Huskies Host NCAA Soccer Action Friday, Sunday
Nov. 22, 2001
No. 16 Huskies Earn NCAA Tournament Bid
Fri., Nov. 23: NCAA First Round - Gonzaga vs. Portland, 2 p.m.
All homes games played at Husky Soccer Field on the UW campus.
Washington capped a 13-5-0 season with a 4-2 win over California last weekend to finish third in the Pac-10 Conference. It marked the first time in three years the Huskies had not won a conference championship, dating back to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation days. This year marks the Huskies' seventh straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Huskies stand at No. 16 in the Nov. 19 Soccer America rankings and remained at No. 11 in the NSCAA Coaches' Poll from Nov. 11. They are ranked No. 10 by SoccerTimes.com.
Dawgbite: Washington's loss to Stanford last weekend (1-0, 2ot) is the lone blemish on the Huskies' 2001 home record.
Postseason Tournament Field Expands: The NCAA Executive Committee approved the expansion of the fields for the Division I men's and women's soccer championships, effective with the 2001 tournaments. The men's bracket increased from 32 to 48 teams. It is the first expansion for the men's tournament since the bracket was increased from 28 to 32 teams following the 1992 championship.
In the men's championship, 20 conferences will receive automatic bids with the remaining 28 being awarded to at-large teams. There will be no play-in games for qualification. The Pacific-10 Conference champion does not receive an automatic berth to the tournament because only five schools in the league sponsor the sport (UW, OSU, UCLA, Stanford, California).
Sixteen campus sites will host the first and second rounds of the men's tournament. Three teams will be selected to the 16 sites with the first round being played November 23. In the second round, the winning team of the first round will play the team with the first-round bye on November 25. The third round will be played the weekend of December 1-2, and the quarterfinals will be played December 8-9. The 2001 NCAA Men's College Cup will be played December 14 and 16 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
Dawgbite: Husky head coach Dean Wurzberger enters the weekend with a mark of 134-46-18 in his 10-year tenure at Washington. He has an 11-year career mark of 142-54-23. Wurzberger is the all-time winningest coach among eight men's soccer leaders at Washington.
Dawgbite: Washington and Gonzaga were supposed to play a regular season non-conference match Sept. 16 at Husky Soccer Field. The game was cancelled following the events of Sept. 11.
According to Coach Wurzberger
"I think we've played one of the toughest schedules ever in the history of this program. I think that matters when you face battles and you've been there, both at home and on the road. We are battle-tested against quality teams. We aren't going to see any surprises other than playoff intensity. There is a 'no tomorrow' attitude. You've got to play to your maximum each and every game.
"The fact that we play one game a week now is a positive for us. We worked long and hard all season to gain a slight advantage of meeting a team that had to play Friday. Now we have to turn that advantage into a result."
UW'S NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
A Glance at the Huskies
Washington won its final non-conference game on a dramatic goal with seven seconds remaining for a 4-3 victory over rival Portland Nov. 9. The Huskies were right back on the road following the game, for a Sunday afternoon match at UCLA. A tight match saw Washington holding a 2-1 lead with less than three minutes remaining in regulation when UCLA scored the equalizer and sent it to overtime. It was all UCLA after that, as the the Bruins scored the golden goal in the 12th minute of overtime and knocked the Huskies out of contention for the Pac-10 title. The Huskies completed a season sweep of Oregon State with a 1-0 victory over the Beavers in Corvallis. It was a pleasant rebound off a weekend in which the Huskies suffered their first back-to-back losses since the opening two games of the 2000 season and had its eight-game win streak snapped with losses at California (1-0) and Stanford (4-1). Prior to that, the Huskies had not lost since since Sept. 8. It also marked the first Pac-10 road losses since league play began last year. The Huskies have been ranked in the top 15 since the first week of the season. Statistically, senior co-captain Ben Somoza continues to lead the way with 12 points off five goals and six assists.