No. 2 Seed UW Hosts Montana in NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament

Nov. 9, 2000

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Sun, Nov. 12 -
#2 Washington vs. Montana, 12 noon PST (NCAA 2nd Round)
Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.

Nov. 17, 18 or 19 -
Winner vs. Arizona State at Portland winner, TBA
NCAA 3rd Round at site to be determined
If UW hosts - Sun., Nov. 19, 12 noon, Husky Soccer Field, Seattle, Wash.

The Pac-10 champion Washington women's soccer team (17-2) begins NCAA Tournament play this weekend, hosting Montana (16-4-1) on Sunday. Kick-off is noon at Husky Soccer Field where the Huskies have won their last 12 games, including all seven games this season. Washington is the No. 2 seed in the tournament and is making its fifth NCAA appearance in the last seven seasons. The Huskies received a first-round bye while Montana advanced to the second round with a 1-0 victory at Washington State on Wednesday. The winner of Sunday's game advances to play the winner of Saturday's second-round game involving Arizona State at Portland. One of the competing teams will host the third round game on either Nov. 17, 18 or 19. If Washington wins and is selected to host at Husky Soccer Field, they will play a third-round game on Sunday, Nov. 19 at noon.

Huskies in the NCAA:
No. 2 seed Washington played 11 games against opponents from the 48-team NCAA Tournament field, posting a 9-2 record. The lone UW defeats came against top-seed Notre Dame and Washington State. Only the top eight tournament teams were seeded into the pairings. The other seed in Washington's bracket, and a potential quarterfinal round opponent, is No. 7 Penn State (20-2-1). The Huskies have a 2-3-1 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play and have advanced to the second round on two previous occasions. In the second round of the 1994 NCAAs the Huskies tied 0-0 at Stanford, but the Cardinal advanced on the strength of a 6-5 edge in the penalty-kick tie-breaker. Washington lost a 1-0 second-round decision at Portland in 1995.

Tournament Tidbits:
Referred to as the 'College Cup,' the NCAA women's soccer tournament is a 48-team, single-elimination playoff. As Pac-10 champions, the Huskies received an automatic postseason berth and one of 16 first-round byes. They are making their fifth NCAA appearance in the last seven seasons. The 48-team field was pared down to 32 after 16 first-round games on Wednesday. The Final Four is scheduled for Dec. 1 and 3 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif.

Fast Facts:
* Washington competes in the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last seven years (1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000).

* The Huskies set team records this season for wins (17, old mark 13 in 1994), Pac-10 wins (8, old mark 6 in 1998), winning streak (11, old mark 6 in 1998) and goals scored (51, old mark 44 in 1995).

* Sophomore goalkeeper Hope Solo allowed only two goals in her last 489 minutes.

Quotes from Coach Lesle Gallimore:
'I'm excited for our team that we are seeded No. 2. We're ecstatic. We are not going to look at what the bracket looks like overall, we are going to focus on this first game and figure out what we need to do to prepare to beat them and then we'll worry about the next game after that. We have seen Montana quite a bit in the past. I know a lot of their players and I am confident that we will be able to get good information about them and know what we are in for on Sunday. All year, though, it's been more about us and our preparation and what we do well that has gotten us to this point. I think it is a huge advantage for us to host a tournament game. The fans have been outstanding all year. We had 3,400 people for the UCLA game and an average of 1,400 attendance. Our kids thrive on that. It is such a great atmosphere.'

Montana (16-4-1):
The Big Sky Conference champion Grizzlies are making their second NCAA Tournament appearance. They defeated Southland Conference champion Northwestern State 6-0 on Nov. 4 in an NCAA play-in game and posted a 1-0 first-round victory at Washington State on Wednesday to advance to the second round. Tacoma native Shannon Forslund (Mount Tahoma HS) scored in the 67th minute at WSU assisted by Liz Roberts. UM goalkeeper Natalie Hiller recorded her 10th shutout and lowered her goals against average to 0.79. The Grizzlies have outscored opponents 56-19 this season led by the 14 goals of Heather Olson and 13 from Amy Wronski. Washington owns a 3-1 lead in the all-time series, but Montana won the most recent meeting 4-3 on Oct. 5, 1997 in Seattle. UW won the first three meetings against the Grizzlies, in 1994 (2-0 in Seattle), 1995 (5-2 in Missoula) and 1996 (1-0 in overtime in Seattle). Husky coach Lesle Gallimore is 3-1 against Montana which is coached for the seventh season by Betsy Duerksen who served at Seattle University from 1991-93.

Sibling Rivalry:
Washington's roster features a pair of prolific-scoring sisters, Tami and Melissa Bennett. Tami, a senior, owns several UW school records, including career (33) and single-season (15) goals along with single-season points (34). Tami amassed 152 career goals at Seattle Christian High School to pry the state prep scoring record from U.S. National Team standout Michelle Akers. Melissa, a freshman, took that prep record away from Tami last spring by completing her career at Seattle Christian with 166 goals. Tami currently leads the Huskies with 15 goals. Melissa ranks fourth among Huskies with four goals, one more than Tami scored as a freshman. On Oct. 11 both sisters were named to Soccer America magazine's Team of the Week after Tami scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over 12th-ranked Stanford and Melissa had the game-winner in a 2-1 win against No. 9 California.

Sensational Solo:
All-America candidate Hope Solo is Washington's standout sophomore shot-stopper. The Richland (Wash.) High School product was named the first-team All-Pac-10 goalkeeper on Nov. 7. Solo is one of the finest 'keepers in the nation, not just among collegians. She played two international games this summer with the U.S. National Team and was one of four goalkeepers in the training pool for the Olympic team. Solo surrendered only five goals in nine Pac-10 contests, no more than one in any game. She has five shutouts and a 0.79 goals against average. She registered a season-high 12 saves in her last outing on Nov. 3 at Washington State. Her presence between the posts has been pivotal for the Huskies who have won 10 games by one-goal margins. Eight of the last nine UW games were decided by one goal, seven of them resulting in Husky victories.

Strenuous Schedule:
Washington's schedule ranked among the nation's top-10 most difficult each of the last five years. This year's schedule is no different. Including Montana, the Huskies will have played one-quarter of the NCAA Tournament field as 12 UW opponents qualified for postseason play. Nine UW foes were ranked at the time of the game, including No. 2 Notre Dame, Santa Clara (3), UCLA (7), California (9), USC (12), Stanford (12), Brigham Young (17) Arizona State (21) and Portland (21).

Home Sweet Home:
Husky Soccer Field hosts its first NCAA Tournament women's soccer game on Sunday. The fourth-year facilities' seating capacity will be expanded for the tournament from 1,800 to 2,300 with the addition of a 500-seat grandstand in the west end. The field is located north of Husky Stadium on the southeast corner of the Montlake Boulevard parking lot. A new twist in 2000 was the addition of lights, enabling Washington to play four of its seven home games at night. The Huskies won their last 12 games at Husky Soccer Field, including all seven games this season. UW averaged 1,421 fans at home this year, including a school-record 3,403 turnout Oct. 22 against UCLA. Last season's average of 1,201 spectators was the 11th-highest attendance figure in the nation.

UW vs. Ranked Foes:
Nearly half of Washington's games (9 of 19) have been against ranked opponents. The Huskies have a 19-46-5 all-time record against ranked teams, including an 8-1 mark this season. They lost to then-No. 2 and now top-ranked Notre Dame and have defeated Santa Clara (#3), UCLA (#7), California (#9), Stanford (#12), USC (#12), BYU (#17), Portland (#21) and Arizona State (#21).

Huskies Reap Pac-10 Honors:
Head coach Lesle Gallimore, who guided Washington to its first ever Pac-10 championship, was voted the conference coach of the year by her peers and four Huskies were announced as first-team All-Pac-10 selections on Nov. 7. In her seventh season at UW, Gallimore guided the Huskies to an all-time best 17 victories, including a school-record 11-game winning streak. Washington (17-2) posted an 8-1 conference record to become the first Pac-10 champion from outside the state of California. The Huskies had more first-team picks than any other school and all four UW first-team members are from the state of Washington. Earning first-team acclaim were senior forward Tami Bennett (Seattle Christian HS), junior defender Andrea Morelli (Eastside Catholic HS), sophomore goalkeeper Hope Solo (Richland HS) and senior midfielder Theresa Wagner (Lakeside HS). Bennett set several Husky records this season, including marks for goals in a career (33) and season (15), game-winning goals for a career (12) and season (7) and single-season points (34). Morelli anchored a defense that limited opponents to only 16 goals, less than one per game. She was honored as the Pac-10 Defender of the Year in 1999, but that award was not presented this year. Solo registered five shutouts against collegiate competition while compiling an outstanding 0.79 goals against average. She surrendered only five goals in nine Pac-10 contests, never more than one in any game. Wagner also assaulted the UW record book this season, claiming every assist record. She owns records for assists in a game (4), season (10) and career (24). Wagner set a new UW standard for career points with 78. Two Huskies received second-team All-Pac-10 accolades, junior midfielder Caroline Putz and sophomore defender Vanessa Pierce, a graduate of Woodinville (Wash.) High School. The list of honorable mention all-conference honorees included two UW players: senior midfielder Malia Arrant and junior defender Katie Goodeve from Eastlake High School in Redmond, Wash.

Pac-10 Pride:
Washington is the first school from outside the state of California to capture the Pac-10 women's soccer championship. Winning the conference championship is an even more remarkable feat when considering that the Pac-10 is the nation's toughest league in the eyes of the selection committee. Seven Pac-10 teams earned NCAA bids, including three of the top eight seeds. UCLA (15-3-1) earned a No. 6 seed and California (17-2-1) was No. 8. The Atlantic Coast Conference had six teams in the tournament field, including No. 3 seed Clemson (17-2-1) and No. 5 seed North Carolina (16-3), the defending national champion. 'Obviously the Pac-10 is the strongest conference in the country this year getting seven teams in the tournament,' UW coach Lesle Gallimore remarked. 'For us to be at the forefront of that group of teams is something which we are very, very proud of. It's something that these kids, especially our seniors, have worked hard for.'

Last UW Game -- Washington State 1, (#3) UW 0 ot (Nov. 3, Pullman):
Kim Morgan headed in a corner kick in the 112th minute, lifting Washington State to a 1-0 overtime victory over third-ranked Washington in the final regular-season game for both teams at Cougar Soccer Field. Pac-10 champion Washington (17-2, 8-1) had its school-record 11-game winning streak stopped, losing its first conference contest. Washington State (13-6, 5-4) was the aggressor throughout the game, outshooting the Huskies 22-13, including a 6-1 advantage during overtime. Goalkeeper Hope Solo kept UW in the game with a season-high 12 saves. Ironically, the only shot to get past Solo was set up by Liz Duncan, her prep teammate at Richland High School. Duncan was credited with an assist, booting a cross to Morgan who headed the ball into the goal at 111:37. It was only the third goal allowed by Solo in her last 789 minutes. WSU goalkeeper Lindsey Jorgensen saved four shots en route to her fifth shutout. The Huskies are accustomed to close games as eight of their last nine contests were decided by one-goal margins, including three overtime outings. They won their first 10 one-goal games before Friday's loss to WSU.

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