and Brown. The other Huskies advanced all the way to the Elite Eight a year ago and finished 16-3-2, while the Bears won 13 games and advanced to the second round.
The Huskies then return home to complete the non-conference schedule with Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia State and SMU. Florida Gulf Coast is fairly new to D-I, but is a developing soccer power with three-straight Atlantic Sun titles and back-to-back NCAA appearances. SMU is a traditional soccer power that has played in the NCAA Tournament 29 of the past 33 seasons.
To open the Pac-12 season, the Dawgs will have the always difficult trip to the Bay Area to face Stanford and California. Washington will then host Seattle U. in non-conference action, before three straight conference games at the Husky Soccer Field with Oregon State, San Diego State and UCLA. The Bruins have won the past two Pac-12 titles, although the Dawgs split with UCLA last season.
The second trip through the Pac-12 sees Washington face San Diego State and UCLA in back-to-back weeks, this time in Southern California, before returning home to face Stanford and Cal in the final regular season games at the Husky Soccer Field. Washington the closes at Oregon State on November 17.
The Dawgs finished 13-5-3 a year ago and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Expectations remain high in 2013 for this program on the rise.