Men's Soccer Hosts Inaugural Pac-10 Game Sunday
Sept. 26, 2000
Sunday, Oct. 1
THIS WEEK: The Washington men's soccer team (5-3-0), on the heels of an upset over No. 6 Fullerton, writes a chapter in history this weekend as it hosts the first-ever Pacific-10 Conference men's soccer game. The Huskies take on northwest rival Oregon State (5-4-0) at 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 1 at Husky Soccer Field for the inaugural match of the newly formed conference. Washington, along with Pac-10 members UCLA, California, Stanford and Oregon State, broke away from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation to compete in a home-and-away series with each school. The new format hopes to provide greater national visibility and strength of schedule for the member schools, and the payoff should come quickly as UCLA is currently the top-ranked team in the country while Stanford is sixth in this week's NSCAA Coaches Poll. Schools must earn an NCAA Tournament berth as the conference will not have an automatic bid. Washington leaves the MPSF as two-time defending champions, having claimed the federation title in 1998 and `99. Husky head coach Dean Wurzberger was named MPSF Mountain Division Coach of the Year in `99 and senior Wes Hart was player of the year.
Dean Wurzberger on the new Pac-10: "This is an idea whose time has come, to start playing as the Pac-10. It's going to be a big step for our visibility on the national scene and for our strength of schedule come tournament time. It's a large step up for our strength of schedule. When you have teams like UCLA and Stanford coming in every year, it's going to be a treat for the fans. We hope to start developing rivalries by playing these strong teams at home. (on Oregon State game): "We are grateful to be coming off a pair of quality wins at home (over Rhode Island and No. 6 Fullerton). We've picked up some momemtum heading into this game. We've certainly faced enough challenges in the early season and although we had some setbacks, we feel confident in our ability. Oregon State is a natural rival for us and they are much improved. We just need to keep our momentum going and take care of business."
A Quick Look at the Huskies: The Huskies, winners of five of their last six games, continue a five-game homestand with a single match against the Beavers. UW hosted tournaments the past two weekends, splitting the first with a win over UC Irvine (2-1) and falling to Santa Clara (0-2) in the Northwest Soccer Challenge. Momentum shifted in the Husky Classic as UW posted a pair of come-from-behind victories, including an overtime upset of sixth-ranked Fullerton, to win their own tournament. Junior midfielder Zach Kingsley was a key figure in both games, scoring a goal in each match, while fellow classmates Bryn Ritchie and Ben Somoza each had a pair of assists. When senior Mark Hogenhout scored the overtime goal against Fullerton, he became the seventh Husky to score a goal this season.
Against Ranked Opponents: Washington stood up to the test in its first game against a top 10 opponent this season. The Huskies knocked off Fullerton, ranked sixth in NSCAA Coaches Poll, by a score of 2-1 in overtime ... the Huskies opened the 2000 season on the road and suffered losses to No. 13 Creighton (2-0) and No. 21 SW Missouri State (3-0) ... although they weren't in the top 10 at the time, Creighton now stands at No. 8 while SW Missouri is 16th.
Leading the Dawgs: Dean Wurzberger enters his ninth year at UW as the winningest coach in Washington soccer history. He owns a 112-38-18 record in his tenure at UW and is 120-46-23 in his 10 year head coaching career. He has guided the Huskies to six NCAA Tournament appearances and three MPSF titles, including the last two. Wurzberger was coach of the men's Under-16 National Team in 1998.
It's Early, But ... Washington is gunning for a sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth this year. Just 10 programs in the nation can boast a current five-year streak of appearing in the postseason tournament. Should the Huskies earn a bid in 2000, they would become one of only nine other programs in the country to match the feat. In all, Washington has made 13 appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Wander the Web: Senior captain Mike Casale (Redmond, Wash./Eastlake) will be featured in a weekly diary on www.gohuskies.com. The diary also runs on http://espn.go.com/ncaa/diary/index.html and features Husky women's goalkeeper Hope Solo as well. Check www.gohuskies.com for information on all 23 sports at Washington.
TV SCHEDULE: Washington's schedule features two televised games on Fox Sports Net Northwest. The Huskies' games against Gonzaga (Oct. 27) and at Oregon State (Nov. 5) will be carried on a delayed basis by the regional network.
A GLANCE at the HUSKIES: An experienced defense, aggressive midfield and explosive front line define the 2000 Huskies, who will be shooting for a goal only nine other programs in the nation can match - a sixth straight berth in the NCAA Tournament. Despite the loss of three full-time starters- all-American Wes Hart, Rees Bettinger, eighth all-time in UW goals, and first-team all-MPSF defender Morgan McCoy-18 players return from a 1999 season in which Washington won 10 of its final 11 games and bowed out of the NCAA Tournament in the second round to eventual champion Indiana. Four seniors and six juniors, seven of whom started at least half of last year's games, provide ample experience and leadership for the 16 underclassmen.
RECAPPING 1999: The Huskies are coming off an outstanding season in which they defended their second Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title, winning 10 of their final 11 games and earning a fifth straight NCAA Tournament bid. They advanced to the second round before falling to eventual champion Indiana, at Indiana.
LOCALLY BORN AND BRED: The state of Washington is turning out stellar soccer players, and UW coach Dean Wurzberger is doing his part to keep them at home. No less than 20 players, two more than last season, on this year's 26-player roster are from the Evergreen State, the highest total in Wurzberger's history with the Dawgs.
Des Moines Jimmy Stark, F
Husky Quick Facts
2000 Pac-10 Standings (thru 9/25)
This Week in the Pac-10