Men's Soccer Battle in Seattle
Oct. 18, 2000
This Week -
The No. 4 Washington men's soccer team (9-3-0, 4-0-0), winners of six straight games and undefeated in the Pac-10, begins round two of conference action when it hosts perennial power and second-ranked Stanford (11-1-1) at 2:15 p.m., Sun., Oct. 22 at Husky Soccer Field. The game follows the UW women's match versus UCLA at 12 noon. It is the only match for Washington this weekend.
This Week in the Polls
Series History: Washington owns a 15-8-0 record versus Stanford and has won the last two, including a 2-1 overtime thriller in Palo Alto back on Oct. 6 of this year. The series is one of close games. The last six meetings, including an NCAA Tournament game in 1997, have all been decided by one goal. The Huskies are 4-2 in that span.
Dean Wurzberger Says: (on Stanford): "Stanford is still ahead of us in the polls. They are the team to beat. We know what we're up against. It was a tough game when we played down there. We know we face a stiff challenge. The good news is we are at home, which should motivate the team to play with inspiration and energy. We're hoping for a good crowd to get behind us. It's always a one-goal game with Stanford and we expect the same Sunday. This is the first time we've played teams a second time in one season. There is a little apprehension with that. You're never sure how the players will respond. We know we have to put forth our best effort. Anybody who has watched Stanford play knows they are a good team." (on winning at UCLA): "We were down 2-0 until the 50th minute of the game. It was against all odds, but our team plays until the 90th minute. After we scored the first goal, that lit a fire under us. Then all of the sudden it was 2-2 and the momentum shifted. We hung in there and turned the game around. The key was the first goal. That lit the fire and gave us hope. (Ben) Somoza's game-winning shot was very dramatic. I have to hand it to our guys. They played until the 90th minute. They never gave up when they were down 2-0 to a formidable opponent. After winning at Stanford, it showed us anything is possible. Belief is half the battle."
A Look at the Huskies: The Huskies, on a six-game win streak, return home after a road game in which they knocked off No. 2 UCLA, 3-2, in Los Angeles. It was the third win over a top 10 team in the last three weeks and the third straight over UCLA. The Huskies stand alone in first place in the first-ever Pac-10 race, with a perfect 4-0 mark in league play. Bryn Ritchie is the top goal scorer, with four to his credit, but a six others are right behind, with three goals apiece. Nine different Huskies have scored a goal this season. The Huskies have recorded four shutouts and have played to overtime in just two games, both victories. They are also outshooting opponents by a margin of 219-104, with 25 goals to opponents' 13. After opening the season with a pair of road losses, at Creighton, a team that has remained in the top 15 all year, and to SW Missouri State, also in the rankings, the Huskies have won nine of their last 10 games.
About Stanford: The Cardinal, at 11-1-1, owe their lone loss of the season to the Huskies, back on Oct. 6. They are coming off a six-game homestand and have tallied a 2-1-0 record in league play during that span. Stanford leads the nation in three NCAA statistical categories, leading with the a per game average of 3.46 goals per game, followed on defense by a 0.22 goals against average, lowest in the NCAA, and the highest shutout percentage (.846). They have posted 11 shoutouts and allowed only 13 goals all season.
Last Meeting at Stanford: The 12th-ranked Huskies stunned No. 4 and previously unbeaten Stanford, 2-1, in the first minute of overtime action in Palo Alto Oct. 6. It was the fourth straight win for UW and its second victory over a top-10 team in the previous three games. The Cardinal, who led the nation in scoring and in defense, had given up just one goal all season. The scoring started early for both teams, with Stanford getting on the board first when Ryan Nelsen put a header in at 19:05. The Huskies answered quickly when Bryn Ritchie's shot was deflected to Zach Kingsley who beat the Cardinal keeper to the near post at 22:08. The teams went scoreless from there to send the game into OT. It didn't last long though, as Ritchie came through again, at 90:53. Jake Sagare dribbled past a pair of Stanford defenders before being taken down just outside the goalie box. After a Stanford yellow card, Ben Somoza's ensuing free kick bounced off the crossbar and Ritchie headed it into the net for the win. Stanford had 17 shots in the game while UW had five, two by Kingsley, and the Cardinal carried an 8-5 advantage in corner kicks.
Husky Honors: Junior midfielder Ben Somoza was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for his efforts in UW's 3-2 win at UCLA. Somoza had a hand in all three Husky goals, as he assisted on the first two and scored the game-winner. It was the second week in a row a Husky has earned the honor, after Bryn Ritchie was recognized last week. The Washington team also received recognition as the "Team of the Week" by CollegeSoccer.com, for its efforts versus the Bruins.
Against Ranked Opponents: Washington has stood up to the test in its games against top 10 opponents. The Huskies are on a streak that has seen them defeat three top 10 teams in its last five games, Fullerton (No. 6), at Stanford (No. 4) and at UCLA (No. 2).
The Comforts of Home: Washington has posted a stellar 5-1-0 mark in games at Husky Soccer Field this season. The lone setback came at the hands of 1999 Final Four participant Santa Clara, a 2-0 loss back on Sept. 16.
Time Change: The Oct. 29 game at Portland has changed to a 1:15 p.m. start time. It was originally scheduled for 2:15 p.m.
Dawg Bite: Ben Somoza is chasing the UW school record for assists ... he enters this weekend with seven, including two at UCLA ... the UW single season mark is 15, set by Wes Hart in 1998 (in 20 games) ... Somoza has six regular season games remaining and potential postseason action ... he had a team-high eight assists as a sophomore last season.
Leading the Dawgs: Dean Wurzberger enters his ninth year at UW as the winningest coach in Washington soccer history. He owns a 116-38-18 record in his tenure at UW and is 124-46-23 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.