Friday night, the Washington men’s soccer team was able to defeat No. 18 Denver 2-1 at Husky Soccer Stadium in their season opener.
Both teams started off the game with a goal each in the first six minutes. Denver took a quick 1-0 lead in the opening thirty seconds after Josh Drack scored off an assist from Preston Judd. The goal was the Pioneers’ quickest in program history.
“We were very excited for the game to begin and we definitely did not expect to go down 1-0 so early,” head coach Jamie Clark said. “However, we knew our game plan and how to execute it to get back in the game.”
Denver did not have the lead for very long. In the sixth minute, Washington leveled the game after Gio Miglietti scored his first collegiate goal off an assist from Dylan Teves.
“I definitely did not think I would be able to score my first collegiate goal so quickly,” Miglietti said. “Teves made a great pass inside the box that I was able to capitalize on.”
The two sides played with a quick and attacking pace and a high level of physicality. There was a total of 12 fouls in the opening 30 minutes along with a yellow card given to Pioneer Stefan Deleone for a high elbow to the face of Husky Charlie Ostrem.
At the half, the Huskies were able to keep the Pioneers’ off the board, but couldn’t put themselves ahead in a 1-1 tie.
Miglietti says Clark reminded the team at the break to continue to attack and play their game and they would walk out with the victory.
In the second half, the two teams continued their fast, aggressive play, and in the 68th minute Blake Bodily finally broke through after Teves made a low cross in the box that was finished by a Bodily to give the Huskies a 2-1 lead.
“I remember I was able to get the ball in the middle of the field and pass it off wide to Teves, who was able to set me up for the goal,” Bodily said. “The shot was a little higher than I wanted it to be but I’m glad it went in.”
The Huskies defense continued their strong play and held Denver off the scoresheet in the second half to take the first game and start the season 1-0.
Washington’s next game is against San Francisco at Husky Soccer Stadium. Kickoff begins at 1 p.m.
Reach sports reporter Le Bui at email@example.com. Twitter: @LeBui18