11th-Ranked UW Women Play in Carolina Classic Soccer Tournament

Sept. 3, 2002

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** Carolina Nike Classic **
(Fetzer Field (5,000); Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Friday, September 6
-- #11 Washington vs. #17 Duke
2:00 p.m. PDT (5 p.m. EDT)

Sunday, September 8
-- #11 Washington vs. #1 North Carolina
10:00 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT)

The 11th-ranked Washington women's soccer team (2-0) embarks on its first road trip, a treacherous trek to Chapel Hill, N.C. for the Carolina Nike Classic. The Huskies meet No. 17 Duke (1-1) on Friday, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m. Pacific Time (5 p.m. EDT). The Blue Devils and Huskies have met twice before, each winning once. An encounter with top-ranked North Carolina (1-0-1) looms on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 10 a.m. PDT (1 p.m. EDT). UW lost its only two previous meetings with No. 1 opponents. Washington opened the season with a pair of home triumphs, 4-1 against Arkansas (Aug. 30) and 5-0 against Colorado College (Sept. 1).

Hope is Gone
The Huskies will be without the services of senior goalkeeper Hope Solo for at least one game this week. The 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year has a commitment to train with the National Team and will definitely miss Friday's meeting with Duke. If U.S. Coach April Heinrichs elects to use Solo in next Sunday's (Sept. 8) exhibition against Scotland, then she will miss Washington's match-up against the top-ranked Tar Heels. If Solo is not required to attend the U.S. exhibition in Columbus, Ohio, she will re-join the Huskies on Saturday. Filling in for Solo is junior Lisa Brookens who played in the second half of both games this season, allowing one goal in 73 minutes while making two saves.

Duke (1-1)
Coach Robbie Church's 17th-ranked Blue Devils began the season with a 2-1 overtime victory against Tennessee before falling 2-1 at Texas. Despite an 8-10-1 record in 2001, Duke earned its third straight postseason berth. The series is tied 1-1 with both previous games at neutral sites. UW upset No. 3 Duke 2-0 in 1993 and then lost 2-0 in 1995.

North Carolina (1-0-1)
Dynasty. That's what 24th-year coach Anson Dorrance has created at North Carolina, a winner of 16 national championships. The top-ranked Tar Heels have played in all but one (1995) championship game since the NCAA began sponsoring women's soccer in 1982. UNC opened the season with a 1-1 tie at Nebraska before defeating USC 2-0. The Tar Heels were without four players who were in Canada competing at the FIFA U-19 world cup. UNC won both previous meetings with Washington by matching 2-0 tallies. The Huskies visited Chapel Hill in 1993 and the Tar Heels played in Seattle in 1994.

UW vs. Top-Ranked Foes
Sunday marks Washington's third all-time meeting with the nation's top-ranked team. The Huskies lost 2-0 at No. 1 North Carolina on Sept. 19, 1993 and were defeated 3-1 at home by No. 1 Santa Clara on Sept. 10, 1999. Although 0-2 against top-ranked teams, Washington does have a victory over a No. 2 team to its credit. UW staged a 2-1 road upset of No. 2 Santa Clara on Sept. 4, 2000.

Ranking Report
Washington climbed one place, to No. 11, in this week's Soccer America rankings. The Huskies were a consensus preseason top-25 choice, including a No. 12 ranking by Soccer America, No. 22 by the NSCAA coaches poll and No. 25 by Soccer Buzz. Last season, Washington was ranked every week during the season for the first time since 1994, finishing No. 14 in the Soccer Times poll, No. 16 in Soccer America, No. 19 in the NSCAA coaching ratings and No. 21 in Soccer Buzz.

Strenuous Schedule
The Huskies face a difficult schedule that includes nine opponents ranked in the current top 25, five of which are top-10 foes. UW's ranked opponents are; No. 1 North Carolina, Stanford (3), Texas (4), UCLA (7), Texas A&M (8), California (12), Portland (13), Duke (17) and Arizona State (21). Twelve teams that participated in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, including two Final Four qualifiers and four teams from the Elite Eight, appear on the Huskies' schedule.

Notable
o Sophomore midfielder Clare Rustad returns for the UW after missing the first two games while representing Canada in the FIFA U-19 women's world championships

o The Huskies allowed less than two goals in 33 of their last 35 outings and have not surrendered more than two goals since Sept. 16, 2000, a span of 37 games

o Sunday marks only the third time Washington has played the nation's No. 1 ranked team.

o Junior Melissa Bennett tied a school record Sunday with four assists against Colorado College. She equaled the mark established by current WUSA player Theresa Wagner (San Jose Cyberays) in 2000.

o UW players had hat tricks in consecutive games for the first time ever when Tina Frimpong scored three times against Arkansas (Aug. 30) and Kim Taylor netted three goals vs. Colorado College (Sept. 1).

o The Huskies surrendered only 12 goals last season, nine fewer than any previous UW team. The 1991 squad allowed 21 goals for the previous school season low mark.

o Washington did itself proud against a difficult schedule in 2001 as the only teams to beat UW were ranked in the final top 10 poll: Portland (#3) twice, UCLA (#4), Texas A&M (#5) and Stanford (#9).

Sensational Solo
The most decorated player in Husky history is senior goalkeeper Hope Solo, a three-time All-Pac-10 first team honoree. She was named the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year after recording seven shutouts and a school single-season record 0.68 goals against average. Solo was one of 13 finalists for the 2001 Hermann Trophy that honors the national player of the year. The Richland (Wash.) High School product owns every UW career goalkeeping record, including the mark of 252 saves that she claimed in the 2002 season opener. Solo has the best goals against average for a Husky career (0.93) and is tied for the all-time shutout record (16). She will be forced to miss a few Husky games this season, including Friday's matchup with Duke, due to obligations with the U.S. National Team. She is one of four 'keepers challenging for spots on the roster for the 2003 World Cup. Solo has collected seven 'caps' for playing appearances with U.S. Nationals. She has been described as 'our future' by national team coach April Heinrichs.

Senior Stoppers
Each member of the Huskies' six-player senior class plays on the defensive side of the ball, including goalkeeper Hope Solo. Nearly the entire back line will be drawn from a group of senior defenders that includes; Suzanne Culpepper, Cheryl Gies, Andrea Morelli and Vanessa Pierce. Another senior, Megan McKinstry, plays the defensive midfield position directly in front of the back line. That vastly experienced cadre of six seniors boasts a combined 284 games played (47-game average per player) and have 248 starts between them (41-start average).

The Defense Never Rests
The Huskies feature a tireless 'Dream Team' of veteran defenders that surrendered only 12 goals last season. That is nine fewer goals than any previous UW unit allowed. The defense returns all four starters from last season's squad that compiled a stunning 0.58 goals against average. That quartet is joined by Andrea Morelli, a two-time all-conference performer who should resume her position in the middle of the defense now that she is completely healthy. The stingy UW defense limited opponents to fewer than two goals in 18 of 20 games in 2001, shutting out 10 foes. The defense kept the team in games, enabling UW to lose by more than one goal (2-0) only once in its last 36 outings. One non-senior expected to start on defense is sophomore Nicole Martinez who filled in wonderfully for Morelli in the middle last season and should shift to an outside back spot this year.

Family Affair
Washington's leading goal scorer is speedy sophomore Tina Frimpong whose twin sister, Crystal, is a junior starter at Florida. She tallied three goals in the 2002 season opener against Arkansas (Aug. 30). Tina is a year behind her sister in school because she did not play in 2000 while she was pregnant with daughter MacKenzie who was born on March 8, 2001. Despite being out of competitive soccer for over 18 months, Frimpong led the Huskies last season with seven goals. She netted a hat trick against Idaho (Sept. 9) in her fourth game and had a two-goal performance at USC (Nov. 4). She also found the back of the net in UW's first-round NCAA win over San Diego. A product of Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash., Frimpong initially signed a letter of intent with Santa Clara. She never attended classes there and decided to matriculate at Washington beginning in August of 2000.

Last UW Game -- #21 UW 5, Colorado College 0 (Sept. 1, Seattle)
Kim Taylor scored three goals and Melissa Bennett distributed a school-record four assists Sunday as 12th-ranked Washington (2-0) blanked Colorado College 5-0 at Husky Soccer Field. Bennett tied the UW single-game record established by Theresa Wagner in 2000. Despite the four assists, she is better known for scoring goals after amassing a Washington state prep record with 166 career goals at Seattle Christian High School. Bennett had a goal and assist in Friday's season-opening 4-1 win over Arkansas. That game also featured a hat trick by a Husky forward as Tina Frimpong accomplished the feat that Taylor replicated Sunday. Taylor scored the lone first-half goal in the 34th minute off assists from Bennett and Blair Ruport. She scored again four minutes into the second half, hitting a 17-yard liner from the left side. Junior Jaime Carstensen, who was credited with an assist on goal No. 2, scored the team's third goal at 57:33 off a pass from Bennett. The Bennett-Taylor tandem teamed up a second time in the 83rd minute, leading to a 20-yard blast by Taylor into the upper right corner. Walk-on Lindsy Humphrey capped the scoring, netting a goal just three minutes after she entered the game off a pass from Bennett. Hope Solo and Lisa Brookens combined for the shutout without a save. Solo played the opening 62 minutes before giving way to Brookens for the final 28 minutes. Meghann Loseke saved seven shots for the Tigers (0-2) who were outshot by a 24-4 margin.

Pac-10 Poll
Washington was picked third in the annual preseason coaches' poll that was released Aug. 19 by the Pac-10 office. Defending champion UCLA was tabbed as the favorite by the coaches, receiving seven first-place votes and 95 total points. The Bruins won the 2001 conference crown with an 8-1 record and reached the NCAA quarterfinals. Stanford received the remaining three first-place votes and finished with 92 points, just three behind the Bruins. The Huskies totaled 68 points to place third in the poll, ahead of Arizona State (65), California (64), USC (59), Oregon State (37), Washington State (35), Oregon (18) and Arizona (17). UW and Stanford tied for second place in last year's Pac-10 standings with matching 6-2-1 records. Five Pac-10 teams competed in the 2001 NCAA Tournament. UW won the 2000 Pac-10 title.

2002 Preview
Ten starters return from the 2001 team that posted a 13-5-2 record, tied for second in the Pac-10 standings and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Huskies lost the school's all-time assist leader Caroline Putz. They gain three-year starter Andrea Morelli, the 1999 Pac-10 Defender of the Year who missed the entire 2001 season with a knee injury. With a complete cast of returning starters, the coaching staff won't be establishing a lineup as much as fine-tuning it. Heading the list of returning starters is senior goalkeeper Hope Solo, the 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year. A veteran group of defenders should again make opposing goals scarce as last season's 0.58 goals against average and 10 shutouts can attest. The midfield is highlighted by Canadian National Team member Clare Rustad, a UW sophomore, and junior playmaker Jaime Carstensen who ranked third on the squad with 12 points (4g/4a). A diverse group of forwards features speedy sophomore Tina Frimpong, last season's team leader with seven goals. The offense benefits from the return of last year's top recruit, skilled forward Kim Taylor who returns from a knee injury that limited her to only two games last year. The 2000 Huskies won the Pac-10 title and reached the Sweet 16, their finest postseason performance. Last year's team advanced to the second round of NCAA play. This year's squad appears poised to advance even deeper into the NCAA Tournament than its predecessors.

Gone but Not Forgotten
Just one full-time starter departed from the 2001 team, forward Caroline Putz who distributed a school-record 27 assists during her career. Putz led the team last year with 16 points on five goals and a team-high six assists and was honored as a second-team All Pac-10 selection. Also gone are forwards Gina Brewer (3g/2a/8pts) and Erin Otagaki (2g/4pts) who started one and five games, respectively.

2001 Season Recap
The 2001 season solidified Washington as one of the nation's premier soccer programs. The Huskies posted a 13-5-2 record, tied for second place in the Pacific-10 Conference standings and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. UW defeated San Diego 2-0 in the first round before falling 2-0 against Portland. Washington, which advanced to the postseason for the sixth time in the last eight seasons, was listed in the national polls from the preseason until the final rankings. That marked the first time since 1994 they had been ranked for an entire season. Highlighting the season was the announcement of goalkeeper Hope Solo as the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Solo, who was a finalist for the Hermann Trophy and Missouri Athletic Club award, had seven shutouts and a 0.68 goals against average. UW again played a difficult schedule as all five defeats last season came against teams ranked in the final top 10: Portland (3) twice, UCLA (4), Texas A&M (5) and Stanford (9).

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