August 14, 2006
Welcome Husky soccer fans! I am excited to share my diary of our upcoming 2006 season. I have waited patiently for three seasons as Mike Chabala and Joe Birklid took turns charming you with their deep insights and fascinating observations, but now it's my turn.
BUT, before I discuss the outstanding potential of this 2006 team, I want to take a few paragraphs to introduce myself and recap my past three seasons with this team:
My name is Kevin Forrest and this will be my fourth season with the Men's Husky Soccer Team. I am majoring in the Business School, my focus is Marketing (and not just because it is the easiest choice… okay maybe). I lived the last two years in the "Soccer House" which also provided tons of fun and great memories. I recently upgraded into a nice apartment complex with my teammate, Matt Fischer, one of our athletic centerbacks who is more commonly referred to as "Fisch." I am a local, originally from Edmonds, and I have a great family: my parents still live in Edmonds with our dog Bailey, my oldest sister, Catie (27), teaches in New York City, Julie (23) works in sales in Seattle, and Maddie (19) goes to Wazzu. Well the matter at hand is our 2006 season, and in order to get a better feel for where both the team and I are at, I want to briefly share my experiences over the past three seasons:
My freshman season (which seems like it was yesterday) was in 2003, where I helped our team reach its first ever Sweet 16! It was a good year for the program; I personally had an inconsistent freshman season as I adjusted to the intensity, pressure, and pace of D-1 soccer. I finished with 3 goals, 1 assist, and an intense desire to improve!
The following season, 2004, saw the return of almost all of our starting 11, newly arrived blue-collar recruits, and a very promising outlook. After a solid season, we earned not only a playoff bid but a 1st round bye (awarded to the top 16 teams in the nation). We lost in a heart-breaking upset to our rivals University of Portland, giving up a 2-0 lead to lose 5-3. I am still in disbelief when I recall the game! I finished the season with 9 goals and 2 assists playing outside midfield, and earned 1st team Pac-10 honors.
Although we lost some our key contributors, namely "two-time first-team All-American" CJ Klaas, we maintained an experienced and determined team for 2005. Unfortunately I had to watch our talented team underachieve from the bench, I was forced to 'medical redshirt' with a torn plantar fascia (unusual injury, I know). Despite playing great soccer, and earning a respectable 10 wins, the 2005 team struggled to put the ball in the back of the net. A streak of losses at the end pushed our team just out of qualifying for the playoffs.
Our team graduated more talented members: Jeff Hoover, Evan Cummings, our beloved Norwegian Leo Totev, the current starting goalkeeper for the Seattle Sounders Chris Eylander, and last but not least, our famed member of the Houston Dynamo in the MLS, Mike Chabala.
The loss of these players gave our team a new feel, and Spring Season 2006 provided a great opportunity for us to build cohesiveness and confidence for our upcoming 2006 Fall Season.
I made my recovery throughout the Spring Season, scoring 3 goals in the final three spring games, which included a victory over the Seattle Sounders and University of Portland. I topped that off with a busy soccer summer which included a trip to L.A. to train with the USASA National Team, a weeklong trip Columbus to train with the Crew, a week in Kansas City with the Wizards, a tournament in Salt Lake City, some trainings with the Sounders, and watching lots of World Cup Games!
And now, finally, we have arrived at the present: Fall 2006. Our Spring Team has seen the addition of five freshmen and three transfers. The freshmen are Casey Cunningham, Taylor Hoss, Stephen Fung, Adam Lang, and Daniel Phelps. The three transfers are Steve Mohn, Stefan Tangen and Raphael Cox. Dean, Seth, and Rich recruit well, and these guys have all shown that they can play. They will serve important roles as they fill in gaps that existed in Spring and push the upperclassmen to play well.
Having finished 3 days of "2-a-days", but if you include weights they often turn into "3-a-days", the boys are all feeling sore. But it's nothing that a nice, freezing cold ice bath can't take care of. The practices have been intense, competitive and a there is a real desire to win throughout. We can feel improvement even three days in as we put the hours in and gel. I won't really start discussing how good or improved we are though, until we get out on the field and prove it. We have our first scrimmage game to look forward to, followed by our first game of the season, at home, versus UC Davis on August 25th.
We have a lot to look forward to, and as Husky athletes, to be thankful for! I hope you can empathize with our passion not only do well, but leave a legacy. The "good" college seasons of the past are fine, but this team isn't satisfied with good when our potential is great. I will try to keep you informed, and just as importantly entertained during the season, and I look forward to seeing you out at Husky Soccer Stadium supporting us as we take on this journey.