12th-Ranked UW Women's Soccer Squad Visits No. 4 Portland
Sept. 30, 2002
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5 --
#12 Washington at #4 Portland, 2:15 p.m. PDT
Merlo Field (5,000); Portland, Ore.
The 12th-ranked Washington women's soccer team (5-3-2) concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule Saturday, Oct. 5 against Northwest nemesis Portland (8-2-1). Kick-off is 2:15 p.m. at Merlo Field where the Pilots boast a 98-13-3 all-time record. The Huskies are in the midst of a stretch of six straight road games, including three consecutive meetings with top-10 opponents. UW tied No. 3 Texas 1-1 on Sept. 27 before losing 2-1 at No. 7 Texas A&M on Sept. 29. The Aggies netted a golden goal with four seconds remaining in the first overtime. Following the game at Portland, Washington begins Pacific-10 Conference play Oct. 11 at Oregon. UW won the 2000 Pac-10 championship and tied for second place last season. The Huskies, whose last home game was Sept. 22, do not host a home game until California visits Husky Soccer Field on Oct. 25.
Season in Review
The Huskies got hat tricks in each of their first two games (Tina Frimpong & Kim Taylor) to begin the season at home with a 4-1 win over Arkansas (Aug. 30) and 5-0 triumph against Colorado College (Sept. 1) ... They split on their first road trip while goalkeeper Hope Solo was absent with the U.S. National Team. UW opened the Carolina Classic with a 4-3 overtime decision over No. 17 Duke (Sept. 6). Nicole Martinez netted a 106th-minute golden goal against the Blue Devils. Top-ranked North Carolina defeated the Huskies 5-1 (Sept. 8) ... Washington lost 1-0 to Denver (Sept. 13) in the first round of the Portland Invitational before settling for a 1-1 tie against Cal State Fullerton (Sept. 15) despite a 24-5 shot advantage ... UW won its own Husky/Nike Invitational for the first time since 1996, defeating Harvard 3-1 (Sept. 20) and UC Irvine 3-0 (Sept. 22). Andrea Morelli was the tournament's Defensive MVP and Melissa Bennett was the Offensive MVP after totaling one goal and three assists ... UW was outshot 31-13, but got 10 saves from Hope Solo to post a 1-1 tie at No. 3 Texas ... Solo was busy again at No. 7 Texas A&M, saving half of the 24 shots she faced in a 2-1 overtime loss.
Washington rose four spots, to No. 12, in this week's Soccer America rankings. UW is ranked No. 14 in the NSCAA coaches poll and No. 15 by Soccer Times. The Huskies were a consensus preseason top-25 choice, including a No. 12 ranking by Soccer America. 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 by Soccer America, No. 19 by the NSCAA and No. 21 by Soccer Buzz.
UW vs. Ranked Foes
The Huskies have a 19-54-6 all-time record against ranked teams, including a 1-2-1 mark this season. They defeated then No. 17 Duke 4-3 in overtime, tied No. 3 Texas 1-1 and lost 5-1 at No. 1 North Carolina and 2-1 in overtime at No. 7 Texas A&M. UW has a 5-37-3 all-time record against top-10 teams.
The fourth-ranked Pilots are undefeated in their last nine games after opening the season with two losses. Portland won eight games and battled then top-ranked North Carolina two a scoreless tie during the current streak. In his 14th year, Coach Clive Charles has guided the Pilots to the Final Four six of the last eight seasons, including the last two years. Forward Christine Sinclair has eight of UP's 18 goals. She is a teammate of Washington's Clare Rustad on the Canadian National Team. Pilot goalkeepers Cristin Shea and Lauren Arase have combined for six shutouts and a 0.62 goals against average.
Portland owns a 13-1-1 advantage in the all-time series with Washington that began with a 1-1 tie in 1991. The Northwest rivals met four times in the postseason (1995, 1996, 2000, 2001) with the Pilots winning all four times. The Huskies lost last year's NCAA Tournament matchup by a 2-0 tally after losing 1-0 in each of the previous three playoff meetings. Washington's lone win in the series was a 2-1 decision on Sept. 23, 2000 at Merlo Field that snapped a 10-game losing streak against UP.
o Washington's difficult schedule includes the nation's top-six ranked teams (Stanford, North Carolina, UCLA, Portland, Texas and Texas A&M). Ten Husky opponents are ranked this week.
o Junior Melissa Bennett leads UW with 10 assists, the second-highest season total ever for a Husky. She is within two of the school single-season assist record of 12 set in 2000 by Theresa Wagner. Bennett was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Sept. 24.
o Coach Lesle Gallimore is two wins shy of 100 for her tenure at Washington. She has a nine-year Husky record of 98-62-9.
o Senior goalkeeper Hope Solo became Washington's all-time leader with her 17th career shutout Sept. 22. She also owns UW's career goalkeeping records for saves (288) and goals against average (0.93).
o The Huskies surrendered less than two goals in 38 of their last 43 outings.
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 standard for shutouts after posting her 17th on Sept. 22 against UC Irvine. She also has the school career records for saves (288) and goals against average (0.93). Solo was extremely busy last weekend, facing 55 shots during two games in Texas. She saved 10 shots at No. 3 Texas and a season-high 12 shots at No. 7 Texas A&M. Solo missed two games while training in Columbus, Ohio with the U.S. National Team. She played the entire first half Sept. 8 in the USA's 8-2 exhibition win over Scotland. Solo is one of four keepers challenging for spots on the roster for the 2003 World Cup. She has collected eight 'caps' for international appearances with the U.S. Nationals. Solo has been described as 'our future' by national team coach April Heinrichs.
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.
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 only twice in its last 44 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.
One of Washington's leading goal scorers is speedy sophomore Tina Frimpong who has four goals, including a hat trick in the 2002 season opener against Arkansas (Aug. 30). Her sister, Crystal, is a junior starter at Florida. 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 UW in 2001 with seven goals. She netted a hat trick against Idaho in her fourth game and had a two-goal performance at USC. 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
#7 Texas A&M 2, #16 Washington 1, ot (Sept. 29, College Station, Texas)
Linsey Woodard scored the tying goal and assisted on the game winner at the end of the first overtime Sunday, lifting seventh-ranked Texas A&M to a 2-1 win over No. 16 Washington at the Aggie Soccer Complex. Washington (5-3-2) scored the only goal of the first half, a 19th-minute tally set up by a corner kick. Freshman Sara Davis and junior Jaime Carstensen combined to send the ball to sophomore Dana Dibble who headed it in for her first goal of the season. Woodard evened the score 10 minutes into the second half. Laura Probst served a cross into the box that Woodard headed in for the equalizer. The two teams then stayed scoreless for over 43 minutes, including the remaining 34 minutes of regulation time. The game-winning 'golden goal' was netted with four seconds left in the first 10-minute overtime. Woodard sent a pass to Emma Smith who slid a low shot into the goal from 12 yards out. Washington was limited to only six shots. The Husky offense was slowed by a combination of six offside calls and Aggie goalkeeper Kati Joe Spisak who saved two shots. Senior goalkeeper Hope Solo kept the Huskies in the game despite an onslaught by Texas A&M (7-3) which amassed 24 shots. Solo registered a season-high 12 saves, just one shy of her career best total. The 2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year, Solo saved 10 shots Friday in UW,s 1-1 tie against No. 3 Texas.
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 whose knee injury 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.
The Huskies face a difficult schedule that includes 10 opponents ranked in the current top 25, including the entire top six. UW's ranked opponents are; No. 1 Stanford, North Carolina (2), UCLA (3), Portland (4), Texas (5), Texas A&M (6), California (10), Arizona State (16), USC (18) and Denver (25). 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. In 2001, the only teams to beat UW finished the year ranked in the final top 10 poll.
Gone but Not Forgotten
Just one full-time starter departed from the 2001 team, forward Caroline Putz who distributed a school-record 27 career assists. 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.
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.
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).