It didn’t take the Washington men’s soccer team much time to wrap things up Sunday.
Facing cross-state rivals Gonzaga on Sunday, Washington only needed 26 minutes to secure a win thanks to a brace from junior Lucas Meek and three assists served up by junior Dylan Teves. The Huskies were dominant defensively and clinical on the counterattack. Head coach Jamie Clark noted his team could make improvements, but certainly couldn’t complain about the result.
I think we can get a lot of growth from watching this game again, but at the same time, really happy,” he said. “Another clean sheet, and if we defend like that, we’ll have a chance in every game.”
Aggressive straight from the kickoff, the Huskies (2-0) took just seven minutes to get on the score sheet. A long ball down the sideline found Teves on the inside left channel, the junior fired a low cross across the box for sophomore Imanol Rosales, who slotted home easily to give Washington a 1-0 lead.
Responsible for providing the goals following the departure of Blake Bodily to the MLS, Teves and Rosales were a threat the entire game, confusing the Gonzaga defense and pulling Bulldog (0-2) defenders out of position. Teves believes his connection with Rosales will help the UW attack going forward.
“I feel like we really understand each other well,” Teves said. “We play similar styles so we’re very cohesive and it’s always fun to play with someone who reads the game so well,”
The duo were at the heart of UW’s second goal 10 minutes later. After picking up the ball between the lines on the counter, Teves slid a through ball into Rosales. His shot ricocheted off the crossbar, but the rebound came back to Teves, whose acrobatic volley was saved by Gonzaga goalkeeper Johan Garibay. However, the Hawaiian’s deflected shot fell right to Meek, who scored easily to make it 2-0.
Meek found the net for the final time in the 25th minute. A long throw in from UW left back Charlie Ostrem into the Gonzaga 18-yard box eventually came to junior Ryan Crowley outside the box. His long shot cannoned into Teves, but once again, Meek was in the right place at the right time. The ball landed at his feet and he calmly scored to secure the win for Washington.
His second also secured a three-assist game for Teves, the first in UW program history since former Husky Jake Segare managed to do it in 1999. Clark believes his striker’s performance was more proof of what the junior can do on all sides of the ball.
“Dylan was huge today,” he said. “And he quietly did the things people wouldn’t notice like defending and doubling down.”
The rest of the game was fairly back-and-forth as the Huskies began cycling in some of their rotation players and experimented with formations. While the goals dried up, the defense remained solid, with the Bulldogs only registering five shots and just one on target. Teves said though there are certainly things to improve on, the team is just excited to play together again.
“It’s been a very long time, and it’s our first game back on our game field,” he said. “We’re all pumped up to be out here again.”
Washington returns to the field Thursday, Feb. 11 with a matchup against Seattle Pacific. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.
Reach Sports Editor Andy Yamashita at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ANYamashita
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