SEATTLE -- No. 6 Washington’s stellar start continued as the Dawgs dismantled Florida Gulf Coast, 5-0. Washington improved to 5-0-1 after thoroughly dominating an NCAA Tournament team from a year ago. Michael Harris led UW with two goals, but the Dawgs were outstanding in all facets of the game.
“We played selflessly tonight,” said head coach Jamie Clark. “Even when we were defending, guys were happy to do it and play for each other.”
The Dawgs got on the board in the 12th minute with Andy Thoma’s first goal of the season. James Moberg chased down a ball in the corner and sent a cross though the six-yard box. Florida Gulf Coast’s keeper appeared to have it measured, but the ball squirted through and Thoma was there for a one-time finish from point blank range.
The early goal gave UW momentum, but it appeared it would be just a one-goal lead going into the half. However, a pair of goals less than a minute apart effectively killed any chance of FGCU getting back in the game.
In the 42nd minute, Harris scored his first on scorching volley. The Dawgs took one of their five corner kicks in the game and after a Husky shot was punched away, Harris had a chance at a volley from 20 yards out and did not miss. The goal was the first of the season for the senior after already recording three assists on the 2013 campaign.
Just 44 seconds later, Washington got on the board again. Florida Gulf Coast turned the ball over after the kickoff and Cristian Roldan gained possession just across midfield. The freshman dribbled through traffic towards goal, eventually getting to a comfortable distance and angle and clinically shot low and in the corner for a great goal and first at UW.
The goal gave UW a 3-0 lead going into the break, which turned out to be plenty. The Dawgs continued their dominance in the second half and made it 4-0 in the 48th minute.
This time Roldan slipped a nice through ball to Darwin Jones who sprinted through the defense and the scored from a difficult angle, while moving to his right. The junior transfer had led the Dawgs in shots, but finally got his first goal as a Husky.
“Darwin got the monkey off his back and scored a goal,” said Clark. “He has certainly been dangerous, but that is what he is in there to do. He thinks he should be scoring, so hopefully that is the first of many to come.”
Finally, Harris made it 5-0 in the 75th minute when he buried a header off a corner kick. Justin Schmidt sent in a perfect inswinging corner and Harris sprinted near post, leaped above the defense and rammed a header past the keeper.
Washington closed things out from there, outshooting FGCU, 20-8. Ryan Herman continued his brilliance since taking over in goal, adding his second shutout in as many starts. He made three saves on the night, including one diving to his left early on to keep UW up 1-0.
The Dawgs will now regroup before taking on Georgia State on Sunday at 3 p.m. Washington looks to extend its unbeaten streak to seven to begin the season with a win over the Panthers who defeated Seattle U., 2-1, in the first leg of their Seattle road trip.