The No. 8 Washington men’s soccer team took care of business in Michigan and looks to continue its excellent start to the season with more road games closer to home. Over the weekend, the Huskies (4-0-0) secured 1-0 victories against Michigan State and Michigan, moving them up five places in the United Soccer Coaches poll.
“I thought we did a great job of bending but not breaking,” head coach Jamie Clark said. “When our attackers weren’t doing so well, our defense stepped up and that’s what it takes to win games, especially on the road.”
Clark praised his goalscorers Lucas Meek and Kasey French, and goalkeeper Bryce Logan for stepping up when the team needed them. He said Logan won the game for them with his saves against Michigan but maked it clear that he does not want to continually rely on the goalkeeper to win their games. However, he’s glad they walked away with two victories this weekend, considering they were without their star midfielder Blake Bodily for both games.
“Blake had a tight hamstring and I didn’t want to risk his long-term health,” Jamie Clark said. “He should be on the field for Thursday’s game.”
The UW will be facing Cal State Northridge on Thursday at 7 p.m for another road trip, this time to California. The Matadors (3-0-1) are coming off a 6-0 shutout against San Francisco and leads Division I in goals with 15. They received the most votes of a team not currently ranked in the Top 25.
“Northridge was, in my estimation, the best team we faced last year,” Clark said. “They are well-rounded, athletic, good in transition, and hungry for revenge after losing to us last time.”
Clark expects the hot weather conditions to be a challenge for his team, especially since they’ve been on the road for a while. However, he is looking forward to the task of taking on this formidable team.
After their game against CSUN, the Huskies will fly back to Washington to face Seattle U on Sunday at 6 p.m on Championship Field. The Redhawks (1-1-2) started the season with a 5-0 shutout against San Francisco but have failed to win a game since. They have another home game against Portland on Thursday before facing the Dawgs.
Clark expects the match to be extremely competitive and whichever team is able to capitalize on the big moments will come out on top. He also mentioned that this game has a deeper connection to the Huskies than other games.
“Games against SU are more personal because many of the guys on both teams played with each other growing up,” Clark said. “It’ll be like brothers playing against each other, a little sibling rivalry.”
Reach sports reporter Le Bui at email@example.com. Twitter: @LeBui18
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