UW Draws San Diego in First Round of NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament
Nov. 12, 2001
SEATTLE - Pacific-10 Conference runner-up Washington will meet San Diego at Portland, Ore. in the first round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament, the selection committee announced Monday.
The Huskies are making their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance, all of them coming during Coach Lesle Gallimore's eight seasons. They meet San Diego at Merlo Field on Friday, Nov. 16 at 11 a.m. Host Portland, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, meets Idaho State at 1 p.m. in the second half of the doubleheader. The first-round winners meet on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. in Portland for the right to advance to the round of 16.
'It was pretty close to what we expected. We knew there were going to be a lot of strong teams in the West and the committee was obligated to not travel teams very far,' Gallimore explained. 'We knew this year going in that if we weren't in the top eight seeds and Portland was that we would probably end up down at their place.'
Washington capped the regular season Sunday with a 1-0 victory over Oregon State, improving its overall record to 12-4-2. UW, which won the 2000 Pac-10 championship, posted a 6-2-1 conference record this year and tied for second place with Stanford. UCLA won the Pac-10 title with an 8-1 record.
San Diego has a 14-6 record and is one of five NCAA Tournament teams from the West Coast Conference. The Pac-10 also produced five postseason teams as Washington is joined by UCLA, Stanford, California and USC.
'For excitement purposes, we're happy to be playing a team in the first round that we haven't seen yet,' said Gallimore whose Huskies haven't played San Diego since 1994. 'It's great for our kids to be able to go into a game not burdened by playing another Pac-10 team or Portland who we have already seen this year. The first round is exciting to go in fresh, playing a team that you haven't already seen once.'
If Washington gets by the Toreros, a potential second-round match-up looms with Northwest nemesis Portland. The Pilots eliminated UW from the NCAA Tournament by 1-0 scores on three occasions, including last season in Seattle. Portland edged the Huskies 1-0 this year in Seattle on Sept. 29 to increase its lead in the all-time series to 12-1-1. The lone Washington victory over the Pilots was a 2-1 decision last season at Merlo Field.
Gallimore is not upset by the prospect of another postseason pairing with perennial national power Portland. The Pilots advanced to the Final Four in five of the last seven seasons.
'Once you get to the NCAA Tournament the ultimate goal is to win a national championship. If you are going to win the NCAA championship you are going to have to do it beating good teams at some point in time,' she said. 'Obviously we have a great rivalry with Portland. Beating them is doable. We're hopeful of having a good result in the first round before we look forward to them, and obviously they have to win a game too.'
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. 5 Stanford. Defending champion North Carolina is the tournament's top seed and 2000 runner-up UCLA is No. 3. Santa Clara is seeded second, Florida is No. 6, Notre Dame is No. 7 and Connecticut is No. 8.
The Huskies played seven games this season against opponents from the 64-team NCAA Tournament field, posting a 2-4-1 record. All four of Washington losses came against teams currently ranked in the top 10.
Washington has a 3-4-1 all-time record in NCAA Tournament play and advanced to the third round last season for the first time ever.