Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat

1968 – Around the World and Close to Home

The Tet Offensive turns the tide in the Vietnam War, Apollo 8 orbits the moon, and Bob Beamon raises the long-jump world record by 21 inches, to 29 feet, 2 1/2 inches, at the Olympic Games in Mexico City. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and presidential candidate Robert Kennedy are assassinated, Richard Nixon is narrowly elected president, and 60 Minutes begins airing on CBS. Jimi Hendrix plays a homecoming concert at the Seattle Center Arena, King County voters approve funding a new stadium and waterfront aquarium, and Seattle (The Bluest Skies) debuts as theme song for TV show Here Come the Brides.

Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat

College play was still in its infancy when Western Washington Soccer Conference commissioner Joe Kearney took an early November call from the NCAA. The WWSC winner was being invited to participate in the NCAA tournament. Kearney, whose primary job was University of Washington athletic director, pounced on the opportunity. Still, it was a problematic proposition.

The NCAA tournament would start in less than a week, and the WWSC championship was still undecided. Quickly Kearney decreed that the top two eligible teams, Washington and Seattle University, would meet Nov. 18 at Lower Woodland Park to determine the conference representative. The next morning, the winner would fly south to play at the University of San Francisco that same afternoon.

On a cold, damp evening, the Huskies and Chieftains battled, and then battled some more. Washington had scored a total of five goals in defeating Seattle U twice in October. This time, the match remained scoreless through 90 minutes. In that era, there was no overtime during regular season play. But Kearney had promised the NCAA an outright winner, so the coaches, Mike Ryan of UW and Hugh McArdle of SU, shook hands on playing until someone scored.

Minutes into the first extra period, Seattle U seemed to have one foot on the plane. Mike Carney stepped up for a penalty kick, however Mike Jones saved it for the Huskies. On and on they played.

It was after 11 o’clock and in the third overtime period when the breakthrough occurred. Joe Siebu slotted a ball into space behind a tired SU back line, and John Goldingay scored on a breakaway. The Huskies dispersed to get a few hours of sleep before meeting at the airport.

San Francisco would be the first non-Northwest opponent Washington faced in its seven seasons of varsity play. The more experienced, more sophisticated Dons had played in six NCAA tournaments, winning the 1966 championship. Their prolific attacking tandem of Torgier Hague and Alex Roboostoff combined for 36 goals. The entire Huskies roster had totaled 17 goals and San Francisco 79.

Washington weathered the first few forays, but when Jones left the game with an injured wrist and was replaced by an outfield player, USF went for the kill. The Huskies could not clear their lines and faced flurries of shots, many of them flying past the bewildered substitute goalkeepers, who changed every few goals. By halftime it was 10-nil. In the end, Washington was credited with a single shot to the Dons’ record total of 83. Hague and Roboostoff each scored five times in the 16-0 shelling.

Goldingay, a senior playing in his final collegiate game, said it was all a bad, bad dream. “It was just a flipping nightmare. I feel like we got up, got on a plane, went to San Francisco, and we just got hammered.”

U.S. Open Cup
Seattle Hungarians, West semifinals
Northwest Champion
Seattle Hungarians
State Men's Champion
Seattle Hungarians
State Knockout Cup
Seattle Hungarians
Men's Collegiate Postseason
Washington, D1 1st round
Men's Conference Champions
Washington (WWSC)
Jack Mickelberry
Largest Attendance
2,500, Vancouver Royals v Bonsucesso, West Seattle Stadium

1968: Thrill of Victory, Agony of Defeat

Washington and Seattle University meet to decide an NCAA berth, and the Huskies are humbled soon after.

Huskies Work Overtime to Earn NCAA Berth
November 18, 1968

Washington earns the state's first NCAA postseason berth but by the narrowest of margins. The Huskies need overtime to defeat Seattle University, 1-0, under the lights of a cold, soggy Lower Woodland Park. John Goldingay latches on to Joe Siebu's through ball and advances 30 yards before beating SU keeper Bob Burkhart for the golden goal. In the first overtime period, UW's Mike Jones turns Mike Carney's penalty kick around the post. The result is recorded as a 0-0 tie because NCAA rules did not permit overtime during non-tournament play. However, both teams agreed to use an overtime golden goal to determine the NCAA postseason representative.

Exhibition Match Canceled
May 28, 1968

A June 2 exhibition match for Memorial Stadium featuring England's Manchester City and Scotland runner-up Dunfermline is canceled after the WSFA refuses to pay a $12,000 guarantee. The British teams had planned to make Seattle part of their respective North American tours. The same matchup is offered in Vancouver on June 1 and in Los Angeles on June 5. The latter draws just over 5,000.

Hungarians Win Fourth Straight NW Title
April 28, 1968

Les Mueller bags a brace for the Seattle Hungarians as they overpower the University of Oregon, 4-0, for the Northwest championship at Portland's Delta Park. It's the Hungarians' unprecedented fourth straight Northwest title and sixth since 1961. Seattle pulls away, scoring three times in the final 25 minutes. Brian Franklin and Les Fabri score the other Magyars goals.

Teutonia Eliminates Hungarians in West Semi
March 17, 1968

An early 2-nil score fails to hold and the Seattle Hungarians are eliminated in West semifinals of the U.S. Challenge Cup by AAC Teutonia, 4-3, at San Francisco. Les Mueller punches in a couple goals for the lead, but Teutonia ties it by halftime. Jerry Melton's second goal gives Teutonia the lead and Mike Kramer adds a fourth before Heinz Ritter's 85th-minute score.

First Collegiate Game on Turf
October 12, 1968

Washington hosts Western Washington in what is believed to be the first collegiate match played on artificial turf. The teams meet Saturday at 10 a.m. at Husky Stadium, the first collegiate football venue to feature Astroturf. The game is played prior to the UW-Oregon football game at 2 p.m. Two goals by John Goldingay sparks the Huskies' 5-1 conference victory. Previously, UW home matches had been primarily played at Lower Woodland Park (1962-65) and Union Bay Field (1966-67).

Seattle Heidelberg Advances in Open Cup
December 8, 1968

A pair of Bert Lerch goals propels Seattle Heidelberg to a 3-2 upset win over the Seattle Hungarians in the Northwest final of the U.S. Open Cup at White Center. Ed Carrillo scores the other Heidelberg goal, while Les Mueller, back from playing semipro football, scores twice for the Magyars. For the first time in five years, the Hungarians will not advance out of the Northwest.

NASL Boss Pays Seattle Visit
January 14, 1968

NASL commissioner Dick Walsh visits Seattle to meet with local soccer community leaders. With an impending vote to build a domed stadium, Walsh says soccer could be a potential tenant.

Merciless San Francisco Routs Huskies
November 19, 1968

Washington has precious little time to celebrate making the NCAA tournament before making a humiliating exit. A cultured, experienced and rested San Francisco, playing at home, routs the Huskies by a record 16-0 at Balboa Park. UW had only qualified 16 hours earlier, then flown to San Francisco, changed at the USF gym and bused to the park. Archie Roboostoff and Torgier Hague each score five goals, and the Dons launch an unbelievable 83 shots. Mike Jones, injured in the Seattle U win the night before, lasts only a few minutes in goal, and all of Mike Ryan's substitutes are outfield players.

Hungarians Recover to Win Open Cup Match
February 18, 1968

After trailing 2-nil, the Seattle Hungarians return fire in the second half to defeat Denver, 3-2, in a U.S. Open Cup West semifinal on rain-saturated surface at White Center. Despite two goal line clearances from Heinz Ritter, the visitors go in front and hit the post on a chance to go up three. Following 15 minutes (eight corner kicks) of sustained pressure, the Hungarians break through as Les Fabri heads in Les Mueller cross. In the 74th minute, Fabri finds Mike Kuczi to tie it, and three minutes later Larry Tamas hits woodwork from 30 yards and Zoltan Mako nets rebound to win it.

Magyars Cruise Behind Tagios Hat Trick
April 14, 1968

Connie Tagios hits the Leif Eriksen Vikings for a hat trick to fuel the Seattle Hungarians' state knockout championship, 5-3, at Interbay. It's the Magyars' fourth win in five meetings with the Vikings this year. Les Fabri and Les Mueller also tally, while Harold Myrhold scores a pair for the Vikings.

Falcons Test Drive vs. Charles Wright
October 9, 1968

Three days prior to their official varsity opener, Seattle Pacific plays a test mach against Charles Wright Academy. The Falcons come away with a 4-0 win over the Terriers at Interbay. Thandi Manzini scores two goals.

Five-a-Side Won by Hungarian Bs
April 21, 1968

Ten hours after 32 teams begin play, the annual Seattle Five-a-Side championship is won by the host Hungarian B team via the corner kick tiebreaker, 0-0 (1-0), over Vancouver's Cliff's United at West Seattle Stadium. Cliff's United had eliminated the Hungarian A team in the semifinal, 0-0 (3-0). Nearly half the entries come from British Columbia and in-state teams come from as far away as Walla Walla.

Vancouver Royals Debut in West Seattle
February 11, 1968

A curious crowd of 2,500 turns out at West Seattle Stadium to see Brazil's Bonsucesso meet the NASL Vancouver Royals in a preseason match. The Royals are making their debut under new coach Ferenc Puskas, a Hungarian legend considered among the top five all-time players. Vidimor Pavkovic scores the lone goal for Vancouver. Seattle's Hungarians blast a local all-star team, 7-1, in the undercard.

Domed Stadium Funding Approved
February 13, 1968

Among the 13 Forward Thrust measures approved by Seattle and King County voters is a $40 million multi-purpose domed stadium. While the stadium and waterfront aquarium are approved with 62 percent, a rapid transit measure fails to get the necessary 60 percent. Two years later, 110 potential stadium sites are trimmed to five, although King Street is not among them.

Vikings Comeback Knots Standings
November 15, 1968

Glenn Hindin scores three goals to lead Western Washington to a 3-2 comeback win over Washington amidst snow, hail and rain at Bellingham. The Vikings' victory creates a three-way tie (with Seattle University) atop the WWSC standings with just four days until the champion must meet San Francisco in an NCAA first-round game. Western, as a club program, is not eligible. Joe Kearney, Huskies AD and conference commissioner, says a tie-breaking game will be played Nov. 18, if necessary.

UW Organizes Conference
June 12, 1968

University of Washington athletic director Joe Kearney forms the Western Washington Soccer Conference. The WWSC will be composed of Seattle University, Seattle Pacific, Washington and Western Washington, although the latter is a club program. Kearney will also serve as commissioner. League play begins Oct. 9.

Edmonds Boys Lift Lipton Cup
March 31, 1968

Triumph Continental, a U18 team from Edmonds, defeats the U16 Lake Hills Spartans, 4-0, for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup at West Seattle Stadium.

Magyars Clinch Another Title
March 10, 1968

Behind Brian Franklin's two goals, the Seattle Hungarians clinch an unprecedented fourth straight state league championship by beating the Tacoma Rangers, 3-1, at Lower Woodland. Three days earlier, the Magyars beat Heidelberg, 4-3, on the 10th anniversary of their formation in the first division. With 33 points (16-2-1) and two games in hand on the Leif Eriksen Vikings, the Hungarians are untouchable in the newly consolidated league season.

Seattle Pacific Goes Forward with Varsity
May 30, 1968

Following a lengthy study and trial season the previous autumn, Seattle Pacific athletic director Les Habegger announces that men’s soccer will be added as a varsity sport for fall 1968. Latvian-born Arnie Aizstrauts, 48, is named head coach. Aizstrauts, who works for Seattle Parks, had coordinated the five-game experimental season. Habegger says soccer will fill the void of fall SPC team sport.

West Seattle Organizes Club
December 5, 1968

The West Seattle Junior Soccer Association forms with three boys' teams – Shamrocks, Thistles and Rovers – that play in Eastside and Seattle leagues. Co-founder Joe Smith serves as president. By 1970, the club grows to 17 teams.

Edmonds Boys Fall in Regional Semifinal
May 11, 1968

Triumph Continental of Edmonds goes out of the U.S. Junior Challenge Cup at the regional semifinal stage, falling to San Francisco's Police Athletic League Dons, 3-1, at Balboa Park. Ron Denghan scores the lone goal for the visitors in the second half. Triumph Continental raised $1400 to make the trip. Archie Roboostoff of USF, scores twice for the Dons.

Seattle Pacific Plays First Collegiate Foe
October 12, 1968

It's a 2 o'clock Saturday first kick for Seattle Pacific's first match versus collegiate opposition. The Falcons face Seattle University at rain-soaked Lower Woodland Park, and the more talented, experienced Chieftains have little trouble in winning, 4-1. Jim Hoyer's hat trick proves the difference. Mel Scott scores a consolation penalty for the historic first SPC goal with eight minutes left.

1967 was a good start. Soccer didn’t take off in the United States like a rocket – it averaged about 8,000 fans a game. But the owners all understand it will be a losing venture for a few years. They’re willing to wait for success.
Los Angeles Toros owner Don Martin, who considered moving his NASL club to Seattle
It was just a flipping nightmare. I feel like we got up, got on a plane, went to San Francisco and we got just hammered.
UW forward John Goldingay on the Huskies' 16-0 NCAA tournament loss to USF
I’d never ever seen baseball, football, or basketball before, but I was able to play here. I don’t think a 13-year-old boy from this country could immediately go over to Europe and begin playing soccer...You have to acquire a special feel for the ball, you have to develop timing and you make up plays as you go down the field...It has to be done quickly, by instinct.
Seattle Hungarians forward Les Mueller, who fled Hungary to Seattle as a youth and became a multi-sport star
There is a tremendous amount of soccer enthusiasm in the Seattle area. We have received two different franchise applications, but so far they had no place to play. As far as soccer is concerned here, the stadium comes first.
NASL commissioner Dick Walsh's comments on a Seattle visit shortly before the domed stadium vote
(The surface) surprised some of them. Some took unexpected spills, and the ball doesn’t roll as free as on regular turf.
Seattle P-I reporter Pep Peery's observation of the UW-Western game played on Astroturf
We knew it was essentially a 16 seed versus a 1. We knew it was going to be a mismatch. I was thinking we would be able to compete, but my teammates said, No, we’re going to get our ass kicked. And they were right.
UW forward Joe Zohn on the Huskies' 16-0 NCAA tournament loss to USF
We were glad to win our first game, and it was a very well-played game. But oh, what a field!
Vancouver Royals coach Ferenc Puskas on West Seattle Stadium's slow, bumpy sandpit of a field for a preseason match
I hope we can win a couple games. That would be a successful start…This college soccer will be good. Someday it may become like college baseball, that stature.
Seattle Pacific coach Arnie Aizstrauts's outlook for the new program
Collegiate Men's Records
Seattle University 4-4-3
Seattle Pacific 0-7-1
Washington 5-6-2
Western Washington 3-1-2 (club)
Washington State Youth Champions
Age Boys
U16 Triumph Continental Motors (SCJSA)
U17 Triumph Continental Motors (SCJSA)
On this Day in History
January 18, 1994
Dang Pibulvech resigns as Washington women's coach to take the same position at Texas. Pibulvech (27-21-6) leaves the Huskies three years after becoming the school's first women's soccer coach. He built the program into a national power, achieving top 20 rankings each season. He reportedly becomes frustrated with UW's inability to build a permanent stadium.
More from 1994 ›
November 14, 1997
Dana Garner and Greg Brisbon each score two goals as 9th-ranked Seattle Pacific moves into the NCAA Division II quarterfinals for the seventh time in eight years with a 4-1 thumping of Fort Lewis (Co.) at Interbay Stadium. Garner scores on either side of halftime, and Brisbon gets his brace in the second half. Vadim Tolstolutsky assists on both Garner goals.
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December 29, 2015
Seven weeks after the USL W-League folded, the Seattle Sounders Women affiliate with the Women’s Premier Soccer League. The WPSL, formed in 1998, has approximately 90 teams across the country. The Sounders Women will join FC Tacoma 253 and Issaquah SC in the 2016 Northwest Division.
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February 14, 2012
Richland's Hope Solo and U.S. National teammate Sydney Leroux commit to playing for Seattle Sounders Women in 2012. Solo spent the past four season in Women's Professional Soccer, but on Jan. 12 the WPS suspended operations for the 2012 season. Coming off a five-Leroux grew up just north of the Washington-British Columbia border, in Surrey. She's coming off a five-goal game in January during Olympic qualifying. On Feb. 26, Alex Morgan is added to the roster. Morgan's boyfriend, Servando Carrasco, plays for Sounders FC.
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