Notebook: Timbers U-23s lead colleges to solid starts

With summer coming to a close and the 2009 college soccer season starting to heat up, several members of the Timbers U-23s inaugural roster are helping their respective colleges get off to a solid start.
 
In the Northwest: The four-some of goalkeeper Austin Guererro, defender Logan Emory and midfielders Jarad VanSchaik and Collen Warner led the University of Portland to a first-place finish in the recent Smith Barney Tournament on the East Coast. They have all played in the Pilots first four games of the season, and both Guerrero and Warner were named to the All-West Coast Conference preseason squad.
 
Forward Brent Richards has picked up where he left off last season for the University of Washington. The leading scorer for the Huskies as a freshman in 2008, Richards has already tallied three goals and two assists in six matches in 2009. He recorded a two-goal outburst on Sept. 13, to lead the UW to a road victory over UC Davis. He was the Timbers U-23s’ second leading scorer last season.
 
Richards’ teammate on the Timbers U-23s and with the Huskies, midfielder Matt Van Houten has logged an assist in five matches to start his junior season.
 
At Oregon State University, sophomore defender Chris Harms has started all six matches for the Beavers, helping the No. 6 ranked team in the Far West Region jump out to a 3-1-2 record to start the campaign. OSU has recorded three shutouts in its first six contests.
 
In the PAC-10: Timbers U-23s goalkeeper Jason Dodson has begun his college career this fall at Stanford; he has yet to make an appearance this season. Midfielder Abraham Gemechu has played in five games at San Diego State University, playing 117 minutes off the bench.
 
Runnin’ with the Rebels: Midfielder Roberto Farfan has started his freshman season at UNLV with a bang. Starting five of the team’s first seven matches, Farfan leads the team with three assists as the Runnin’ Rebels are off to a 4-1-2 start in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
 
What is an Oredigger? In the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, junior midfielder Masaki Hemmi is helping the Colorado School of Mines move up in the national rankings this season. At No. 9 in the NCAA Division II rankings, the Orediggers have opened the 2009 campaign at 5-1-2, and were dealt their first defeat of the season just last weekend. Hemmi has started all eight games for CSM and shares the team lead with two assists.
 
Back in the saddle: After a tough start, junior goalkeeper Patrick McClain and Cal Poly have put together back-to-back wins. With four losses to start the season, including two to nationally ranked opponents in No. 6 Creighton and No. 11 Cal, two straight victories have the Mustangs back on track. McClain has played in three matches this season, splitting time with Brett Finkelstein. Cal Poly will venture to the Northwest this weekend to take on UP and UW in the Husky Fever Classic.