UW Women Visit Gonzaga Before Soccer Home Opener

Sept. 4, 2001

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Fri, Sept. 7 -
#8 Washington at Gonzaga, 4:00 p.m. PDT

Martin Field (500), Spokane, Wash.

Sun, Sept. 9 -
#8 Washington vs. Idaho, 12 noon PDT

Husky Soccer Field (1,800), Seattle, Wash.

Off to a 2-0 start for only the third time in school history, the eighth-ranked Washington women's soccer team caps a string of three straight road games on Friday, Sept. 7 at Gonzaga. Kick-off is 4 p.m. at Martin Field in Spokane. Washington then returns home quickly for its first home game, Sunday, Sept. 9 against Idaho. The home opener at Husky Soccer Field begins at noon. The Huskies began the season with a pair of wins in Logan, Utah. They defeated Utah State 4-1 (Sept. 1) before edging Northwestern 1-0 in overtime (Sept. 3). The only other UW teams to win their first two games were the 1996 and 2000 squads, both of which ended the season as NCAA Tournament participants. The 1996 team lost its third outing while the Huskies won their first six games last year en route to the finest season in school history. The 2000 Huskies won their first Pacific-10 Conference championship, received the No. 2 seed for the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16.

Missing in Action
Washington will be without the services of All-America goalkeeper Hope Solo this weekend as she departed for Chicago immediately after Monday's game to train with the U.S. National Team. Sophomore Lisa Walker will play in goal for UW during the next two games, making her collegiate starting debut. Walker played 13 shutout minutes at Utah State. Solo, who started the first two UW games, is expected to rejoin her Husky teammates in time for a Sept. 14 meeting with No. 4 Nebraska. Solo was one of three goalkeepers selected to prepare for the 2001 Nike U.S. Women's Cup. The Richland (Wash.) High School product has earned seven 'caps' for international appearances. Solo missed the spring quarter of 2000 at Washington while training full time with the National Team in the U.S. pre-Olympic residency camp. National Team coach April Heinrichs will train 24 players for four days before selecting 18 players to face Germany on Sept. 9 in Chicago, Japan on Sept. 11 in Columbus, Ohio and China on Sept. 16 in Kansas City, Mo.

Notable
o The Huskies opened the season with two wins for only the third time ever. Last year's team opened with six wins, the only time a UW squad started better than 2-0. The 1996 team opened 2-0 before losing.

o Washington has a 4-5-1 all-time record in home openers, including an 8-0 win over Eastern Washington on Aug. 26, 2000.

o Eleven UW opponents played in last year's NCAA Tournament, including runner-up UCLA and semifinalist Portland.

o Six starters return from last year's team, including All-America goalkeeper Hope Solo and second-team All-Pac-10 honorees Caroline Putz and Vanessa Pierce.

2000 Preview
Six starters return from the 2000 team that was the best in the school history. One of those starters was not lost to graduation. Senior Andrea Morelli, the 1999 Pac-10 Defender of the Year, tore the ACL in her left knee during the summer while playing with the Seattle Sounders Select Team. She will red-shirt this season and return for a fifth year in 2001. Heading the list of returning starters is junior goalkeeper Hope Solo, a member of the U.S. National Team who earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2000. Solo had six shutouts and a 0.76 goals against average last season. Second-team All-Pac-10 pick Vanessa Pierce and Suzanne Culpepper are the two starters that return from a defense that limited 19 of 21 opponents to one goal or less. The midfield features the team's top returning scorer, senior Caroline Putz. The second-team All-Pac-10 selection tallied seven goals and nine assists last season. Putz has 21 career assists, five shy of the school record. Junior Megan McKinstry, who plays the defensive midfield position, will be critical for the Huskies who must break in two new defenders. Senior starter Erin Otagaki leads a group of forwards that includes sophomore Melissa Bennett who scored five goals as a freshman. Sophomore Blair Ruport, a part-time starter, returns after missing the final six games in 2000 with an MCL injury. Washington's group of freshmen was rated the nation's 10th best recruiting class by the Soccer Buzz website. That class features Canadian National Team member Clare Rustad and defender Nicole Martinez, who played with the Seattle Sounders Select Team during the summer. Speedy freshman forward Tina Frimpong, a former Santa Clara signee, is playing again after giving birth to a daughter in March.

Gone but not Forgotten
Four starters from last year's team have graduated, including forward Tami Bennett who completed her career as the school's all-time leader in career (34) and single-season (16) goals. Midfielder Theresa Wagner finished with UW records for career assists (26), points (80) and single-season assists (12). Wagner was selected in the ninth round of the WUSA Draft and played for the champion Bay Area CyberRays. Also graduating from UW were midfielder Malia Arrant and defender Katie Goodeve.

Ranking Report
Washington was a consensus top-10 pick in the preseason women's soccer polls. The Huskies are currently ranked eighth by Soccer America, No. 9 by Soccer Times, No. 11 by Soccer Buzz and No. 15 in NSCAA Coaches' poll. This year marked the first preseason listing for the UW in seven years, dating to a No. 20 opening ranking in 1994. Washington was unranked in last year's preseason polls, but completed the season with a No. 5 ranking in the Soccer America poll. The Huskies face a difficult schedule that includes seven opponents ranked among the top 20, including UCLA and Portland tied at No. 2 and No. 4 Nebraska.

Gonzaga (0-1-1)
The Bulldogs host Washington in their home opener Friday after recording a 0-0 tie at Portland State and losing 1-0 on a late goal at Oregon. Goalkeeper Brooke Longacre posted the shutout against Portland State. Coach Shannon Stiles' Bulldogs had a 3-15 record last season and were winless in tough West Coast Conference play. Washington was victorious in all five previous meetings with the Bulldogs, winning by a combined 29-0 tally. The last meeting was a 7-0 UW triumph last season on Sept. 29 in Seattle. The Huskies won 3-0 in 1996 during their last visit to Spokane.

Idaho (1-1)
Sunday marks the first meeting between the Vandals and Washington. Idaho hosts Oregon (Sept. 5) and Hawai'i (Sept. 7) prior to the game at Husky Soccer Field. This is the fourth season of competition for the Vandals who are coached by Larry Foster. Idaho posted an 11-6-2 record last season and tied for third in the Big West Conference with a 4-2-2 mark. Emily Nelson leads the team with two goals, including a successful free kick in overtime of a 2-1 win over Weber State.

Prolific Putz
Senior forward Caroline Putz was a second-team All-Pac-10 selection last season. The former two-time Parade prep All-American (1996, '97) should be in line for even more honors in 2001. Putz is Washington's all-time leader in game-winning assists with 10 and is within striking distance of some other school records. Putz is second among all-time Huskies with 21 assists, five shy of Theresa Wagner's (1997-2000) record of 26. She ranks among the all-time UW career leaders in goals (5th with 18), game-winning goals (5th with 6) and points (4th with 57).

Sensational Solo
Hermann Trophy candidate Hope Solo is Washington's standout junior shot-stopper. The Richland (Wash.) High School product was the Soccer America Collegiate MVP goalkeeper last year. She earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2000 after making the second team as a freshman in 1999. Solo is one of 13 candidates, the only goalkeeper nominated, for the Hermann Trophy that honors the national player of the year. Solo is one of the finest 'keepers in the nation, not just among collegians. She has earned seven 'caps' with the U.S. National Team which she re-joined on Sept. 4 in Chicago to train for the Nike U.S. Cup. Solo surrendered only five goals in nine Pac-10 contests last season, no more than one in any game. She posted a UW single-season record 0.76 goals against average and registered six shutouts while starting three other shutouts. Her presence between the posts was pivotal for the Huskies who won 10 games by one-goal margins.

Hermann Hopeful
Washington junior goalkeeper Hope Solo is one of 13 candidates for the prestigious Hermann Trophy, soccer's equivalent of the Heisman Trophy that has been given annually since 1988 to the nation's best female college soccer player. The award is named for Robert R. Hermann, a founder and the former Chairman of the Executive Committee of the old North American Soccer League. Solo is the only goalkeeper on the list of candidates that also includes: Santa Clara's Danielle Slaton and Aly Wagner, Penn State's Christie Welsh, Florida's Abby Wambach, Brigham Young's Aleisha Cramer, UCLA's Mary-Frances Monroe and Stephanie Rigamat, Portland's Lauren Orlandos, Texas A&M's Nicky Thrasher and North Carolina's Danielle Borgman and Jena Kluegel.The candidates were chosen by a ballot of Division I college coaches and selected media. Two spots on the final ballot will remain open until Oct. 1. At that time, a poll of coaches and media will be conducted to add the final two names to each of the 15-player ballot before the final voting is conducted. This is to ensure that any player having a stellar season will be eligible to win the prestigious player of the year award. Final ballots will be distributed to all Division I college coaches. The three finalists will be announced Dec. 1. The winner of the 2001 Hermann Trophy will be announced at the College Cup, on Dec. 8 in Dallas, Texas.

Morelli Sidelined
First-team All-Pac-10 player Andrea Morelli, the 1999 Pac-10 Defender of the Year, tore the ACL in her left knee during the summer while playin with the Seattle Sounders Select Team. She will be sideline the entire season and is expected to return for a fifth year in 2002.

Strenuous Schedule
Washington's schedule ranked among the nation's top-10 most difficult each of the last six years. This year's schedule is no different. Eleven opponents on the 2001 Husky schedule participated in the 2000 NCAA Tournament, including NCAA runner-up UCLA and semifinalist Portland. Seven UW foes are ranked in the current Soccer America top-20 poll, including Nos. 2 UCLA and Portland, Nebraska (4), California (11), Texas A&M (13), Stanford (14) and Arizona State (19).

Pac-10 Pride
Washington was the first school from outside the state of California to capture the Pac-10 women's soccer championship. Winning the conference championship in 2000 was an even more remarkable feat when considering that the Pac-10 was 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 advanced to the championship game before losing 2-1 to North Carolina. Five Pac-10 teams are listed in the current Soccer America top-20 rankings, including No. 2 UCLA, Washington (8), California (11), Stanford (14) and Arizona State (19).

Home Sweet Home
For the fifth year, all Washington home games will be played on campus at the 1,800-seat Husky Soccer Field. The facility is located north of Husky Stadium on the southeast corner of the Montlake Boulevard parking lot. Lights were installed prior to the 2000 season, enabling the Huskies to play home games at night. The home field proved advantageous for the Huskies who had an 8-1 record at Husky Soccer Field during the 2000 season, including a 13-game winning streak that dated to 1999. UW's average attendance of 1,592 was the second highest in the nation, including a school-record crowd of 3,403 against UCLA on Oct. 22.

Last Game -- (#9) UW 1, Northwestern 0 ot (Sept. 3, Logan, Utah)
Sophomore Katie Ernst scored the lone goal in the seventh minute of overtime Monday, lifting the ninth-ranked Washington women's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over Northwestern at Utah State's Aggie Field. Ernst tallied her first collegiate score, a 'golden goal' that ended the game at 96:13. A product of Issaquah's Liberty High School, Ernst received a through ball from Jaime Carstensen and pushed an eight-yard shot past Wildcat goalkeeper Susan McCreery. Carstensen had two goals and an assist on Friday in Washington's season-opening 4-1 win over Utah State. The UW defense was dominant again, prompting All-America goalkeeper Hope Solo to make only one save. Solo, a junior from Richland High School, played the entire game. She and reserve goalkeeper Lisa Walker were not called upon to make a save on Friday. Solo departed immediately after the game for Chicago where she will train with the U.S. National Team in preparation for the Nike U.S. Cup later this month. She is expected to miss two games this weekend and rejoin her Husky teammates in time for a Sept. 14 meeting with No. 4 Nebraska. McCreery registered seven saves for Northwestern (1-1) which was outshot 21-9 by the Huskies. 'We had better chances than they did in regulation, but we didn't finish them,' said UW head coach Lesle Gallimore. 'We knew it was going to be a contest because they had an extra day of rest after playing Friday and got to scout us on Saturday. We have great depth this year and that helped a lot today.' Washington utilized 17 players, six of them freshmen. Three freshmen were in the starting 11, including forward Tina Frimpong (Hudson's Bay HS), defender Nicole Martinez (Redmond HS) and midfielder Clare Rustad, a member of the Canadian National Team.

2000 Recap
The 2000 season was the finest in the history of the Washington women's soccer program. The Huskies posted an all-time best 18-3 record, won their first Pacific-10 Conference championship, received the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16. Head coach Lesle Gallimore, who guided UW to its fifth NCAA Tournament appearance, was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year and the Soccer Buzz National Coach of the Year. The Huskies registered 22 school records, including the marks for single-season victories (18) and longest winning streak (11). The 2000 team featured All-America goalkeeper Hope Solo along with senior standouts Tami Bennett and Theresa Wagner. Bennett completed her career as the school's all-time leader in career (34) and single-season (16) goals and points (36). Wagner finished with Washington records for career assists (26), points (80) and single-season assists (12). Washington wrested the Pac-10 trophy away from the southern powers, becoming the first school outside the state of California to win the conference women's soccer championship. Winning the conference crown wasn't easy as eight of nine Pac-10 games were decided by one-goal margins, including four 1-0 decisions. During the memorable season, UW had several notable victories, including a 2-1 win at Santa Clara that snapped the Broncos 32-game home winning streak. Washington defeated six ranked opponents, half of them top-10 teams. The Huskies, who had never before been seeded or played a postseason game at home, drew the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. They hosted Montana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and defeated the Grizzlies 5-0 at Husky Soccer Field. A 1-0 third-round loss at home to Portland ended the season. On Sept. 10, 2000, Gallimore registered her 100th career coaching victory with a 3-1 win over Ohio State. Washington was the third most-improved team in the country during 2000, besting the previous year's record by 7 � games with an 18-3 mark. Attendance at Husky Soccer Field soared to an average of 1,592 spectators per game, the second-highest figure in the nation. The 1-0 overtime triumph over No. 4 UCLA on Oct. 22 drew a single-game record 3,403 fans. Un-ranked entering the 2000 season, Washington joined the polls in early September, its first ranking since 1996. During the season, the Huskies climbed to as high as No. 2 and completed the season ranked No. 5 in the final Soccer America poll.

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