UW's Hope Solo to Start Sunday for U.S. National Team

Sept. 7, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Senior goalkeeper Hope Solo will miss 11th-ranked Washington's women's soccer game against top-ranked North Carolina on Sunday and instead will start for the United States National Team in an exhibition against Scotland at the same time.

Solo, who has made seven previous international appearances with the senior nationals, is one of four goalkeepers who trained this week in Columbus, Ohio. Coach April Heinrichs will use the performances during this past week of training along with Sunday's exhibition to help her select the U.S. team for the 2003 World Cup in China. Joining Solo in the goalkeeping corps are veteran national team members Briana Scurry, LaKeysia Beene and Siri Mullinix.

The USA's first-ever meeting with Scotland will be broadcast live on ESPN at 10 a.m. Pacific Time (1 p.m. Eastern Time.) That is also the time that Washington (3-0) kicks off the championship game of the Carolina Classic. The Huskies won a 4-3 overtime decision over No. 17 Duke in Friday's first round while host North Carolina routed Guilford 9-0.

Since 1979 when they began playing at Fetzer Field, the Tar Heels have a remarkable 219-7-2 home record with only three losses against collegiate opponents. UNC is the premier dynasty in college sports, having collected 16 national titles and played in all but one championship game since the NCAA began sponsoring women's soccer in 1982.

'We already did what we came her to do. We wanted to beat Duke and have a 3-0 record when we play Carolina,' Washington coach Lesle Gallimore remarked. 'They are the best team in the country. What a great experience for our team to see how we stack up. It's a fun challenge.'

The 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Solo has not allowed a goal in 107 minutes for the Huskies this season. The Richland (Wash.) High School product owns every UW career record for goalkeepers, including saves (252), shutouts (16) and goals against average (0.93).

In Solo's absence, junior Lisa Brookens will start for Washington. Brookens entered in the second half of the Huskies' first two games before playing the entire game Friday in the win over Duke. She has a 2.01 goals against average.

A previous arrangement with the national team determined that Solo would be sent to North Carolina if she was not going to play against Scotland. Heinrichs informed Gallimore Saturday evening that Solo would be starting in goal for the U.S. against Scotland.

Ironically, Gallimore is glad that her best player won't be in Chapel Hill.

'I'm really happy for Hope. I wanted to see her play against Scotland and not come back to Carolina,' she said. 'This is a crucial time in Hope's national team career to get a start on television against another international opponent. It's a great opportunity as she pursues a spot on the world cup roster.'

Solo will re-join her college teammates next week as they prepare for a meeting with the University of Denver on Friday, Sept. 13 at the Portland Invitational in Oregon.

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