#22 Washington Men's Soccer 2012 Preview

University of Washington Huskies

Overall Rank: #22
Conference Rank: #2 Pac-12 Conference
Washington Men's College Soccer 2012 Team Preview
Washington Team Page


The Huskies are itching to get back into the NCAA tournament at the end of the 2012 season after missing out on the last three.  Washington is relying on Head Coach Jamie Clark, who is the son of Notre Dame’s men soccer head coach Bobby Clark. Coach Jamie Clark started his coaching career in 2002 with University of New Mexico before being called by his dad to come coach with him at Notre Dame in 2006. After a couple of seasons and some NCAA appearances, Coach Clark moved out from the assistant position under dad’s wing and took on the head coach spot for Harvard seeing the NCAA tournament again for two seasons. The 2010 season took Clark to Creighton and the NCAA for the third year in a row as a head coach.  Coach Clark’s first season with the Huskies broke his NCAA appearance streak, but Clark was still able to produce a winning season for Washington finishing 12-4-2.  

2011 Record: 12-4-2, 7-3-0
2011 Postseason: None
Coach: Jamie Clark

The Huskies have talent all over the field but the defense was the shining star in the spring season. In the eight game spring preview, the defense finished with five shutouts, including one against the Victoria Highlanders, a Canadian premier league team. Coach Clark said in a press release after the spring games, “Throughout the course of the whole spring, we looked very solid at the back and held some very talented attacking teams and players off the score sheet.”  New keepers Ryan Herman and Patric Pray helped the Huskies defense with the shutouts. Herman and Pray are lucky to have Spencer Richey to show them how things are done in the net at Washington. Richey, the returning keeper from the 2011 season, played every minute of every match in 2011 allowing only 14 goals in all 18 games and tallied 59 saves on the season. Returning to the pitch for the defense are defenders Michael Harris and Chris Brundage, who will be joined by Michael Uyehara, a transfer from Navy. The offense is not without talent. Returning forwards Quinton Beasley and Abdul Aman will team up with some new recruits, plus the midfield makes the Huskies’ front line a threat as well.

Unlike pro teams who add just a few players to their roster every year, college teams often have to revamp their roster, sometimes adding up 12 to players at a time hoping to get four seasons out of a talented freshman. Occasionally coaches are unable to keep a player for four seasons due to transfers, the draft, or graduation. Coach Clark has a large recruiting class this time around going into the 2012 season. Though it isn’t without talent, it is still a task preparing a larger number of freshmen for the collegiate level of play. Then add in some transfers who have the experience of being on the college pitch but are still new to the team and have to learn to fit where Coach Clark needs them. On top of the incoming players, Coach Clark himself is still new to the program and is only in his fifth season as a head coach and only ten seasons coaching the college level. Coach Clark surely picked up a few pointers from father while at Notre Dame during the off seasons on how to handle a large incoming class, but he will need to show it on the pitch by perfectly placing his players where they will contribute the most for the Huskies.  

Final Projection:
Washington will only have one exhibition match in August prior to regular season play so they will need to rely more on practices to make sure they are settled before the season opener.  A tough season for the Huskies is ahead of them as they look to take the Pac-12 title and make a long awaited return to NCAA tournament. Washington will have to battle UAB, Brown, and Connecticut early in the 2012 season before they start their conference games. The Huskies will play Oregon State, San Diego State, UCLA, California, and Stanford twice.  Coach Clark and his talented young squad will be shooting for a bid to the College Cup and won’t let anyone stand in their way. Pac-12 teams will have their hands full trying to stop this possible dark horse team.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Quinton Beasley, Senior, F, 3
Assists: Quinton Beasley, Senior, F, 2; Michael Harris, Junior, D, 2
Shots: Quinton Beasley, Senior, F, 29
Saves: Spencer Richey, Junior, GK, 59