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Husky Men Enter National Rankings

Some more involved coverage of both the Huskies men's and women's soccer teams is on the to-do list here at the Heart, but in the meantime I thought it was worth highlighting the fact that the men's team has entered the NSCAA national rankings at #23 after starting the season 2-0-1. The last time the Huskies were ranked was a brief period in October last season when the Huskies were also ranked #23rd after a big win over Portland. Before that, the team hadn't been ranked since 2007.

It's a bright start for new coach Jamie Clark, who took over in the offseason for local fixture Dean Wurzberger, a former (NASL) Seattle Sounder who coached the Huskies for 19 years. Clark has his own Sounders connections, having played with Taylor Graham and Roger Levesque in college and having coached Mike Fucito at Harvard for a season. He's also the son of Scottish national team keeper Bobby Clark, who's the coach at Notre Dame and who played under Sir Alex Ferguson during his miracle years at Aberdeen, so he's certainly part of a proud coaching legacy. Dave interviewed the new coach in February and went into some of those connections.

The Huskies' new ranking may be a bit generous given the lack of top notch competition thus far, but credit the team for taking care of business. In a down year for the Pac-12 (which is actually the Pac-6 in soccer), the team doesn't face another (currently) nationally ranked team all season other than 22nd ranked California. Otherwise, the toughest stretch of the season might be a two-game away trip to Dallas next week versus Tulsa and SMU, who's getting a few Top 25 votes. If they get out of that stretch in good shape, they may be able to hold onto a position in the rankings for the rest of the season and earn an NCAA Tournament berth, an opportunity they were denied last year despite a deserving resume.