Sept. 3, 2004
Some call it 'The Can' others call it 'Spokompton'. For us, Spokane, Washington became the city that witnessed our first W this season. Home of Brett Hite and
Evan Cummings, Spokane is the second largest city in Washington located on the easternmost side of the state next to Idaho's mountainous border. While eastern Washington's predominantly right wing political voice rarely counts in our liberal state's elections, their sports teams often gain national recognition. The WSU football squad recently went to the Rose Bowl in 2003 and can claim many young NFL stars like Marcus Trufant and Drew Bledsoe as alumni. And who hasn't heard of the Gonzaga Bulldog basketball team? This tiny school's hoops program has been a source of pride for our whole state- even the voice of March Madness, Dick Vitale, can't get enough of the 'Zags' baby!
Of course these are the exceptions- momentary uprisings compared to the longstanding traditions and dynasties of Husky athletic dominance. A few NCAA appearances and a couple bowl games hardly measure up to the years of success achieved by our school. One trip through the Husky Hall of Fame and it's clear to see that whether its crew, football, or softball…gymnastics, soccer, or cross country…the Huskies have a justification for the enormous pride we take when we put on the purple and gold. It's this impressive lineage that we come from as University of Washington soccer players and it's this ancestry that we take with us onto the field. This year the Gonzaga men's soccer team needed a little reminder that there's only one way to spell Dawgs in Washington, and that's with a W!
We flew into Spokane on a Tuesday night. The entire local teenage population was cruising up and down Division Street (apparently that's what they do in Spokane). Our convoy of rented minivans however, was on a mission! The destination: The Old Spaghetti Factory. While the food may be very un-Atkins friendly (quite to the dismay of the carb counting populace on our team) the OSF remains a favorite among the veterans. Why is it so popular you might ask? Why a favorite? You will soon be informed but first allow me to say that this information has yet to be leaked…so don't tell anyone that it was me who told you! The OSF is the home of the 'Switch'. The entire meal becomes an appetizer for what has now grown to be an annual prank. If you're familiar with the restaurant you'll know that at the end of every meal a complimentary dish of ice-cream is handed out. The choice is simple: Spumoni or vanilla. If you choose spumoni you are in the clear, but woe is the freshman that chooses vanilla. With an uncanny resemblance to the scoops of butter already on the table, the vanilla dessert will clandestinely be switched with its very un-dessert like dairy cousin. The vanilla/butter switch has resulted in the gagging of many a young Husky and the triumphal merriment of his elders. This year we enlisted the help of the service staff at the OSF who combined to set a new record of two butter eaters in one meal! This year's victims include Jordan Jennings and Adam West.
Ahhh…but I digress too far. Wednesday afternoon- game day. The Bulldogs, like many of our Washington state rivals, are a hardworking team that would like nothing better than to prove they're our equal. That being said we knew we would have a tough game on our hands. A team motivated by a festering sense of being snubbed can be quite a handful.
Within minutes after kickoff, Brett Hite, hometown favorite, scored his first goal as a Husky off of an assist from Mike Chabala. The Bulldogs just as quickly logged their first entry on the stat sheet with an early red card. Playing with only ten men did little to help the home team as they continued to chase the ball around the pitch for the remainder of the game. The Huskies put on a clinic for the Spokane crowd netting two more goals for a final score of three-nil.
Pardon the cursory game write up. It's a good start for us but we have to be careful after a win like this. Our next two games on the East Coast will be much more difficult.