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Washington 2014 Team and Recruiting Class Review

School – Washington
Conference – Pac-12
Coach – Jamie Clark (4th Season)
Background – 2013 was a season to remember for the Huskies, as they went 16-2-4 and reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history. The team also nabbed its first Pac-12 crown since 2000 with a 7-1-2 conference record. Washington checked in at No. 23 in the College Soccer News preseason rankings but jumped out to an 11-0-4 start and ultimately entered the NCAA tourney as the overall No. 2 seed. The Huskies topped Seattle U. (4-2) and Stanford (1-0) to set up a quarterfinal clash with New Mexico, a game they ultimately dropped at home, 1-0. It was an especially bitter pill for coach Jamie Clark, who began his coaching career as an assistant for the Lobos in 2002. Despite the disappointment, the team has progressed from a regional power to a national championship contender under Clark’s guidance, and the coach was rewarded with a four-year contract extension in the offseason.The Huskies were a very balanced team in 2013, just one of four in the nation to average more than two goals per game while conceding less than one (Dayton, St, Louis and UMBC being the others). CSN and NSCAA first-team All-American Taylor Peay keyed the defense, and on offense the team boasted five players with at least five goals. Midfielder Cristian Roldan had seven goals and five assists to collect the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award, while forward Darwin Jones posted seven goals and four assists to join Roldan and Peay on the All-Pac-12 First-Team. Defender Michael Harris and midfielder James Moberg landed Second-Team honors. Defenders Andy Thoma and Justin Schmidt joined forward Mason Robertson as honorable mention selections.
Offense – Washington was potent on the attack in 2013, finishing tied for seventh in the nation with 2.05 goals per game. The forward unit comes back fully intact, and the midfield will be largely the same this season, so the Huskies should light up the scoreboard once again. Jones and Robertson (6g) lead the forward line, with Robertson tabbed as a breakout candidate by his coach after he emerged late in the season and scored three game-winning goals down the stretch. The team does lose one of its key offensive weapons with the graduation of Harris (2g, 10a) and his lethal half-field throw-in capabilities. Moberg (1g, 9a), Josh Heard (5g, 5a), Ian Lange (4g) and Michael Gallagher (2a) are back alongside Roldan in the midfield, with only Brad Jacobson (1g, 1a) lost to graduation. Clark also expects highly touted freshman Henry Wingo to get regular playing time in the midfield.
Defense – The Huskies lost half their backline with the graduation of Peay and Harris, although Thoma (left back) and Schmidt (center back) are back after starting every game in 2013. The three defenders in the running to fill the open spots are senior Charlie Ranahan, sophomore Jose Ocampo and freshman Garret Jackson. One big boost to the defense will be the return of keeper Spencer Richey, a 2013 MAC Herman Trophy preseason nominee who broke his leg in the fourth game of the season. Although winning his job back may not be so simple after Ryan Herman stepped in and kept eight clean sheets in 17 starts and led the Pac-12 with a 0.83 goals-against average. 

Newcomers – Four Star Recruiting Class 

Coach Jamie Clark stated: “This is a well-balanced recruiting class that will set UW soccer up for success for years to come. We only lost a few players from last year's Pac-12 championship team, so breaking into the lineup right away will not be easy for these young men. That said, we believe all of these players have the ability to keep this program near the top of college soccer when they earn their chance.”

Kyle Coffee – Forward – Syracuse, Utah – UYSA Premier 1 leading goal scorer in 2010, 2012 and 2013 with club team La Roca FC. Syracuse High career and single-season goal-scoring leader.

Justin Fiddes – Defender –San Diego, Calif. – Won Cal South National Cup and Far West Regional Championships with San Diego Surf Academy team. Ranked by College Soccer News as the No. 86 player in the Class of 2014.

Luke Hauswirth – Defender – Woodbury, Minn. – Started 26 games and scored twice for Minnesota Thunder Academy team in 2013-14. Winner of 2010 and 2011 MYSA Premier League championship.

Elliot Havens – Midfielder –Seattle, Wash. – Played for Crossfire Premier Academy in 2013-14 after scoring six goals for the Seattle Sounders Academy team the previous season.

Garret Jackson – Defender –Bellevue, Wash. – Played in in the 2013 Select Academy All-Star game and was named to the 2013 West Coast U-18 Academy Best XI. Ranked by College Soccer News as the No. 122 player in the Class of 2014.

Scott Menzies – Midfielder –Vancouver, B.C. – Led West Vancouver FC U-21 team to the 2013 Provincial Cup. As a junior at Rockridge Secondary was the team’s leading scorer and MVP.

Henry Wingo – Midfielder –Seattle, Wash. – Scored nine goals for Seattle Sounders Academy team in 2013-14. Ranked by College Soccer News as the No. 68 player in the Class of 2014.

Prognosis for 2014 – It’s been a steady climb from 12 to 13 and 16 wins in Clark’s tenure to date at UW, and there’s no reason the upward trend can’t continue in 2014. The team’s success will hinge on finding suitable replacements for Peay and Harris on the back line, but the good news is defense was the strength of the team’s recruiting class with Jackson and Fiddes leading the way. The team has an embarrassment of riches in net with two very capable starters in Richey and Herman. Up top, look for Washington to be among the highest scoring teams in the country. The schedule features two key road trips, including a season-opening visit to Indiana to play the Hoosiers and Michigan State. The Huskies also visit Florida in September to take on Florida Gulf Coast and South Florida. Coming off a trip to the NCAA quarterfinals last season, a first-ever College Cup appearance is the natural next step.


Posted in 2014 Team Reviews

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