6th-Ranked Huskies Meet #5 Nebraska at Portland Women's Soccer Tourney
Sept. 10, 2001
Portland Invitational, Merlo Field, Portland, Ore.
Fri, Sept. 14 -
#6 Washington vs. #5 Nebraska, 2:00 p.m. PDT
Sun, Sept. 16 -
#6 Washington vs. Alabama Birmingham, 3:30 p.m. PDT
The sixth-ranked Washington women's soccer team (4-0) puts its perfect record on the line this weekend at the Portland Invitational in Oregon. The Huskies meet No. 5 Nebraska (3-0) on Friday, Sept. 14. Kick-off is 2 p.m. at Merlo Field where host Portland meets Alabama-Birmingham at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 16 the teams trade opponents as Washington meets UAB (1-3) at 3:30 p.m. following a Nebraska-Portland game at 1:15 p.m. The Huskies are off to a 4-0 start for only the second time in school history, joining last year's squad that opened with six straight wins. The 2000 Huskies finished with an 18-3 record, won their first Pac-10 title, were the NCAA Tournament's No. 2 seed and reached the Sweet 16.
UW vs. Ranked Foes
The Huskies have a 19-47-5 all-time record against ranked teams, including a 6-2 mark last season. Washington is a 5-31-2 against teams ranked in the top 10.
The Huskies began the season with a pair of wins in Logan, Utah. They defeated Utah State 4-1 (Sept. 1) in the season opener on the strength of the two-goal, one-assist effort of Jaime Carstensen. Washington downed Northwestern 1-0 on a Katie Ernst goal in the seventh minute of overtime (Sept. 3). Washington won two games last weekend by matching 4-0 tallies. UW topped Gonzaga (Sept. 7) before beating Idaho (Sept. 9) in the home opener behind a hat trick from freshman Tina Frimpong.
Washington will be without the services of All-America goalkeeper Hope Solo for a few more weeks due to a torn abductor muscle (groin) on her right side that she suffered on Sept. 8 in Chicago while training with the U.S. National Team. Solo surrendered just one goal in the first two Husky games before missing the team's last two games as one of three goalkeepers in the National Team camp preparing for the Nike U.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. Sophomore Lisa Walker has played well in goal during Solo's absence, posting shutouts in both of her starts. Walker has not allowed a goal while recording nine saves in 193 minutes.
o Washington has outscored opponents 13-1 this season and has not allowed a goal in 335 minutes (3 1/2 games).
o The Huskies opened the season with four wins for only the second time ever. Last year's team opened with six wins en route to an 18-3 record and the Pac-10 title.
o Tina Frimpong's hat trick against Idaho was the 12th three-goal game in Husky history, only the second by a freshman.
o Eleven UW opponents played in last year's NCAA Tournament, including runner-up UCLA and semifinalist Portland.
Six starters return from the 2000 team that was the best in the school history. 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 23 career assists, three 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.
Washington was a consensus top-10 pick in the preseason women's soccer polls. The Huskies are currently ranked sixth by Soccer America and No. 9 by Soccer Buzz. This year marked the first preseason listing for the UW in seven seasons, dating to a No. 20 opening ranking in 1994. Washington was not ranked in last year's preseason polls, but completed the season at No. 5 in the Soccer America poll. The Huskies face a difficult schedule that includes six opponents ranked among the top 20, including four top-10 foes (UCLA, Portland, Nebraska, Stanford).
The fifth-ranked Cornhuskers are perennial NCAA Tournament participants, having made five consecutive Sweet 16 appearances. Coach John Walker directed NU to four Big 12 Tournament titles in his eight seasons. The Cornhuskers feature preseason All-America candidates Meghan Anderson and Christine Latham, the Big 12 Player of the Year. Anderson leads the team with three goals and two assists. Nebraska won 3-2 at USC in its last outing after previously posting a pair of home victories over Arizona (4-2) and Alabama-Birmingham (2-1). Washington won the only previous meeting with the Cornhuskers, claiming a 5-1 decision at the 1995 Portland Invitational.
Sunday marks the first meeting between the Blazers and Washington. All three UAB losses were one-goal setbacks. The Blazers lost 2-1 decisions to Creighton, Nebraska and Mississippi before defeating Mississippi State 2-0 in their last outing. Tara Kidwell has scored three of the team's five goals while Adrienne Suffridge was credited with both of UAB's assists. Goalkeeper Lisa Nowoslawski has a 1.43 goals against average and amassed 31 saves in four games. Sixth-year coach Paul Harbin's team posted a 3-14-2 record last year.
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 23 assists, three 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 59).
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.
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.
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 playing with the Seattle Sounders Select Team. She will be sidelined the entire season and is expected to return for a fifth year in 2002. The two-time first-team All-Pac-10 pick led a UW defense that yielded only 17 goals in 21 games last season.
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. Six UW foes are ranked in the current Soccer America top-20 poll, including four of the top 10. The Huskies play UCLA (2), Portland (4), Nebraska (5), Stanford (8), Texas A&M (12) and California (13).
Last year, Washington became the first school from outside the state of California to capture the Pac-10 women's soccer championship. Winning the conference title 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. Four Pac-10 teams are listed in the current Soccer America top-20 rankings, including No. 2 UCLA, Washington (6), Stanford (8) and California (13).
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 -- (#8) UW 4, Idaho 0 (Sept. 9, Seattle)
Freshman Tina Frimpong tallied the first three goals Sunday, including a score just over one minute into the game, leading the eighth-ranked Washington women to a 4-0 victory over Idaho in the home opener at Husky Soccer Field. Washington (4-0) has outscored opponents 13-1 this season en route to its second-best start ever. Frimpong opened the scoring 1:20 into the game on a pass from Jaime Carstensen who registered her fourth assist in as many games. Frimpong drove a low liner off the left post and into the goal for her first collegiate score. Her other two goals were unassisted. She scored on a 17-yard blast at 33:48 to give UW a 2-0 lead it would take into halftime. In the second half, Frimpong connected on a 20-yard liner into the upper right corner at 67:28 to secure the 12th hat trick in Husky history and only the second by a freshman. Frimpong was out of competitive soccer for an entire year. A 2000 graduate of Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash., Frimpong originally signed to play at Santa Clara. She did not attend classes there last year and decided to come to Washington after the birth of her now 6-month-old daughter MacKenzie in March. Junior defender Vanessa Pierce capped the scoring at 70:43 on a 10-yard header off a cross from senior Caroline Putz who distributed her 23rd career assist. Putz is within three assists of Theresa Wagner's (1997-2000) school record of 26. Sophomore goalkeeper Lisa Walker made her second collegiate start and recorded her second shutout by making four saves. Jenell Miller had six saves for Idaho (1-3-1) which was outshot 28-6 by the Huskies. The Vandals best scoring opportunity came during a scramble in front of the UW net in the 19th minute. Jaclyn Pelton's shot got past Walker, but was cleared off the line by Husky defender Suzanne Culpepper. The ball rebounded to the Vandals' Megan Cummings who booted a shot wide.
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 ï¿½ 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.