Men's Soccer Hosts Gonzaga Friday Night
Oct. 25, 2000
This Week -
This Week: The No. 7 Washington men's soccer team (9-4-0, 4-1-0), looks to rebound from its first Pac-10 loss with a pair of non-conference games against regional rivals this weekend. First up is Gonzaga (8-4-0) at 7 p.m., Fri., Oct. 27. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Northwest on a delayed basis, with air time set for Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. Bob Akamian will call the game and former Seattle Sounder Alan Hinton will provide color commentary. The Huskies then travel south for their annual contest with Portland (8-4-2) at 1:15 p.m., Sun., Oct. 29. The game was originally scheduled for 2:15 p.m. but was changed so as to complete play before dark.
This Week in the Polls
Series History: Washington has never lost a game in its series with Gonzaga, compiling a mark of 15-0-1 in the series. The tie came just last year, a 2-2 game in the season-opener at Gonzag ... Washington owns a 20-10-2 lead in the longtime series with Portland ... UW and Portland met twice last season, with the Pilots winning the regular season match, 2-1, in Seattle and the Huskies knocking off the Pilots, 3-2, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Merlo Field in Portland. UW has won four of the last five meetings. Portland's last home win over UW was in 1995, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Dean Wurzberger Says: "The Stanford game (last Sunday) was obviously what we expected - a tough, close fought game. We're having difficulty getting goals from our forwards. That is their their primary job, to score for us. We're continually asking for them to be more productive. If we add goal scoring from our forwards, to how well we're doing getting goals on restarts, we really have a chance to go a long way in the playoffs. But, we're not in the playoffs yet either. We still have to look at winning the majority of our games to get there. If we had finished our chances early against Stanford, we would have had a real chance to beat them, but we didn't do that. You let a team with that ability stay in the game and they will put you under pressure at some point. "It was a little bit of a wake-up call for us, in terms of facing a team we had already beaten. Since we went 4-0 in the first round of conference play, we can expect this now from every team. They come back with extra special motivation and effort. That may be a blessing in disguise, if it opens our eyes as to the intensity the opposition brings. In many respects, if we use that loss as a learning experience in terms of understanding the type of emotion we need to bring for every other Pac-10 game, since we did sweep through 4-0, then it will be a lesson well learned."
A Look at the Huskies: After having their conference-best six game win streak snapped, the Huskies hope to extend their 15-0-1 record against the Bulldogs and continue with another road victory at Portland. The loss to Stanford was UW's first setback since it fell to Santa Clara, Sept. 16 ... the Huskies won 9-of-10 after opening the season with a pair of road losses. The team is led by junior midfielder Ben Somoza, who has three goals scored and a team-leading seven assists this year, and junior defender Bryn Ritchie, who has a team-high four goals ... five other Huskies have scored three goals each ... in all, nine different Huskies have found the back of the net this year ... in its first year of Pac-10 action, UW swept through the first round of play with a perfect 4-0 record ... the loss to Stanford set them in a tie for first place with the Cardinal ... Washington has taken 231 shots in 13 games so far, compared to 117 shots by opponents ... the Huskies have recorded four shutouts and have played to overtime in just two games, both victories.
Dawg Bites: The Huskies set a school record for attendance against Stanford last week, with 3,280 fans at the game ... the previous best was 2,524 last season, also against Stanford ... the Gonzaga game will be Washington's third under the nighttime lights ... they are 2-0 (Irvine, Rhode Island) in night games at Husky Soccer Field, which had lights installed prior to the season ... Jake Sagare has taken a team-high 34 shots on goal this year ... senior midfielder Mike Casale is team captain this year ... he has missed only three starts in the last three years ... sophomore keeper Chad Olsen has played all but 16 minutes in goal this year ... he has a goals against average of 1.15 ... the Huskies are a strong second half team ... 18 of their 25 goals have come in the second period and they have taken 133 shots after halftime, as opposed 97 shots in the first ... former Husky goalkeeper Bill May is in his first year on the UW staff this season ... he started 67 matches over his four year career from 1994-97, and compiled a sterling goals against average of 0.90 during his tenure ... he replaces Nat Gonzales, who accpeted the head coach position at UC-Riverside, where they will field a team for the first time in Fall, 2001.
About Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have won five straight and are atop the West Coast Conference standings with a record of 8-4-0, 3-0-0 ... the team has scored 27 goals this season, 11 of them coming from senior midfielder Jason Kuska ... senior forward Brian Ching is next with six goals scored.
About Portland: The Pilots are on a three-game losing skid, their first of that length since 1997 ... they are led by Nate Jaqua, who has scored eight goals this season ... Portland is 3-1-1 at home this season ... the pilots welcome the return of Conor Casey, back from the U.S. Olympic team, where he was the only collegian on the squad.
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, Oct. 15. 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. Until the loss to Stanford last week, the Huskies had a streak that had 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 mark of 5-2-0 mark in games at Husky Soccer Field this season. The lone setbacks came at the hands of 1999 Final Four participant Santa Clara, a 2-0 loss back on Sept. 16 and to Stanford last Sunday.
Dawg Bite: Ben Somoza is chasing the UW school record for assists ... he enters this weekend with seven ... the UW single season mark is 15, set by Wes Hart in 1998 (in 20 games) ... Somoza has five 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 116-39-18 record in his tenure at UW and is 124-47-23 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.
The Pac-10 Conference: This season marks the beginning of men's soccer within the Pacific-10 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 league opponent UCLA is currently the top-ranked team in the country while Stanford is fourth in this week's Soccer America Poll. Schools must earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament as the conference will not have an automatic bid, with only five schools in the league. Washington left 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.
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
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